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ahcc (active hexose correlated compound)

ahcc and your immune system

AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is a natural immune-modulating compound derived from a unique fraction of specially-cultured medicinal mushroom mycelia which has been clinically shown to strengthen the body’s immune system. AHCC is supported by over 20 human clinical studies and by over 40 papers in PubMed-indexed journals. 

This study says the available literature clearly suggests that AHCC is an immune-modulating compound, with consistent effects on NK cell activity when induced by either the presence of an active tumor or a viral infection. 

This study concluded: Our results demonstrate that AHCC can enhance tumor immune surveillance through regulating both innate and adaptive immune responses.

This study says: Available data suggest that AHCC supplementation clearly affects immune outcomes and immune cell populations—especially natural killer cell activity.

The etiology of cervical cancer has been identified and confirmed associated with high risk-human papillomavirus (HR-HPV). When HR-HPV infections persist overtime, patients have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer The proprietary, a standardized extract of cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia (ECLM), AHCC®, was developed in Japan in 1992. Several studies have reported a variety of therapeutic effects, including antioxidant and anticancer activity and improvement of immune response.

As recently reported study on AHCC®, pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo evidence demonstrated its durable clearance of HR-HPV infections. The preliminary data from the two pilot studies suggested that AHCC® supplementation supports the host immune system for successful clearance of HR-HPV infections. A confirmatory phase II randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study is about completion. The preliminary results of this phase II study confirmed data observed in pilot studies that AHCC® supplementation for at least 6 months is associated with a 60% successful elimination of HPV infections and confirmed IFN-β correlates with clearance of persistent HPV infections. –

This study concluded: based on limited studies to date, it seems that AHCC may have a role in the management of prostate cancer patients especially those who have failed hormonal therapy.

This study says: Our current study clearly demonstrates that Maitake-derived glucan act via the same mechanisms as other highly active glucans to strongly stimulate immune defense reactions and, when combined with Shiitake glucan, the MaitakeGold 404-Shiitake blend is even more immunologically and biologically active than either glucan alone or AHCC.
Conclusion: Short-term oral application of natural immunomodulating glucans from Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms strongly stimulated both the cellular and humoral branch of immune reactions. These activities were significantly higher than those of AHCC.

This studyfound: AHCC has the potential to reduce the severity of neutropenia induced by breast cancer chemotherapy and the use of G-CSF during chemotherapy.

Neutropenia is an abnormally low level of neutrophils. Neutrophils are a common type of white blood cell important to fighting off infections — particularly those caused by bacteria.
Mayo Clinic.

How does AHCC work

Source: AHCC Research Association

AHCC has been used successfully to treat a wide range of health conditions, from minor ailments such as colds and flu, to serious diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

How can one dietary ingredient be effective against so many types of health problems?

The answer is that many acute and chronic conditions share a hidden cause: compromised immunity. And as a biological response modifier, AHCC turns the dial up on your natural immune response, helping you fight all kinds of threats to your health.

An Immune System Primer
The immune system’s job is to protect you from harm. It is always scanning your body to determine if bacteria, viruses, toxins, parasites and other pathogens have entered your system or if any of your cells have mutated and become abnormal.

You have two basic types of immunity: innate and adaptive. Your innate immunity launches an immediate, non-specific attack against a threat. Your adaptive immunity takes longer to kick in, but produces a specific response to a particular microbe.

Key Players of Innate Immunity: Your First Line of Defense

  • Cytokines: Chemical messengers that help immune cells communicate and coordinate an immune response
  • Natural killer (NK) cells: White blood cells (WBC) that recognize and destroy infected or abnormal cells by injecting granules into them, causing them to explode
  • Macrophages: WBC that engulf and ingest bacteria and cellular debris
  • Dendritic cells: WBC that present foreign substances to B and T cells, initiating an adaptive response

Key Players of Adaptive Immunity: Your Second Line of Defense

• B and T cells: Both B cells (which mature in bone marrow) and T cells (which mature in the thymus) are lymphocytes, WBC that are able to recognize previous invaders and destroy them with a specific response

Proven Benefits of AHCC
In vivo and human clinical trials have shown that AHCC modifies both the innate and adaptive immune response, by:

  • Increasing the production of cytokines
  • Increasing the activity of NK cells by as much as 300-800%
  • Increasing populations of macrophages, in some cases doubling them
  • Increasing the number of dendritic cells

Increasing the number of T cells by as much as 200%.


AHCC has been used with great success in cancer patients. Data from the treatment of over 100,000 individuals with various types of cancer have shown AHCC treatment to be of benefit in 60% of cases. (Kenner p. 15) AHCC is particularly effective for liver, lung, stomach, colon, breast, thyroid, ovarian, testicular, tongue, kidney and pancreatic cancers. (Kenner p. 15)

One landmark AHCC trial enrolled 269 patients with liver cancer. Following surgery, about half of the patients took AHCC and about half did not. The results were dramatic: At the end of the ten-year study, only 34.5% of the AHCC patients experienced a recurrence in their cancer, compared with 66.1% of the control group. Similarly, while 46.8% of the patients in the control group had died at the end of ten years, less than half that amount — 20.4% — of those in the AHCC group had. Another study found that AHCC not only prolonged survival of advanced liver cancer patients, it also improved various parameters of quality of life, including mental stability, general physical health status and the ability to have normal activities.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is fraught with side effects, which range from psychologically distressing to life-threatening. In addition to being able to fight cancer directly, AHCC also alleviates many of the side effects of chemotherapy, including:

  • Hair Loss: Doctors noticed that chemotherapy patients taking AHCC did not lose their hair. Subsequently, an in vivo study found that mice treated with AHCC were protected from chemically induced hair loss.
  • Nausea: Clinical studies in Korea and Japan have indicated that AHCC remarkably improves symptoms of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. (Kenner, p. 18)
  • Bone Marrow Suppression: Chemotherapy can inhibit bone marrow function, which is life-threatening because the body’s key immune soldiers — the white blood cells — originate in bone marrow. AHCC has been shown to raise the white blood cell count of cancer patients by about 30%. (Kenner, p. 17)

Liver Damage: One of the major drawbacks of chemotherapy is that it kills healthy cells in addition to cancer cells. An in vivo study found that while rats given chemotherapy experienced large increases in liver enzymes (indicative of liver damage), those given chemotherapy plus AHCC had normal levels. (Kenner, p. 17).

Learn more at AHCC Research Association

Side effects

A phase 1 trial reported mild GI complaints, including nausea, diarrhea, and bloating. Some patients also reported headache, fatigue, and foot cramps with the liquid form of AHCC. AHCC is generally well tolerated.

Where can I get this treatment and more information?

AHCC®is trademarked and manufactured by Amino Up Chemical
Co, Ltd (Sapporo, Japan). Here is the web page listing authorised ahcc brands. These are the only brands the company endorse.

Here are two options for people in Ireland:

1. Some cancer therapies can conflict with others. Do not start ANY therapy without consulting your doctor to ensure it’s safe and beneficial to do so.
2. Just because any given therapy worked for someone else does not necessarily mean it will work for you.
3. Although there are many viable alternative cancer treatments, there isn’t a “best” treatment for a certain type or stage of cancer.

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