Cordyceps is a type of fungus that grows in certain regions of China, Tibet, and Nepal. For centuries, it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including fatigue, respiratory problems, and kidney disease. In recent years, Cordyceps has gained popularity as a natural supplement that can help athletes and fitness enthusiasts improve their physical performance.
In a recent study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers investigated the anti- fatigue effects of Cordyceps on mice. The study aimed to evaluate the potential of Cordyceps to improve exercise performance and reduce fatigue.
The researchers divided the mice into four groups: a control group, a low-dose Cordyceps group, a medium-dose Cordyceps group, and ahigh -dose Cordyceps group. The mice in the Cordyceps groups were given Cordyceps extract by oral gavage for four weeks, while the control group received an equal volume of water.
After four weeks, the researchers evaluated the mice's exercise performance using a treadmill test. The results showed that the mice in the Cordyceps groups had significantly improved exercise performance compared to the control group. The mice in the medium and high-dose Cordyceps groups showed the most significant improvements in exercise performance.
The researchers also evaluated the levels of fatigue in the mice using a forced swimming test. The results showed that the mice in the Cordyceps groups had significantly lower levels of fatigue compared to the control group. The mice in the high-dose Cordyceps group had the lowest levels of fatigue.
To investigate the mechanism behind Cordyceps' anti-fatigue effects, the researchers measured the levels of several key biomarkers in the mice. They found that Cordyceps increased the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that provides energy to cells, in the mice's liver and muscle tissue. Cordyceps also increased the levels of glycogen, a molecule that stores glucose in the liver and muscle tissue.
Furthermore, the researchers found that Cordyceps increased the activity of several key enzymes involved in energy production, including succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), citrate synthase (CS), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). These enzymes play a crucial role in the production of ATP and the breakdown of glucose.
The researchers also found that Cordyceps decreased the levels of several key biomarkers associated with fatigue, including lactic acid, ammonia, and creatine kinase. Lactic acid is a byproduct of energy production that can build up in muscles and cause fatigue. Ammonia is a toxic molecule that can accumulate in the body during exercise and cause fatigue. Creatine kinase is an enzyme that is released into the bloodstream when muscles are damaged, and its levels can indicate muscle fatigue and damage.
Overall, the study provides strong evidence that Cordyceps has anti-fatigue effects in mice. The results suggest that Cordyceps can improve exercise performance and reduce fatigue by increasing ATP and glycogen levels, increasing the activity of key enzymes involved in energy production, and decreasing the levels of biomarkers associated with fatigue.
The study's findings have important implications for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who are looking for natural ways to improve their physical performance. Cordyceps extract may be a safe and effective supplement for improving exercise performance and reducing fatigue.