Chinese Mushroom May Offer Energy Lift
WebMD News Archive
April 20, 2004 -- A dietary supplement derived from a rare
Chinese mushroom may help boost athletic performance and endurance, according
to a new study.
Researchers found 12 weeks of supplementation with CordyMax, a
dietary supplement made from the fermented Cordyceps mushroom, produced slight
but significant increases in several measures of exercise capacity, metabolism,
and endurance in healthy, sedentary adults.
Researchers say products derived from the Cordyceps mushroom
have already been shown to increase exercise capacity in older adults and
improve exercise performance and endurance in elite athletes. But this study
was among the first to look at the mushroom's effect on healthy, sedentary
The results of the study were presented this week at
Experimental Biology 2004 in Washington, D.C. The research was supported by a
grant from Pharmex Inc., which produces CordyMax.
Chinese Mushroom Boosts Energy
In the study, 131 adults aged 40-70 were randomly assigned to
take either three grams of CordyMax or a placebo daily for 12 weeks.
Researchers measured exercise capacity, endurance, and other exercise-related
indicators before, during, and after the treatment.
The study showed that the peak volume of oxygen (VO2peak)
consumption increased by 5.5% in the treated group vs. 2.2% in the placebo
group. An increase in VO2peak is commonly used to indicate an increase in
Endurance was measured using the time it took for the
participants to complete a 1 mile walk, which was reduced by 29 seconds among
the supplement group but increased by 19 seconds in the non-treated group.
Researchers also found that body weight was reduced by 0.78% in
the CordyMax group but increased by 0.42% in the non-treated group, which
suggests that the supplement may aid in weight control.
In addition, diastolic blood pressure (the lower number in a
blood pressure reading) was decreased by 3.2% among those who took the
supplement, but no such change in blood pressure was found in the placebo