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The health benefits of Cordyceps militaris - A review

Edible mushrooms are widely used for their high nutritional
and therapeutic value as a functional food. Additionally, they
have been highly appreciated for their medicinal and
therapeutic applications (Chang and Miles, 2004). Medicinal
mushrooms produce a vast diversity of bioactive compounds
such as polysaccharides, proteoglucans, terpenoids, phenolic
compounds, steroids, and lectins. These compounds have a
wide range of therapeutic effects and can act as immuno-
modulatory, anticarcinogenic, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-
inflammatory agents (Badalyan, 2012; Villares et al., 2012).
Cordyceps is a highly valued fungus in this regard which
thrives at altitudes above 3,800 meters above MSL, in the
cold, grassy, alpine meadows on the mountainous Himalayan
plateau (Alessandro and Francesca, 2009; Sharma et al.,
2015a,b;2016). Because of the difficulties involved in
harvesting, it has been expensively priced. Despite its cost
and rarity, the unprecedented medicinal applications of
Cordyceps has made it a highly valued staple component of
the traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine. This review
gives a general overview of the modern progress in C.
militaris research, with regard to evaluation of the active
chemical components, the pharmacological effects and the
research and development of products in recent years. C.
militaris is a parasitic fungus on Lepidoptera larvae which
has been used as a traditional medicine in China. It is well
known for its nucleoside, cordycepin (3'-de-oxyadenosine)
and its derivatives, ergosterol, polysaccharides, glycoprotein
an d pe p tides cont a i ning α-am i n oisobu t y ric acid.
Polysaccharides and cordycepin present in C militaris
account for the anti-inflammatory antioxidant, anti-tumor,
anti-metastatic, immunomodulatory (Das et al., 2010),
hypoglycaemic, steroidogenic and hypolipidaemic effects
(Wang et al., 2014). Its biological activity includes anti-
t u mo ur ( L ee e t a l . , 20 15 ) , a nt i -m e ta st a ti c,
immunomodulatory, antioxidant (Ma et al., 2012), anti-
inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, hypolipidaemic
(Mizuno et al., 1999), hypoglycaemic (Ma et al., 2015), anti-
ageing, neuroprotective, and renoprotective properties (Patel
et al., 2013).
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death, still needing an
effective medicine for its remedy. Cordycepin from C.
mi l itaris ha s pl a y ed an evoluti o nary c h a nge in
pharmacognosy, leading to establish as a viable base for the
treatment of emerging diseases like cancer, SARS, AIDS and
Swine flu. Electrophoresis analysis (SDS PAGE) and gel
filtration showed strong inhibition of the viability of human
cancer cells such as MCF-7 cells with an IC50 of 15.0
uM,5637 cells with an IC50 of 9.30 uM, A-549 cells with an
IC50 of 8.10 uM (Park et al., 2009). Zhang et al., (2010)
reported that MCMP strain (a water soluble polysaccharide)
isolated from mycelium induces anti-tumor activity after 48
hr incubation against Hep-G2 cells, Hela cells, and mesangial
cells. Wong et al. (2011) purified a protease known as
Cordymin from C. militaris which showed anti-proliferative
activity towards breast cancer cells (MCF-7). It is important
to understand that C. militaris, inhibits cell proliferation in
tumor cells in order to develop it as a new agent for the
prevention and treatment of cancer. The A3 adenosine
receptor (A AR) is a member of the AR family, it has utility in
the treatment of cancer. It is reported to be over expressed in
cancer and inflammatory cells, as compared to normal cells
where expression is low (Wong et al., 2011).
Thromboembolic disorders such as pulmonary emboli, deep
vein thrombosis, strokes and heart attacks are the main causes
of morbidity and mortality in developed countries (Dickneite
et al., 1995). Current clinical thrombolytic agents are reported
to be plasminogen activators that convert the proenzyme
plasminogen to the active enzyme plasmin, which degrades
fibrin (Collen and Lijnen, 2005). New thrombolytic agents
are developed for fibrin-specific property, acting on the
surface of thrombus that avoids excessive induction of
systemic fibrinolytic system. These agents are reported to
reduce bleeding tendency induced by tissue type plasminogen
activator (t-PA), single- chain urokinase-type PA (scu-PA)
and staphylokinase (Ueshima and Matsuo, 2006). Kim et al.
(2006) extracted and purified an enzyme which showed
fibrinolytic activity from C. militaris, this enzyme has been
reported to result in rapid hydrolysis of the fibrin alpha chain
followed by the gamma-gamma chains, and the reaction is
2+ 2+
enhanced by Ca and Mg ions. It was concluded that this
enzyme exhibited a high specificity for the chymotrypsin
substrate S-2586 indicating it to be a chymotrypsin like serine
protease which has a fibrin binding activity which allows for
local activation of the fibrin degradation pathway. Patel and
Ingalhalli (2013) also witnessed the fibrin binding activity
KAVAKA 48(1):27-32 (2017)
The health benefits of Cordyceps militaris - a review
Aarti Mehra, Kamal U.Zaidi*, Abin Mani and Vijay Thawani
Biotechnology Pharmacology Laboratory, Center for Scientific Research and Development, People's University, Bhopal-462037, India
*Corresponding author Email:
(Submitted in November, 2016; Accepted on June 22, 2017)
Cordyceps militaris, a macro fungus is medicinally important for having potential therapeutic applications. Its medicinal properties are due to
variety of therapeutically important constituents including cordycepin, cordymin, ergosterol, glycoprotein, polysaccharides, as a part of its
composition. This review focuses on the pharmacological properties of Cordyceps militaris explored by different workers from time to time.
Key words: Cordyceps militaris, Bioactive compound, Cancer, Cordymin, Polysaccharides
from the fibrinolytic enyme isolated from C. militaris which
allowed the fibrin degradation pathway, which might be used
in thrombolytic therapy. This property provides an alternative
to the other costly fibrinolytic enzymes which are used in
humans' age related heart diseases.
Mushrooms accumulate a variety of secondary metabolites,
including phenolic compounds, polyketides, terpenes and
steroids. Among the antioxidant compounds, polyphenols
have gained importance due to their large array of biological
actions that include free radical scavenging, metal chelation,
enzyme modulation activities and inhibition of LDL
oxidation, among others (Rodrigo and Bosco, 2006). Li and
Xu (1997) explained the anti-oxidant property of fruiting
bodies of C. militaris cultivated artificially under optimized
conditions. The effects of C. militaris on the activities of
catalase (CAT), surperoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione
peroxidase (GPx) and anti-hydroxyl radicals when assayed
in vivo. It has been documented to show that C. militaris could
inhibit mitochondrial injury and swelling induced by Fe (+)-
L-Cysteine in a concentration dependent manner along with
a significant superoxide anion scavenging effect. Moreover,
the activities of CAT, SOD, GPx and anti-hydroxyl radicals in
mice liver have been documented to increase significantly by
C. militaris. These results indicated that C.militaris protected
mitochondria by scavenging reactive oxygen species
inhibiting mitochondrial swelling, and increasing the activity
of antioxidases. C. militaris have been reported to have
pharmaceutical value for mitochondrial protection and anti-
aging. Dong et al. (2010) showed that the extract of C.
militaris possessed anti-oxidative property with capability to
normalize superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxide
Inflammations represent a complex set of interactions among
soluble factors and cells that can arise in any tissue in
response to trauma, infections, or postischaemic, toxic, or
autoimmune injury (Nathan, 2002). In normal cases, the
body's response to inflammation has been reported to be self-
limiting through the down regulation of proinflammatory
protein expression, the increased expression of anti-
inflammatory proteins, and a reversal in the vascular changes
that facilitated the initial immune cell recruitment process
(Cook et al., 2005). This beneficial host response to foreign
challenge or tissue injury has been reported to result in the
restoration of normal tissue structure and function. Wol et al.
(2010) showed the anti-inflammatory effects of hot water
extract of C. militaris in traditional herbals, and the effect on
the production of NO, IL-6, TNF and LPS stimulated RAW
264.7 cells and concluded that hot extract of C. militaris
inhibited t he production o f macrop hag es derived
inflammatory mediators in a dose dependent manner. Fung
and Ko (2012) concluded that C. mililtaris extract
(p o l y s accharid e ) and cord y c e p in ex h ibited a n t i -
inflammatory effects in the in-vitro and in-vivo models of
inflammation (mice), possibly through suppression of
humoral immunity. It has also been reported that by
decreasing the level of pro- inflammatory cytokine mediator
(TNF-alpha) with the help of C. militaris extract, there is a
suppression in intestinal inflammation in an acute colitis
mouse model. When various concentrations of hot C.
militaris were examined, the fall was seen in LPS-induced
production, TNF-alpha, NO and IL-6 secretion, which
showed the potential inhibitory effect on the production of
inflammatory mediators (Patel and Ingalhalli, 2013). In
addition to the bioactive compounds, anti-inflammatory
peptides of different molecular weights have also been
isolated from mushrooms. Cordymin, a low molecular weight
peptide (10,906 Da), has been purified from C. militaris
(Wong et al., 2011). This peptide has been evaluated to
significantly inhibit the infiltration of poly morphonuclear
cells and IR-induced upregulation of C3 protein produced in
the brain, interleukin- 1β, and tumour necrosis factor-α,
which had a neuro protective effect on the ischemic brain, due
to the inhibition of inflammation.
The development of antibiotics has been one of the most
important scientific achievements of the last seventy years.
These compounds are reported to act in several ways, by
interfering in metabolic processes or in the organism
structures (Fuchs, 2004). The mechanism of action is mostly
related with interferences in the synthesis of the cell wall,
modification of plasmatic membrane permeability,
interferences in chromosome replication, or in protein
synthesis(Tenover, 2006). Park et al. (2009) showed that the
C. militaris protease extract inhibited the growth of Fusarium
oxysporum in a controlled concentration manner. The purified
cytotoxic antifungal protease form C.militaris fruiting bodies
has been documented to show strong antifungal effect against
Fusarium oxysporum, Bipolaris maydis, Mycosphaerella
arachidicola, Rhizoctonia solani and Candida albicans
(Wong et al., 2011). Patel and Ingalhalli (2013) suggested that
an acidic polysaccharide from C. militaris showed
therapeutic effects against influenza virus infection when
grown on germinated soybeans. Wong et al. (2011) reported
that cordymin, a protease extracted from C. militaris also
inhibited HIV-1 reverse transcriptase.
Infertility is a common problem, affecting many peoples, the
majority of whom now seek medical care (Glazener et al.,
1987). The use of herbal extracts as fertility enhancer in
animals is now on the rise because of the shifting of attention
from synthetic drugs to natural herbal products (Dada and
Ajilore, 2009). Chang et al. (2008) explained the effect of role
of cordycepin from C. militaris in increasing the sperm
quality and quantity. The C. militaris supplementation has
been reported to result in an increase of serum cordycepin
concent rat ion whic h simult ane ous ly en han ced the
testosterone and estradiol-17, increasing the percentage of
motile sperm cells. Patel and Ingalhalli (2013) suggested that
cordycepin might be responsible for the increased semen
production and sperm quality in boars. Hong et al. (2011)
documented the stimulatory effect of C. militaris on
testosterone production in male mouse rats. Results
illustrated that changes of the body weight, food and water
intake of the rats were not observed in this study but the
The health benefits of Cordyceps militaris - a review
concentration of testosterone in the serum of the rats was
significantly increased by C. militaris (p<0.05). Therefore
fruiting bodies of C. militaris grown on the drone bee medium
can serve as an integrative medicine for the treatment of
reproductive problems caused by insufficient testosterone
levels in human males.
Hypercholesterolemia is a major socioeconomic problem in
common individuals as well as health professionals due to the
strong correlation between cardiovascular diseases and lipid
a b n o rm al it ie s ( M o r sy a n d F o ua d, 2 0 08 ). I n
hypercholesterolemia, high levels of low- density lipoprotein
(LDL) cholesterol accumulate in the extracellular sub
endothelial space of arteries which are highly atherogenic
and toxic to vascular cells, leading to atherosclerosis,
hypertension, obesity, diabetes and functional depression in
organs such as the liver, heart and kidneys (Jain et al., 2010).
In human as well as animal studies, administration of
Cordyceps has been associated with reduction in cholesterol
and triglyceride and an increase in the ratio of high density
lipoprotein to LDL cholesterol. Whether the causative
mechanism for this lipid balancing effect is through blood
sugar stabilization, enhancing liver function, or any other as
hitherto unknown cause, remains to be seen (Patel and
Ingalhalli, 2013). This has nurtured research interest in
evaluating traditional remedies and alternative medicines as
potentially efficacious cholesterol- lowering therapies which
have few or no, side- effects.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder in the
endocrine system resulting from defects of insulin secretion
(type 1), increased cellular resistance to insulin (type 2), or
both. The consequence of this is characterized by an
abnormally high level of blood glucose, also known as
hyperglycemia, that leads to serious damage of the body
organs (Wong et al., 2011).Currently, several DM therapeutic
drugs are available in the market. This includes various oral
antidiabetic agents such as sulfonylureas, biguanides,
glinides, tolbutamide, phenformin, rosiglitazone and
repaglinide. Even though there are many drugs available,
most of them are too toxic and costly and promote negative
effects on the patient. Thus, they fail to alter the course of
diabetic complications. Some of these drugs may potentially
increase the incidence of renal tumors, hepatic injury and
acute hepatitis. (Singh et al., 2008). Currently, most
antidiabetic researches are focused highly on the
development of antihyperglycemic agents that are safe and
free of adverse effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, liver
problems and weight gain. (Malviya et al., 2010). Zhang et
al. (2006) compared the anti-diabetic effects of crude extract
obtained from fruiting bodies and mycelia of many medicinal
fungi including C. militaris, C. sinensis, Omphalia
lapidescens and Tricholoma mongolicum. Dong et al. (2010)
induced a water extract or alcohol extract of Cordyceps
militaris on diabetic Sprague- Dawley rats and concluded that
this extract caused significant reduction in blood glucose
levels by promoting glucose metabolism and strongly
suppressed total cholesterol and triglycerides concentration.
Silva et al. (2012)showed the anti- diabetic effect of various
fractions of C. militaris in streptozotocin induced diabetic
mice which exhibited reduced blood glucose levels. They
concluded that water extract of C. militaris contained a
compound that acted as an insulin sensitizer (insulin
resistance and improved insulin secretion in type II diabetic
rats). Patel and Ingalhalli (2013) suggested that cordycepin
extracted from C. militaris suppressed expression of diabetes
regulating genes through the inactivation of NF-Kb
dependent inflammatory responses. Diabetes mellitus is
reported to be accompanied by hormonal and neurochemical
changes that can be associated with anxiety and depression. It
has been hypothesized that vanadium complex of vanadium-
enriched C. militaris (VECM), is beneficial in preventing
depression in diabetes, and influences the action of insulin,
and mimic further favourable effects on the level of treatment
satisfaction and mood. C. militaris has been reported to
demonstrate an antidepressant- like activity, which attenuates
the diabetes induced increase in blood glucose concentrations
(Ji et al., 2009).
Melanogenesis is reported to be regulated by three specific
enzymes viz. tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-
1), and tyrosinase- related protein-2 (TRp-2). Tyrosinase, a
copper- containing glycoprotein, is a key enzyme in melanin
synthesis and a rate-limiting enzyme in this pathway, and can
catalyze three different reactions viz. the hydroxylation of
tyrosine to 3, 4- dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), the
oxidation of DOPA to DOPA-quinone changes to DOPA-
chrome, and then to dihydro- indolizine (DHI) or indole 5,6-
quinone2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) (Lee et al., 2010; Zaidi et
al., 2015 a,b). During this biosynthetic pathway, TRP-1 has
been documented to catalyze the oxidation of DHICA, and
TRP-2 (DOPA chrome tautomerase) catalyzes the conversion
of DOPA-chrome to DHICA (Ando et al., 2007; Zaidi et al,
2014a, b). Additionally, the two enzymes are reported to be
regulated by a specific transcription factor, microphthalmia-
associated transcription factor (MITF) (Shimoda et al., 2010;
Hasegawa, 2010). Cordyceps is traditionally used in Korea,
China and Japan, for the ethno pharmacological treatment of
anti-aging activities from various extracts of Cordyceps
exhibited a wide range of bioactivity in vivo, as well as in vitro
(Ji et al., 2009; Shi et al., 2009; Ko et al., 2010). Chien et al.
(2008) and Ji et al. (2009) reported that Cordyceps spp.
Extract exhibited suppressing effect on the melanin
production by tyrosinase- inhibitory activities. The water
extract of C. militaris has been reported to give 71%
inhibitory activity against tyrosinase, 40% L-DOPA (L-3,4-
dihydroxyphenylalanine) oxidation and over 50% melanin
biosynthesis in B16 mouse melanoma cells (Nam et al.,
2010). Jin et al. (2012) explored the inhibitory effect of
cordycepin on melanogenesis and the relative molecular
mechanisms. It has been documented that cordycepin
inhibited melanin synthesis related enzymes, such as
tyrosinase, tyrosinase related protein-1 (TRP-1) and
tyrosinase related protein -2 (TRP -2. α-MSH and IBMX were
reported as melanin synthesis enhancers. Aramwit et al.
(2014) reported that cordycepin isolated from mycelia of C.
militaris has anti- tyrosinase activity of 13× 10 unity/µl. It
Aarti Mehra, Kamal U.Zaidi, Abin Mani and Vijay Thawani 29
was also shown that, the highest anti tyrosinase activity was
of the cordycepin extracted from the Cordyceps mycelia. The
inhibitory effect of C. militaris on melanogenesis was
attributed to enhancement of tyrosinase degradation.
A tabulated description of health benefits of Cordyceps
militaris are listed in the table (Table 1).
List of Abbreviations used
C. militaris Cordyceps militaris
MSL Mean Sea Level
SDS PAGE Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate Polyacrylamide
Gel Electrophoresis
MCMP Multi-Component Multiphase
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AR Family Adenosine Receptor Family
LDL Low-Density Lipoprotein
CAT Activities of Catalase
SOD Surperoxide Dismutase
GPx Glutathione Peroxidase
NO Nitric Oxide
IL-6 Interleukin-6
LPS Lipopolysaccharide
DM Diabetes Mellitus
NF-kB Nuclear Factor- kB
VECM Vanadium- Enriched C. militaris
L-DOPA L-3, 4- Dihydroxyphenylalanine
TRP-1 Tyrosinase-Related Protein-1
MSH Melanocyte Stimulating Hormones
Cordyceps militaris has been widely used since antiquity for
pharmacological purposes like immuno-modulation, anti-
inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative and
radical scavenging and anti- aging effects. In the recent past
more scientific information about it has become available, to
support these claims. The potency of C. militaris depends
chiefly on its chemical constituents, viz. the cordycepin and
polysaccharides that make up the fruiting body, mycelium or
spores. Its anti-cancer properties have been demonstrated in
various human and murine cancer cell lines. However, the
mechanisms responsible for the anti-cancer effects of C.
militaris on cancer cells remain inconclusive. C. militaris
offers a promising role in cancer prevention and treatment.
However, further experimental, epidemiological and clinical
studies are needed to identify other molecular targets, resolve
the relationships between C. militaris intake and cancer risks,
and explore the optimum dosing, efficacy and safety-alone
and in combination with chemotherapy/ radiotherapy. In
addition to the anti-cancer activity, C. militaris is being used
for the general promotion of health and longevity. The anti-
inflammatory and immune- promoting effects described can
potentially facilitate the treatments of other diseases such as
arthritis, HIV and Crohn's disease. Since this fungi is edible
and thus can be a food additive or supplement will play a key
role in the prevention and cure of various ailments caused by
metabolic disorder or infections.
The authors are thankful to People's University, People's
Group, Bhopal, for laboratory facilities, granting financial
assistance to carry out the present research work.
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The health benefits of Cordyceps militaris - a review
Disease Fruitbody/Mycelial
Effect References
Breast Cancer Fruiting bodies and
Anti-proliferative activity towards
breast cancer cells (MCF-7)
Lee et al., 2015
Diabeties Fruiting bodies and
Hypoglycaemic, Anti diabetic
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Table 1: Health benefits of Cordyceps militaris
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The health benefits of Cordyceps militaris - a review
... Cordycepin from Cordyceps sinensis is the main active constituent which is most widely studied for its medicinal value along with its nutraceutical potential [2,3]. Thousands of wild mushrooms are known in nature, of which about 600 species have been tested for their effects on human health [4,5]. Medicinal mushrooms produce valuable enzymes and bioactive molecules with different therapeutic effects [6,7]. ...
... Several pharmacologically active compounds have been reported from Cordyceps militaris, and among those, cordycepin has gained additional attention due to its wide spectrum of cellular and biological action [5,38]. Cordycepin and its related analogues have remarkable clinical health effects [3], including action on hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, sexual, and immunological systems, besides having anti-cancer, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activities [5]. ...
... Several pharmacologically active compounds have been reported from Cordyceps militaris, and among those, cordycepin has gained additional attention due to its wide spectrum of cellular and biological action [5,38]. Cordycepin and its related analogues have remarkable clinical health effects [3], including action on hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, sexual, and immunological systems, besides having anti-cancer, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activities [5]. Mycelial extracts from Ganoderma lucidum and Cordyceps sinsnsis exhibited an antiproliferative action on highly invasive MDAMB-231 human breast cancer cells and arrested the cells at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle according to a report [39]. ...
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Adenosine, known as an endogenous neuroprotective agent and acting as a cytoprotective modulator in organisms, is the subject of considerable scientific interest. Medicinal mushrooms represent a good source of bioactive compounds due to their composition and potent adaptogenic action, affecting more than 300 biochemical processes and functions in organisms. The aim of the present study was to investigate adenosine precursors and biologically active peptides in cultured fresh mycelium with focus on Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) and Cordyceps sinensis as best studied species. Biologically active extracts are derived by fermentation with Bacillus subtilis NBIMCC 2353 strain. Enhancement of the total proteolytic activity of Bacillus subtilis culture medium enriched with native bovine collagen protein and mycelium was recorded. The results demonstrate a clear trend of increasing cordycepin and adenosine content in the Cordyceps militaris sample grown in culture medium with optimized composition, with the presence of cordycepin being 2.22% and adenosine being 0.64%. The obtained increase was 1.9% for cordycepin and 0.24% for adenosine, respectively. The application of combined biotechnological approaches in the use of biologically active components from natural organic sources and the resulting final product with high biological activity determine the present study as relevant and significant for its practical application.
... MBPs could significantly enhance senescence-associated mitochondrial enzyme antioxidants, as displayed in Table 1. CMP and GLP scavenged hydroxyl radicals better than the specific hydroxyl radical scavenger mannitol [45]. Agaricus blazei peptide (ABp) reduced MDA and ROS contents, and increased CAT and T-AOC activities in a D-galactose-induced senescence model of the NIH/3T3 cell [46]. ...
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Mushroom bioactive peptides (MBPs) are bioactive peptides extracted directly or indirectly from edible mushrooms. MBPs are known to have antioxidant, anti-aging, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties, and facilitate memory and cognitive improvement, antitumour and anti-diabetes activities, and cholesterol reduction. MBPs exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects by regulating the MAPK, Keap1-Nrf2-ARE, NF-κB and TNF pathways. In addition, MBPs exert antibacterial, anti-tumour and anti-inflammatory effects by stimulating the proliferation of macrophages. The bioactivities of MBPs are closely related to their molecular weights, charge, amino acid compositions and amino acid sequences. Compared with animal-derived peptides, MBPs are ideal raw materials for healthy and functional products with the advantages of their abundance of resources, safety, low price, and easy-to-achieve large-scale production of valuable nutrients for health maintenance and disease prevention. In this review, the preparation, bioactivities, mechanisms and structure–activity relationships of MBPs were described. The main challenges and prospects of their application in functional products were also discussed. This review aimed to provide a comprehensive perspective of MBPs.
... It can be found on the skeletonized dead insect larvae of caterpillar larvae, typically Himalayan bat moth caterpillar larvae and Hepialis armoricanus. Cordyceps species are valuable fungi with therapeutic properties and have been widely used for centuries to ensure patient safety (McKenna et al., 2002;Mehra et al., 2017). Cordyceps is a macro fungus that is parasitic on insects, it is possible to produce functional S80 Eco. ...
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Cordyceps militaris, grow in high altitude in Himalayan very harsh conditions it is big challenges for the researchers how to grown under control conditions, this study is based on optimization of maximum mycelial growth of C. militaris. and develop a standard protocol for high yield production of C. militari. The laboratory experiment was carried out to study various factors on the mycelium and fruiting body growth of C. militaris. A vigorous scientific study aimed to identify the various factors like nutrient media, temperature hydrogen ion concentration, and carbon source for the mycelium growth along with grain substrate and liquid medium for the high yield production of C. militaris. The findings revealed that the C. militaris was more likely to develop in CDA (Czapek Dox Agar) nutrient media and maximum mycelium growth were observed at the temperature of 20 °C whereas optimum growth occurred at pH 6. carbon sources such as glucose, and dextrose, at a concentration of 20g/l, enhanced the mycelium growth of C. militaris. further perform the study of fruiting body production in several grains, like brown rice, wheat, millet, chickpea, and maize and finding reveals that maximum fruiting body production found in brown rice along with performing study on different liquid media (M1, M2, M3, M4, and M5) with brown rice as a grain substrate, during observation and analysis conclude that the M3 liquid media producing the maximum yield and primordia and maximum fruiting body of C. militaris. This study parameter provides basic information for vegetative growth and high yield production protocol for C. militaris.
... Peptides : Anti-inflammatory peptides of various molecular weight are another example of bioactive metabolites that have been isolated from mushrooms. Cordymin is a low molecular weight peptide (10,906 Da) which has been purified from Cordyceps sinensis , a medicinal mushroom ( Mehra et al., 2017 ). Cordymin reduces polymorphonuclear cell infiltration and ionizing radiation (IR)-induced C3 protein, TNF-, and IL-1 levels in rats following cerebral IR. ...
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Background : Mushrooms include a wide variety of bioactive compounds that have been linked to therapeutic and nutritional benefits, making them a potential source of new medications and functional foods. Objective : This study reviewed the inhibitory effects of mushrooms on the inflammation process through the modulation of the pro-inflammatory mediators and associated signaling pathways. Methods : A literature search in PubMed and Google Scholar was conducted for the relevant original research and review articles on the anti-inflammatory effects of mushrooms. Related articles published in English were selected, studied and discussed. Results : As revealed by the selected articles, bioactive molecules which include peptides, polysaccharides, terpenes, sterols, fatty acids, and phenols have been extracted from the powder, concentrate, and different solvent extracts of edible mushrooms. These bioactive molecules have shown significant efficacy in inhibiting the major pro-inflammatory biomarkers and associated pathways in in vivo and in vitro settings. Conclusion : This review demonstrated that mushrooms significantly inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators and can be developed for clinical use as anti-inflammatory agents. Further research is required to establish the comparative efficacy between mushrooms and NSAID especially in the in-vivo inhibitory activity against the production of cyclooxygenase and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
... sinensis, such as polysaccharides, nucleosides, sterols, fatty acids, proteins, metals and vitamins (Kaymakci and Guler 2020;Bhetwal et al. 2021). These bioactive constituents are reported to be responsible for the anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, immunomodulatory, immunodeficiency, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, anti-atherosclerotic and antiaging (Wang et al. 2016;Mehra et al. 2017;Bhetwal et al. 2021). ...
Disease outbreaks have devastated mankind throughout history, altering the course of history and, in some cases, marking the end of entire civilizations. Those incidents have had a profound impact on human civilization’s economic, political, and social importance, with consequences that may last for centuries. Today, the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19) spreads rapidly across the world, causing a great threat to public health and global economies. By 2021, several vaccines were produced for the battle against the COVID-19 and simultaneously more vaccine candidates are in the process of development. Despite many advancements in science, there were several reports on complications and side effects after vaccination. Furthermore, continuous emergence of new variants through mutation, lack of well-designed in vivo tests, and randomized controlled clinical studies made COVID-19 vaccination processes less effective. However, many researchers believe that mushroom-based therapeutic approaches would greatly benefit for the COVID-19 patients. Medicinal mushrooms had been used since ancient times for longevity and better health. They are used in multiple therapeutic activities as well as dietary supplements to prevent and treat many diseases. Several epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that mushrooms and mushroom-derived supplements can boost the efficiency of our innate and adaptive immune responses to a range of pathogens including viruses. Some of the medicinal mushrooms have shown anti-microbial activity against viral agents in vitro and in vivo. Here, we review anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of selected medicinal mushrooms and their potential as a candidate to combat health issues against COVID-19.
... It has commercial importance due to its high bioactive compounds such as cordycepin, cordycepic acid, ergosterol, fibrinolitic enzyme, xanthophylls (cordyxanthin-I, cordyxanthin-II, cordyxanthin-III, and cordyxanthin-IV), superoxide dismutase, adenosine, and organic selenium. Although scientific experiments have proven nutritional composition and therapeutic applications of C. militaris, [24,[26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39] to our knowledge there are no known studies that focus on the probiotic-promoting-effect of C. militaris. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the potential prebiotic properties of C. militaris. ...
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The aim of the current study was to determine the growth-promoting-effect of Cordyceps militaris, known as a medicinal mushroom, on Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus acidophilus. To evaluate the best growth-promoting activity of the test substrates including glucose, inulin, and at different concentrations of C. militaris (0.5%, 1%, and 2%), the cell counts, optical density (OD), prebiotic activity scores, and postbiotics (lactic, acetic, butyric, and propionic acids) were determined. The highest cell count was found for L. casei in media containing 0.5% C. militaris and for L. acidophilus in media containing 1% C. militaris. In the case of both strains, the OD values of the medium with C. militaris (1%) and (2%) increased similar to those of glucose. The prebiotic activity scores for both strains were positive. The concentration of lactic acid ranged from 0.56 to 8.07 g L-1 for L. casei and 0.82 to 5.38 g L-1 for L. acidophilus. Moreover, propionic acid was the highest among short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced by both strains. According to the results of the present study, the tested Lactobacillus species can utilize C. militaris as carbon source and is able to form postbiotics in the media.
... The diabetic preventive potential of different fractions of C. militaris in streptozotocin-induced diabetic animals was determined in another study, resulting reduced blood glucose levels in which C. militaris extract acted as an insulin sensitizer (enhanced insulin secretion and insulin resistance in type II diabetic rats) [102]. This medicinal fungus has also proved its importance as a fertility enhancer, antimicrobial and antiaging species [103]. ...
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Cordyceps militaris (C. militaris) is a medicinal mushroom possessing a variety of biofunctionalities. It has several biologically important components such as polysaccharides and others. The diverse pharmacological potential of C. militaris has generated interest in reviewing the current scientific literature, with a particular focus on prevention and associated molecular mechanisms in inflammatory diseases. Due to rising global demand, research on C. militaris has continued to increase in recent years. C. militaris has shown the potential for inhibiting inflammation-related events, both in in vivo and in vitro experiments. Inflammation is a multifaceted biological process that contributes to the development and severity of diseases, including cancer, colitis, and allergies. These functions make C. militaris a suitable functional food for inhibiting inflammatory responses such as the regulation of proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, on the basis of existing information, the current study provides insights towards the understanding of anti-inflammatory activity-related mechanisms. This article presents a foundation for clinical use, and analyzes the roadmap for future studies concerning the medical use of C. militaris and its constituents in the next generation of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Cordyceps militaris (L.) (Clavicipitaceae) is a favorite member of the genus Cordyceps and has been used for various purposes in traditional medicine applications as a functional food, an energetic, an aphrodisiac, and a remedy for a variety of ailments, such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, inflammation, hemoptysis, allergy, epilepsy, anemia, arrhythmia, and cancer. As evidenced by scientific literature, C. militaris or its containing molecules have demonstrated various pharmacological properties ranging from renal to neurological diseases. Within the context of the present chapter, we focused on C. militaris in terms of ethnobotanical and pharmacological perspectives. We initially pointed out its traditional uses and then mentioned relevant medicinal aspects proved by scientific research worldwide. In this regard, we aimed to emphasize the therapeutic potential of mushrooms with a special interest in C. militaris.Keywords Cordyceps militaris EthnobotanyPharmacologyFungusTraditional medicine
This volume of the book “Therapeutic Mushrooms for Diabetes Mellitus: Current Evidences and Future Scope” focuses on the prevalence, causes, management of diabetes mellitus type II. It gives an insight in to the role of mushrooms such as Ganoderma lucidum, Innotus obliquus, Grifola frondosa, Phellinus species, etc. against diabetes mellitus. It highlights the use of mushrom powder, extracts and their bioactive components for the management of diabetic syndrome, various in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies performed to lower hyperglycemia and other diabetes associated secondary abnormalities as well as provides information regarding the mushrooms based antidiabetic market products.The initial part provides information about diabetes mellitus, its causes, treatments available, natural resources for the management of diabetes mellitus, history of use of mushrooms especially against diabetes. The middle part of the book comprises of chapters highlighting 1) the presence of bioctive contituents of antidiabetic mushrooms, 2) the mechanism of action of these antidiabetic mushroom components and 3) in vitro and gestational diabetes mellitus studies performed using antidiabetic mushrooms. The closing portion of the book lays emphasis on 1) in vivo studies and clinical trials done using antidiabetic mushrooms and the avaialble antidiabetic market products of mushrooms.
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Since the discovery of the melanogenic properties, tyrosinase has been in prime focus and microbial sources of the enzyme are sought. Agaricus bisporus and pleurotus ostreatus widely known as the common edible mushroom due to its high amounts of proteins, enzyme, carbohydrates, bers, and low fat contents which are frequently cited in the literature in relation to their nutritional values. In the present work, comparative analysis was done for tyrosi-nase recovered from A. bisporus and P. ostreatus. The enzyme was purii ed by ammonium sulphate precipitation, dialysis followed by gel ltration chromatography on Sephadex G-100, and ion exchange chromatography on DEAE-Cellulose; the enzyme of A. bisporus was purii ed, 16.36-fold to give 26.6% yield on total activity in the crude extract and nal specii c activity of 52.19U/mg and purii ed enzyme of P. osreatus showed a specii c activity of 46.4 U/mg with 20.3 % yield. The SDS-PAGE electrophoresis showed a migrating protein band molecular weight of 95 kDa and 75 kDa for A. bisporus and P. ostreatus respectively. The purii ed tyrosinase was optimized with the optimum values at pH7.0 and 6.0, temperature at 35ºC. The highest activity was reported towards its natural substrate, L-DOPA, with an apparent Km value of 0.933 mM and 0.119 mM of purii ed enzyme of A. bisporus against P. ostreatus. This indicated that tyrosinase purii ed from Agaricus bisporus is a potential source for medical applications.
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Melanogenesis is a biosynthetic pathway for the formation of the pigment melanin in human skin. A key enzyme, tyrosinase, catalyzes the first and only rate-limiting steps in melanogenesis. Since the discovery of its melanogenic properties, tyrosinase has been in prime focus and microbial sources of the enzyme are sought. Agaricus bisporus widely known as the common edible mushroom, it's taking place in high amounts of proteins, enzyme, carbohydrates, fibers, and low fat contents are frequently cited in the literature in relation to their nutritional value. In the present study tyrosinase from Agaricus bisporus was purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation, dialysis followed by gel filtration chromatography on Sephadex G-100, and ion exchange chromatography on DEAE-Cellulose; the enzyme was purified, 16.36-fold to give 26.6% yield on total activity in the crude extract and final specific activity of 52.19 U/mg. The SDS-PAGE electrophoresis showed a migrating protein band molecular weight of 95 kDa. The purified tyrosinase was optimized and the results revealed that the optimum values are pH 7.0 and temperature 35 ∘ C. The highest activity was reported towards its natural substrate, L-DOPA, with an apparent Km value of 0.933 mM. This indicated that tyrosinase purified from Agaricus bisporus is a potential source for medical applications.
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Cordyceps militaris has been used as a traditional medicine in Asian countries for a long time. Different types of Cordyceps extract were reported to have various pharmacological activities including an anti-cancer effect. We investigated the inhibitory effect of Cordyceps militaris ethanol extract on a human colorectal cancer-derived cell line, RKO. RKO cells were treated with various concentrations of nucleosides-enriched ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris for 48 h and cytotoxicity was measured using a CCK-8 assay. Then, xenograft Balb/c nude mice were injected with RKO cells and subsequently orally administered with ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris every day for 3 weeks to examine the inhibitory effect on tumor growth. Lastly, the effect of Cordyceps militaris on cell cycle as well as apoptosis was measured using flow cytometry. Also, the expression of p53, caspase 9, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved PARP, Bim, Bax, Bak, and Bad were detected using western blot assay. RKO cells were highly susceptible to the ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris (CME) and the growth of RKO cells-derived tumor was significantly delayed by the treatment of Cordyceps militaris. Cordyceps militaris induced cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase (untreated; 20.5 %, CME 100 μg/ml; 61.67 %, CME 300 μg/ml; 66.33 %) and increased early apoptosis (untreated; 1.01 %, CME 100 μg/ml; 8.48 %, CME 300 μg/ml; 18.07 %). The expression of p53, cleaved caspase 9, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved PARP, Bim, Bak, and Bad were upregulated by the treatment of Cordyceps militaris. Ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris was highly cytotoxic to human colorectal carcinoma RKO cells and inhibited the growth of tumor in xenograft model. The anti-tumor effect of Cordyceps militaris was associated with an induction of cell cycle arrest and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.
Since the publication of the first edition, important developments have emerged in modern mushroom biology and world mushroom production and products. The relationship of mushrooms with human welfare and the environment, medicinal properties of mushrooms, and the global marketing value of mushrooms and their products have all garnered great attention, identifying the need for an updated, authoritative reference. Mushrooms: Cultivation, Nutritional Value, Medicinal Effect, and Environmental Impact, Second Edition presents the latest cultivation and biotechnological advances that contribute to the modernization of mushroom farming and the mushroom industry. It describes the individual steps of the complex mushroom cultivation process, along with comprehensive coverage of mushroom breeding, efficient cultivation practices, nutritional value, medicinal utility, and environmental impact. Maintaining the format, organization, and focus of the previous edition, this thoroughly revised edition includes the most recent research findings and many new references. It features new chapters on medicinal mushrooms and the effects of pests and diseases on mushroom cultivation. There are also updated chapters on specific edible mushrooms, and an expanded chapter on technology and mushrooms. Rather than providing an encyclopedic review, this book emphasizes worldwide trends and developments in mushroom biology from an international perspective. It takes an interdisciplinary approach that will appeal to industrial and medical mycologists, mushroom growers, botanists, plant pathologists, and professionals and scientists in related fields. This book illustrates that mushroom cultivation has and will continue to have a positive global impact on long-term food nutrition, health care, environmental conservation and regeneration, and economic and social change.
During a frequent survey in the northwest Indian Himalayan region, a new species-Cordyceps macleodganensis-was encountered. This species is described on the basis of its macromorphological features, microscopic details, and internal transcribed spacer sequencing. This species showed only 90% resemblance to Cordyceps gracilis. The chemical composition of the mycelium showed protein (14.95 ± 0.2%) and carbohydrates (59.21 ± 3.8%) as the major nutrients. This species showed appreciable amounts of P-carotene, lycopene, phenolic compounds, polysaccharides, and flavonoids. Mycelial culture of this species showed higher effectiveness for ferric-reducing antioxidant power, DPPH radical scavenging activity, ferrous ion-chelating activity, and scavenging ability on superoxide anion-derived radicals, calculated by half-maximal effective concentrations.
Thrombolytic agents are plasminogen activators that convert the zymogen plasminogen to the active enzyme plasmin, which degrades fibrin. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of physiological fibrinolysis opened up a new era of fibrin-specific thrombolysis. Fibrin-specific plasminogen activators, including tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator (scu-PA) and staphylokinase (Sak), preferentially activate fibrin-associated plasminogen. Generated plasmin remains associated with fibrin, where it is protected from rapid inhibition and can efficiently degrade fibrin, avoiding systemic activation of the fibrinolytic system. Following a decade of clinical investigation t-PA and variants thereof are routinely used for treatment of patients with thromboembolic disease.
In this study, using standard methods, mycelial nutrients, bioactive compounds, and antioxidants were analyzed for the first time for five fungal species: Isaria sinclairii (Berk.) Lloyd, I. tenuipes Peck, I. japonica Yasuda, I. farinosa (Holmsk) Fr. and Cordyceps tuberculata (Lebert) Maire. All of these species were low in fat content and rich in protein, fiber, ash, and carbohydrates. Mineral elements (Fe, Mg, Cu, Mn, and Ca) were detected in appreciable amounts. All three types of fatty acids (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated) as well as bioactive compounds (ascorbic acid, β-carotene, lycopene, phenolic compounds, and polysaccharides) were detected for each species. The investigated species showed high ferric-reducing antioxidant power as well as 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity. Although differences were observed in the values of each species, each species showed richness in one or more components.