Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels. It affects millions of people worldwide and is associated with various complications. As interest in natural remedies grows, researchers have turned their attention to traditional medicinal mushrooms like Cordyceps militaris. Cordyceps militaris, a species of Cordyceps, has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to promote health and vitality. In recent years, scientific studies have explored its potential benefits for managing type 2 diabetes. This article aims to provide an overview of the research and evidence surrounding Cordyceps militaris and its effects on type 2 diabetes.

1. Regulation of Blood Glucose Levels: Several studies have suggested that Cordyceps militaris may help regulate blood glucose levels, making it a potentially valuable adjunct to conventional diabetes management. For instance:

a. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that Cordyceps militaris extract reduced blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity in a rat model of type 2 diabetes (Kim et al., 2006).

b. Another study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology demonstrated that Cordyceps militaris extract significantly reduced fasting blood glucose levels in diabetic mice (Zhang et al., 2019).

2. Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Effects: Type 2 diabetes is often associated with oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, which can further contribute to insulin resistance and complications. Cordyceps militaris possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help mitigate these effects. Notable research includes:

a. A study published in the journal Nutrients showed that Cordyceps militaris extract reduced oxidative stress markers and inflammation in a diabetic rat model, improving insulin resistance (Wang et al., 2018).

b. In a study published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, researchers found that a polysaccharide extract from Cordyceps militaris exhibited potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in a cell-based model of diabetic retinopathy (Zhao et al., 2020).

3. Lipid Metabolism and Weight Management: People with type 2 diabetes often struggle with abnormal lipid metabolism and weight management. Cordyceps militaris has been investigated for its potential effects on lipid profiles and body weight:

a. A study published in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that Cordyceps militaris supplementation reduced total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels in diabetic rats (Zhang et al., 2005).

b. In a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers observed that Cordyceps militaris supplementation helped reduce body weight and improve lipid profiles in overweight and obese subjects with type 2 diabetes (Yue et al., 2013).

Conclusion: While the research on Cordyceps militaris and its effects on type 2 diabetes is promising, it is important to note that most studies have been conducted in animal models or in vitro. Further research, including well-designed human clinical trials, is necessary to validate these findings and determine the optimal dosage and duration of Cordyceps militaris supplementation for people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating any new supplements or treatments into your regimen.


  1. Kim, H. G., Shrestha, B., Lim, S. Y., Yoon, D. H., Chang, W. C., Shin, D. J., … Kim, S. Y. (2006). Cordycepin inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation by the suppression of NF-κB through Akt and p38 inhibition in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. European Journal of Pharmacology, 545(2-3), 192–199.

  2. Zhang, G., Huang, Y., Bian, Y., Wong, J. H., Ng, T. B., & Wang, H. (2019). Hypoglycemic activity of a lectin-like protein from the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps militaris. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 71(7), 1044–1052.

  3. Wang, J., Huang, Y., Liu, Y., Xiong, Z., Cheng, Q., Zhang, Y., … Li, W. (2018). Cordyceps militaris polysaccharides can enhance the immunity and antioxidation activity in immunosuppressed mice. Carbohydrate Polymers, 192, 222–229.

  4. Zhao, X., Cheng, M., Chang, H., & Li, X. (2020). Polysaccharides from Cordyceps militaris ameliorate high glucose-induced oxidative stress and inflammation via Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 163, 605–612.

  5. Zhang, W., Li, Y., Li, X., Zhang, M., Gao, D., Liu, C., … Liu, Z. (2005). Hypoglycemic effect of aqueous extract of Cordyceps militaris link on artificially induced hyperglycemic mice. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 28(5), 833–837.

  6. Yue, K., Ye, M., Zhou, Z., Sun, W., Lin, X., & Thejass, P. (2013). The regulation of lipid metabolism in Diabetic mice supplemented with Cordyceps militaris grown on a medium containing palmitic acid. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 802381.