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The Last of Us: Everything you want to know about the fungus that inspired the series

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    What’s the name of the fungus in the last of us?

    Cordyceps is the name of the fungus in The Last of Us, the fictional blockbuster inspired by the video game that has taken the fungus to the epicentre of the narrative. However, here more than ever, reality and fiction intermingle… We explain.

    The premise of this truly eloquent HBO adaptation grabs you before you even begin.

    Twenty years ago, a fungus, Cordyceps, infected the whole of civilisation to the point of causing a global epidemic. Now, those already infected are zombies or cannibal slaves and only a small number of survivors (grouped around FEDRA and the Fireflies) struggle to survive and perhaps something more thanks to one of its protagonists: Ellie.

    The new Hifas skin formula with natural and effective ingredients is for sale: the brand new Mico-Repair Antioxidant and Repair Serum with Reishi, Cordyceps and CBD!

    Yes, that’s right! This serum is formulated on a super-moisturising base of Argan and Sacha inchi oils to which are added extracts of Reishi (Ganozumib) and Cordyceps (Cordyzumib), two of the most studied medicinal mushrooms for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.

    Providing the best natural hydration and active ingredients of medicinal interest to balance the skin, help it to heal and repair the damage caused by the passage of time, external aggressions, abrasive treatments, etc.

    The cause of the infection in the HBO series

    And this is where the lines between fiction and reality blur. Yes, the Cordyceps fungus exists, and according to the documentary that inspired its creator, there are thousands of different species of this parasitic fungus, with each one being parasitic on a single species.

    What are Cordyceps

    Let’s clear up any doubts: Cordyceps is a fungus capable of parasitising different insects but it could never subdue the human brain because it is not a parasite of our species and because it does not survive high temperatures (and the body temperature is).

    It is clear that the needs of the story have modified the reality of the fungus and the story of the videogame itself, as many critics comment on the influence of COVID-19 in this recent fiction.

    How many types of Cordyceps are there

    As explained in this article, Cordyceps is one of the 1200 types of entomopathogenic fungus that exist and one of the most numerous, with some 500 species, including C. sinensis.

    In this regard, the scientific portal Pubmed offers more than 2000 articles related to the keyword cordyceps and most of them explain the potential of the sinensis variety as a nutraceutical in health care.

    For our part, Hifas da Terra, as a biotech expert in the study of medicinal mushrooms, shares this scientific interest in Cordyceps and not only that, but we contribute with our research to know in depth this powerful tool in health care.

    How it was discovered

    As explained in this article, we know that one of the Cordyceps species, C. sinensis, was discovered through observation. Tibetan herders saw that their cattle were more robust, stronger and more reproductive after ingesting the ‘brown herb’ found in the high mountains. This brown grass was later identified with the fungus Cordyceps.

    Which species are affected by Cordyceps

    As mentioned in the BBC video there are many different species of Cordyceps that parasitise different insects, in fact each one is specialised in parasitising a very specific type of insect. In general we are talking about ants and caterpillars

    The medicinal Cordyceps

    Cordyceps sinensis is a well-known medicinal mushroom rich in natural active biomolecules such as beta-glucans, ergosterol or provitamin D, essential amino acids, linoleic and linolenic acid, vitamins and minerals.Its high cordycepin content stands out and, together with the cordycepic acid and adenosine it contains, we are talking about a unique energising cocktail with high therapeutic value and of great interest in scientific research.

    Cordyceps nutraceutical products

    Although the market, especially in the East, offers wild Cordyceps, laboratories that follow pharmaceutical production standards make Cordyceps nutraceuticals from mycelium grown in bioreactors.

    This involves controlled and directed cultivation from strains to which a suitable culture medium is added, from which the bioactive substances for which the species is known are obtained.

    From these cultures, a powder is obtained which can be consumed as a superfood to be added to yoghurts, smoothies, etc. (such as Cordyceps Vital) or as a food supplement in capsules (such as Cordy-Sin Sport or Mico-Cord).

    The best Cordyceps products

    Whether in powder or capsule form, if you are looking for quality medicinal Cordyceps, we recommend that you consider the following points:

    1. Since the import of Cordyceps is prohibited because it is an endangered species, Cordyceps-based supplements should preferably be obtained from the cultivation of its mycelium in bioreactors with controlled and sustainable parameters.
    2. In addition, the best cultures are made from Cordyceps sinensis strain Cs4, the authentic Tibetan Cs4 strain, for which the most evidence exists
    3. Due to bans on C. sinensis, Cordyceps militaris has been cultivated, but there is no evidence for its medicinal properties.
    4. Cordyceps sinensis has active biomolecules, so the quality product must be labelled qualitatively and quantitatively which active biomolecules it contains, such as:
    • cordycepin
    • cordycepic acid
    • adenosine
    • ergosterol

    Hifas, your trusted brand

    Improving health worldwide

    Hifas da Terra is a biotechnological company focused on research and innovation for the development of products from medicinal mushrooms.





    This great project has been awarded 13 distinctions for its innovative character, business excellence and commitment to the revitalization of rural areas and the conservation of the environment.

    💚 Made with care by Hifas da Terra

    Carrying out multiple R&D projects and clinical trials allows us to validate evidence-based safety and efficacy results without forgetting our social responsibility and commitment to the environment.

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