What is AHCC & What are its Benefits, Uses & Available Supplements

Medicinal mushrooms are fungi that have been used for their healing properties since ancient times. They’re often consumed as food or in supplement form and are thought to support the immune system, support healthy cell growth, improve mental health, fight allergies and more.

Read on to learn more about one of the lesser-known medicinal mushroom extracts known as AHCC, including its history and research and when and how to take AHCC supplements.

What is AHCC?

Even if you are familiar with medicinal mushrooms, you may not have heard of AHCC. AHCC stands for Active Hexose Correlated Compound. It is a mushroom extract made from shiitake and reishi mushrooms that supports healthy immune function.

When we talk about healthy immune function, it is worth pointing out that the immune system is involved in a lot more than fighting off viruses. A healthy immune system will help to fight off disease, toxins and can even help to support your body throughout the aging process. Here are some of the additional benefits of taking AHCC:

  • Healthy Immune Function
  • Anti-Inflammatory Support
  • May Support a Healthy Liver
  • Support With Blood Sugar Control
  • Healthy Cell Growth

History of AHCC

AHCC has been used in Japan for decades to boost immune function. The first studies on AHCC mushroom extract were done in the 1970s. Since then, research has shown that AHCC may help boost immune function and reduce fatigue.

AHCC is grown and extracted from the mycelium of shiitake mushrooms, reishi mushrooms, and other medicinal mushrooms. The mycelium, known as the “plant” part of the mushroom, is a mass of threadlike, active cells.

Active Ingredients in AHCC

AHCC contains many bioactive compounds, including polysaccharides (beta-1,3 glucan), adenosine monophosphate (AMP) and nucleosides. However, the main active ingredients in AHCC are beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are complex sugars that have been shown to stimulate the immune system by activating macrophages (large white blood cells) and NK lymphocytes (natural killer cells) to stimulate the body’s natural ability to fight off infection and disease.

Research on AHCC

To date, there has been plenty of research showing the benefits of AHCC. Studies have shown that orally administered AHCC is absorbed and distributed throughout your body. In one study, researchers compared the effects of a placebo and an oral dose of AHCC on over 1,000 volunteers. They found that participants who took the mushroom extract had lower levels of C-reactive protein (also known as CRP, a clinical marker of inflammation) in their blood than those who took a placebo.

Taking AHCC Supplements

AHCC supplements are trademarked and will contain a proprietary blend of mushrooms produced in Japan. Most AHCC supplements are formulated in capsule format, and although less common, some are available in liquid form.

A typical dose of AHCC can range from 500 to 3000 mg daily, although doses of 4500 to 6000 mg have been used safely in the short term. It is always advisable to speak with a qualified health care practitioner prior to beginning any supplement regime.

Are There Any Side Effects From Taking AHCC?

AHCC mushroom extract is generally well-tolerated and safe when taken in the recommended dosages. Some people may experience digestive issues, such as nausea or diarrhea when beginning an AHCC supplement protocol.

When Should I Take AHCC Mushrooms?

AHCC mushroom extract can be taken daily to boost immune function and help fight off infections. It’s best to take it on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning or early afternoon.

Overall, AHCC certainly has advantages that make it stand out among other medicinal mushrooms. As a whole, AHCC may contribute to the enhancement of immune health and overall wellness. Sometimes just a small amount of AHCC yields incredible results with minimal side effects. As the science surrounding these fungi continues to unfold, it is likely that with further analysis, we will see even more benefits emerging.

What AHCC Supplement is Best?

Finding the best natural health brands to purchase can be overwhelming at best. With the broad range that’s now available, it’s more difficult to decipher which supplements are pure, potent and highly bioavailable. When searching for an AHCC supplement, AOR AHCC is customer approved, vegan, gluten free and non GMO and made from shitake mushroom mycelium extract. AOR is a top rated natural supplement brand that formulates nothing but pure, potent and science-backed products.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements