Activated hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is a mixture of polysaccharides, amino acids, lipids and minerals which come from Basidiomycete mushrooms. Twenty percent of AHCC is composed of alpha-1,4-glucans.
AHCC has been shown to change immune function, fight infections, increase liver detoxification enzymes and act as an antioxidant. It increases natural killer (NK) cells in cancer patients. AHCC shows no adverse effects when used therapeutically.
The author’s present study was to demonstrate the cancer fighting activity of AHCC. Mice were given doses of AHCC or water followed by injection of either melanoma or lymphoma cells. Treatment with AHCC was found to increase immune cells, including tumor fighting Natural Killer (NK) cells with an increase in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells.
CONCLUSION: Activated hexose correlated compound (AHCC) in the above study enhanced innate and induced immunity against melanoma and lymphoma cancer cells.
NOTE: Innate and adaptive (induced) immunity are two major components of the immune response. Innate immunity is the cellular reaction that we are born with. This is the most primitive part of the immune system and is seen in the defense systems of plants, fungi and insects. The reaction is non-specific and consists of a generic response to foreign antigens. The cells of this system are macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells.
Induced or adaptive immunity is more recent in development and started when animals developed with jaws. Specific antigens as foreign and a memory for the specific antigen persist. The cells of this system are lymphocytes of both B cell and T cell types.
Basidiomycetes mushrooms are known as “club fungi” and there are 15,000 known species, both edible and medicinal. They include “jelly fungi, smuts, polypores, puffballs and the majority of the flesh fungi that produce a visible ‘fruiting body'”, according to Christopher Hobbs, L. Ac. His book is “Medicinal Mushrooms, An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, and Culture.”
A clinical study of AHCC was reported by Matsui, Y., in 2002. Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were given AHCC after surgery for hepatocellular surgery. The patients with AHCC showed a longer time before recurrence of cancer and a lower rate of recurrence compared to a control group. The authors of the study concluded that “AHCC intake can improve the prognosis of postoperative HCC patients.” (PMID 12076865). Read bout the use of mushroom glucans and proteoglycans in cancer treatment.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the authors title above.