Can Cordyceps Mushrooms Cure Cancer?

According to numerous studies, Cordyceps mushrooms appears to provide a number of benefits to people battling cancer.

We reviewed the latest clinical studies on cordyceps and cancer so you don’t have to, and here’s what we found.

Can Cordyceps Help Cancer?

Cordyceps and breast cancer

Cordyceps and ovarian cancer

Cordyceps and cervical cancer

Cordyceps and prostate cancer

Cordyceps and testicular cancer

Cordyceps and colon cancer

Cordyceps and gastric cancer

Cordyceps and lung cancer

Cordyceps and melanoma

Cordyceps and liver cancer

Cordyceps and leukemia

Cordyceps and bladder cancer

Cordyceps and chemotherapy

Who should not take cordyceps?

How do I get lion’s mane for cancer?

What is Cordyceps?

Cordyceps is a genus of mushrooms with over 600 species. These adaptogenic mushrooms they feature prominently in ancient Chinese herbal medicine. Although they have been used in Eastern integrative medicine for centuries, the Western world is just now beginning to appreciate these medicinal mushrooms.

The most popular and well-researched Cordyceps varieties are Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris. Although human research is still rare, these parasitic mushrooms show promise as a research subject in various animal and human cell studies.

Bioactive components of Cordyceps Mushrooms

Cordyceps is packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds, some of which are just beginning to be understood by science:

  • cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine)
  • ergosterol peroxide
  • adenosine
  • fibrinolytic enzyme
  • xanthophylla
  • polysaccharides
  • nucleosides
  • cytosine
  • oracle
  • thymine
  • adenine
  • guanine
  • hypoxanthine
  • sterols
  • peptides, including cordymin
  • tryptophan

Can Cordyceps Help With Cancer?

Cordyceps mushrooms are some of the the healthiest mushrooms one can add to their diet. They are well documented health benefitsincluding anti-inflammatory activities, immune-enhancing effects and anti-cancer properties. While you shouldn’t use it alone as a cancer treatment, Adding Cordyceps to your diet can help you fight cancer head on.

Cordycepin, a naturally occurring nucleoside found in the fungus Cordyceps has used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancer, as well as chronic and inflammatory diseases.

The recent scientific rediscovery of natural remedies has led to an explosion in Cordyceps cancer research. Even the University of Oxford has partnered with a biopharmaceutical company in the hope creating a chemotherapy drug based on Cordyceps using ProTide technology.

According clinical studiesCordyceps may have anti-cancer and anti-metastatic properties. The mushroom can also help your body recover from the stress of chemotherapy and cancer medication.. Here’s an evidence-based analysis of how Cordyceps mushrooms can fight 12 types of cancer.

1. Cordyceps and breast cancer

Cordyceps sinensis can inhibit the growth of breast cancer. ONE study investigated the role of Cordyceps extracts in anticancer activity. The results show that the mushroom could slow the growth of breast cell tumors by reducing the inhibition NF-kB pathways.

Another species of Cordyceps, C. militaris, also has incredible anti-cancer potential. ONE 2019 study examined the efficacy of bioactive compounds found in Cordyceps fruiting bodies. The results show that the fungus has great potential in preventing breast cancer.

Researchers reached a similar conclusion in a 2013 study on the effects of Cordyceps on the development of breast cancer. The results suggest that cordycepin, an active ingredient found in mushrooms, causes a delay in tumor growth in mice with breast cancer.

2. Cordyceps and ovarian cancer

Cordyceps militaris it also shows promise when it comes to treating ovarian cancer. ONE study 2020 examined the effects of this medicinal fungus on SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells.

The results suggest that Cordyceps mushrooms cause apoptosis. Therefore, taking Cordyceps militaris may increase the death of ovarian cancer cells.

Other study examined the potential antitumor effects of cordyceps in carboplatin-resistant ovarian cancer. Carboplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat various types of cancer.

Unfortunately, ovarian cancer cells can become resistant to this drug quite quickly. Once this happens, the drug can no longer induce apoptosis and prevent the cancer from spreading further.

The results of this study suggest that Cordyceps militaris exerts anticancer effects similar to those of Carboplatin through ATF3/TP53 path activation.

3. Cordyceps and cervical cancer

Cordyceps sinensis Mushroom research indicates that this fungus could have clinical application in the treatment of cervical cancer. ONE 2014 study investigated the effects of the fermented fungus Cordyceps on cervical cancer in mice.

The results suggest that downloading Cordyceps sinensis may improve the effectiveness of cervical cancer treatmentespecially if you combine it with selenium.

4. Cordyceps and prostate cancer

ONE study examined the roles of cordycepin, a bioactive compound found in Cordyceps militaris, in prostate carcinoma cells. The findings suggest that Cordycepin could be a potent inducer of prostate cancer cell apoptosis.

The compound also shows great promise when it comes to slowing the metastasis of human prostate carcinoma cells. ONE study examined the antimetastatic effects of cordycepin on cell motility and invasion ability.

Essentially, a cancer cell must be able to migrate and attack other cells for cancer to spread to different parts of the body. Cordycepin appears to inhibit both of these actions, making it an excellent addition to traditional cancer treatment.

5. Cordyceps and testicular cancer

Cordyceps shows great potential in testosterone production. But can it help treat testicular cancer? Research seems to suggest so.

Cordycepin, an active ingredient found in Cordyceps militaris, has properties that could help treat testicular cancer. ONE 2015 study examined the effects of cordycepin on MA-10 murine Leydig tumor cells.

The use of cordycepin induced apoptosis of mouse Leydig cells. Although more research is needed, these results suggest that this compound could be useful when used in addition to cancer medicine.

6. Cordyceps and colon cancer

Cordyceps sinensis could have incredible benefits when it comes to colon cancer. Polysaccharides in particular hold great promise.

ONE study 2020 investigated the anticancer effects of polysaccharides found in Cordyceps mushrooms on human colon cancer cell lines. The results indicate that the polysaccharides obtained through water extraction increased the autophagy of these cells while inhibiting their growth.

Cordyceps militaris it also shows promise as an aid in the treatment of colorectal carcinoma. ONE study examined the potential inhibitory effect of Cordyceps on a human colon cancer-derived cell line.

The results show that the Cordyceps ethanol extract induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of human colorectal carcinoma cells.

7. Cordyceps and stomach cancer

Cordyceps cicadas it may also have some anti-cancer effect. ONE study examined the effects of this Cordyceps mushroom on human gastric cancer cells. The researchers treated cancer cells with an ethanolic extract of C. cicadas for 48 hours.

The extract appeared to induce apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in cancer cells. These results look promising and warrant further research into the effect of cordyceps on stomach cancer.

8. Cordyceps and lung cancer

The use of Cordyceps for lung health has been a staple in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. But did you know that research on Cordyceps shows great potential in using these mushrooms to treat lung cancer?

For example, a 2015 study considered its implications Cordyceps militaris in non-small cell lung cancer. Methanolic extract of Cordyceps fruiting bodies appears to have reduced lung cancer growth by increasing the levels of several tumor suppressor proteins.

Polysaccharides found in Cordyceps sinensis it also seems to help a lot in the treatment of lung cancer. ONE study examined the effects of these compounds on lung cancer cells in vitro. The results show that Polysaccharides inhibit tumor growth and enhance lung cancer cell cytotoxicity.

Cordyceps cancer research

9. Cordyceps and melanoma

ONE study considered its implications Cordyceps sinensis cultural mycelium in melanoma B16. An alcoholic Cordyceps extract showed significant inhibitory effects on the growth of four cancer cells, including B16 melanoma cells.

Cordyceps also shows potential when it comes to treating melanoma. According to a 2014 study, Cordyceps militaris appears to suppress the growth of human malignant melanoma cells. It does this by inhibiting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels in the tumor, as well as encouraging apoptosis.

10. Cordyceps and liver cancer

Cordyceps militaris may have antitumor activity in liver cancer. ONE 2015 study examined the effects of this Chinese medicinal fungus on HCV-infected human hepatocarcinoma cells. The results show that cells treated with C. militaris they were much more cytotoxic, meaning they died faster than untreated cells.

Other study considered its implications Cordyceps sinensis about the ability of various cancers to spread to the liver. Mice treated with this functional mushroom were significantly less likely to have liver metastasis than those not receiving the supplement.

11. Cordyceps and leukemia

Cordyceps militaris appears to induce leukemia cell apoptosis. ONE study examined the effects of an aqueous Cordyceps extract on these cancer cells. The results suggest that the fungus had an anti-proliferative effect on leukemia cells, showing promising potential in the treatment of this disease.

An ethanol extract of Cordyceps appears to have the same effect. ONE study examined the anticancer activities of a Cordyceps militaris ethanolic extract. The results show that leukemia cell apoptosis was significantly increased after the cells were treated with cordyceps.

12. Cordyceps and bladder cancer

Many Medicinal mushrooms show incredible anti-tumor potential when it comes to bladder cancer. Cordyceps,specifically, shows potential when it comes to treating it Kidney Transplant and patients with chronic kidney disease, and this aIt also appears to help treat bladder cancer.

ONE study investigated the effects of cordycepin found in Cordyceps militaris in human bladder cancer cells. The results show that the mushroom induced apoptosis of these cells by activating A3 adenosine receptors.

Cordyceps and cancer treatment

In addition to having great potential as part of a cancer treatment, you can use Cordyceps mushrooms to relieve the symptoms of chemotherapy.

According to a 2009 studyCordyceps supplement can enhance recovery from chemotherapy medication in mice. Cordyceps sinensis appears to protect bone marrow stem cells from the cytotoxic effects of anticancer drugs.

What is the Best time to take Cordyceps?

Due to its energizing abilities, it is best to take cordyceps in the morning. Taking Cordyceps before a workout can boost your exercise performance and can improve your overall focus throughout the day. The anti-inflammatory effects of these mushrooms may also reduce muscle soreness and fatigue levels you experience during the day.

Can Cancer Patients Take Cordyceps?

Taking Cordyceps is not dangerous for cancer patients. On the contrary, this mushroom can be quite beneficial in the fight against cancer, as it can have an anti-cancer effect. Cordyceps can also give you an overall immune system boost, so you’ll be able to recover from chemotherapy drugs more quickly.

Cordyceps Side Effects: Who Should Not Take Cordyceps??

Although Cordyceps is safe to eat, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in trying the fungus. If you are allergic to mold, yeast, or fungi, it is best to be careful when trying cordyceps, as you may be allergic to the mushroom.

Do not take a Cordyceps supplement in the weeks before any surgery. The fungus may have an anticoagulant effect, which may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising. And, if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon, consult a health care professional before taking any supplements, including cordyceps.

I’m interested in Testing Cordyceps for Cancer

While more research is needed, Cordyceps mushrooms show substantial promise in the field of cancer treatment. However, be sure to consult a healthcare professional, especially if you are going to have surgery soon.

If you are looking for an easy way to incorporate Cordyceps into your life, AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola may be a perfect choice for you. In a delicious granola bowl, you get a daily dose of cordyceps, along with chaga and lion’s mane mushroomswhich also have incredible anti-cancer potential.

 AdaptogenShroomssuperfood granola

The granola is gluten-free, vegan and packed with nutrients. Contains ultra-concentrated extracts of the three medicinal mushroomsso you’ll get their full benefits without even being able to taste them.

Frequently asked questions about Cordyceps and cancer

Can reishi help with cancer??

Yes, Reishi mushrooms appear to help fight cancer. In particular, they show great potential when it comes to ovarian cancer. To fight cancer, it is best to include reishi in your diet along with other adaptogenic mushrooms and traditional cancer treatment.

How Much Does Cordyceps Cost?

The cost of Cordyceps mushrooms varies from species to species. Cordyceps sinensis it is notoriously difficult to harvest. Due to its rarity, C. sinensis it can cost upwards of $9000 per pound. Cordyceps militaris it is more affordable and you can find many supplements that contain the helpful fungus.

What is the difference betweenCordyceps sinensis andCordyceps militaris?

The main difference between these two species of Cordyceps is the amount of adenosine and cordycepin. Cordyceps sinensis has much more adenosine than C. militaris. However, C. sinensis has low amounts of cordycepin, whereas Cordyceps militaris has plenty.

Can I take cordyceps at night?

Cordyceps mushrooms do not contain caffeine. However, they can give you a boost of energy and focus. Because of this, it is best to take cordyceps in the morning, as taking them at night can make you feel restless and unable to fall asleep.

Can Cordyceps be taken long term?

It is perfectly safe to consume Cordyceps mushrooms every day. However, you should not exceed the recommended daily dose, especially in the beginning. Taking too much Cordyceps can make you nauseous, so it’s best to start with a low dose and increase it slowly over time.

Is Cordyceps a mushroom?

Cordyceps is widespread in Tibetan medicine. While researching the benefits of Cordyceps, you may discover that the Tibetans refer to it as “the worm.” However, Cordyceps is not actually a worm, but a parasitic fungus that feeds on insects and caterpillar larvae.

A mushroom, by definition, is considered to be the spore-producing, fruiting body of a fungus. Thus, the Cordyceps fruiting body could be considered a mushroom.

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