AHCC vs. Other Mushroom Supplements

There are many different types of mushroom supplements available today—including a number of blends and complexes that offer benefits from several different types of mushrooms. But why are medicinal mushroom supplements so popular—and how does AHCC compare to other mushroom supplements?

Why Are Medicinal Mushrooms So Popular?

Medicinal mushrooms have long been recognized for their health benefits in Eastern medicine; traditional medicine has used mushrooms for thousands of years.

Yet it is only in the last few decades that the benefits of mushrooms have become known in the Western world, where scientists have finally begun to validate their health-supporting properties.

During that time research has found over 300 species of mushrooms thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including 150 that have been classified as “medicinal mushrooms.”

For example, AHCC has been proven successful at treating a wide range of health conditions, from minor ailments such as colds and flu, to serious diseases such as breast cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and just recently, HPV, with a recent animal study.

Choosing One of The Many Mushroom Supplements

Since mushroom supplements have become popular, the variety of options available to consumers have multiplied, making it difficult to choose among the many supplements on shelves today.  

Factors to consider when choosing a mushroom supplement:

Mushroom Species and Benefits 
AHCC stands for Active Hexose Correlated Compound and is an extract obtained from the hybridization of several subspecies of the shiitake mushroom.  It is available from a variety of manufacturers in the United States, where it is becoming increasingly popular due its many health benefits.

AHCC is an immune-regulating compound, which means it increases the body’s natural immune response. That means it helps keep you from getting sick and helps fight off the things that cause you to be sick.

Absorption Rate
The problem with most mushroom supplements is that mushrooms in their natural form are poorly absorbed—their biologically active component (polysaccharides) are too large to slip through the small openings in the stomach and intestine meant to absorb nutrients. Therefore the benefits those supplements can provide are limited, since the body can only absorb a small portion of what is eaten.

The scientists that developed AHCC have solved this problem. AHCC undergoes a unique fermentation process that substantially reduces the molecular weight (and therefore the size) of the polysaccharides in AHCC. Normally, polysaccharides have a weight of 200,000 Daltons; however the polysaccharides in AHCC are reduced to 5,000 Daltons.

With a reduction in size of this key component, AHCC has a powerful immune-stimulating action that ordinary mushrooms and other mushroom supplements do not contain.

Scientific Research 
AHCC is currently the world's most researched specialty immune supplement and is supported by over 20 human clinical studies. It has had over 30 papers published in PubMed-indexed journals and there have been more than 100 pre-clinical and in vitro studies done on its effects.

Further, it is currently Japan’s leading alternative cancer therapy, used in hundreds of cancer clinics throughout Aisa, and is used in over 700 clinics as a standard preventative given to all incoming patients to reduce the risk of hospital infections.

Safety and Side Effects
In addition to being tested on patients with a wide range of varying diseases, AHCC has been tested on healthy volunteers; it showed positive effects even in those who were not sick, boosting their natural immunity as measured by dendritic cell count (which initiate and shape the body’s natural immune response).

Numerous safety studies have been conducted on AHCC and with an estimated 100,000 people worldwide taking AHCC, no adverse side effects have come to light, especially in those people taking other medications.  AHCC is one of the very few nutritional supplements that has been cleared for drug-to-drug interaction so that doctors, patients, and healthy individuals can be confident in its safety.

AHCC has never demonstrated any toxicity, even when used in excess of the amounts estimated to be fatal in animals.

Taking Mushroom Supplements As Insurance

The reason AHCC has proven effective against so many types of diseases is because of its ability to boost the body’s natural immune system. That means it is a great option for those who are in generally good health and want to stay that way.

A dose of one to three grams of AHCC per day can help support and maintain your body’s natural immune system, working as an “insurance policy” against bacteria, viruses and environmental toxins.

What mushroom supplements have you tried? What results have you seen? We want to know! Share your experience in the comments.