Cordyceps Sinensis CS-4
Cordyceps sinensis CS-4 is a natural herbal medicine from china and is derived from wild fungus. Evidence has shown that this product is beneficial to heart failure (1), renal failure (2) and chronic pulmonary disease (3). There is also evidence that it can help with endurance due to an increase in aerobic capacity.
One study (4) tested 20 subjects over a 12 week period and found a higher lactate threshold and ventilatory threshold which are indirect signs of an increase in endurance capacity. The mechanism that is suggested for this is that it helps increase the flow of deoxygenated blood. This study however consisted of elderly subjects and may not represent the effects on young healthy individuals. Another study (5) however looked at 22 male cyclists and found it had no effect on endurance or aerobic capacity. This study was tested over a 5 week period however, which was considerably less than the previous study.
1 – Chen DG. Effects of Jing Shui Bao capsule on quality of life of patients with chronic heart failure. J Admin Traditional Chin Med. 1995;5:40–43.
2 – Jiang JC. Gao YF. Summary of treatment of 37 chronic renal dysfunction patients with Jin Shui Bao. J Admin Traditional Chin Med. 1995;5:23–24.
3 – Lei M. Wang JP. Jin Shui Bao capsule as adjuvant treatment for acute stage pulmonary heart disease: Analysis of therapeutic effect of 50 clinical cases. J Admin Traditional Chin Med. 1995;5:28–29.
4 – Chen, S., Li, Z., Krochmal, R., Abrazado, M., Kim, W., & Cooper, C. B. (2010). Effect of Cs-4®(Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(5), 585-590.
5 – Parcell, A. C., Smith, J. M., Schulthies, S. S., Myrer, J. W., & Fellingham, G. (2004). Cordyceps sinensis (CordyMax Cs-4) supplementation does not improve endurance exercise performance. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 14(2), 236-242.