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AHCC Can Help Boost Immune System Response

By , Managing Editor
Monday, July 2, 2012
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Your immune system is like your own personal bouncer or bodyguard, keeping the bad stuff from entering the cells of your body and making you sick. It's big, strong and fights off more than you think, but a weakened immune system can occur for many reasons. Pre-existing conditions, diet and lifestyle as well as medications can all lower the body's ability to fight off infection, making us more susceptible to illness.

So how do you fix it? Fungus may not be the first solution that comes to mind, but you'd be surprised. Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), produced from several species of mushrooms, can help keep your immune response heightened all year long. 

What is AHCC?
According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), this compound is a proprietary extract created from mushrooms within the Basidiomycete family, such as shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes). The extract is taken from the mycelia (the hyphae, or vegetative part of the mushroom, also known as the "shiro"). The mushrooms have been pretreated with enzymes and then hot water is used to draw out the extract which is then fermented. 

The specific blend of mushrooms as well as the process has been patented. To make sure you find an authentic product, look for "AHCC Proprietary Blend" on the label, marked with the patent symbol. 

Health Benefits and Uses
AHCC has strong antioxidant properties that can help strengthen the immune system, preventing oxidative stress and free radical damage within the body and fighting off both bacterial and viral infections. A study published in January in the medical journal Cellular Immunology showed AHCC increases T cell responses that impact the immune system. AHCC has a very low molecular weight, which increases its effectiveness as an immunity booster. Having a low molecular weight means the supplement can be easily absorbed within the body and better utilized. A 2006 animal study published in the medical journal Surgical Infections found mice treated with AHCC were better able to fight off bacterial infection in surgical wounds. AHCC also contains minerals and amino acids that are also beneficial to health. 

AHCC is often used to both prevent cancer and treat existing cancer. Research has shown some anticancer properties of AHCC, showing anti-tumor activities in animal studies. AHCC has been shown to enhance the activity of the natural killer (NK) cells in cancer patients to improve immunity and prevent complications and infections during treatment. A study of 21 healthy participants published in 2008 in the journal Nutrition and Cancer showed improvements in the immune system after four weeks, reaffirming its ability to help someone whose immune system is compromised. 

AHCC has also been used in individuals with autoimmune disorders, including hepatitis and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It's also being studied to determine its usefulness in benefiting patients with conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, lyme disease and other inflammatory conditions

Using AHCC Properly
Both oral and in vitro AHCC treatments are available. In supplement form, capsule or powder forms of AHCC are most common. A typical dosage is between 500 mg and 1 g taken up to three times a day. AHCC can cause some digestive issues like diarrhea

Be sure to speak with your doctor if you're being treated for any of the conditions mentioned above. If you're a cancer patient, discuss AHCC with your doctor before adding it to your routine and don't make any changes to your other treatments without the guidance of a healthcare professional.

AHCC can help boost immunity for common ailments as well as chronic ones. Consider adding this supplement to your routine to supercharge your immune system. 

Products you may like:

Source Naturals AHCC Plus  Source Naturals AHCC Plus 
Why you may like this product? Source Natural's product contains 1 g of AHCC proprietary blend per two- capsule serving as well as added ingredients to increase its potency. You get the additional antioxidant benefits of vitamin E as well as selenium to help boost the immune system.
Now Foods AHCC  Now Foods AHCC 
Why you may like this product? Now's product provides 1.5 g of the patented AHCC proprietary blend of per two- capsule serving to help increase immunity to prevent illness. AHCC supplements can also benefit cancer patients currently undergoing treatment.
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