Cordyceps Improves Cardiovascular Health June 10 2014

The heart needs regularity more than any other organ of our body. When the heart loses its regular rhythm, it’s life-altering. Cardiac arrhythmia is a condition of abnormal activity in the electrical impulses that manage the heart’s pumping sequence. The heart can beat too fast or too slow, regularly or irregularly. The heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body, which can damage the brain, heart and other organs. With age, the risk of arrhythmia rises, and the condition becomes more common as people enter their 50s.

One of the most profound functions of Cordyceps is its ability to stabilise heart beat and correct heart arrhythmia. The research has shown that administration of Cordyceps can lower high blood pressure and correct cardiac arrhythmia, extend its latent period and reduce the duration of cardiac arrhythmia attacks. Cordyceps also acts in a positive way with regards to protection from attacks of ischemia and hypoxia.

The ability of Cordyceps to control arrhythmia is due to the presence of adenosine, deoxyadenosine and related adenosine-type nucleotides and nucleosides, which have a pervasive positive effect on coronary and cerebral circulation.

Numerous studies of people with chronic heart issues showed that the long-term administration of Cordyceps in combination with conventional treatments significantly improves general physical condition, mental health, sexual drive and cardiac function, compared to the control group who receive conventional treatments only. 

Various studies have showed that the use of Cordyceps increases blood flow in coronary vessels to the heart (reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and acute myocardial infarction), the vessels of the brain (improving memory and cognitive ability and reducing the risk of ischemic stroke) and in peripheral vessels (treating of atherosclerosis and diabetic complications).

Further studies established dilation (relaxation) of the aorta and femoral artery during treatment with the extract of Cordyceps, highlighting its potential in the treatment of limb ischemia, which is the leading cause of male disability today.

Particularly interesting is Cordyceps’ ability to reduce coronary vascular resistance by 49% and the pressure in the lumen by 116% after the administration of the Cordyceps extract, which leads to increased blood flow in the vessels by 35% (the maximum increase is 100%). Cerebral vascular resistance was reduced mostly to 75%.

In 1995, Chen investigated the Cordyceps extract on 34 patients with chronic heart failure, using echocardiography to compare their cardiac output to a control group of 30 patients who had received conventional treatment. After administration of Cordyceps, cardiac output increased by 60% and compared to only 25% in the control group. Cordyceps extract surpasses both modern anti-platelet agents, which are considered promising, as well as conventional medications for the treatment of the ‘number one’ killer – heart disease (CHD).

In 1996, Chen and Lin conducted a  two month controlled clinical study on 20 patients with CHD, comparing the effect of Cordyceps extract (3g/day) and Persantina (dipyridamole, 150 mg, Boehringer In-gelheim, Germany). In addition to a significant reduction in total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL, in 87–90% of patients treated with Cordyceps, they noted a significant improvement in reduction of chest pain and palpitations.

Moreover, it significantly decreased blood viscosity and fibrinogen level, which reduced the risk of myocardial infarction.

All three studies demonstrated a direct effect of Cordyceps on blood clotting and protecting the myocardium from ischemia. Lou (1986) found inhibition of platelet aggregation by ADP and kolagene by adding an extract of Cordyceps.

Zhao (1991) proved the reduction of platelet aggregation by 51–71% in the bare wall of the aorta of rabbits after intravenous injection of the extract of Cordyceps.

Fermented Cordyceps extract showed a protective effect in myocardial ischemia induced by administration pituitrina, thyroxine and noradrenaline. Thus, based on instrumental data, Cordyceps may protect the heart from acute myocardial infarction caused by stress.

This confirms Zhu’s 1998 study, which established a significant reduction in myocardial oxygen need under the influence of Cordyceps and the general anti-ischemic effects of Cordyceps.

Stabilisation of the cells explains the effectiveness of Cordyceps with arrhythmia – irregularity of heartbeat – along with the already known effects of adenosine, which reduces the release of mediators (signalling agents) through receptors that relax the smooth muscle walls of arteries and airways, increasing the access of oxygen.

In 1994, a clinical trial was conducted on 38 elderly patients with arrhythmia . After three months of receiving Cordyceps (3g/day), the results were:

• supraventricular arrhythmia treatment success was observed in 24 patients (83%)

• ventricular arrhythmias success rate was 80% (10 patients).

An important outcome of the study was that Cordyceps had been effective not only for tachyarrhythmia but also for bradyarrhythmia (slow rhythm and loss of entire electrical cycle of the heart). The level of therapeutic effects directly depended on the duration of Cordyceps.