Cordyceps - A Nutraceutical Truth Stranger than Fiction

The tale of a prized and power giving powder derived from a fungus that grows out of a baby insect and is worth almost the price of gold, sounds more like a story from the Brothers Grimm than the development of a modern-day nutraceutical.

The ‘hero’ of this enticing anecdote is Cordyceps sinensis – an Ascomycetes fungus closely related to mushrooms. Remarkably, this fungi is parasitic and their genesis is dependent on immature insect or caterpillar larvae. When Cordyceps attack, they consume the larval tissue of their host and effectively mummify the tiny creature. Subsequently, long slender fungal stems with club-like caps develop which sprout from the host’s body.

Traditional use of this ‘caterpillar fungus’ is recorded as long as 300 years ago in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnnan, Qinghai and in Tibet. In these communities the larval carapace and fungi have been hand collected, dried and administered to remedy fatigue, hyposexuality and renal dysfunction. It was also regarded as effective in enhancing strength and endurance.

Modern research has begun to bear out the practices of the traditional Chinese Herbalists. It is now believed that the polysaccharides in Cordyceps are responsible for the most significant biologically activity. These compounds are paramount for their potential anti-oxidant, immunopotent and hypo-glycemic abilities. Whilst human studies are still at an early stage, recent clinical trials of the fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis have been found to support the belief that this nutraceutical can improve aerobic capacity and reduce fatigue in the elderly.

With the spread of the reputation of this nutraceutical and the subsequent phenomenal global demand for the wild sourced Cordyceps, concerns developed in the Chinese Government about the preservation and sustainability of the fungus. The status of ‘National Treasure’ has been bestowed and restrictions have now been implemented on its collection and export. This necessary protection has however served to dramatically escalate the price of this traditional medicine to an eye-watering peak of US$30,000 per kg.

Understandably, the appetite within the functional foods market for these fabulous fungi remains undimmed. With the wild sourced raw material unavailable or uneconomical for the vast majority, scientists have been motivated to develop accessible, affordable alternatives. However, the most obvious option of cultivating a fruiting body Cordyceps sinensis has proved to be a major challenge. After 40 years of experimentation, a process for growing an affordable fruiting body product outside of its native environment has still not been established.

In a classic case of failure ultimately creating success, during efforts to create whole fungi material, the researchers managed to create Cordyceps anamorphs. From these anamorphs, they were then able to produce pure mycelium via the process of liquid fermentation.

North American producers perused a different process of sinensis mycelium production. They developed Cordyceps Myceliated Grain (MOG) whereby mycelium is grown in a plastic bag containing sterilized grain. However, we do not offer this variety of Cordyceps as it is often regarded as a providing a lesser grade supplement, as much of the grain remains in the final product reducing the purity and efficacy of the material.

Our product, Cordyceps Sinesis Cs-4 Fermented Mycelium Extract (Cordyceps sinesis) is a premium version of fermentation process material. It compares very favourably to the wild grown fungi in terms of quality and is a fraction of the price. Extensive analysis of the Cs-4 pure mycelium products, including clinical trials in China determined that these supplements provide similar benefits to the wild origin materials.

The other exceptional Cordyceps product that we offer is Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom Fruiting Body Extract. Unlike the sinensis species, militaris is able to be cultivated to produce a fruiting body. As the source of the only true Cordyceps extract that can be commercially produced, the militaris is gaining popularity. As this material is made from the whole mushroom (rather than mycelium only) it benefits from much higher levels of important beta-glucans, which have been strongly linked to improving cholesterol levels, boosting heart health and balancing the immune system. Another bonus associated with this extract is that in testing it has displayed up to 90 times more of the bioactively important, cordycepin, than is available in the wild Cordyceps sinensis.

How can we help? 

So why don’t you let us help you create your own Cordyceps story?

We have the knowledge and resources to help you get the most benefit from this intriguing and biologically potent nutraceutical. Our Cordyceps products provide a sustainable and powerful alternative to the original ‘caterpillar fungus’.  Both our liquid fermented sinensis powder and our militaria extract have been shown to offer superior nutritive value and greater purity than the rival US produced MOG fermented versions.

Contact us today and we can show you that the potential of Cordyceps is not just the stuff of fairy tales!

 

NIGEHER011381 Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom Fruiting Body Extract 30% Polysaccharides (Cordyceps militaris) #
NIGEHER011385 Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom Fruiting Body Extract 40% Polysaccharides (Cordyceps militaris) #
NIGEHER011402 Cordyceps Sinesis CS-4 Fermented Mycelium Extract 10:1 (Cordyceps sinesis) #
NIGEHER011401 Cordyceps Sinesis CS-4 Fermented Mycelium Extract 40% Polysaccharides (Cordyceps sinesis) #
NIGEHER011404 Cordyceps Sinesis CS-4 Fermented Mycelium Extract 4:1 (Cordyceps sinesis) #
NIGEHER011405 Cordyceps Sinesis CS-4 Fermented Mycelium Extract 7% Cordyceps Acid (Cordyceps sinesis) #
NIGEHER011412 Cordyceps Sinesis CS-4 Fermented Mycelium Powder (Cordyceps sinesis) #

 

 

 


Michaela Tsangari 24 Dec 2018