Cordyceps medicinal mushroom may have more pharmacological uses than ever thought possible. While the Medicinal Mushroom Information Center at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com/category/mushrooms/cordyceps/page/7/ has already published almost 70 articles about Cordyceps’ health benefits, new research just keeps coming in.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham, England, studied how cordycepin, one of the compounds found in Cordyceps might help. The research team had already established its potential as a cancer drug. Their latest study suggests, however, that it might also have anti-inflammatory effects that could help people suffering from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure and stroke damage.
The research, led by Dr. de Moor, demonstrated that cordycepin reduces inflammatory gene products in airway smooth muscle cells – the cells that contract during an asthma attack.
“We have shown that cordycepin reduces the expression of inflammatory genes in airway smooth muscle cells by acting on the final step in the synthesis of their messenger RNAs (mRNAs) which carry the chemical blueprint for the synthesis of proteins. This process is called polyadenylation,” said Dr. de Moor.
“Commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs either work much earlier in the activation of inflammatory genes, such as prednisone, or work on one of the final products of the inflammatory reaction (e.g. ibuprofen). These findings indicate that Cordyceps-derived cordycepin acts by a completely different mechanism than currently used anti-inflammatory drugs, making it a potential drug for patients in which these drugs don’t work well,” she noted.
Conclusion? Cordyceps and cordycepin may work by preventing the over-activation of cellular responses associated with health problems such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure, cancer and stroke damage.
Could Cordyceps extract supplementation alone help asthma and arthritis sufferers or will the pharmaceutical industry seize on this opportunity by isolating the active ingredient and trying to produce a man-made, synthetic version which could then be patented and sold as a pharmaceutical drug? The jury is still out.
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