Research has shown Cordyceps to have numerous biological activities. This includes the following:-
- Inhibition of cell proliferation.
- Inhibition of platelet aggregation.
- Inhibition of cell migration.
- Induction of apoptosis.
- Invasiveness and overall reduction of inflammation, especially in humans.
Unsurprisingly, some of the most comprehensive research on Cordycepin has centred around its potential to act in reduction of tumour sizes in cancer patients. It is not difficult to imagine that claims such as these have led to an enormous amount of research regarding just how it can help fight cancer. Indeed, one such study found that several patients, with lung health issues, who continuously took a level dosage of Cordyceps Sinensis every day, did in fact show great improvements in their lung health.
A further experiment involved thirty three patients with Hepatitis B and a further eight patients with Cirrhosis. Cordyceps supplements taken by all patients led to improvements in two liver function tests. A 72% improvement on the thymol turbidity test and 79% improvement in the SGPT test.
Cordycepin has many intracellular targets. These include Nucleic acid (DNA/RNA), Apoptosis and cell cycle etc. Research into the way that anti-cancer drugs work has provided important information for the design of novel drug targets. This is so that anti-tumour activity with less toxicity to patients can be improved.
A particular study examined the effect of Cordycepin on liver cells. The subsequent results showed that Cordyceps acid and Cordycepin together did indeed improve both the inflammatory and fibrogenic response of HSCs (Hepatic stellate cells – liver cells). This is most likely because of their ability to encourage DNA repair at the same time as reducing damage from free radicals.
With regard to the inhibition and resolution of liver fibrosis, the researchers have concluded that these effects may contribute significantly to its therapeutic mechanisms. It is believed that Cordycepin can also help reduce the possibility of chronic liver conditions, including hepatitis. Other studies have shown that it protects the liver, even if the liver has suffered severe disease damage.
- Wong, Y. Y., & Duffin, R. (2009). Cordycepin Inhibits Protein Synthesis and Cell Adhesion through Effects on Signal Transduction. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(4), 2610-2621.
- Xiao Y., Huang X.Z., Chen G.,Wang M.B., Zhu J.S., Cooper C.B.: Increased Aerobic Capacity in Healthy Elderly Humans given fermented Cordyceps Cs-4: a Placebo controlled Trial
- National Cancer Institute. “Definition of cordycepin”. NCI Drug Dictionary. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- Cordycepin Relation to Cancer and Studies
- Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi. Effects of cordyceps acid and cordycepin on the inflammatory and fibrogenic response of hepatic stellate cells