Your Immune System and AHCC

The immune system is on everyone’s mind during COVID-19. However, the immune system is an important aspect of health at all times, for all ages, and all patient types, both healthy and ill. Think about your immune system as a security system that is always “on” and protecting your body from the presence of abnormal cells, unwelcome bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, toxins, and other organisms that can be the catalyst for health problems. When one of these intruders invades your body it steals away your health. Your health, at any age, is your most precious resource. Without it, all else becomes secondary.

So how can you protect your health’s security system? Consider AHCC as a protective layer for the immune system’s defense against infectious organisms and other unwelcome substances. AHCC is a functional food supplement derived from healing mushrooms that is superseding other mushroom medical benefits in research studies.

Although the immune system is extremely resilient, it needs your active support to perform optimally. If you are well or if you have one or more health conditions, AHCC is a functional food supplement that can help support and protect your immune system. Numerous studies show that AHCC (1) has the ability to promote and stimulate significant changes in the immune system.

Here is the research on the impact AHCC has on the immune system:

  • Increases Macrophages: AHCC can significantly increase the number of macrophages, which in turn improves the ability of the immune system to function optimally. The activity of macrophages was demonstrated in a mouse model of breast cancer. Breast cancer was transplanted into two groups of mice, with one group also receiving an injection of AHCC. After one month, the tumor had shrunk in size by 60 percent in the AHCC-treated mice compared with the untreated mice.
  • Manage Cytokine Levels: Both animal and human studies show that AHCC can help manage levels of cytokines. In a study conducted by Dr. Katsuaki Uno of Comfort Hospital, 38 people with stage IV cancer were given six grams daily of AHCC. After four months of treatment, the levels of IL-12 approached the levels seen in healthy individuals in 90 percent of the patients.
  • Critical Increase of Natural Killer (NK) Cells: Studies in people with cancer show that AHCC can elevate the activity level of NK cells by 200 to 300 percent. NK cells detect and fight abnormal cells, including cancer cells. The added effect on chemotherapy is present. Patients undergoing chemotherapy have demonstrated an enhanced response to treatment when they take AHCC.
  • Increases Dendritic cells (DCs): A study published in Nutrition and Cancer reports that healthy individuals who took AHCC daily for one month had a significant increase in their DC levels compared with those who took a placebo.
  • Increased Number and Effectiveness of T cells: Numerous studies, including several conducted at Yale School of Medicine, have shown that AHCC increases the number and effectiveness of T cells as much as 200 percent.
  • Balances T helper (Th) cells: AHCC can improve the balance between Th1 and Th2 cells, which are involved in activating and directing other immune system cell functions, including activation and growth of cytotoxic lymphocytes and maximizing the activities of macrophages.

Benefits Older Adults

The gradual deterioration of the immune system that occurs with advancing age is called “immunosenescence.” This type of immunodeficiency causes the elderly to be more susceptible to infectious conditions ranging from the flu and the common cold to pneumonia, cancer and other serious conditions. In one study, AHCC was shown to stimulate T cell function in adults aged 50 years and older. At Yale School of Medicine, Zhinan Yin, MD, a rheumatologist, and his colleagues evaluated the impact of AHCC on a group of 30 healthy adults. Yin’s study was also the first to show that AHCC could be beneficial in relieving immunosenescence and thus could prove to be helpful in preventing the development of some conditions that affect older adults.

The second study we want to mention was a double-blind, randomized trial that included 21 healthy adults with an average age of 60. The study’s lead author, Naoyoshi Terakawa, MD, of Kansai Medical University, findings showed that subjects who took AHCC had significantly higher levels of total DCs and showed increased function of DCs “critical for maintaining a healthy and balanced immune system.”

How To Order

AHCC is available now through FitMed Partners to order. Call 843-284-5200 to order or email Tina at Provide your credit card information over the phone and our office will deliver curbside to you. You may also schedule a FitMed consultation to see if the AHCC supplement is right for your immune support. Available for new and existing patients.

PRIMARY SOURCE: Philippa Cheetham, MD, An Informed Patient’s Guide to AHCC, Clinically Proven Immune Support, 2012, 2015 AHCC Research Association

  1. Human Immunology. Yin Z, Fujii H, Walshe T. Effects of AHCC on the frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells producing IFN-γ and/or TNF-α ihnealthy adults. 2010 Dec; 71(12): 1187-9.0 Subjects: 30 healthy adults over the age of 50. Results: AHCC supplementation resulted in the following significant changes compared with base line: (i) The frequency of CD4+ and CD8 + T cells producing IFN-γ alone, TNF-α alone or both increased during AHCC intake. (ii) The frequency of such cells remained high even 30 days after discontinuing AHCC.

  2. Nutrition and Cancer. Terakawa et al. Immunological effect of AHCC in healthy volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. 2008; 60(5): 643-51. Subjects: 21 healthy volunteers. Results: Volunteers supplemented with AHCC had the following significant changes: (i) Greater number of total DCs than at base line and compared with control. (ii) The number of DC1 cells was greater after AHCC intake than at base line and the AHCC group had a tendency to have higher DC1s than control. (iii) DC2s were significantly increased after 4 weeks compared with control. (iv) The allo-stimulatory activity of DC1s was also increased after intake compared with control as measured by the mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR).

  3. Nutrition Research. Roman BE, Beli E, Duriancik DM, Gardner EM. Short-term supplementation with AHCC improves the antibody response to influenza B vaccine. 2013 Jan; 33(1):12–7. Subjects: 29 healthy adults. Results: AHCC supplementation improved some lymphocyte percentages and influenza B antibody titers over the control. Chang-es of lymphocyte subpopulations revealed that AHCC supplementation increases CD8 T cells and NK-T cells following vaccination compared with controls.

  4. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. Spierings E, Fujii H, Sun B, Walshe T. A Phase I study of the safety of the nutritional supplement AHCC in healthy volunteers. 2007 Dec; 53(6): 536-9. Subjects: 26 healthy male or female volunteers between 18 and 61 years of age. Results: Laboratory results and adverse events were reported as follows: (i) Two subjects (7%) dropped out because of nausea and intolerance of the liquid. (ii) Nausea, diarrhea, bloating, headache, fatigue and foot cramps occurred in a total of 6 subjects (20%) but were mild and transient. (iii) There were no laboratory abnormalities.

Scheduling New and Existing Patients

Charleston Sports Medicine and Regenerative Orthopaedics are scheduling both existing and new patients for orthopaedic and physical therapy services.

Heightened precautions continue including:

– Limited patient appointments and numbers of patients in the reception area

– Staff daily symptom checks and the wearing of masks

– Air Purifiers are in each exam room, waiting room, and PT clinic

– Frequent sanitation of all patient areas

– Screening and temperature of all patients

– Continued Telehealth appointments available

– Remote waiting in your vehicle as preferred

Call our office main line at 843-284-5200 for appointments or questions. We appreciate your patience as we navigate rescheduling patients. Please leave a message if needed. They will be reviewed and answered daily.

You may also use email for the following patient care needs:

Medication refills, lab follow-ups, and orthopaedic questions:

Physical Therapy questions:

  • Existing and new patient appointments for Vasper Charleston and MLS Laser therapies are available.

FitMed Partners:

Stay well. Dr. Bright McConnell and the staff

Important Update For Physical Therapy Patients

To All Current Physical Therapy Patients:

In accordance with CDC and American Medical Association guidance, Charleston Sports Medicine Physical Therapy will be closed for the next two weeks with a limited reopening on April 15th.

April 15th through May 15th, we will resume a modified treatment schedule. A limited number of patients will be seen per day to keep occupancy low and distance between patients high. During this time, we are not accepting new patients or offering hands-on treatments.

Once re-opened, we will offer appointments for Vasper and Shoulder Sphere technologies, limited exercises in the clinic, review, and modification to home exercise programs, and re-assessments or discharges.

Please call Allison at 843-284-5200 extension 5 to either make an appointment or inform her if you would like to be placed on hold until you can return to physical therapy. We do not plan on discharging any current patients at this time. While closed and on limited schedules, your therapy will automatically be placed on hold.

We thank you for having patience with us and our limited schedule. We look forward to the day when we can return to our normal schedule and see you on a consistent basis. Stay well.

COVID-19: Operations Update

Charleston Sports Medicine Regenerative Orthopaedics and FitMed Partners, in compliance with the current COVID-19 CDC Guidelines, is temporarily closed to orthopaedic, physical therapy and FitMed patient visits. All scheduled patients will receive a call with details on their rescheduled appointment time. Telemedicine appointments, where appropriate, will be made available. For needs that cannot wait, we will schedule a telemedicine consultation to address the need for immediate care. For medication refills and orthopaedic issues call our office main line at 843-284-5200. Messages will be reviewed and answered daily.

You may also use email for the following patient care needs:

Medication refills, lab follow-ups, and orthopaedic questions: or

Physical Therapy questions and e-visits for home care exercise programs for existing patients:

  • For existing patients, limited self-pay Vasper Charleston and MLS Laser therapies are available.

FitMed Partners:

We look forward to providing services again once the COVID-19 non-essential restrictions have passed. Until then, thank you for understanding as we do our part to flatten the curve and protect our community.

Stay well. Dr. Bright McConnell and the staff

MLS Laser Therapy

The innovative and patented Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Therapy Laser was developed in an effort to produce an efficient and simultaneous effect on pain, inflammation, and edema safely. MLS technology delivers therapeutic wavelengths that produce greater anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, while enhancing the speed of healing.

The unique combination and synchronization of continuous and pulsed emissions characterizes MLS and distinguishes it from other therapy lasers. What does that mean for patients seeking pain relief?

MLS Laser Therapy helps Charleston Sports Medicine Physical Therapy relieve pain and restore lives. Simply put, patients can expect the following with MLS Laser technology:



Get the Right Diagnosis for Leaky Gut Syndrome with Cyrex 2/10

Charleston Sports Medicine brings the best science to determine “leaky gut” syndrome to our patients. A simple oral and blood lab text is now the answer to a complicated diagnosis. Cyrex™ addresses the cross-connections between the body’s endocrine, gastrointestinal and neurological systems which play a significant role in the development of today’s complex disorders.

Immunology is at the root of many chronic disorders that affect the ongoing wellbeing of women and men. Combining Dr. Bright McConnell’s knowledge of hormones, nutrition, fitness and bone health with this powerful laboratory test allows patients struggling with leaky gut syndrome to determine an individualized nutrition plan to alleviate symptoms. Cyrex’s research and education divisions provide in-depth scientific and practical knowledge, allowing Dr. McConnell to use the most updated standard of care in your diagnostic and monitoring process. (more…)

Vasper Charleston Helps Patient Eliminate Forty years of Nagging Pain

For Judy Dunbar, a yoga class with one wrong move forty years ago is one she will never forget. She explains, “I have a shoulder injury from that class that has bothered me for forty years now. I had reached the point where I could not write or use the computer. For me, checking emails was painful.”

The writer reached out to Dr. Bright McConnell and his team at Charleston Sports Medicine for help. Melissa Langston, Physical Therapist with CSM explains Judy’s care, “We used, PRP and then followed with Vasper to restore movement. This elevated Judy to a new level.” (more…)

Vasper Charleston: A Revolutionary Low Impact Therapy with High Impact Results

Have you had that moment where you think, “Yes, I want to be a part of that, sign me up.”? I had it during the training session with Charleston Sports Medicine’s new Vasper Charleston. Every time they mentioned taking 30 people for a trial run on the new equipment I had to stop myself from raising my hand like a 2nd grader who knows the answer.

Vasper is the answer for many. This new technology is the answer for:

* an older person with a knee injury needing to rehabilitate without high impact exercise,

* the elite athlete needing to get more out of a work out in less time,

* the post-surgical every day athlete looking to stay fit,

*  and the pre-surgical patient looking to heal faster. (more…)

The Science of Vasper

The Vasper Training System disrupts conventional human fitness paradigms to create completely new standards for optimizing physical fitness and recovery. Its patented technology integrates compression training with continuous cooling to deliver accelerated muscle strength gains with almost no mechanical loads while simultaneously fully optimizing the body for cardiovascular efficiency and comfort. It’s ergonomic system is designed to be fully accessible to anyone regardless of age, physical ability or exercise affinity.


Adipose Tissue and Mesenchymal Stem Cells: State of the Art and Lipogems® Technology Development


In the past few years, interest in adipose tissue as an ideal source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has increased.  These cells are multipotent and may differentiate in vitro into several cellular lineages, such as adipocytes, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, and myoblasts.


The Charleston Sports Medicine Team strives to become your partner in your total health. Our affiliated practice, FitMed Partners, also offers scientifically proven preventive age management, bio-identical hormone therapy and medically based fitness and nutrition programs. The FitMed Elite Athlete Program provides a menu of advanced sports performance testing, not typically covered under insurance, for affordable prices.