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Cordyceps (Cordyceps spp.)



Interactions

Cordyceps/Drug Interactions:
  • AminoglycosidesAminoglycosides: In human and animal research, concomitant administration reduced aminoglycoside-induced nephrotoxicity (82; 83).
  • Antiaging agentsAntiaging agents: In human research, cordyceps reduced various symptoms of aging (33).
  • Antiallergy agentsAntiallergy agents: In human research, cordyceps reduced IgE production (76).
  • AntiarrhythmicsAntiarrhythmics: In animal research, cordyceps had counteraction against aconitine-induced arrhythmia (73).
  • AntiasthmaticsAntiasthmatics: In human research, cordyceps reduced asthma symptoms and serum markers of airway inflammation (84; 76).
  • AntibioticsAntibiotics: In vitro, cordyceps inhibited the growth of various bacteria, including Clostridium paraputrificum and Clostridium perfringens (8; 9; 10; 11).
  • Anticoagulants and antiplateletsAnticoagulants and antiplatelets: In animal research, cordyceps inhibited platelet aggregation (50; 51). In animal research, cordyceps enhanced the proliferation of the erythroid progenitor cell in the bone marrow of mice (75). Clinical effects are unclear.
  • Antidepressants: monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)Antidepressants: monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): In vitro, cultured cordyceps mycelium extracts inhibited monoamine oxidase type B (72; 3).
  • Antidiabetic agentsAntidiabetic agents: In animal and laboratory research, cordyceps had hypoglycemic effects (46; 47; 48; 49).
  • AntihypertensivesAntihypertensives: In laboratory research, cordyceps had hypotensive and vasodilatory effects (18).
  • Anti-inflammatory agentsAnti-inflammatory agents: In human research, cordyceps reduced serum markers of airway inflammation (76).
  • AntilipemicsAntilipemics: In vitro, laboratory, and human data report that the use of cordyceps supplements decreased levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, and increased levels of HDL cholesterol (46; 37; 85; 86; 23; 38).
  • Antimalarial agentsAntimalarial agents: In vitro, constituents of cordyceps showed antimalarial activity (87). Other laboratory studies have also supported the antimalarial activity of cordyceps extracts (88; 89).
  • Antineoplastic agentsAntineoplastic agents: In human research, cordyceps offered some benefit in cancer patients (90; 91) and reduced adverse effects associated with chemotherapy (92). Cordyceps has been found to display antineoplastic effects by inhibiting the growth of various human tumor cell lines (93; 94; 95; 29; 96; 97; 98; 99; 61; 100; 59; 65; 27; 62; 63; 64; 101; 102).
  • Athletic performance enhancersAthletic performance enhancers: According to secondary sources, in 1993, two female Chinese athletes beat world records at the Stuttgart World Championships for the 1,500-, 3,000-, and 10,000-meter runs and attributed their success to cordyceps supplements. In animal research, cordyceps improved physical endurance (103; 104; 103). However, in human research, there was an overall lack of effect (36; 35; 34).
  • Cardiovascular agentsCardiovascular agents: Tightness in the chest and palpitations were reported in a 54 year-old male (suffering from chronic bronchitis) presenting with a drug allergy following an oral dose of cordyceps (five jinshuibao capsules, three times daily) (70). The symptoms were alleviated after administration of an antihistamine.
  • CNS depressantsCNS depressants: Drowsiness has been reported in several individuals taking oral cordyceps (37).
  • CorticosteroidsCorticosteroids: Animal studies suggest that cordyceps may induce sex steroid-like effects and act on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (105; 81). According to laboratory and animal studies, concomitant use may protect helper T cells and natural killer cells from immunosuppressive drug effects and may increase corticosterone production (106; 61; 81).
  • CyclosporineCyclosporine: In human research, cordyceps has been used in combination with immunosuppressants such as cyclosporin A, and it has been found to decrease the amount of cyclosporin A taken, blood levels of cyclosporin A, and adverse effects associated with its use, without having negative effects on the patient and graft survival (38; 54; 55; 23). In other human, animal, and in vitro studies, cordyceps had immunostimulant effects (56; 57; 58; 59; 60; 24; 61; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69).
  • Dermatologic agentsDermatologic agents: Skin rash was reported in a 54 year-old male (suffering from chronic bronchitis) presenting with a drug allergy following an oral dose of cordyceps (five jinshuibao capsules, three times daily) (70). The symptoms were alleviated after administration of an antihistamine. Skin rashes have been observed in clinical trials when using cordyceps at oral doses of 999mg three times daily (37).
  • EnalaprilEnalapril: In human research, the combination of enalapril and cordyceps was considered to be more effective than either agent alone in patients with chronic allograft nephropathy (77)
  • Gastrointestinal agentsGastrointestinal agents: In several human studies, dry mouth, nausea, and diarrhea were some side effects observed in patients taking Cordyceps sinensis at dosages of 999mg three times daily (37).
  • GentamicinGentamicin: In animal research, administration of cordyceps and gentamicin returned blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine, sodium excretion, and urinary NAGase to more normal ranges during drug-induced nephrotoxicity (83).
  • HepatotoxinsHepatotoxins: In human research, cordyceps offered benefit in patients with posthepatic cirrhosis (end-stage) and chronic hepatitis B (44; 107). In human research, cordyceps converted the hepatitis B antigen, decreased serum gamma-globulin, and returned levels of serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) to normal (107). In human research, cordyceps reduced levels of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) (23; 55).
  • Hormonal agentsHormonal agents: Animal and human studies suggest that cordyceps may induce sex steroid-like effects, act on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, and alter male and female sex hormones (17; 81). In animal research, cordyceps stimulated progesterone production (53). An in vitro study also found that cordyceps increased 17beta-estradiol (17).
  • HypoglycemicsHypoglycemics: In animal and laboratory research, cordyceps had hypoglycemic effects (46; 47; 48; 49).
  • ImmunoglobulinsImmunoglobulins: In human research, dong chong xia cao (cordyceps) reduced serum levels of IgE (76), and cordyceps in combination with other herbal agents reduced levels of IgG and IgM (62).
  • ImmunosuppressantsImmunosuppressants: In human research, cordyceps has been used in combination with immunosuppressants such as cyclosporin A, and it was found to decrease the amount of cyclosporin A taken, blood levels of cyclosporine A, and adverse effects associated with its use, without having negative effects on the patient and graft survival (38; 54; 55; 23). In other human, animal, and in vitro studies, cordyceps had immunostimulant effects (56; 57; 58; 59; 60; 24; 61; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69).
  • Nephrotoxic drugsNephrotoxic drugs: In human research, concomitant administration reduced amikacin-induced nephrotoxicity (82). In human research, cordyceps protected against cyclosporine induced nephrotoxicity (39). In human research, cordyceps improved renal function in patients with chronic renal failure (45; 108).
  • Neurologic agentsNeurologic agents: In laboratory research, extracts of cordyceps prevented beta-amyloid (25-35)-induced cell death in SK-N-SH neuronal cells in vitro, and in vivo significantly prevented spatial memory loss after intracranial injection (6).
  • Respiratory agentsRespiratory agents: In human research, cordyceps improved symptoms of respiratory disorders (40; 41).
  • SedativesSedatives: Drowsiness has been reported in several individuals taking oral cordyceps (37).
  • Sexual performance agentsSexual performance agents: In human research, cordyceps increased libido in hyposexual patients (42; 43).
  • SteroidsSteroids: Animal studies suggest that cordyceps may induce sex steroid-like effects and act on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (105; 81). According to laboratory and animal studies, concomitant use may protect helper T cells and natural killer cells from the immunosuppressive drug effects and may increase corticosterone production (106; 61; 81).
  • Thymoglobulin® (antithymocyte globulin [rabbit])Thymoglobulin® (antithymocyte globulin [rabbit]): In human research, cordyceps decreased the need for Thymoglobulin® antirejection therapy (38).
  • VasodilatorsVasodilators: In laboratory research, cordyceps had hypotensive and vasodilatory effects (18).

Cordyceps/Herb/Supplement Interactions:
  • Antiaging agentsAntiaging agents: In human research, cordyceps reduced various symptoms of aging (33).
  • Antiallergy agentsAntiallergy agents: In human research, cordyceps reduced IgE production (76).
  • AntiarrhythmicsAntiarrhythmics: In animals, cordyceps had antiarrhythmic properties (73).
  • AntiasthmaticsAntiasthmatics: In human research, cordyceps reduced asthma symptoms and serum markers of airway inflammation (84; 76).
  • AntibacterialsAntibacterials: In vitro, cordyceps inhibited the growth of various bacteria, including Clostridium paraputrificum and Clostridiumperfringens (8; 9; 10; 11).
  • Anticoagulants and antiplateletsAnticoagulants and antiplatelets: In animal research, cordyceps inhibited platelet aggregation (50; 51). In animal research, cordyceps enhanced the proliferation of the erythroid progenitor cell in the bone marrow of mice (75). Clinical effects are unclear.
  • Antidepressants: monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)Antidepressants: monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): In vitro, cultured cordyceps mycelium extracts inhibited monoamine oxidase type B (72; 3).
  • Anti-inflammatory agentsAnti-inflammatory agents: In human research, cordyceps reduced serum markers of airway inflammation (76).
  • AntilipemicsAntilipemics: In vitro, laboratory, and human data report that the use of cordyceps supplements decreased levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, and increased levels of HDL cholesterol (46; 37; 85; 86; 23; 38).
  • AntimalarialsAntimalarials: In vitro, constituents of cordyceps showed antimalarial activity (87). Other laboratory studies have also supported the antimalarial activity of cordyceps extracts (88; 89).
  • AntineoplasticsAntineoplastics: In human research, cordyceps offered some benefit in cancer patients (90; 91) and reduced adverse effects associated with chemotherapy (92). Cordyceps has been found to display antineoplastic effects by inhibiting the growth of various human tumor cell lines (93; 94; 95; 29; 96; 97; 98; 99; 61; 100; 59; 65; 27; 62; 63; 64; 101; 102).
  • AntioxidantsAntioxidants: In vitro studies have reported that cordyceps may possess potent antioxidant activity and cause antilipid peroxidation via suppression of LDL oxidation (109; 25). Also, the cultured cordyceps had stronger antioxidative properties compared to the natural cordyceps (110).
  • Athletic performance enhancersAthletic performance enhancers: According to secondary sources, in 1993, two female Chinese athletes beat world records at the Stuttgart World Championships for the 1,500-, 3,000-, and 10,000-meter runs and attributed their success to cordyceps supplements. In animal research, cordyceps improved physical endurance (103; 104; 103). However, in human research, there was an overall lack of effect (36; 35; 34).
  • Cardiovascular agentsCardiovascular agents: Tightness in the chest and palpitations were reported in a 54 year-old male (suffering from chronic bronchitis) presenting with a drug allergy following an oral dose of cordyceps (five jinshuibao capsules, three times daily) (70). The symptoms were alleviated after administration of an antihistamine.
  • Gastrointestinal agentsGastrointestinal agents: In several human studies, dry mouth, nausea, and diarrhea were some side effects observed in patients taking Cordyceps sinensis at dosages of 999mg three times daily (37).
  • Hepatotoxic agentsHepatotoxic agents: In human research, cordyceps offered benefit in patients with posthepatic cirrhosis (end-stage) and chronic hepatitis B (44; 107). In human research, cordyceps converted the hepatitis B antigen, decreased serum gamma-globulin, and returned levels of serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) to normal (107). In human research, cordyceps reduced levels of ALT and AST (23; 55).
  • Hormonal agentsHormonal agents: Animal and human studies suggest that cordyceps may induce sex steroid-like effects, act on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, and alter male and female sex hormones (17; 81). In animal research, cordyceps stimulated progesterone production (53). An in vitro study also found that cordyceps increased 17beta-estradiol (17).
  • HypoglycemicsHypoglycemics: In animal and laboratory research, cordyceps had hypoglycemic effects (46; 47; 48; 49).
  • HypotensivesHypotensives: In laboratory research, cordyceps had hypotensive and vasodilatory effects (18).
  • ImmunosuppressantsImmunosuppressants: In human research, cordyceps has been used in combination with immunosuppressants such as cyclosporin A, and it was found to decrease the amount of cyclosporin A taken, blood levels of cyclosporin A, and adverse effects associated with its use, without having negative effects on the patient and graft survival (38; 54; 55; 23). In other human, animal, and in vitro studies, cordyceps had immunostimulant effects (56; 57; 58; 59; 60; 24; 61; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69). In human research, dong chong xia cao (cordyceps) reduced serum levels of IgE (76), and cordyceps in combination with other herbal agents reduced levels of IgG and IgM (62).
  • Nephrotoxic agentsNephrotoxic agents: In human research, concomitant administration of cordyceps with amikacin sulfate or cyclosporin reduced drug-induced nephrotoxicity (82; 39). In human research, cordyceps improved renal function in patients with chronic renal failure (45; 108).
  • Neurologic agentsNeurologic agents: In laboratory research, extracts of cordyceps prevented beta-amyloid (25-35)-induced cell death in SK-N-SH neuronal cells in vitro, and in vivo significantly prevented spatial memory loss after intracranial injection (6).
  • ProbioticsProbiotics: In animal research, cordyceps improved microbial flora in the small intestine (11).
  • Respiratory agentsRespiratory agents: In human research, cordyceps improved symptoms of respiratory disorders (40; 41).
  • SedativesSedatives: Drowsiness has been reported in several individuals taking oral cordyceps (37).
  • Sexual performance agentsSexual performance agents: In human research, cordyceps increased libido in hyposexual patients (42; 43).
  • SteroidsSteroids: Animal studies suggest that cordyceps may induce sex steroid-like effects and act on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (105; 81). According to laboratory and animal studies, concomitant use may protect helper T cells and natural killer cells from the immunosuppressive drug effects and may increase corticosterone production (106; 61; 81).
  • VasodilatorsVasodilators: In laboratory research, cordyceps had hypotensive and vasodilatory effects (18).

Cordyceps/Food Interactions:
  • Tyramine-containing foodsTyramine-containing foods: Foods containing large amounts of tyramine, such as aged cheese, chianti wine, and fermented soy products (e.g., miso), may interact with cordyceps (3).

Cordyceps/Lab Interactions:
  • BilirubinBilirubin: In human research, cordyceps decreased levels of total and direct bilirubin (55; 38).
  • Blood glucoseBlood glucose: In animal and laboratory research, cordyceps had hypoglycemic effects (46; 47; 48; 49).
  • Blood pressureBlood pressure: In laboratory research, cordyceps had hypotensive and vasodilatory effects (18).
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)Blood urea nitrogen (BUN): In human and laboratory research, cordyceps reduced BUN levels (45; 83; 21; 108; 39).
  • Cell countsCell counts: In laboratory research, cordyceps, alone or in combination with other herbal agents, increased natural killer and T helper cells (62; 55; 111). In patients with chronic hepatitis B, cordyceps, alone or in combination with other herbal products, increased CD3, CD4, and the CD4:CD8 ratio (56; 62; 111). In human research, cordyceps reduced red blood cell (RBC) and white blood cell (WBC) counts (23).
  • Complement C3Complement C3: In human research, cordyceps in combination with other herbal agents increased serum levels of complement C3 (62).
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)C-reactive protein (CRP): In human research, a combination of cordyceps and ginkgo reduced levels of CRP (112).
  • CreatinineCreatinine: In human and animal research, cordyceps reduced creatinine levels and increased creatinine clearance (45; 83; 21; 108; 39; 38).
  • Heart rateHeart rate: In animal research, an alcoholic extract of cordyceps had significant counteraction against aconitine-induced arrhythmia in rats by reducing heart rate and contractility of the papillary muscles or atria (73).
  • Hormone levelsHormone levels: Animal and human studies suggest that cordyceps may induce sex steroid-like effects, act on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, and alter male and female sex hormones (17; 81). In animal research, cordyceps stimulated progesterone production (53). An in vitro study also found that cordyceps increased 17beta-estradiol (17).
  • Hyaluronic acidHyaluronic acid: In human research, cordyceps in combination with other herbal agents increased serum levels of hyaluronic acid (62).
  • ImmunoglobulinsImmunoglobulins: In human research, dong chong xia cao (cordyceps) reduced serum levels of IgE (76), and cordyceps in combination with other herbal agents reduced levels of IgG and IgM (62). In human research, cordyceps in combination with other herbal agents decreased gamma-globulin (62).
  • Inflammatory mediatorsInflammatory mediators: In human research, dong chong xia cao (cordyceps) reduced serum levels of sICAM-1, interleukin (IL)-4, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, inflammatory mediators (76). In laboratory research, cordyceps increased levels of IL-1, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and interferon (IFN)-gamma (63; 64; 65). In human research, a combination of cordyceps and ginkgo reduced TNF-alpha levels (112). In human research, cordyceps increased serum levels of IL-10 (54).
  • LamininLaminin: In human research, cordyceps in combination with other herbal agents increased serum levels of laminin (62).
  • Lipid profileLipid profile: In human research, cordyceps inhibited cholesterol and triglyceride levels (37; 85; 86; 23; 38), and increased HDL cholesterol levels (86; 23). In animal research, the polysaccharides present in cordyceps lowered total plasma cholesterol and triglycerides levels in normal mice (50mg/kg) and total plasma cholesterol level in diabetic mice, although the exact mechanism is not well understood (46)
  • Liver function testsLiver function tests: In human research, cordyceps converted the hepatitis B antigen, decreased serum gamma-globulin, and returned levels of SGPT to normal (107). In human research, cordyceps reduced levels of ALT and AST (23; 55).
  • Platelet aggregationPlatelet aggregation: In animal research, cordyceps inhibited platelet aggregation (50; 51).
  • ProteinProtein: In human research, cordyceps, alone or in combination, increased levels of serum total protein and albumin (55; 23; 62) and elevated the ratio of branched-chain to aromatic amino acids (62). In human research, cordyceps decreased urinary protein levels (38).
  • Uric acidUric acid: In human research, cordyceps decreased levels of uric acid (55; 23; 38).
  • Urine biochemistryUrine biochemistry: In human research, cordyceps decreased levels of urinary erythrocytes and leukocytes (55; 23). In human research, cordyceps decreased urinary protein levels (38).

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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