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Nutr Res Pract. 2014 Apr;8(2):172-6. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2014.8.2.172. Epub 2014 Mar 28.

Cordyceps militaris alleviates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in ob/ob mice.

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Department of Smart Food and Drugs, School of Food and Life Science, Inje University, 197 Inje-ro, Gimhae, Gyeongnam 621-749, Korea.
Laboratory of Nutritional Analysis, Hurom Co., Ltd., Gyeongnam 660-701, Korea.
Department of Biotechnology, Dong-A University, Busan 604-714, Korea. ; Medi-Farm Industrialization Research Center, Dong-A University, Busan 604-714, Korea.
Medi-Farm Industrialization Research Center, Dong-A University, Busan 604-714, Korea.



Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming an important public health problem as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes have become epidemic. In this study we investigated the protective effect of Cordyceps militaris (C. militaris) against NAFLD in an obese mouse model.


Four-week-old male ob/ob mice were fed an AIN-93G diet or a diet containing 1% C. militaris water extract for 10 weeks after 1 week of adaptation. Serum glucose, insulin, free fatty acid (FFA), alanine transaminase (ALT), and proinflammatory cytokines were measured. Hepatic levels of lipids, glutathione (GSH), and lipid peroxide were determined.


Consumption of C. militaris significantly decreased serum glucose, as well as homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), in ob/ob mice. In addition to lowering serum FFA levels, C. militaris also significantly decreased hepatic total lipids and triglyceride contents. Serum ALT activities and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were reduced by C. militaris. Consumption of C. militaris increased hepatic GSH and reduced lipid peroxide levels.


These results indicate that C. militaris can exert protective effects against development of NAFLD, partly by reducing inflammatory cytokines and improving hepatic antioxidant status in ob/ob mice.


Cordyceps militaris; antioxidant; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); ob/ob mice; triglyceride

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