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LACK IMMUNITY? HERE IS THE SOLUTION.. CORDYCEPS!

Oct 04, 2022


The body’s immunity protects us from various infections and diseases. Firstly the physical barriers prevent pathogens from entering the body. If a pathogen breaks the barrier and enters the body, the immune system provides an immediate, but a nonspecific response. The human body possesses a third layer of protection, which is the adaptive immune system including phagocytes (macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells), mast cells, eosinophils, basophils, and natural killer cells. In the adaptive system, B cells are involved in humoral immune response, whereas T cells contribute to cellular immune response. Cordyceps is a modulator with both potentiating and suppressive effects on the immune system through regulating innate and adaptive immunity.


Cordyceps militaris is a mushroom traditionally used for pharmaceutical purposes in East Asia and has been found to be effective for enhancing immunity through animal testing.


  1. The C. militaris group showed a statistically significant greater increase in NK200, lymphocyte PI, IL-2 and IFN-γ compared with the basal level than the placebo group. There was no statistically significant adverse reaction. C. militaris enhanced the NK cell activity and lymphocyte proliferation and partially increased Th1 cytokine secretion. Therefore, C. militaris is safe and effective for enhancing the cell-mediated immunity of healthy male adults.
  2. Administration of Cordyceps militaris polysaccharide was able to overcome the CY-induced immunosuppression, significantly increased the spleen and thymus indices, and enhanced the spleen lymphocyte activity and macrophage function.
  3. Natural C. sinensis has a long history of use in the treatment of respiratory infections and cancer. It has been postulated that the responsible mechanism is related to immune activation, particularly the promotion of innate immunity. The oral administration of C. sinensis extract improved the phagocytosis of macrophages. C. sinensis mycelia protect animals from the proliferation of bacteria by activating the macrophages. The C. sinensis could also enhance the activity of a natural killer cell. In a study, C. militaris water extract induced phenotypic and functional maturation of dendritic cells, which then initiated T-cell responses against microbial pathogens and tumors.
  4. Cordyceps also promotes the adaptive immune system, including cellular and humoral immunity. The C. sinensis ethanol extract could enhance Th1 immune response, such as IFN-γ and IL-12 production, which could reduce IgE production from B lymphocytes. Decreased production of IgE would attenuate the occurrence of asthma attacks.
  5. Cordyceps can be used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and for immunosuppression after organ transplant. Furthermore, cordyceps showed anti-inflammatory activity.
  6. The gastrointestinal tract plays two roles in human physiology

  • digestion and uptake of nutrients

  • maintenance of immune homeostasis.


The gastrointestinal-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is composed of macrophages, dendritic cells, B lymphocytes, and T lymphocytes in GALT. Both innate and adaptive responses collaborate in maintaining the immune balance of GALT. In a study C. sinensis hot water extract could significantly lower harmful bacteria populations (Salmonella sp. and E. coli.) and increase helpful bacteria numbers (Lactobacillus sp.) in the small intestine thus it regulates intestinal bacteria by improving GALT or systemic immunity or both. C. sinensis modulates the systemic immune system partly through a mechanism mediated by Peyer’s patch cell. Furthermore, C. sinensis and C. scarabaecola showed intestinal immune system modulating activity by activation of T lymphocytes in Peyer’s patch which is a part of GALT.

Hence Cordyceps has a modulatory effect on the gut immune system, which may further influence systemic immune function.


It is now proved that the immune system functions well with Cordyceps supplementation, perhaps with less accompanying inflammation. Thus Cordyceps is safe and effective for enhancing cell-mediated immunity in healthy adults.


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