Caterpillar Fights Bladder Cancer

Himalayan fungus used for kidneys and endurance stops tumor cells

Caterpillar on woman's arm

Caterpillar on woman's arm

Cordyceps sinensis is a member of a large family of fungi that resides most commonly on some types of caterpillars found in the mountainous regions of China including the Himalayas. Fortunately, cordyceps can also be cultivated. In traditional Chinese medicine, cordycepin, extracted from cordyceps, is used daily for kidney disorders (including after transplants); male erectile dysfunction; endurance; and athletic performance. Now we can add bladder cancer prevention to its list of healthy presents.

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As scientists write in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, “Risk of bladder cancer increased with intake level of beverages made with tap water.” Cordycepin is able to stop proliferation of bladder cancer cell lines, according to an article in Bioscience Trends.

The experimental study found that cordycepin treatment “significantly reduced the survival rate of T24 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, which was associated with the induction of apoptosis.”

Apoptosis is a process of programmed death of damaged cells, which guard the body against cancer. Instead of replicating, damaged cells are supposed to die out. But sometimes this process fails to occur. That’s when exogenous substances, in this case Cordycepin, can complement the body’s cancer defenses by stimulating apoptosis.

Enzyme Activator

Cordycepin activated enzymes, known as caspase-8 and -9, which are involved in apoptosis. Additionally, cordycepin increased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, which determines cell susceptibility to apoptosis, and also destroyed the integrity of mitochondria in the cancer cells.

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With all of this in mind, consuming cordyceps and filtering one’s tap water might be a good combo for preventing bladder cancer. Doses of one to three grams per day are considered safe, but it should be used with caution in pregnancy/lactation and for persons with autoimmune disease or who are on immunosuppressive agents.

Reference Biosci Trends. 2019;13(4):324-333. doi: 10.5582/bst.2019.01214. Cordycepin induces apoptosis in human bladder cancer T24 cells through ROS-dependent inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Kim SO, Cha HJ, Park C, Lee H, Hong SH, Jeong SJ, Park SH, Kim GY, Leem SH, Jin CY, Hwang EJ, Choi YH
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