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Lowering Thyroid Antibodies with Cordyceps Mushrooms

By Elaine Moore on 11/17/2019

In an article published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Chinese researchers report a study in which they used a drug derived from Cordyceps sinensis mushrooms to study the effects on autoimmune thyroid disease. The subjects included 44 patients with Graves' disease and 56 patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The researchers evaluated thyroid hormone levels, TPO and TSH receptor antibodies in Graves' patients and TPO and thyroglobulin antibodies in Hashimoto's patients. Both groups were evaluated for changes in T lymphocyte subsets.

In this double-blind study, patients were given 2.0 grams twice daily of a capsule made from fermented powders of the mushroom Cordyceps sinensis, which is a known immunosuppressant used for the treatment of lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Patients were followed for at least 24 weeks, which is sufficient time to lower antibodies but not enough time to see the effects of the lowered antibodies on thyroid hormone levels. Patients with Graves' disease remained on anti-thyroid drugs, and patients with Hashimoto's remained on thyroid replacement hormone.

Results of the study showed that thyroid hormone levels remained unchanged, whereas thyroid antibody levels decreased significantly. In Graves' disease patients, TPO antibodies declined by 40.1 percent, and TSH receptor antibodies declined by 46.9 percent compared to baseline levels. In patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis TPO antibodies declined by 51.3 percent and thyroglobulin antibodies declined by 34.9 percent compared to baseline.

Before treatment, Graves' disease patients had a higher level of helper T cells compared to cytotoxic T cells while patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis had a nearly inverted proportion of helper Y cells to cytotoxic Y cells. In treated Graves' disease patients, there was a significant drop of the helper to cytotoxic T cells, showing improvement. In patients with Hashimoto's the ratio was elevated, showing that cordyceps could restore the balance between helper and cytotoxic T cells in both conditions, with dual-directional immunomodulatory effects.

 While other forms of Cordyceps are available, Cordyceps sinensis has immunomodulatory effects that are not found in other species of Cordyceps.

Source: He T., et al. "Dual-Directional Immunomodulatory Effects of Corbin Capsule on Autoimmune Thyroid Disease." Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016 Sept. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5045992/

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