Mushroom spores that invade the bodies of insects and paralyse them, surely this is the stuff of nightmares and not something a rational human being would think of as something that will raise their testosterone levels? You may think not, but there are supplements that include Cordyceps Sinensis as part of their ingredients to boost testosterone!
So let’s find out more about this fungus and how it may or may not help men wanting to increase their testosterone levels.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Cordyceps?
- 2 Can Cordyceps Supplementation Increase Testosterone Levels?
- 3 TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS THAT USE CORDYCEPS
- 4 What Are There Benefits In Consuming Cordyceps?
- 5 Is Cordyceps Safe – Are Their Side Effects?
- 6 Overall View of Cordyceps as a Testosterone Ingredient
What Is Cordyceps?
Cordyceps is a mushroom that originates from South East Asia and has been used in China as a traditional Chinese medicine to supposedly treat sexual dysfunction and fertility, not to mention a general sexual tonic and male performance enhancer.
There are various sub-species of Cordyceps and the most common that is used is called Sinensis, but two other sub-species, Militaris and Kyushuensis are also utilised in various herbal concoctions for treatment of other forms of male libido issues.
To think of a parasite that is used as medicine and for centuries is something that those from the 21st century will think of something rather odd, perhaps medieval – It’s a parasite in medicine, why?
Here is a video showing how the spores of the Cordyceps can enter the bodies of ants and other insects and then start to grow from inside the host’s body…probably not something to think about when having your breakfast!
Can Cordyceps Supplementation Increase Testosterone Levels?
There is minimal research to suggest that Cordyceps can indeed increase the testosterone levels of anyone who takes it as a supplement, but the research is limited and hasn’t been fully tested on humans.
There have been studies, but what are the conclusions?
Increased Regulation of The Testosterone/Cortisol Ratio
A 3-month study was conducted on the effects of taking Cordyceps Sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum on a selected group of male performance athletes, to investigate the performance of endurance athletes.
The trial investigated the actual effects of fungal supplements on the level of physical exertion, before and after exercise and took readings of the testosterone/cortisol ratio.
After three months of daily supplementation, the results strongly suggest that both supplements, when combined, will aid men in recovery from physical exertion and protecting the athlete from oxidative stress. It should be noted here that the increase in protecting endurance athletes could be due to either the other supplement or when both supplements were taken in combination.
Improvements In the Production of Sperm and its Quality
If you’re going to test a drug, herbal medicines or anything that hasn’t yet been certified as ‘Safe’ by the Food and Drug Administration then be thankful that all medicines are tested on rats first.
In this study, scientists examined the spermatogenic effects of Cordyceps Militaris as a supplement with Cordyceps Militaris Mycelium on rats. There were 90 rats in this experiment and they were split into 3 groups of 30 rats each:
- Controlled Group – no supplementation
- supplementation of 1% of Cordyceps Militaris
- supplementation of 5% of Cordyceps Militaris
The rats were subjected to this experiment for a total of 6 weeks and observations were taken from the rats every 6 days.
Both sperm mobility and sperm counts were found to have increased significantly in those that were given 1% Cordyceps and even more so in the group that was supplemented with 5% Cordyceps when compared to the control group. The levels of sperm mobility and concentrations were peaked at week 6 and were even maintained for a further 2 weeks after the administration of Cordyceps had ceased.
It is worth noticing that the scientists also recorded higher levels of serum testosterone and estradiol-17 concentrations in the supplemented group when compared to the control group.
Overall, the results indicate that sperm quality and quantity can be increased with the supplementation of Cordyceps when used on rats.
Little Effect On Testosterone and Muscle Strength
There was a study conducted by the National Taiwan Sports University in 2011, that wanted to see if there was an effect of Cordyceps Sinensis supplementation when combined with resistance training on young adult males. 16 male subjects were allocated randomly into two separate groups, one would be given a placebo and the other 2.4g/day of Cordyceps Sinensis for a period of 8 weeks.
After 8 weeks of training and daily supplementation of Cordyceps Sinensis, there was insufficient evidence to suggest that daily use of Cordyceps Sinensis will, in fact, increase either muscle strength or testosterone levels, when compared to the controlled group consuming a placebo.
TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS THAT USE CORDYCEPS
What Are There Benefits In Consuming Cordyceps?
Why would someone consume a fungus that acts a parasite to over 400 insects? You have to ask yourself this, but there are actual benefits in taking Cordyceps. Although there is still not conclusive evidence that daily consumption of Cordyceps Sinensis will enhance your physical performance there are a number of other scientific studies that suggest that Cordyceps Sinensis can:
- Studies have shown to reverse liver fibrosis (this was in rodents)
- Reduce fatigue (again this was demonstrated with rodents)
- Has an antihyperglycemic effect
- Enhance your bodies natural immune system
You may be advised by a herbal nutritionist to consume this supplement if you looking for any of the following:
- boosting sex drive
- Enhancing athletic performance, especially stamina and energy
- a possible treatment for those taking chemotherapy, which may help with treatment response and the quality of life
Is Cordyceps Safe – Are Their Side Effects?
Although the fungus is generally safe to consume by 99% of the general population, there have been reported side effects such as:
- Consistent dry mouth
- An upset stomach, or discomfort
If you start feeling any of the above side-effects then we advise to stop consuming this immediately and you should avoid this supplement if you have any bleeding disorders.
Overall View of Cordyceps as a Testosterone Ingredient
The research that has been conducted to positively suggest that Cordyceps will increase testosterone levels in men is somewhat weak compared to other natural testosterone booster ingredients. With two out of the three research studies that are listed and referenced above having been tested on rats, it certainly isn’t for certain that the same results can be achieved when humans use Cordyceps.
The clinical evidence from the three trials cannot be used to suggest that Cordyceps is indeed a solid ingredient that will certainly increase the levels of testosterone in men who consume it. Until more solid testing on humans has been undertaken and documented, Cordyceps is an unknown factor and at present still a ‘traditional Chinese virility medicine’!
And by virtue of the two scientific experiments that showed that there were benefits of taking Cordyceps, such as increased endurance and increased sperm quantity and quality, but it not prove conclusive in enhancing testosterone levels.
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