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Reishi and Cordyceps for Healthy Blood Sugar

Article at a Glance:

  • Reishi is a mushroom rich in polysaccharides that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Cordyceps mushrooms work to improve insulin sensitivity, which is vital to controlling blood sugar.

Maintaining healthy blood sugar is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Blood sugar levels change in response to diet, exercise, and other factors such as stress and sleep. 

We can change many things about our diet and lifestyle to achieve healthy blood sugar levels. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans is living with chronic high blood sugar; chances are there is someone you know that can benefit from taking steps to manage blood sugar.[1]

Reishi and Cordyceps are medicinal mushrooms that are being used as a way to support healthy blood sugars. Taking Reishi and Cordyceps may help:

  • Support healthy insulin metabolism.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Support normal blood sugar levels.

Importance of Healthy Blood Sugar

Most adults have heard that healthy blood sugar is important for health. Have you ever wondered why this is the case? Our bodies, especially our brains, need a constant energy source to sustain life and be active. 

Maintaining stable blood sugar is so important that the body stores extra sugar in the liver and muscles that can be quickly converted into blood sugar.

The pancreas' role is to produce insulin in response to changes in blood sugar. Insulin is like the body's key that gets sugar (glucose) in the blood into the muscles and brain, which is needed for energy. 

Insulin sensitivity is how sensitive or receptive the body's cells are to insulin. Better insulin sensitivity is good because it helps insulin get blood sugar where it is needed in the cells.

If blood sugar levels stay elevated, this can cause a problem known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin can no longer get blood sugar where it is needed, causing levels to build up in the body.

The pancreas continues to produce more and more insulin in response to the elevated blood sugars, but if insulin can’t get blood sugar into the muscles, this can lead to blood sugar disorders.

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi is a mushroom classified as Ganoderma, which has been used in Eastern Medicine for thousands of years for various conditions, including supporting regular blood sugar.

Early mouse studies helped demonstrate the clinical application of Reishi for healthy blood sugar. Mice given a Reishi supplement for a month reduced their fasting blood sugar by nearly 40%.[2] 

One of the reasons for the impact of mushrooms on blood sugar may be due to a special carbohydrate they contain. Polysaccharides are long chains of carbohydrates that are a major component of Reishi. They also happen to be powerful influencers of blood sugar. Polysaccharides work to improve insulin sensitivity and support the normal release of insulin.[3]

It is important to note that since Reishi is a powerful medicinal mushroom, it does carry some risk, especially since it has been shown to influence blood sugar effectively. 

Be sure to consult your physician before beginning any supplement that may affect your blood sugar. There is a chance that Reishi can interact with medications for lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood clotting.[4]

Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps is another medicinal mushroom that helps to maintain healthy blood sugars. Similar to Reishi, it also contains polysaccharides that improve insulin sensitivity.[5]

Animal studies looking at the effect of supplementing with Cordyceps showed that Cordyceps helped support normal fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.[5]

Scientists are beginning to understand the effects of Cordyceps. Research is revealing that it influences blood sugar levels on a cellular level. Through a series of metabolic processes, Cordyceps suppresses or "turns off" the genes related to blood sugar.[6]

Along with a nutritious diet and regular physical activity, Reishi and Cordyceps can be effective tools in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.


  1. Center for Disease Control. 2022 National Diabetes Report. Reviewed January 26, 2022.
  2. Wińska K, Mączka W, Gabryelska K, Grabarczyk M. Molecules. 2019;24(22):4075. doi: 10.3390/molecules24224075.
  3. Ganesan K, Xu B. Molecules. 2019;24(14):2556. doi: 10.3390/molecules24142556.
  4. Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine. Reviewed August 16, 2022.
  5. Yu SH, Chen SY, Li WS, Dubey NK, Chen WH, Chuu JJ, Leu SJ, Deng WP. J Diabetes Res. 2015;2015:723190. doi: 10.1155/2015/723190.
  6. Ashraf SA, Elkhalifa AEO, Siddiqui AJ, Patel M, Awadelkareem AM, Snoussi M, Ashraf MS, Adnan M, Hadi S. Molecules. 2020;25(12):2735. doi:10.3390/molecules25122735.