AHCC for immune support
I am very interested in alternative therapies that can be used either stand alone or in conjunction with conventional therapies like chemotherapy. I found a paper in regards to AHCC that looked promising, but unfortunately has not reached mainstream. Many immune enhancers are natural compounds that have proved to be nontoxic for humans and with great potential for anticancer activity (Yin, Fujii, & Walshe, 2010). ACHH is active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), an extract prepared from mycelia of the basidiomycete mushroom Lentinula edodes. 74% of AHCC is oligosaccharides containing about 20% of the -1, 4-glucan type. It has received special attention in the past few years by its reported benefits. AHCC is commercially used as a nutritional supplement and contains a mixture of polysaccharides, amino acids, and minerals (Yin et al., 2010). Results of this particular study suggest that AHCC can enhance CD4 and CD8 T cell immune responses in healthy persons via increasing production of cytokines IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha from T cells. It has also been found that the effects of AHCC are more evident in hosts with the impaired immune function. The study measured the frequency of IFN-gamma and TNF-a producing CD4 and CD8 T cells in adults over age 50 before and after taking AHCC. The results were pretty interesting. AHCC was provided as 500-mg capsules. Total daily dose was 3 g (3 capsules twice daily). The production of the cytokines was measured at 30 and 60 days after AHCC intake and 30 days after the last dose. Interestingly, the frequency of CD4 T cell subsets producing the cytokines was higher at 30 and 60 days. Even after 30 days of discontinuing the AHCC, the frequency of CD4 T cells producing the combination of IFN-gamma and TNF-a at visit 4 was still higher compared to baseline levels. This implies that the effect of AHCC on CD4 T cells could last for several weeks even after this compound is discontinued (Yin et al., 2010)
Two published peer-reviewed human clinical studies (on 269 and 40 subjects respectively) evaluating advanced liver cancer showed extended survival, lower recurrence and improved quality of life among patients taking AHCC. Several other studies demonstrated the ability of AHCC to significantly increase NK cell activity in immune compromised patients. “Given the abundance of preliminary positive results across different infections, AHCC supplementation demonstrates valuable and clinically-relevant potential as an immune-enhancing compound” (Pescatore, n.d.). Finally, AHCC boasts a strong safety profile supported by a Phase I study conducted at Harvard, a 20-year history of use in Japan, its adoption by over 700 clinics and use by an estimated 70,000 people worldwide (including 20,000 in the U.S.). Thus, there is a strong case to be made for adding AHCC to a daily supplement regimen to support the body’s immune system, not only during the apparent times of increased infectious threat such as the flu season, but also all year long.
How can this help the population with bladder issues?
Theoretically, AHCC should be able to boost your natural immune system to defend you against pathogens that cause UTI’s. Both human and animal studies have pointed to AHCC’s ability to enhance the activity of natural killer cells (“NK cells”). These cells provide a crucial first defense for the body, launching a rapid attack while the other cells of the immune system are still mobilizing. AHCC has been the subject of several studies, which investigated its potential as a countermeasure to various infectious diseases, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and several other opportunistic infections (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Candida albicans and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.) Looking at “opportunistic” or hospital-acquired infections, the effects of AHCC supplementation on the resistance to Klebsiella pneumoniae (principally associated with bacterial pneumonia and urinary tract infections) was studied in both infected and stress induced mice. Again, the AHCC-supplemented mice demonstrated increased survival, increased mean time until death, decreased susceptibility to infection and increased bacterial clearance from the blood.
Here is a link for the product on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2uaEVYN
Pescatore, F. (n.d.) AHCC a Powerful Aid in Fighting Viruses and Infections
Yin, Z., Fujii, H., & Walshe, T. (2010). Effects of active hexose correlated compound on frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells producing interferon-gamma and/or tumor necrosis factor-alpha in healthy adults. Hum Immunol, 71(12), 1187-1190. doi:10.1016/j.humimm.2010.08.006