When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, there isn’t one quite like AHCC®.
AHCC® stands for Active Hexose Correlated Compound, a unique mushroom extract cultured from the shiitake mushroom species.
Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries in Eastern Medicine to prevent and treat illness. These ancient practices are now being supported by clinical research studies, leading to growth in innovative products that optimize the compounds’ therapeutic benefits.
The Amino Up Chemical Co. has spurred innovation in the mushroom world by creating an extract with potent immune-modulating activities.
But first, how are mushrooms medicinal?
Before we dive into AHCC® – let’s start with the basics. How can mushrooms be medicinal?
We are all familiar with the common white mushrooms, portobello, and oyster mushrooms, but most of us reserve them for our forks, not our medicine cabinets.
Out of 14,000 species of fleshy fungi, numerous types have been found to have nutritional and therapeutic effects.
- Edible mushrooms contain beneficial nutritional compounds such as B vitamins, zinc, potassium, copper, and magnesium. Mushrooms are also a great source of fiber and can protect against cellular damage due to their concentration of antioxidants.
- Medicinal mushrooms contain compounds that support bodily functions that protect against aging and disease. The medicinal mushrooms are not always edible and require advanced techniques to extract the desired medicinal component so that they can be uptaken by the body.
Amino Up Chemical Co.
The AHCC® compound is manufactured by a company called Amino Up Chemical Co. in Sapporo, Japan. Amino Up has been manufacturing innovative functional ingredients powered by plants since the 1970s. In 1989 the company debuted the cultured Lentinula Edodes Extract, also known as AHCC®.
Today, over 30 clinical trials have investigated the use of Amino Up’s AHCC® in response to viral infections and cancers through its immune-modulating activity. Not only has the compound been found to be supportive in viral infections and influenza, but also a complementary therapy in breast, liver, pancreatic, and colon cancer. The findings provide evidence that AHCC® can improve quality of life and prolong survival.
How was AHCC® created?
AHCC® wouldn’t be the potent immune support that it is without the company’s unique manufacturing process.
AHCC® was derived through an extensive screening and manufacturing process. The company screened a vast range of basidiomycetes mushrooms to extract the specialty strain of mycelia used to produce AHCC®.
How is AHCC extracted?
AHCC® is derived from a mixture of components derived from the cultured mycelia. Mycelia are root-like hairs of the mushroom that grow in wood or soil. AHCC® is derived from mycelia of the Lentinula edodes mushroom, also known as shiitake mushroom. These root-like hairs are broken down into tiny molecules. The final product is taken in capsule or powdered form.
Not all supplements are created equal. The source, quality, and effectiveness of a supplement are all important when we are talking about our health. Amino Up uses a standardized extract of the cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia to ensure the highest quality and product consistency.
The process regularly undergoes quality and safety control. AHCC® is extracted with the environment in mind by regularly conducting studies into the biodiversity around its property. Amino Up aims to live in harmony with the environment and wildlife.
Why take AHCC®?
What makes the extract unique is its concentration of glucans. Normally, medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides called beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are known to modulate the immune system and can trigger immune molecules to amplify a response.
The cultured extraction process of AHCC® derives another glucan called acylated alpha- 1,4 glucans. These glucans have a very small molecular weight, about 95% smaller than beta-glucan. The lower molecular weight is easier for the digestive system to absorb, helping to directly impact the immune system.
Together this combination acts as immune-modulating agents, helping strengthen the defense against infections and chronic disease.
Look out for products that are not the real AHCC®
Clinical research evaluating the use of AHCC® has used this proprietary extract. These studies have researched AHCC® in cancer therapy, antivirals, and immune support.
AHCC® sold without the trademark (TM) or registered trademark (R) symbol next to the “AHCC” is not the clinically researched form of AHCC.
Some supplement companies will use the full name – Active Hexose Correlated Compound. This implies that the compound has not been verified by the current clinical research and does not contain the acetylated alpha-glucans found to have an immune-modulating effect.
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There is always shroom to grow
We are excited by the ever-evolving ways we are learning to use plants and fungi as medicine. As the research unfolds, so too will our application and development of products like AHCC® to help promote longevity and health.
As always, we recommend consulting with a natural health practitioner before supplementing AHCC®. The compound is safe and effective in most individuals, but it is always good to check if it is the right choice for you.