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Monday, August 31, 2020

Benefits of Cordycep That Will Surprise You


Benefits of Cordycep That Will Surprise You



Introduction

Do you know, there is a special mushroom with massive health benefits! This is Cordycep fungi.

Benefits of Cordycep
cordycep benefits

The benefits of Cordycep will surprise you!

Cordycep is a mushroom that famous for its various medicinal benefits. It is a parasitic fungus that grown on the larvae of Himalayan moth (Thitarodes armoricanus).

This fungus is native to Tibet in China and used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The Chinese and Tibetan folk practitioners use Cordycep as an energy booster as well as a cosmetic product.

Thousands of years ago in China Cordycep was discover by Chinese cowboys. Almost 400 species of this mushroom discovered. But, only two species are being researched for health purposes: Cordycep sinensis and Cordycep militaris.

According to various studies, the health benefits of Cordycep are promising, it is considered as ‘Medicinal Mushroom’ as well as a ‘Miracle Fungi’.
However, more research is needed.




Habitat of Cordycep

It is mainly found above 3000-3500 meters in the Himalayan region of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. Most common in the Tibetan region. According to the Chinese language Cordycep known as Yasra-gumba.

It is an Entomopathogenic fungus, it attacks Himalayan moth’s larvae (or Caterpillar) and grows on this moth body; for this reason, Cordycep called as ‘Caterpillar Fungus’ also.
Benefits of Cordycep
cordycep fungi

Due to the magnificent benefits of Cordycep, it is the most expensive fungus in the world. 




Taxonomical classification

Before going to the benefits of Cordycep, let’s take a look on its taxonomical profile:
Kingdom – Fungi
Division – Ascomycota
Family – Cordycipitaceae
Spices – sinensis or militaris (most common)

Cordycep is very difficult to harvest, it needs special conditions to grow, such as high altitude, Himalayan atmosphere and caterpillars of Himalayan moth.

For this reason, it produced in very low quantities and most expensive.

Benefits of Cordycep
cordycep sinensis

The fruitbody of this fungus is not yet cultivated commercially but the mycelium can be cultivated by tissue culture in controlled conditions. Some pharmaceutical companies cultivate Cordycep in this process.




Nutritional Value of Cordycep


The benefits of Cordycep depend on its unique nutritional value. This medicinal mushroom contains a wide range of nutrients.

It rich in various important vitamins, such as vitamins- B1, B2, B12, E and K.

Different types of carbs, such as monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, medicinal polysaccharides are present in its nutritional profile. Cordycepic acid, a complex carb present in Cordycep.

Cordycepin protein, significant nucleosides and various amino acids also present.

On the other hand, some trace elements such as chromium, gallium, selenium, strontium, titanium, vanadium present in this fungus.



Potential Health Benefits


According to traditional Chinese medicine and Tibetan folk practitioners, this caterpillar fungi act as a panacea, a remedy for all diseases. Although it has some promising health effects, modern research specified it uses.

Let’s explore the benefits of Cordycep.

i. It is an Energy Booster

There are some benefits of Cordycep present to boost the energy level.

ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) present in body cells and supplies energy to our body. It’s known as an ‘energy currency’ of the body.

Cordycep increases ATP to a large extent and essential for providing energy to the muscles. It allows your body to use more oxygen and enhance physical performance as well as immunity.

According to a study over 30 healthy adults showed that synthetic Cordycep supplements, CS-4 consumption by 3 gm/day for 6 weeks, the volume of oxygen max* had increased up to 7%.

Benefits of Cordycep
Cordycep militaris

Another study concluded that the inhibition of tracheal constriction, cardiotonic action, relaxation of contracted vascular smooth muscle, it increases the ability and endurance exercise.

It has long been used for its Adaptogenic effects. These boost energy levels and endurance for those who feel tired often or are exercising regularly.

The Chinese royal practitioners (raj Vaidya) were administered Cordycep to royal family members to enhance overall performance.

So, the benefits of Cordycep keep in mind and try to add supplements in your diet during exercise.

However, current research suggests that there are no effects of Cordycep present at improving performance in trained athletes.

*volume of oxygen max is a measure of fitness level.


ii. Provides Anti-aging Effects


Among the various benefits of Cordycep, anti-aging effects are the most important of them.

Experts believe that it has potent antioxidant properties, which scavenges free radicals, reduces oxidative damage and delay aging.

Several animal studies showed that Cordycep increases antioxidants in aged mice and improves sexual functions and memory.

However, it’s clinically not proved that this mushroom has the same anti-aging effects in humans. But, in traditional use, Cordycep reduces fatigue, boosts performance and sex drive.

Benefits of Cordycep
cordycep: medicinal mushroom

iii. It May Improves Type-II Diabetes


There are several benefits of Cordycep present and experts believe that another most effective benefit is improving blood sugar levels.

Those who consume healthy mushrooms and fungus with diabetes may provide a key to fighting this metabolic disease. The special types of complex carbs of this fungus may help treat type-II diabetes.

Interestingly, Cordyceps mimics the effects of insulin in the body and balances blood sugar levels.

Several animal studies found that it reduces blood sugar levels in diabetic mice.

Additionally, some experts suggest that this miracle fungi may protect from various complications of diabetes.


iv. It May Promotes Heart Health


There are numerous benefits of Cordycep present which indicates its heart-healthy effects.

In already approved in China to treat arrhythmia, the condition with irregular heartbeats.

 Researchers suggest that the Adenosine content of Cordycep is a naturally occurring cardio-protective compound.

This medicinal mushroom may effective on cholesterol levels. In animal tests, this has also been effective at reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.

Similarly, it also reduces triglycerides levels in the mice’s blood.

However, more studies are needed in its uses on the human heart.


v. It Has Anti-inflammatory Effects


However, the potential anti-inflammatory effects of these miracle fungi have yet to be observed in humans.

But, according to the researchers, Cordycep can suppress inflammation in the body. It may serve as a useful anti-inflammatory drugs or supplements.

In the animal study, it has been seen that Cordycep reduces inflammation in the airways of mice.

It can be used topically and found it reduced skin inflammation in mice.


vi. It Provides Anti-Tumor Effects 


Cordycepic acid which presents in Cordycep has anti-cancer and anti-tumor activity.

In a test-tube study, it inhibits the growth of various cancer cells of humans, such as liver, colon, lung and skin cancer. The polysaccharides within boosts communication between cells in the body. This triggers the cell death of cancerous cells.

Benefits of Cordycep
cordycep: caterpillar fungi

In the animal study, Cordycep exerts an anti-tumor effect on lymphoma, melanoma and lung cancer in mice.

On the other hand, it may reverse the various side effects of chemotherapy.

Keeping in mind the benefits of Cordycep in cancer prevention, it can be used as a supplement mixed with ginseng root dust.


vii. It Can Lower Stress


Among several benefits of Cordycep, lower mental stress is one of them.

It contains some nutrients which lower cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone. 

It is important to have reduced stress when trying to heal any condition in the body.

On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory effects of Cordycep reduce inflammation in the brain and promote overall mental health.


viii. It Reduces Sexual Dysfunction


Cordycep is very effective in male sexual dysfunctions.

Its energy-boosting property promotes sex drive by enhancing overall physical performance. It boosts libido.

It increases sexual potency as well as desire.

In ancient times, Cordycep used as an aphrodisiac.




Dose of Cordycep

After discussion various benefits of Cordycep, it is important to know its dosing.

As we know, the harvesting of these miracle fungi is very much difficult. So, the price tag also high, more than 9000 dollars per 500 gm (Almost 1 pound).

A synthetically grown strain is used as Cordycep supplements in CS-4 name.

The commonly used dose of this medicinal fungus in human research is 1000-3000 mg per day without associated any side effects.

Excess consumption can be harmful to you.




Warnings

The benefits of Cordycep are quite interesting. However, the warnings must be kept in mind.

According to Chinese medicine, it a nontoxic and safe drug.

But some warnings were given by researchers, which are:

1. There is no appropriate information about the safety of using it during pregnancy or breastfeeding. So, avoid it in this certain condition.

Benefits of Cordycep
cordycep: miracle fungi

2. Cordycep may cause the immune system more active. So, in auto-immune diseases, such as rheumatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis it is avoidable.

3. Immunomodulator Cordycep can increase blood pressure, which may be dangerous in heart patients.



Now, The Conclusion

From the heart to the mental health, immunomodulation to blood sugar control, there are numerous benefits of Cordycep present.

It a popular drug in the Chinese medicine system, almost safe and nontoxic.

However, much research is still needed for use in the human body.

Some experts believe that Cordycep can protect the lung from asthma and bronchitis, bones from osteoporosis and kidney damage.

It also thought that this fungus can prevent HIV also. But there is no clinical evidence.

If you choose Cordycep supplement, it is better to consult a doctor before consumption. Self-medication can be dangerous.


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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Eye Donation Brings Light in Darkness


Eye Donation Brings Light in Darkness



Introduction

Eye donation is a great social approach to donating someone’s eye to his/her after death. It can bring light in the darkness.

Eye Donation
eye donation

Eyes are one of the most important sensory organs in our body because it gives us visual understanding and the power to see the outer world. They are an outlet of someone to the world and allows to enjoy us the beauty of nature and human beings.

However, certain people lost their eyes, also lost the ability to see this beauty. Here are the benefits of eye donation.

Donating eye is a charity, completely voluntary and it is done after death. It is a noble cause.



Why It is Important? 

It is vital to know all of us, why we donate eyes? What is the importance of eye donation?

According to the Global Data of Vision Impairment of the WHO, globally 285 million people of all ages are suffering from visual impairment, 30 million of them are completely blind.

Although, 246 million people are suffering from low vision.

In Southeast Asia, 48 thousand people per million are suffering from visual impairment and 5-6 thousand per million are blind.

Additionally, the statistics in India show that 14-15 million people are blind and almost 7 million people are suffering from corneal disabilities.

Eye donation
eye donation

Certain conditions cannot be cured. Although most of the visual issues are curable and eye donation plays a key role in this situation. Donated eyes can be used to give visual power to the people who are suffering from blindness or corneal disabilities.

Here is the importance of donating eyes to someone.

However, every year 1.5 million people wait for eye transplant (generally cornea transplant), but only 25000 actually undergoing the transplant. We need to be more committed to donation. After all, it is a noble cause.



Donated Parts of Eyes 


The whole eye cannot be transplanted to the sufferer. Don’t go with the myths, focus on facts. Several parts of the eyes can be transplanted, such as the cornea, tear duct, eyelid, amniotic membrane.

The most common is a cornea transplant.

When we call ‘Eye Donation’ which generally meant that a special part of the eye is called Cornea donation. Through cornea donation, it is possible to restore vision and light to a blind person’s life.

Sometimes other parts are also transplanted as per patient needs.

i. Cornea: It is a clear membrane, activates other parts of the eye, allows the light to pass through and the brain could receive the visual information.

According to modern medical science, Cornea consists of 6 layers. In the cornea, there are no blood vessels are present, for this reason, the cornea is transparent in color. A special fluid called Aqueous humor serves nutrients and defense to the cornea.

For some diseases or accident, the cornea is lost by anyone and the person become blind. In such cases, a corneal transplant is necessary for the treatment of the person. From each pair of donated eyes, at least two blind people get vision.

ii. Tear Ducts: However, more research is needed, but in 2010, experts were able to isolate the tear duct from the donated eye and transplanted it to another organism.

iii. Amniotic Membrane: This is very rare transplantation. Scientists are successful in transplanting this membrane to the person suffering from conjunctiva or sclera.



When Cornea transplantation is Needed



The common goal behind eye donation is, to provide healthy and proper functioning cornea to the people suffering from blindness or visual impairment.

Eye donation
eye donation

Due to accidents, injuries or a pathological reason, loss of the cornea is the only reason for a cornea transplant.

The reasons may be:

1. Accident: Most of the time in serious accidents a person lost his/her eyes and it is necessary for a cornea transplant.

2. Fungal Corneal Ulcers:  Some species of Fusarium, Candida and Aspergillus fungi are the most common cause of fungal corneal infections (and ulcers). Due to this infection, the spores are formed in the cornea and a cornea transplant becomes necessary.

3. Keratomalacia:  For the lack of vitamin-A, ulcers made in the cornea which gradually converts into a spore and the patient becomes blind. It called Keratomalacia.

4. Keratoconus: This is a congenital eye problem. In this case, the inner lining of the cornea breaks down and the corneal density gradually decreases, due to this problem the patient becomes blind.


Collection of Cornea


The 1st successful cornea transplant was done by Eduard K. Zirm in 1905 and 1st eye bank was founded in 1944.

Eye bank* collect, preserve and deliver donated eyes cornea transplant treatment.

Cornea collection is the most important step of eye donation. This procedure is done after the death of the donor.

A collecting technician (registered medical practitioner) go to the hospital or the funeral house from an eye bank to collect the donor’s eyes. There would be no facial disfigurement.

After that, it stores in the eye bank. During collection, the entire eye may be surgically removed or only the cornea excised and placed in the storage medium.

Some worthy points:

·       The eyes of the donor can be donated after death only.
·       Donated eyes must be collected within 4 to 6 hours after death.
·       There is no distortion in the face after eye collection.
Eye donation
eye donation



*eye bank is a charitable organization under government or NGO and they work without any profit for the society. The first eye bank in India founded by Dr. RES Muthiah in 1945, Chennai. Around 500+ eye banks are existing in India.

   

Eligibility of A Donor


There are some guidelines or eligibility criteria follows by medical science during eye donation for the safety of the receiver as well as the donor. The donor may be any age and gender.

But the criteria depend on donor health conditions at the time of death.

Who are eligible?

i) The people with diabetes, hypertension, asthma can donate their eyes.
ii) People who undergone eye surgery or cataract treatment can donate eyes.
iii) Those people who use eyeglasses, suffering from short-sightedness, farsightedness can donate eyes.
iv) People with astigmatism can donate eyes because astigmatism cannot damage the cornea.

Who are not eligible?

Generally, who are suffering from non-curable, communicable they are not eligible for any type of organ donation (eye donation also).

i) People suffering from AIDS, cannot donate their eyes.
ii) A Person with hepatitis- B, C cannot donate.
iii) People with blood cancer (leukemia) cannot donate.
iv) People with communicable diseases, such as encephalitis, meningitis, rabies, cholera or suffering from tetanus and septicity cannot donate their eyes.


Difficulties of Eye Donation



Corneal transplantation is an effective treatment for those people suffering from corneal disabilities and blindness, which initiate by eye donation.

But there are some difficulties present in this treatment process.

From the donor body, eyes must be removed within 4-6 hours after death, any interruption or late can be the cause of damage.

Eye donation
eye donation

According to a recent survey of medical authorities, the drastic mismatch is present in between the cornea demand and supply. The statistics are also disappointing. Only one cornea is available for every 65 needed.

On the other hand, the number of eye banks is not sufficient. The improvements in the infrastructure also needed. The limited storage capacity of eye banks is a barrier to this process.


Awareness


A very small number of people are aware and take willing to eye donation. However, the number is not enough.

To spread awareness every year 25th August to 8th September India celebrates ‘National Eye Donation Fortnight. This is a campaign under the National Programme for Control of Blindness that started in 1985.

Eye donation
eye donation


These 15 days of campaigns conducted by the Indian government to create awareness and motivate people to donate their eyes and take pledges with the government for donating the eye.


Initiatives



We need more people to be aware and be committed to eye donation across the country, across the world.

So, we need some initiatives to spread knowledge, motivation as well as awareness by which more and more people are interested to donate eye.

There are some initiatives that can be taken:

i) We need to take initiative to make it clear that donating the eye is a noble cause and social service. Receiving the eyes from the donor after death and no facial distortion occurs.
Eye donation
eye donation

ii) More information about eye donation need to campaign on TV, newspaper, social media etc.

iii) Educational classes, seminars, webinars on this topic are very important to students of schools, colleges and universities.

iv) The training of collecting technicians, infrastructure, the number of eye banks, green corridor for quick collection should increase further.



Now, The Conclusion


Eye donation is a scientific, successful and safe process. Collection of eyes are done after death and there would be no facial disfigurement.

This is a noble cause and social service, which we should be more interested in.

Several Indian celebrities who have pledged their eyes, such as Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, Sunil Shetty, R Madhavan, Juhi Chawla and more.

As we know from this discussion, diseases and accidents cause blindness and corneal disabilities, then we need eye transplantation.

Apart from this, we need to take care of our eyes too. A healthy lifestyle, proper diet and supplementations, as well as reduced screen time, are needed for healthy eyesight.
They are the most beautiful parts of our body, don’t avoid to care for them.


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