Used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine, Cordyceps sinensis is used orally for strengthening the immune system, reducing the effects of ageing, promoting longevity, treating lethargy and improving liver function.
A 2015 study investigated the antagonistic effect of cordyceps on oxidative stress (OS) in doxorubicin (DOX) treated rats to compare the anti-OS effects in heart and liver tissues.
OS refers to the cellular damage and pathologic change that occur when an imbalance occurs between oxidants and antioxidants within a living organism.
Cordyceps was found to significantly increase the activities of glutathione peroxidase and catalase, the scavenging activity of superoxide in serum and the total superoxide dismutase activity in cardiac tissue, as well as reducing the OS marker malondialdehyde content in liver and cardiac tissues.
By improving the antioxidant enzyme system, cordyceps can inhibit DOX-induced oxidative stress reactions and the anti-OS effects have high selectivity to heart and liver, making it useful for the prevention against various cardiac diseases induced by OS.