How does Cordyceps Militaris generate anti-aging properties?
Cordyceps Militaris has antioxidants that contain anti-aging properties, making them really popular among the elderly. In fact, the use of this medicinal mushroom to slow down the aging process is centuries old.
Oxygen-free radicals tend to get formed during the aging process, which results in damage to cells. As per research, it has been found out that Cordyceps Militaris can inhibit lipid and peroxide formation, and also lower the presence of oxidized enzymes in one’s brain. Due to its ability to scavenge on oxygen-free radicals, this mushroom has become such a successful name in the anti-aging community. In an interview to the Time magazine, Dr Andrew Well, MD, recommended Cordyceps Militaris as an extract to increase longevity due to natural antioxidants in the mushroom.
Aging at a cellular level
Just like physical changes on the outside, the human body also undergoes various changes on the inside as a result of aging. While physical aspects such as low muscular strength, hair greying, memory loss and reduced sense functions such as diminished hearing and vision are quite obvious, there are other phenomena which originate at the cellular level, and cannot be predicted accurately. For instance, some elders demonstrate progressive dementia in their 60s while you may be able to see others active and full of life even at 80. Over the course of years, every man or woman has wanted to escape the debilities of disease and old age, and so several advancements are constantly visible in this field.
One can categorise skin aging into the following two types:
- Intrinsic, or chronological aging- The process of senile decay that results in all organs getting affected, and
- Extrinsic aging- This takes place as a result of prolonged exposure to environmental factors such as sunlight (photo-aging), dryness and smoking. Amongst these factors, sunlight can be the most harmful one, especially if one considers extreme exposure to UV radiation, which can cause skin aging through the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the human body. Excess generation of ROS in the form of super oxide anion (O 2 − ), hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) ions and the hydroxyl radical (-OH) results in massive amount of oxidative stress, culminating in the destruction of cells in various organs.
You might be wondering here, “All the above is fine, but where does Cordyceps Militaris come in?” Well, it has been found that the extract of Cordyceps Militaris is known to reduce oxidative stress, one of the key factors that results in aging. Medical professionals state that aging takes place due to one of three key hypotheses:
- Cellular stress due to oxidation
- Hormonal levels that are below optimum
- Cellular death that has been programmed
Experiment to further highlight anti-aging properties of Cordyceps Militaris
 To obtain convincing lab results on anti-aging properties, an experiment was conducted to look at the effects of polysaccharides obtained from cultivated fruiting bodies of Cordyceps Militaris on antioxidation and mitochondrial injuries. These fruiting bodies were cultured in an artificial environment, and the Spectrophotometric method was utilized to study mitochondrial enlargement, super oxide ionic activities and Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TARS). D-galactose was injected into the back of mice necks for 7 weeks, in order to see the age model in action.
Results of the experiment demonstrated that Cordyceps Militaris could reduce mitochondrial injuries and swelling from Ferric ions. Additionally, the activities of anti-hydroxyl ions in mice livers went up due to the mushroom. It was clearly visible that Cordyceps Militaris could protect mitochondria by scavenging on ROS, reduce the swelling and also increase antioxidase activities. These were clear indications of anti-aging properties for pharmaceutical companies.