AHCC: What Are The Benefits

 

AHCC is a powerful ingredient that offers various benefits to the immune system. Many clinical human trials are looking into how AHCC may be used to aid people dealing with specific conditions, such as HPV or cancer. Here is a full look at all the potential benefits of AHCC. 

What is AHCC and What Does it Do?

AHCC is a compound that supports the immune system and activates both the innate and adaptive immune response. The innate immune response is your body’s initial protection from an invader, while the adaptive immune response derives a targeted attack against the threat. 

AHCC is made from the mycelia, or roots, of various healing mushrooms, including shiitake. These mushrooms are cultured in rice bran extract and formed into a colony. Once they undergo a series of processes such as decomposition, they will have come together to create the final product: AHCC. 

 

AHCC is able to modulate the immune system in the following ways: 

  • AHCC keeps natural killer (NK) cell activity at a healthy level. NK cells are in charge of patrolling the body and removing any potential predators and/or abnormal cells. As a white blood cell, AHCC also makes sure there are as many NK cells in the body as needed. 
  • AHCC supports a special type of white blood cells, called macrophages. These white blood cells engulf and ingest any debris or pathogens that may be floating around in the bloodstream. 
  • AHCC improves the performance of T cells, and therefore supports the adaptive immune response. T cells initiate the specific attacks that will eventually bring down invaders. 
  • AHCC increases the presence of dendritic cells in the body, and makes them more effective. Dendritic cells allow for the production of cytokines, and as a part of the innate immune response, help prepare the adaptive immune response. 

Finally, AHCC promotes the production of optimal amounts of cytokines and white blood cells. Because AHCC is rich in antioxidants, it can also benefit the body by pairing off with free radicals, preventing them from enacting damage on the cells and the body. Antioxidants also help soothe any irritation in the body, especially in the digestive system.

How is AHCC Used Worldwide?

Healthy people use AHCC to boost their immune health and modulate their immune system. 

For more information on how AHCC can benefit healthy people, read these human clinical studies.  

AHCC is commonly used by over 1000 health care facilities and clinics across the globe. Doctors employ AHCC to limit the potential for infection in both healthy and immuno-compromised people, lessen the negative side effects of chemotherapy, treat chronic, high-risk cases of HPV, reduce the severity of liver disease and its symptoms, and to help people with high viral loads of hepatitis-C.

Finally, AHCC may even be able to improve patient outcomes or lengthen any given patient’s prognosis. 

Health care facilities are choosing to use AHCC for all of these purposes because of the extensive research that has been performed using AHCC. The results are promising, and justify further research to solidify these studies’ findings. 

More Benefits: What Are The Studies Saying About AHCC?

Over 100 (and counting) in vivo and in vitro studies have been published on AHCC. Around 30 of those clinical studies were performed on humans. 

Please note that in vivo means that the studies were performed on living beings, such as humans or animals. In vitro studies, on the other hand, are performed outside of living beings, by looking more closely at various cells and compounds in question. 

The focus of this research has mainly been on how AHCC can help people manage certain conditions, like diabetes, cancer, or liver disease, or on how AHCC can reduce stress or inflammation. 

Here is a full breakdown of the most up-to-date results from AHCC research: 

Infection

Because AHCC is able to support and boost immune health, there is plenty of research on how it can help people manage various infections.

According to in vivo research, AHCC can improve the immune response to the following viruses:

  • Influenza virus (flu)
  • Avian influenza virus (avian/bird flu)
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria (pneumonia)
  • Candida albicans fungus (yeast infection)
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria 
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (staph infection that cannot be treated with antibiotics)
  • West Nile virus

Most of these studies have been performed on mice and not yet on humans, but the results show signs that AHCC could be especially valuable in treating these common infections. 

When mice who had been given AHCC were infected with any of the above viruses, they experienced less severe illness, a shorter illness period, and were more likely to survive the virus. 

In the case of the study that tested AHCC effectiveness against Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria, the mice that took AHCC showed no signs of the bacteria in their system in less than a week, while the control group experienced severe symptoms. 

Cancer

AHCC is commonly used in patients with various types and severities of cancer, but especially liver, breast, stomach, colon, thyroid, lung, ovarian, tongue, testicular, pancreatic, and kidney cancers. 

Over 100,000 people with cancer have used AHCC as part of their treatment, and 60,000 (60%) of these patients benefited from the use. 

AHCC has especially significant advantages for people with liver cancer, which one study demonstrates clearly. In this study, where half of the participants used AHCC, and the other half did not over a ten-year period:

  • 66.1% of the control group experienced a recurrence of their cancer, while only 34.5% of the AHCC group had this same return.
  • 79.6% of the AHCC group survived the ten years of the study, while only 53.2% of the control group survived. 

You can look at the full human clinical trials on AHCC and cancer here

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Another way AHCC helps people with cancer is by lessening the severity and frequency of adverse side effects caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the typical treatment for cancer that weakens the immune system and can significantly reduce the person’s quality of life. 

Common symptoms of chemotherapy, such as hair loss, nausea, and liver damage, can be significantly diminished or completely eliminated with the help of AHCC. 

Certain human clinical studies also show that AHCC can allow people undergoing chemotherapy to maintain a relatively strong and stable immune system. As a result, this can shorten the length of the chemotherapy process and restore the cancer patient’s health quicker. 

Liver Ailments

As shown in the section on cancer, AHCC is particularly beneficial to people with liver cancer. This may be because AHCC has been able to drastically decrease liver enzymes in patients with some sort of liver disease, including hepatitis. A person with a liver ailment will generally have very high liver enzymes levels, so this decline is significant. 

Many clinics use AHCC to treat hepatitis-C, especially when a patient has a large viral load. In one study, a middle-aged male was able to see an 80% reduction in his hepatitis-C viral load through the use of AHCC. 

More information on AHCC and the liver, including full human clinical trials, can be viewed here

Diabetes 

In vivo studies show that AHCC may be able to help lower blood sugar. A study on rats found that, compared to the control group, the rats who were treated with AHCC had lower blood sugar levels and a greater amount of insulin. 

A human study saw all 13 of its participants experience a decline in blood sugar levels and glycohemoglobin levels. 

Other

AHCC was originally meant to be used for people with hypertension, and is sometimes used to treat various cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure and ventricular arrhythmias. More clinical research is needed on how AHCC can benefit people with cardiovascular disease.

AHCC is also rich in antioxidants, which can help combat cell damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Antioxidants play a role in reducing chronic inflammation and therefore lower the risk for various inflammation-related diseases.

Overall, AHCC has many potential benefits for the body, both specific and general, and we are only just starting to learn all that it can do. 

In Summary

AHCC is a mushroom-derived supplement that offers many benefits to the immune system. Healthy and immuno-compromised individuals can see better NK cell, dendritic cell, T cell and macrophage activity, and will overall experience a stronger immune response. 

AHCC is also used by many clinics worldwide to treat infections, inflammation, various liver ailments, HPV, and so much more. Cancer patients respond well to AHCC without any side effects, and AHCC can also alleviate certain debilitating symptoms of chemotherapy. Based on the promising results from past studies, future studies of AHCC will continue to delineate exactly what AHCC can do for the body and for immune health. 


Sources

How is AHCC Researched and Tested?– AHCC Research Association

Overview– AHCC Research Association

What is AHCC®?– AHCC Research Association

https://www.drugs.com/npp/ahcc.html