Improving your kidney function with Cordyceps
I have a deep fascination with mushrooms & herbs, that have the innate ability to heal the body. Specifically in this case, Cordyceps Sinensis and its role in healing kidney function. Cordyceps, also known as Chinese caterpillar fungus, has a wide variety of health benefits for cardiovascular, kidney, liver and respiratory concerns. It also has been shown to be helpful with low libido, impotence and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). All of these benefits are great, but specifically I was interested in its relationship to kidney function and the ability to manipulate testing markers that monitor the progression of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
CKD is a common condition that causes a decrease in kidney functioning overtime and usually is asymptomatic until it becomes advanced. It is also associated with diseases such as insulin, hypertension and other infectious diseases. If you do not already know your kidney status, it can be assessed through diagnostic blood work (specifically eGFR and creatinine levels), urinalysis (an increase in protein in your urine) or imaging.
When researching the impacts that Cordyceps has on kidney function I came across a Systematic Review from the Cochrane Library that discusses specifically its effects on CKD. The review looks at all the randomized control trials (RCT) with a total of 1746 participants and Cordyceps impact on improving kidney measurements. The review of all the RCT studies showed potential in decreasing serum creatinine, increasing creatine clearance, and reducing proteinuria (protein in your urine). These are the diagnostic markers that are monitored in CKD and with a reduction in creatinine and proteinuria while increasing creatinine clearance you would see an improvement in kidney function. Cordyceps has also shown to reduce the likelihood of CKD complications such as increased serum albumin and haemoglobin.
The mechanism of action of Cordyceps is related to its antioxidant and immunostimulatory properties, ant-inflammatory effects and specifically for kidney function it has the ability to decrease accumulation of extracellular matrix in the renal cortex and reducing renal interstitial fibrosis (structural damage to the kidney). Future research is needed, but there is promising evidence showing Cordyceps has a beneficial effect on improving CKD.
I recommend not self-prescribing with Cordyceps and talking to your ND about next steps as quality (they always have to be hot water extracted) and dose are integral. If this sounds like something you would be interested in knowing more about or trying for yourself, let chat – book with me.