How AHCC Affects Different Types of White Blood Cells

AHCC is an immune ingredient made from a special blend of medicinal mushrooms—but how does it work?

The short answer: It boosts your body’s natural defense mechanism; AHCC helps to regulate it and make sure it’s functioning well.

The long answer: That’s what we wanted to share with you today.

Your Immune System 101: Different Types of White Blood Cells

The average person comes into contact with as many as 60,000 different types of germs a day, said Philip Tierno, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU and author of "The Secret Life of Germs," in an interview with ABC.

Dealing with those germs falls to the body’s natural defense mechanism: the immune system.

Every day your immune system fends off attacks from all sorts of invaders, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Toxins
  • Parasites
  • Even native cells (cells made by the body) that have mutated and become abnormal, such as those that cause cancer

It falls to several different types of white blood cells to keep you from falling victim to these foreign bodies… and it’s here that AHCC can help boost your body’s immunity.

White blood cells are different from all the other cells in your body—they actually function more like single-celled organisms, moving freely around the body and destroying anything that doesn’t belong.

AHCC has been proven to help boost immunity by increasing the number of several different types of white blood cells without the many side effects of other options.

Some of the types of white blood cells involved in the process are:

Natural killer (NK) cells:
The Navy SEALs of the immune system, Natural killer cells recognize and destroy “bad cells” — those cells that are infected or that are abnormal — by injecting granules into them, causing them to explode.

Macrophages: 
Unlike NK Cells, Macrophages don’t cause bad cells to explode — instead they eat them. Their name even means “big eater” in Greek. Macrophages engulf and ingest bacteria and cellular debris, thereby destroying it.

Dendritic cells: 
Dendritic cells serve as the link between the “adaptive” immune system (so-named because it identifies and remembers previous invaders so that it can better defend the body in the future) and the “Innate” immune system (which is made up of the four types of cells listed above).

Dendritic cells are found in tissues that come into contact with the world around us. This includes our skin, the inner lining of the nose, lungs, stomach and intestines.  Once activated they travel to the lymph nodes, where they present foreign substances to B and T cells (mentioned below) and shape the body’s adaptive immune response.

B and T cells:
B cells mature in the bone marrow, while T cells mature in the thymus. However, B and T cells are both “lymphocytes,” white blood cells that recognize previous invaders. Once the invader has been identified, it triggers a specific response that has previously been shown to destroy that particular invader.

These two types of white blood cells are part of the “adaptive” immune response.

How AHCC Affects Different Types of White Blood Cells

One of the world’s most researched specialty immune supplements, AHCC has been studied extensively at some of the world's most prestigious research universities including Yale Medical School, Columbia Presbyterian, MD Anderson and the Harvard-affiliated Bringham and Women's Hospital and is backed by over 20 human clinical studies and more than 100 pre-clinical and in vitro studies.  It’s currently Japan’s leading alternative cancer therapy and is used in hundreds of cancer clinics throughout the world.

All of this is because it has demonstrated again and again it’s positive impact on the immune system and, more specifically, on the different types of white blood cells mentioned above.  Furthermore, AHCC has been scientifically shown to balance the immune system without overstimulating it.

In fact, AHCC has been shown to:

  • Increase the activity of natural killer cells by as much as 800%
  • Increase the population of macrophages, in some cases doubling them.
  • Increase the number of dendritic cells
  • Increase the number of T cells by as much as 200%

In addition to its impact on these different types of white blood cells, one of the most important ways AHCC protects the body from illness is by increasing the production of cytokines.

Cytokines are chemical messengers; they are a special type of protein molecule secreted by other cells, helping immune cells communicate and coordinate an immune response—meaning they are essential in eliminating potential threats.  In fact, AHCC increases their production, but only when the body needs it, not when it doesn't.  That's relevant, because an excess of cytokines can actually cause or worsen inflammation.

By boosting the immune system and bolstering the body’s natural defenses, AHCC is able to help combat a wide variety of diseases and illnesses. These include breast cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, prostate cancer, the flu virus, problems caused by stress, liver ailments, and more.

Are you concerned about your body’s ability to fight back as we head into yet another flu season? What are you doing to help it fight back? Let us know in the comments!