Immunomodulatory effects of a mycelium extract of Cordyceps (Paecilomyces hepiali; CBG-CS-2): a randomized and double-blind clinical trial

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 Mar 29;19(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s12906-019-2483-y.


Background: Cordyceps is a traditional Chinese herb that produces various biopharmaceutical effects, including immune-enhancing effects. In this study, we prepared a Cordyceps mycelium culture extract (Paecilomyces hepiali, CBG-CS-2) to confirm its efficacy in enhancing the immune system and to evaluate its safety in healthy adults.

Methods: Healthy adults were divided into the intervention group (n = 39), who were given 1.68 g/day of CBG-CS-2 in capsules, and the control group (n = 40) for 8 weeks. The activities of natural killer (NK) cells and serum levels of monocyte-derived mediators were assessed initially for a baseline measurement and after 8 wks.

Results: The CBG-CS-2 group showed a significant 38.8 ± 17.6% enhancement from the baseline of NK cell cytotoxic activity relative to the placebo group after the administration of the capsules for 8 wks. (P < 0.019).

Conclusion: The results suggest that the immune system functions well with CBG-CS-2 supplementation, perhaps with less accompanying inflammation. Thus, CBG-CS-2 is safe and effective for enhancing cell-mediated immunity in healthy adults.

Trial registration: This study was registered at Clinical ( NCT 02814617 ).

Trial registration: NCT02814617.

Keywords: Cordyceps; Immune; Mycelium culture; Natural killer (NK) cells; Paecilomyces hepiali.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cordyceps / chemistry*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / drug effects*
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Mycelium / chemistry


  • Biological Products
  • CBG-CS-2
  • Cytokines
  • Immunologic Factors

Associated data