Cordyceps Mushrooms for Testicular Cancer Therapy - HONE
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Cordyceps Mushrooms for Testicular Cancer Therapy

  • 12 min read

Cordyceps Mushrooms for Testicular Cancer Therapy - HONE

Extensive research has revealed the remarkable anticancer potential of cordyceps mushrooms. We know that cordyceps fights ovarian cancer and helps men diagnosed with prostate cancer. But can it help in the treatment of testicular cancer?

Research has revealed thatcordyceps mushrooms have properties that could aid in the treatment of testicular cancer

…cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine) selectively induced apoptosis in MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells through regulating the p38 MAPK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways. Cordycepin reduced viability in MA-10, TM4 and NT2/D1 cells… [and] increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, which is associated with the induction of [cancer cell death]. (Pan, et. al.)

Article jumplinks:

What is testicular cancer?

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes and risk factors?

Treatment options for testicular cancer

Can cordyceps treat testicular cancer?

Does cordyceps raise testosterone levels?

Benefits of cordyceps for men

How to use cordyceps

If you’re thinking about adding a natural supplement to your diet, our cordyceps tea might be just the ticket. It contains organic cordyceps mushrooms and the highest quality matcha powder, which makes this fragrant blend an invigorating and delicious addition to your daily routine.

Mushroom Matcha - 30 Serving Jar

Cordyceps mushrooms have more than 600 species in the fungal genus, and almost all of them showcase diverse therapeutic properties. Two of the most popular and sought-after species are Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis. We’re about to explore the extraordinary anticancer effects of Cordyceps militaris, so gather ‘round. 

What Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the testicles, the male reproductive glands located within the scrotum. The main job of the testicles is to produce sperm and testosterone, the primary sex hormone in men. Testicular cancer typically happens in one testicle only.

Luckily, testicular cancer is relatively uncommon. Even if it metastasizes (spreads to other parts of the body), it is highly treatable. 

Men's reproductive system

Men's reproductive system. Source:

Types of Testicular Cancer

There are several types of testicular cancer that are classified by the type of cells in which they develop.

  1. Gram cell testicular cancer accounts for around 95% of all testicular cancer cases. Gram cells produce sperm. Two main subtypes of gram cell testicular cancer are:
  2. Seminomas develop from germ cells, a type of cell responsible for sperm production. They typically grow slowly and have a high cure rate, even when they spread beyond the testicles.
  3. Non-seminomas also begin in germ cells. They grow more quickly and are more likely to spread to other parts of the body.
  4. Leydig cell tumors are a rare type of testicular cancer that develops from Leydig cells. Leydig cells are specialized cells in the testicles that also produce testosterone. This type of tumor is usually benign (non-cancerous) but can occasionally be malignant (cancerous). 
  5. Sertoli cell tumors are another rare type of tumor of the testicles that originates from Sertoli cells. Sertoli cells are responsible for supporting and nourishing the sperm-producing cells. This type is usually benign. 

How Does Testicular Cancer Manifest?

The symptoms of testicular cancer are easily detectable in the early stages. Here are some testicular cancer symptoms:

  • A painless lump or swelling in one of the testicles.
  • Changes in the shape or texture of the testicles.
  • Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum.
  • Aching in the groin area or lower abdomen.
  • A sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum.
Testicular lumps
Testicular lumps. Source:

Testicular Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

The exact causes of testicular cancer are still unknown. There are some factors that have been linked to a higher risk of developing it in men.

  • Undescended testicle. Men with a history of undescended testicles (cryptorchidism) have a higher risk.
  • Age. Testicular cancer primarily affects males between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can occur at any age.
  • Genetic predisposition. Having a close relative with testicular cancer increases the risk. 

How Is Testicular Cancer Treated?

The treatment for testicular cancer typically involves a combination of several options, depending on the stage, type, and aggressiveness of the cancer. The following treatment approaches aim to effectively eliminate cancer cells and prevent them from coming back. 

  • Surgery is the primary treatment for testicular cancer. The surgical removal of the affected testicle is called radical orchiectomy. In cases where the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) may be necessary to remove the affected lymph nodes.
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to target and kill cancer cells. 
  • Chemotherapy involves administering drugs orally or intravenously to destroy cancer cells throughout the body. This treatment option is typically used for advanced or metastatic testicular cancer.
  • A surveillance approach may be adopted in some cases of early-stage testicular cancer with a low risk of recurrence. Doctors keep a close eye on the situation by regularly using imaging tests and blood markers to make sure they can intervene quickly if the cancer returns.

These treatment options show great results in eliminating testicular cancer. However, they can be aggressive for patients and cause side effects.Those seeking alternative, more natural ways to combat cancer and alleviate treatment-related side effects often rely on the therapeutic benefits of cordyceps mushrooms

Are you interested in trying the best tea with cordyceps? We’ve combined it with matcha for a double boost in immune function, energy, and relaxation. With each sip, you'll be treating yourself to a delightful fusion of earthy and grassy flavors. What a perfect way to start your day or enjoy a rejuvenating siesta.

Mushroom Matcha Box - 10 Compostable Packets

Similarly to cordyceps, matcha is rich in bioactive compounds with badass anticancer effects. That’s what makes our tea next-level exceptional. Join the growing number of individuals who are embracing the potential of cordyceps and matcha for a healthier, more vibrant life.

Can Cordyceps Mushrooms Treat Testicular Cancer?

While cordyceps alone cannot be considered a definitive treatment for testicular cancer, these adaptogenic mushrooms have shown promising properties for reducing cancer cells, inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, and inducing apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.

2015 study found thatcordycepin, an active compound from the mushrooms, can induce apoptosis in MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells. Here’s what the researchers discovered:

  • Cordycepin was able to induce apoptosis in cancerous Leydig cells by interacting with two signaling pathways (p38 MAPK and PI3K/AKT) that are involved in cell survival and cell death regulation in tumor cells. 
  • Cordycepin reduced cell viability in MA-10, TM4, and NT2/D1 cells, without causing apoptosis in primary mouse Leydig cells. 
  • Cordycepin activated p53, p21, and TGFß proteins. These are involved in cell cycle control and tumor suppression. 
  • Researchers observed significant antitumor activity in cordycepin-treated MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells.

Cordycepin (3-deoxyadenosine) is a naturally occurring molecule found in cordyceps mushrooms. We’ve already seen its strong anticancer effects:cordycepin may induce apoptosis and prevent the spread of cancer cells. Cancer research reveals that cordycepin interferes with all the processes important for cancer survival: angiogenesis, cell proliferation, immunomodulation, and tumor growth.

While on the subject of the cancerous MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells, more research on cordyceps and testicular cancer puts cordycepin in the spotlight. Cordycepin can inhibit their growth and promote apoptosis. One way it does that is by reducing the levels of genes related to the fibroblast growth factor (FGF). By downregulating FGF,cordycepin is able to disrupt certain pathways involved in cancer cell proliferation

Results showed that FGF9-induced tumor growth in cordycepin-treated mice was significantly smaller than that in a PBS-treated control group. Furthermore, cordycepin decreased FGF9-induced FGFR1-4 protein expressions in vitro and in vivo. In summary, cordycepin inhibited FGF9-induced testicular tumor growth by suppressing the ERK1/2, Rb/E2F1, cell cycle pathways, and the expressions of FGFR1-4 proteins, suggesting that cordycepin can be used as a novel anticancer drug for testicular cancers. (Chang, et. al.)

Research on cordyceps and testicular cancer is limited, so based on what we could gather, we believe Cordyceps militaris might be a viable solution to help in the fight against testicular cancer. Cordyceps also may alleviate nasty chemotherapy-related side effects

Cordyceps and Testosterone 

Cordyceps mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Because of their effect on testosterone, this wondrous medicinal fungus has been hailed as the “Himalayan Viagra,” mainly due to cordyceps’ ability to improve sexual function in men

But what is the correlation between testosterone, testicular cancer, and cordyceps mushrooms?

Testosterone Levels In Testicular Cancer

Testosterone is an important male sex hormone that helps regulate the development and maintenance of sexual characteristics, muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell production, among other things. Testosterone is produced in the testicles, so testicular cancer often has a negative impact on testosterone: 

  • Testicular cancer disrupts normal testicular function.
  • It may lead to lowered testosterone production. 
  • It can decrease libido.
  • It can increase physical fatigue.
  • Testicular cancer can reduce muscle strength. 

Cordyceps Increases Testosterone

Cordyceps militaris boosts levels of testosterone, thus improving fertility, sexual function, and overall reproductive health in men. 

2008 study revealed that cordyceps supplementation increased sperm production and mobility in Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats in the study were given a supplement made from cordyceps mycelium. After six weeks, the animals showed an increased number of motile sperm cells, which are particularly important for fertility. 

The results suggest that:

  • Cordyceps supplementation had stimulatory effects on sperm count in rats. 
  • Rats supplemented with cordyceps also showed an increase in testosterone production. However, there were no significant changes observed in other hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), or prolactin.
  • The numbers of motile sperm cells (sperm capable of movement) were significantly raised. This would mean that cordyceps has positive effects on fertility in men
  • Cordyceps militaris supplementation led to an increase in the concentration of cordycepin in the rats' blood serum. 

Cordyceps and Testicular Cancer

Cordyceps seems to have a dual benefit for men: it raises testosterone levels while fighting testicular cancer at the same time. 

We’ve seen how powerful an anticancer weapon cordyceps mushrooms are. They contain a plethora of bioactive compounds that help inhibit cancer cell proliferation and promote apoptosis in testicular and other types of cancer. Cordyceps also exhibits antioxidant activities that help fight oxidative stress and enhance our immune system’s ability to fight cancer. 

One thing is clear: the fellas can benefit from regular cordyceps supplementation.

Cordyceps Benefits for Men

Cordyceps mushrooms offer several potential benefits for men. From boosting testosterone to fighting testicular and prostate cancer, here’s a summary of why men should add cordyceps to their everyday routine:

  1. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight testicular cancer but also other types of carcinomas that affect men (prostate cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, etc).
  2. Support the immune system because a healthy immune system is crucial for overall well-being and defense against cancer and other illnesses.
  3. High in antioxidants, cordyceps may have a protective effect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Reducing oxidative stress is a step in the right direction of reducing anti-aging effects and supporting healthy aging in men. (Ladies, we know you might be interested in this, too, so read more on the potential anti-aging effects of Cordyceps militaris.) 
  4. Cordyceps may help boost your athletic performance and physical endurance. 
  5. Increasing testosterone levels. Normal levels of testosterone are vital for men’s overall health. 
  6. By increasing testosterone, cordyceps may help build muscle mass and growth
  7. Increased sexual function. Do we need to explain again why cordyceps is called the “Himalayan Viagra”?

Do you know what other adaptogens have mega-antioxidant activities? You guessed it: matcha is rich in compounds that pack some serious antioxidant effects

It’s a good thing our tea contains the best, organic, ceremonial grade matcha (which also means the healthiest) that synergizes with the powerful antioxidant properties of cordyceps mushrooms. Every sip of our cordyceps matcha tea is a perfect way to support your overall health and kick cancer’s butt while indulging in a delicious and nourishing beverage.

Mushroom Matcha - 30 Serving Jar

How to Use Cordyceps Mushrooms For Cancer

Our favorite method of consuming cordyceps just so happens to be the healthiest and most delicious. Tea time is always a good idea, especially when it comes to keeping things natural and organic. There’s no better way to reap the rewards of cordyceps mushrooms and kick cancer’s butt than with our cordyceps and matcha tea

Our tea contains only the best of the best: premium matcha sourced from Japan and the highest quality cordyceps mushrooms from China. An explosion of tradition and health in every cup. 

You can choose from a 10-pack tea box or a whole jar of cordyceps matcha tea to indulge in. The 30-serving jar will last you longer, but the box is so convenient to take on holidays or camping trips. (It’s difficult to choose, we know!) Whichever packaging you go for, your body and mind will be grateful. 

Mushroom Matcha Box - 10 Compostable Packets

The Best Time to Take Cordyceps

The best time to take cordyceps is in the morning or early afternoon. Taking it in the morning or early afternoon can provide you with a natural, invigorating, and delicious boost in energy that will keep you alert and sharp throughout the day. Cordyceps is known for its potential to boost energy levels and improve mental focus, so a nice cup of cordyceps tea will wake you up better than any coffee.

Because our tea also contains organic ceremonial matcha powder and other natural energy-boosting compounds, drinking it too close to bedtime can affect sleep quality. Did you know that matcha is a natural source of caffeine? This is why you often feel energized when drinking matcha (and why it’s not such a good idea to drink it before bed). 

Can I Take Cordyceps Every Day?

Cordyceps is perfectly safe to take daily. The longer you take cordyceps mushrooms, the greater the impact they have on your health. If you plan to take cordyceps on a regular basis, it's best to stick to the recommended dosage of 1–3 grams of cordyceps powder. (That’s about one packet of our cordyceps tea.)

A small number of people might experience some milder side effects when consuming cordyceps for the first time. These may include:

  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach

Cordyceps and Cancer FAQ

Who should avoid cordyceps? 

While cordyceps mushrooms are generally regarded as safe for the majority of people, certain groups should avoid them or use them with caution.

  • People who are allergic to mushrooms or have a history of allergic responses to other types of fungi should be careful with cordyceps. 
  • People who suffer from bleeding disorders or are using blood-thinning medication should avoid cordyceps, as it may increase the risk of bleeding. 
  • Before taking cordyceps during pregnancy or breastfeeding, consult with your healthcare provider. 

Can we give mushrooms to cancer patients? 

Mushrooms, including certain medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps, may be considered part of integrative cancer care for some patients. Certain types of medicinal mushrooms, like cordyceps, shiitake, lion’s mane, and turkey tail, have been studied for their potential benefits in cancer care. They all contain bioactive compounds that have inhibitory effects on cancer cells in laboratory studies and may support immune function. 

Before incorporating mushrooms into their diet or considering mushroom-based supplements,  cancer patients should consult with healthcare professionals for specialized medical advice. 

Can breast cancer patients take cordyceps? 

There is evidence that cordyceps may help treat breast cancer and alleviate side effects associated with cancer treatment. A 2020 study indicated that cordyceps can “enhance the antitumor immunogenic response in breast cancer.” Researchers tested an ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris (CM-EE) on mouse and human breast cancer cells to investigate the ability of the mushrooms to induce immunogenic cell death. 

…CM-EE also potentiated the cytotoxic activity of tumor-specific T cells. CM-EE can induce immunogenic and apoptotic cell death in breast cancer cells, and it is a good candidate for cancer immunotherapy and may improve the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors.

What is the danger of cordyceps? 

Cordyceps is generally considered safe for most individuals when taken as directed. When taken in excessive amounts or for the first time, it may cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort or allergic reactions in some people. As with any supplement, consult healthcare professionals before starting cordyceps or any new dietary regimen.

Is cordyceps good for the prostate? 

Limited studies suggest that cordyceps may have potential benefits for prostate health. Some animal studies indicate that cordyceps may exhibit inhibitory effects on prostate cancer cells. Researchers examined the effects of Cordyceps militaris fruit bodies on human prostate cancer cells (LNCaP cells). They found that cordycepin can inhibit the migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells by activating caspases, enzymes involved in programmed cell death. 

Can you take cordyceps every day? 

Taking cordyceps every day is generally considered safe for most individuals when they follow the recommended dosages. For personalized advice, consult with healthcare professionals, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can provide guidance on the appropriate dosage and duration of cordyceps supplementation based on your specific needs.

Is cordyceps safe long term? 

Cordyceps is generally considered safe for long-term use when taken as directed. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects and potential interactions with certain medications or health conditions. 

Why are cordyceps so good? 

Cordyceps mushrooms are highly regarded for their potential health benefits. They contain bioactive compounds like cordycepin that exhibit inhibitory effects on cancer cells in laboratory studies. Cordyceps also possess adaptogenic properties and may enhance energy levels, support immune function, and potentially have positive effects on reproductive health. 

Is cordycepin good for curing cancer?

Cordycepin is a bioactive compound present in various medicinal mushrooms. It has shown inhibitory effects on tumor growth. Numerous animal and cell line studies have demonstrated these inhibitory effects on leukemia cells, bladder cancer, gastric cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, and many more. 


Pan, B. S., Wang, Y. K., Lai, M. S., Mu, Y. F., & Huang, B. M. (2015, August 25).Cordycepin induced MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cell apoptosis by regulating p38 MAPKs and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways - Scientific Reports. Nature.

Anti-Cancer Effect of Cordycepin on FGF9-Induced Testicular Tumorigenesis - PubMed. (2020, November 6). PubMed.

Effect of Cordyceps militaris supplementation on sperm production, sperm motility and hormones in Sprague-Dawley rats - PubMed. (2008, January 1). PubMed.

Cordyceps militaris Induces Immunogenic Cell Death and Enhances Antitumor Immunogenic Response in Breast Cancer - PubMed. (2020, September 3). PubMed.

Jeong, J. W., Jin, C. Y., Park, C., Han, M. H., Kim, G. Y., Moon, S. K., Kim, C. G., Jeong, Y. K., Kim, W. J., Lee, J. D., & Choi, Y. H. (2012, January 13).Inhibition of migration and invasion of LNCaP human prostate carcinoma cells by cordycepin through inactivation of Akt.

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