Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Zhu JS, GM Halpern, K Jones. The scientific rediscov-ery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis (Part I). J Alternative Complementary Med 1998;4(3): 289–303.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Zhu JS, GM Halpern, K Jones. The scientific rediscov-ery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis (Part II). J Alternative Complementary Med 1998;4(4): 429–457.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Jiang JC, Gao SF. Summary of treatment of 37 chronic renal dysfunction patients with Jinshuibao (Cs-4). J Ad-ministration TCM 1995;5: 23–24.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Wang WQ. Observations of effects of Jinshuibao (Cs-4) on Superoxide dismutase activity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). J Administra-tion TCM 1995; 5: 24.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Zhang ZJ, Huang WQ, Liao SZ. Clinical and laboratory studies of Jinshuibao (Cs-4) in scavenging oxygen free radicals in elderly senescent patients with deficiency syn-drome. J Administration TCM 1995;5: 14–18.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Dai GW, Bao TT, Xu CF, et al. Enhanced hepatic ener-gy state in mice using after administration of a fermenta-tion product of Cordyceps Cs-4. Med Sci Sports Exercise 1999;31(5): S120.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Chen DG. Effects of Jinshuibao (Cs-4) capsule on quality of life of patients with chronic heart failure. J Adminis-tration TCM 1995;5: 40–43.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Lei ML, Wang JP. Jinshuibao (Cs-4) capsule as auxiliary treatment for acute stage pulmonary heart disease: Anal-ysis of therapeutic effect of 50 clinical cases. J Adminis-tration TCM 1995; 5: 28–29.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Jones N, E Campbell. Clinical exercise testing. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1982: 249.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Cooper C, W Beaver, D Cooper, et al. Factors affecting the components of the alveolar CO2 output-O2 uptake re-lationship during incremental exercise in man. Exp Physi-ol 1992;77: 51–64.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Wasserman K, W Stringer, R Casaburi, et al. Determi-nation of the anaerobic threshold by gas exchange: bio-chemical considerations, methodology and physiological effects. Z Kardiol 1994;83: 1–12.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Kiho T, J Hui, A Yamane, et al. Polysaccharides in fun-gi. X X XI. Hypoglycemic activity and chemical proper-ties of a polysaccharide from the cultural mycelium of Cordyceps sinensis. Biol Pharm Bull 1993; 16: 1291–1293.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Kiho T, A Yamane, J Hui, et al. Polysaccharides in fun-gi. X X X VI. Hypoglycemic activity of a polysaccharide (CS-F30) from the cultural mycelium of Cordyceps sinen-sis and its effect on glucose metabolism in mouse liver. Biol Pharm Bull 1996;19: 294–296.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Ohmori T, K Tamura, S Tsuru, et al. Antitumor activi-ty of protein-bound polysaccharide from Cordyceps in mice. Japan J Cancer Res 1986;77: 1258–1263.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Zheng F, Tian J, Li LS. Therapeutic effects and mecha-nisms investigation of Cordyceps sinensis in treatment of nephrotoxic acute renal failure. Chin J Integr Tradit West Med 1992:12(5): 288–291.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Bao TT. Further study of pharmacological functions of Jinshuibao (Cs-4). J Administration TCM (Suppl) 1995)5: 6.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Lou YQ, Liao XM, Lu YC. Cardiovascular pharmaco-logical studies of ethanol extracts of Cordyceps mycelia and Cordyceps fermentation solution. Chin Herbal Med 1986;17(5): 17–21.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Xu R, Peng X. Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on natural killer activity and formation of Lewis lung carcinoma col-onies. Bull Hunan Med College 198; 13: 107–111.

  19. Chen SZ, Chu JZ. NMR and IR studies on the character-ization of cordycepin and 2-deoxyadenosine. Chin J Anti-biotics 1996;21: 9–12.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Yu DQ, Feng XZ, Liu GT, et al. Cordyceps sinensis. In: Advanced Study for Chinese Herbal Medicine. Institute of Material Medica ed. Beijing: Beijing Medical University and Chinese Peking Union Medical University Press, 1995: 91–113.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xiao Yi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yi, X., Xi-zhen, H. & Jia-shi, Z. 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. Chin. J. Integr. Med. 10, 187–192 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02836405

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02836405

Keywords

  • Cordyceps sinensis
  • Cs-4
  • aerobic capacity
  • ventilation
  • elderly
  • exercise