Research & Development
We take research and development very seriously. Across our facilities in both the U.S. and Taiwan we work with dedicated teams of scientists who tirelessly study the beneficial properties of our mushrooms and adaptogens.
Our modern fermentation and manufacturing facilities are based at a university in Taiwan, just outside of Taipei, where we have developed metabolic engineering and related biotechnological downstream processes for bacteria, fungi, plant, and animal cells. Our collaboration extends to research partnerships with hospitals and university research labs in Taiwan and the United States, where enormous manpower and resources have been invested over the years in basic and applied biomedical as well as all aspects of clinical research, with the hopes of achieving a better understanding of human disease states.
Our ancestors have used herbal and fungal remedies for thousands of years to supplement health and longevity. These herbs and fungi, called adaptogens, may help maintain bodily homeostasis and enhance resistance to stress. Adaptogens include medicinal mushrooms as well as a variety of herbs and spices, such as curcuma, ginseng, and Rhodiola. Each adaptogen contains a large variety of bioactive compounds which are thought to act synergistically on various organs and physiological pathways in the body.
One of our main objectives is to confirm and validate the medical knowledge of our ancestors by using a modern scientific approach to study the effects of adaptogens.
Our team of highly-trained researchers work continuously at various universities and hospitals in Taiwan and the United States to show just how powerful these ancient remedies may be.
Our Scientific Research
Below you will find a selection of peer-reviewed scientific studies
published by our team.
Our group observed that many herbal remedies used as traditional Chinese medicine produce beneficial effects that were not described earlier in ancient medical texts. For instance, using mice that were fed with a high-fat diet similar to the Western diet, we observed that the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum reduced weight gain and signs of insulin resistance and chronic inflammation by modulating the composition of the bacteria in the gut. These findings revealed a new strategy to regulate metabolism, prompting extensive coverage in the media, including by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The Los Angeles Times, Asian Scientist, and Popular Science.
Another important adaptogen studied by our team is the caterpillar fungus (commonly known as Cordyceps sinensis or simply Cordyceps), which has attracted a lot of attention due to its many beneficial effects on energy and chronic inflammation. While many imitation species are found on the market, our team isolated an authentic Cordyceps mycelium strain from specimens that grow in the wild, a feat that was confirmed and validated by DNA analysis. Using state-of-the-art methodology, culture conditions were carefully studied and optimized in order to mimic the cold environment of the Tibetan plateau and enhance the purity and quality of the final mycelium product. In a featured article published in Trends in Biotechnology, our research team discusses the impact of these changes on the commercialization of the caterpillar fungus.
Click on a study below to learn more about the beneficial effects produced by our medicinal mushrooms.
Body Weight and Metabolism
Martel J, et al. (2017) Anti-obesogenic and antidiabetic effects of plants and mushrooms. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 13: 149–160.
Chang CJ, et al. (2015) Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota. Nature Communications 6: 7489.
Supplementing the diet with Antrodia cinnamomea mycelium produced by our team helped to reduce body weight gain and inflammation in mice fed with a high-fat diet.
This study showed that our Cordyceps can help improve health markers in mice by increasing the level of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Wu TR, et al. (2019) Gut commensal Parabacteroides goldsteinii plays a predominant role in the anti-obesity effects of polysaccharides isolated from Hirsutella sinensis. Gut 68: 248‒262.
Schachter J, et al. (2018) Effects of obesity on depression: A role for inflammation and the gut microbiota.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 69: 1–8.
Inflammation and Immunity
In this study, our research team showed that Cordyceps mycelium can help reduce lung inflammation and collagen deposition in an animal model.
Huang TT, et al. (2015) Hirsutella sinensis mycelium attenuates bleomycin-induced pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis in vivo. Scientific Reports 5: 15282.
Presented here is an overview of the effects of medicinal mushrooms on the immune system to help protect the body against bacteria and viruses.
Martel J, et al. (2017) Immunomodulatory properties of plants and mushrooms.
This study revealed that our Cordyceps mycelium can reduce levels of autoimmune antibodies in mice.
Chen JL, et al. (2009) Immunological alterations in lupus-prone autoimmune (NZB/NZW) F1 mice by mycelia Chinese medical fungus Cordyceps sinensis-induced redistributions of peripheral mononuclear T lymphocytes. Clinical and Experimental Medicine 9: 277‒284
In mice, Agaricus blazei increased the number and activities of macrophages and natural killer cells, which help protect the body by killing infected and abnormal cells.
Ni WY et al. (2013) Extract of medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murrill enhances the non-specific and adaptive immune activities in BALB/C mice. In Vivo 27: 779‒786
Abnormal Cell Proliferation and Angiogenesis
Treatment with an ethanol extract from our cultured Antrodia cinnamomea mycelium improved the condition of mice inoculated with abnormal lung cells.
Huang TT, et al. (2019) Antrodia cinnamomea induces anti-tumor activity by inhibiting the STAT3 signaling pathway in lung cancer cells. Scientific Reports 9: 5145.
Wu TR, et al. (2017) Pinicolol B from Antrodia cinnamomea induces apoptosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 201: 117‒122.
Our Antrodia cinnamomea mycelium inhibited the formation of new blood vessels.
Huang TT, et al. (2018) Antrodia cinnamomea produces anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting the
VEGFR2 signaling pathway. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 220: 239‒249.
Fungal Biology and Strain Characterization
Here's a featured commentary on the steps taken by our research team to optimize the culture and production of an authentic strain of Cordyceps to ensure product purity, safety and efficacy.
Martel J, et al. (2017) Myths and realities surrounding the mysterious caterpillar fungus.
Study describing the isolation, identification and characterization of the authentic Cordyceps mycelium strain used in our dietary supplement.
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Isolation, culture and characterization of Hirsutella sinensis mycelium from caterpillar fungus fruiting body. PLOS ONE 12: e0168734.
Aging and Longevity
Martel J, et al. (2019) Hormetic effects of phytochemicals on health and longevity. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 30: 335‒346.
In this opinion piece, our team describes how molecules found in medicinal mushrooms can modulate the gut microbiota and improve stress resistance and DNA repair.
Martel J, et al. (2020) Phytochemicals as prebiotics and biological stress inducers. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 45: 462‒471.
Review article on the effects of fungal molecules that can eliminate old, senescent cells that accumulate with time in the body.
Martel J, et al. (2020) Emerging use of senolytics and senomorphics against aging and chronic diseases. Medicinal Research Reviews (article in press).
Medicinal mushrooms including Antrodia cinnamomea, Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum are rich in compounds such as polyamines, polysaccharides and terpenoids which extend lifespan in model organisms.
Martel J, et al. (2020) Plant and fungal products that extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans. Microbial Cell 7: 255‒269.
A thorough safety evaluation of our mycelium confirmed that consumption of high doses is safe in mice, findings that were expected for this kind of natural dietary supplement.
Chang JB, et al. (2012) Evaluation of genotoxicity and subclinical toxicity of Agaricus blazei Murrill in the Ames test and in histopathological and biochemical analysis. In Vivo 26: 337‒346.
Again, our mycelium produced no adverse effects at high doses in animals, confirming the safety of this kind of products.
Chang JB, et al. (2013) Toxicological evaluation of Antrodia cinnamomea in BALB/C mice. In Vivo 27: 739‒746.
Here is a selection of our patents related to
medicinal mushrooms and their active compounds
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Method to prepare Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides possessing anti-obesity properties and uses thereof. U.S. Patent 9,758,595 B2.
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Method to prepare Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides possessing insulin-sensitizing properties and applications thereof. U.S. Patent 9,757,409 B2.
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Method to prepare Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides possessing protective activities on fatty liver disease. U.S. Patent 9,763,990 B2.
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Method to prepare Hirsutella sinensis polysaccharides possessing anti-obesity properties and uses thereof. U.S. Patent 9,782,431 B2.
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Method to prepare Hirsutella sinensis polysaccharides possessing insulin-sensitizing properties and applications thereof. U.S. Patent 9,828,442 B2.
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Method to prepare Hirsutella sinensis polysaccharides possessing protective activities on fatty liver disease. U.S. Patent 9,782,447 B2.
Ko YF, et al. (2018) Method to reduce body weight, fat accumulation and adipocyte size using Parabacteroides goldsteinii. U.S. Patent 9,956,255 B1.
Ko YF, et al. (2018) Method to reduce insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance using Parabacteroides goldsteinii. U.S. Patent 10,086,019 B1.
Ko YF, et al. (2018) Method to treat fatty liver disease using Parabacteroides goldsteinii. U.S. Patent 10,111,915 B1.
Ko YF, et al. (2016) Compound isolated from Antrodia cinnamomea, method for making the same and use thereof. Taiwan Patent I538671.
Ko YF, et al. (2017) Use of cyclo tyrosine-valine and analog compounds to treat asthma and airway allergy. Taiwan Patent I644680.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.