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.