Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 187–192 | Cite as

Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and assessment of fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in enhancing aerobic capacity and respiratory function of the healthy elderly volunteers

  • Xiao YiEmail author
  • Huang Xi-zhen
  • Zhu Jia-shi
Original Articles


Objective: Cordyceps sinensis (CS) is a popular natural Chinese herbal medicine for invigoration, health preservation and reducing fatigue. Its natural substance has been prepared as a fermentation product of a specific strain of Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4). Our objective was to assess the effect of Cs-4 on the exercise capacity of the healthy elderly people in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.Methods: Thirty-seven healthy, elderly Chinese subjects were randomly assigned to receive either Cs-4 (3 g/ day) or identical placebo capsules. Their exercise performance was tested before and after 6 weeks of treatment with a symptom-limited, incremental work rate protocol on a cycle ergometer. Maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) was measured using a metabolic chart. Anaerobic thresholds (VO2θ) were identified by two observers using plots of both VCO2 vs VO2 and VE/VO2 vs time.Results: After taking Cs-4 for 6 weeks, VO2max (1.88 ±0.13 to 2.00 ±0.14 L/min;P = 0.050) and VO2θ (1.15 ±0.07 to 1.30 ±0.09 L/min;P = 0.012) were significantly increased, whereas after placebo application they were unchanged.Conclusion: These findings support the belief held in China that Cs-4 could improve oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity and ventilation function and resistance to fatigue of elderly people in exercise.


Cordyceps sinensis Cs-4 aerobic capacity ventilation elderly exercise 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Respiratory DiseasePeking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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