The anti-hyperglycemic activity of the fruiting body of Cordyceps in diabetic rats induced by nicotinamide and streptozotocin

Life Sci. 2004 Apr 23;74(23):2897-908. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2003.11.003.


Little scientific evidence exists to support the numerous herbs used to improve diabetes-related metabolic disorders. Cordyceps, a Chinese herbal medicine with fruiting body and carcass, has been proposed to have multiple medicinal activities. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of fruiting body and carcass of Cordyceps on hyperglycemia. Male Wistar rats administered with placebo (STZ group), 1 g of fruiting body (FB group), 1 g of carcass (CC group), or 1g of fruiting body plus carcass (CF group) of Cordyceps for four weeks (d1 to d28) were injected with nicotinamide (200 mg/kg) and streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) on d15. Animals fed with placebo and injected with saline acted as the controls (CON group). The results showed that water intake (d15 to d29), changes in fasting blood glucose concentration (d15 to d26), and serum concentrations of fructosamine (d29) were significantly greater in the STZ, CC and CF groups than in the CON and FB groups (one-way ANOVA, P < 0.05). The diabetic rats had significantly lower weight gain and higher blood glucose response in oral glucose tolerance test than the control rats; and these changes were significantly reduced by administrating the fruiting body of Cordyceps. Our results revealed that fruiting body, not carcass, of Cordyceps attenuated the diabetes-induced weight loss, polydipsia and hyperglycemia, and these improvements suggest that fruiting body of Cordyceps has a potential to be the functional food for diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cordyceps* / chemistry
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diet
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Fruit* / chemistry
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Niacinamide
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Streptozocin
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Blood Glucose
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Niacinamide
  • Streptozocin