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.
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