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Medicinal Mushrooms for Optimal Immune Support

  [ 62 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • April 9, 2003

Medicinal mushroom extracts are used in traditional Japanese healing to enhance the body’s natural defenses and support the immune system. AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is a unique extract obtained from a hybridization of several species of mushroom mycelia. Most of the researched and scientifically proven mushroom extracts are produced from the mycelia. The mycelium is the vegetative stage in the life cycle of the mushroom which begins with the spore produced by the fruit body (commonly called the mushroom).

AHCC is developed by combining several species of mushrooms to make one potent hybridized mushroom. This hybridized mushroom is grown in a liquid medium containing rice bran and enzymatically modified to be readily absorbable. AHCC’s ingredients are obtained by a highly specialized cultivation and extraction method. In clinical research studies, AHCC has been shown to increase levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12), a powerful cytokine that is instrumental in maintaining cell health, in addition to helping the body maintain peak Natural Killer cell function.(1,2)

Natural Killer (NK) cells are your body’s first line of defense. If you visualize your immune system as an “army” of over 100 troops of white blood cells, you can consider NK cells to be the “elite troops” that act as your body’s front line defense. NK cells are specifically equipped to locate and destroy disease cells. T and B cells are responsible for producing antibodies and chemical messengers (cytokines) that rally the rest of the immune system to join the battle.


1. Enhancement of NK Cell Activity in Patients by AHCC. Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium Nov. 1992.
2. NK Immunomodulation by AHCC in 17 Patients. 2nd Meeting- Society for Natural Immunity May 1994.

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