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Life Extension Magazine February 2014

Asian Energy

A fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis increases whole-body insulin sensitivity in rats.

OBJECTIVE: CordyMax trade mark Cs-4 (Cs-4) is a standardized mycelial fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis, a fungus that has been used for various pharmacologic, metabolic, and ergogenic purposes. The goal of this investigation was to determine the effects of oral Cs-4 administration on whole-body insulin sensitivity, skeletal muscle glucose transport, and endurance performance. DESIGN: We studied different indices of carbohydrate metabolism in rats that received Cs-4 orally at a dose of 2 g/kg of body weight daily for 30 days. RESULTS: C-peptide response observed during the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) after 10 days of treatment was significantly decreased in the Cs-4-treated group (Cs-4, 52,802 +/- 4,124 vs. control, 70,696 +/- 6309 pM x 120 min; p < 0.05). The integrated insulin area under the curve (53.3 +/- 4.9 ng/mL x 120 minutes) and the glucose-insulin index (6.6 +/- 0.6 units) obtained from the OGTT were significantly decreased (p < 0.01) in the Cs-4-treated group compared to their vehicle-treated counterparts (82.1 +/- 8.1 ng/mL x 120 minutes; 9.9 +/- 0.7 units) after 20 days of treatment. Neither integrated glucose area under the curve observed during either OGTT, basal- or insulin-stimulated 2-deoxyglucose transport nor skeletal muscle GLUT-4 concentrations were affected by Cs-4 treatment. In addition, swim time to exhaustion did not differ between groups in this animal model. CONCLUSION: We conclude that CordyMax Cs-4 may have potential beneficial effects by maintaining whole-body glucose disposal with a less pronounced increase in insulin secretion after a carbohydrate challenge, however, its effects on endurance performance remain questionable.

J Altern Complement Med . 2002 Jun;8(3):315-23

CordyMax Cs-4 improves steady-state bioenergy status in mouse liver.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate effects of CordyMax Cs-4, a mycelial fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis, on energy metabolism. DESIGN: An in vivo pharmacology study using 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. SUBJECTS AND STUDY INTERVENTIONS: Adult male C57-BL/6 mice were given an aqueous extract of CordyMax, 200 or 400 mg/kg per day or placebo for 7 days. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Using 31P-NMR spectroscopy to measure cellular triphosphates and inorganic phosphate, expressed as a ratio to a reference peak, and calculate tissue pH. RESULTS: Steady-state beta adenosine triphosphate (ATP) increased in the liver of mice that received CordyMax (200 or 400 mg/kg per day) for 7 days, by 12.3% +/- 0.8% and 18.4% +/- 0.9%, respectively, compared to placebo controls (both p < 0.001), suggesting a higher hepatic bioenergy status in CordyMax-treated animals. Hepatic inorganic phosphate (Pi) decreased by 24.5% +/- 0.9% and 17.6% +/- 1.7% in the two treatment groups, respectively, compared to placebo controls (p < 0.001). The ratio of beta-ATP:Pi increased by 47.7% +/- 1.6% and 41.4% +/- 2.4%, respectively, in the treatment groups (both p < 0.001 compared to placebo). After discontinuation of CordyMax for 7 days, beta-ATP and Pi returned towards baseline. CONCLUSION: CordyMax is effective in improving bioenergy status in the murine liver, suggesting a mechanism underlying the known clinical effectiveness of CordyMax in alleviating fatigue and improving physical endurance, especially in elderly subjects.

J Altern Complement Med . 2001 Jun;7(3):231-40

Effects of the mycelial extract of cultured Cordyceps sinensis on in vivo hepatic energy metabolism in the mouse.

Mice were given the extract of cultured Cordyceps sinensis (Cs) (200 mg/kg daily, p.o.) for 3 weeks. In vivo phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of the liver were acquired at weekly intervals using a surface coil. From 1 to 3 weeks, a consistent increase in the ATP/inorganic phosphate ratio, which represents the high energy state, was observed in the Cs extract-treated mice. The intracellular pH of the Cs extract-treated mice was not significantly different from that of the control mice. No steatosis, necrosis, inflammation or fibrosis were observed in the liver specimens from Cs extract-treated mice.

Jpn J Pharmacol . 1996 Jan;70(1):85-8.

Anti-fatigue property of Cordyceps guangdongensis and the underlying mechanisms.

CONTEXT: Cordyceps guangdongensis T.H. Li, Q.Y. Lin & B. Song (Cordycipitaceae) is a nontoxic folk medicine and can be cultivated, with noticeable effects of anti-H9N2, life-prolonging and treating chronic renal failure. OBJECTIVE: The anti-fatigue effect of C. guangdongensis, possible mechanism and active constituent were investigated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Treatment mice were treated with C. guangdongensis powder (0.455, 0.91 and 1.82 g/kg bw daily for low, middle and high doses, respectively); treatment rats were fed, respectively, with ethanol, petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, aqueous phase and hot water extract fractions, for 30 d. Forced swimming time to exhaustion, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and hepatic glycogen (HG) levels of mice and blood lactic acid (BLC) levels of rats were determined. RESULTS: The swimming times to exhaustion of mice were very significantly (p < 0.01) longer in low-, middle- and high-dose groups (respectively 1.87-, 1.94- and 1.88-times), and significantly (p < 0.05) longer in the n-butanol fraction group (1.52-times), hot water extract group (1.88- times) and refined polysaccharide group (2.66-times) than in blank control; the BLC levels of rats were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in the ethyl alcohol partition group (84.8%), the n-butanol fraction group (84.0%) and the hot water extract group (84.4 %) than in blank. The BUN and HG levels were not significantly different. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Cordyceps guangdongensis can potently alleviate fatigue through reducing the accumulation of BLC; a functional constituent was the refined polysaccharide. This might become a new functional food for fatigue resistance.

Pharm Biol . 2013 May;51(5):614-20

Regulation on energy metabolism and protection on mitochondria of Panax ginseng polysaccharide.

Panax ginseng C A Meyer (PG) is one of the most popular qi-invigorating herbal medicine and has been used to promote health, vitality, and longevity in China. Although PG has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia, its qi-invigorating activities still lack convincing evidence. We investigated the effects of Panax ginseng polysaccharide (PGP) on energy metabolism and mitochondrial protection. The chronic hypoxia model was set up. Lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) was assayed by thiobarbituric acid (TBA) colorimetry. Mice liver mitochondria were isolated by differential centrifugation. The spectrophotometric method was used to measure the swelling of mitochondria. The levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP) in liver cells were determined by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), adenylate energy charge (AEC), total adenylate pool (TAP), ATP/ADP and ATP/AMP ratio were calculated. The creatine kinase (CK) activities in mice skeletal muscle were determined by a commercial monitoring kit. The result showed that PGP could inhibit mitochondrial injury and swelling induced by Fe(2+)-L-Cys in a concentration-dependent manner. PGP which was administered by oral gavage daily for 10 days could inhibit the formation of MDA in mice brain, increase levels of ATP, ADP, TAP and AEC, ratio of ATP/ADP and ATP/AMP in liver cells, increase CK activities in mice skeletal muscle under chronic hypoxia condition. These results indicate that PGP protect mitochondria by inhibiting mitochondrial swelling, and improving energy metabolism. PGP functions as a preventive antioxidant by increasing CK activities. Therefore, PGP had the pharmaceutical activities of antihypoxia, antioxidation and improving energy status.

Am J Chin Med . 2009;37(6):1139-52.

20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3, a neuroprotective agent, inhibits mitochondrial permeability transition pores in rat brain.

Ginseng, the root of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (Araliaceae), is a well-known traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Ginsenosides, which are triterpene derivatives that contain sugar moieties, are the main active ingredients of ginseng. 20(S)-Ginsenoside Rg3, a triterpene glycoside which chemically belongs to the protopanaxadiol ginsenoside group, is effective in attenuating brain infarction after cerebral ischemia, but the detailed mechanism is not known. This study examined the effect of 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 on mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) in the rat brain. 20(S)-Ginsenoside Rg3 at 2-16 microm inhibited Ca(2+)- and H(2)O(2)-induced swelling of mitochondria isolated from rat brains. The addition of Ca(2+) generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) in isolated mitochondria. 20(S)-Ginsenoside Rg3 (2-16 microm) inhibited Ca(2+) induced generation of ROS. At the same time, 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 significantly improved mitochondrial energy metabolism, enhanced ATP levels and the respiratory control ratio. These results suggest that 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 inhibits the opening of MPTP by free radical scavenging action in the brain, and this implies that inhibition of MPTP may contribute to the neuroprotective effect of 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3.

Phytother Res . 2009 Apr;23(4):486-91

Total ginsenosides of Radix Ginseng modulates tricarboxylic acid cycle protein expression to enhance cardiac energy metabolism in ischemic rat heart tissues.

To elucidate the underlying mechanism of cardio-protective activity of the total ginsenosides (TGS) of Radix Ginseng, proteomic analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS techniques was employed for identifying the underlying targets of TGS on improvement of the energy metabolism of isolated rat heart tissues perfused in Langendorff system under ischemia-reperfusion injury conditions. The image analysis results revealed 11 differentially expressed proteins in the TGS-treated heart tissues; these proteins, including LDHB and ODP-2, were found to be closely related to the function of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle that plays pivotal roles in cardiac energy metabolism. It is thus concluded that improvement of cardiac energy metabolism via activating proteins in TCA cycle could be the major action pathway and targets of TGS activity against rat heart tissue injury.

Molecules . 2012 Oct 29;17(11):12746-57.

Pharmacokinetic comparison of ginsenoside metabolite IH-901 from fermented and non-fermented ginseng in healthy Korean volunteers.

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: IH-901 (20-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-20(S)-protopanaxadiol) is a novel ginseng saponin metabolite formed by human intestinal bacteria and is known to have antitumor and antimetastatic effects. However, there has been no pharmacokinetic study of IH-901 in human beings. AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic differences of IH-901 from fermented and non-fermented ginseng. MATERIALS AND METHODS: To investigate whether the pharmacokinetics of IH-901 differ between fermented and non-fermented ginseng, an open label, randomized, single dose, fasting, two-period, cross-over, pharmacokinetic study was conducted. A total of 24 healthy Korean male volunteers participated in this study. All subjects were allocated into two equal groups and administered 3g of fermented or non-fermented Panax ginseng. Serial blood samples for pharmacokinetic analysis were collected in the 24 h after dosing. Plasma IH-901 concentration was measured by a validated high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Pharmacokinetic parameters including AUC(t), C(max), and T(max) were calculated by noncompartmental models in the BA-CALC program (KFDA, 2008, 1.0.0, Korea). RESULTS: After oral administration of fermented ginseng, 5 subjects experienced diarrhea. The means of AUC(t) and C(max) were significantly different between the two groups. In the fermented ginseng group, AUC(t) was 2083.09±91.97 ng h/mL, a 15.5-fold increase over that of IH-901 from the non-fermented group (134.50±63.10 ng h/mL), and the mean C(max) was 325.00±91.97 ng/mL in the fermented ginseng group, a 27-fold higher value than that in the non-fermented group (13.88±7.24 ng/mL). T(max) was 3.29±1.00 and 12.04±4.96 h in the fermented and non-fermented group, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study showed that the pharmacokinetic parameters of IH-901 from fermented Panax ginseng are different from those of non-fermented ginseng, from which IH-901 is formed by intestinal

J Ethnopharmacol . 2012 Jan 31;139(2):664-7

Red ginseng supplementation more effectively alleviates psychological than physical fatigue.

Red ginseng (RG, the extract of Panax ginseng Meyer) has various biological and psychological activities and may also alleviate fatigue-related disorders. The present study was undertaken to evaluate what kind of fatigue red ginseng alleviate. Animals were orally administered with 50, 100, 200, 400 mg/kg of RG for 7 days. Before experiments were performed. Physiological stress (swimming, rotarod, and wire test) are behavioral parameters used to represent physical fatigue. Restraint stress and electric field test to a certain degree, induce psychological fatigue in animals. Plasma concentration of lactate and corticosterone (CORT) were also measured after these behavioral assays. RG supplementation (100 mg/kg) increased movement duration and rearing frequency of restrainted mice in comparison with control. 100 and 200 mg/kg of RG increased swimming time in cold water (8±4) while at 100 mg/kg, RG increased electric field crossing over frequencies. 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg RG prolonged running time on the rotarod and at 100 mg/kg, it increased balancing time on the wire. RG at those doses also reduced falling frequencies. RG supplementation decreased plasma CORT levels, which was increased by stress. Lactate levels were not significantly altered. These results suggest that RG supplementation can alleviate more the damages induced by psychological than physical fatigue.

J Ginseng Res . 2011 Sep;35(3):331-8