Cordycepin is a chemical compound also known as 3’-deoxyadenosine. It is derived from a parasitic fungus called Cordyceps that grows on hibernating caterpillars. The name Cordyceps is derived from the shape of the mushroom which has a club head. For over 2000 years, the Chinese and Tibetan communities have been using this mushroom in soups and other types of foods. They believed that the mushroom had anti-inflammatory effects among other pharmacological benefits. There are over 400 species of Cordyceps fungi. They grow in humid and tropical climates in countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Korea. However, it is always necessary to consult prior to taking any medicinal foods.
Cordycepin is sold either as a manufactured drug or as dried fungi spores. For a long time, the mushroom has been taken for its benefits such as;
Anti-inflammatory effects - a study done in the year 2009 published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry confirmed that this compound has anti-inflammatory effects. At small doses of less than 600mg, the compound inhibits translation in the process of protein synthesis thus preventing inflammation.
Anti-cancer properties - Researchers at the University of Nottingham showed that Cordycepin selectively interrupts nucleolar RNA synthesis. This study has been confirmed by the National Cancer Institute. Apparently, taking between 1000mg to 3000mg of Cordycepin derived from Cordyceps mushroom reduces the propensity of developing any cancer. The research was published in the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences.
Treatment of cardiovascular problems - in a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Alternative Complimentary Medicine, researchers show that the active ingredients called cordycepin and adenosine increase the production of energy in the form of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP). This is important in the regulation of blood pressure. However, Cordycepin should only be taken in moderate amounts up to 1000mg in this case.
Boosting the immune system - The Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology published a study done by scientists at various research institutions. In this study, the researchers showed that the powdered form of the mushroom containing Cordycepin can be taken up to 2 grams each day. The Cordycepin then boosts the immune system. It works effectively in the body cells and thus increases the natural killer cells. These natural killer cells are an effective first-line immune reaction to any disease.
Energy Boosting Properties - Scientists also used mice in a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine. This study revealed that Cordycepin contains some vitamins such as B12. These vitamins revitalize the body in such a way that it increases cellular production. This results in an increase in body mass. For athletes, this increase in body mass improves lung capacity thus performance is perked up. These energy boosting properties make the compound useful in other energy adaptogens like Multi Maca.
Cordycepin is usually available as tablets, dried mushroom spores and even powdered extracts. It is also sold as a liquid tonic. The powdered extracts have a standard dosage of a teaspoon twice a day. This teaspoon can be added to drinks like tea, soups or even food. This is for general health. The tablets are available in 600mg capsules. Only one tablet is recommended twice a day especially in people with unstable blood pressure. For healthy people with higher weights, the recommended dosage is 1000 to 3000mg daily. The drug is usually taken together with meals.
The tonic is used as an aphrodisiac. a study published in the Journal of Biochemistry showed that a few drops of the tonic can be added to food or tea. The dried mushroom spores are currently rare. A few pieces of the mushroom are added to food. This is only used for nutritional purposes. In people looking to boost their immune system, they can only take 10 grams to 20 grams of the spores in a day.
Cordycepin Side Effects
When used properly, Cordycepin is effective. However, most people complain of various side effects. One of the common effects is vomiting and nausea. This is because the mushroom produces some chemicals in the process of digestion. Occasionally, people also end up with allergic reactions such as slight itching. The only way to avoid the side effects is to take the substance minimally. To find out the potential side effects, it is necessary to talk to a pharmacologist or a medical practitioner.
Cordycepin is a chemical compound with medicinal benefits. However, it is only recommended for certain people. However, it is contraindicated in people with high blood pressure. This is because Cordycepin increases the production of energy which can also increase heart rate. According to the University of Nottingham, people with blood cancer should avoid taking the chemical compound. Lactating and expectant women also need to consult a general practitioner prior to using any form of the compound. Children under the age of 10 years also need a thorough examination from a medical practitioner prior to taking the drug.References:
- Journal of pharmaceutical pharmacology: The pharmacological actions of Cordyceps a prized folk medicine.
- Journal of biotechnology: Pharmacological and therapeutic potential of Cordyceps with special reference to Cordycepin.
- Journal of biological chemistry: Cordycepin inhibits protein synthesis and cell adhesion through effects on signal transduction.
- Journal of pharmacological sciences: Anticancer and antimetastatic effects of Cordycepin, an active component of Cordyceps sinensis.
- Journal of cell biology: The selective interruption of nucleolar RNA synthesis in HeLa cells by Cordycepin.
- Journal of alternative complementary medicine: Cs-4 improves a steady state bio-energy status in mice liver.