What is AHCC?



AHCC® is a standardized extract of cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia, and is a functional ingredient that is rich in alpha-glucans. It is a registered trademark of Amino Up Chemical Co., Ltd., and is manufactured in Japan via their unique manufacturing process.


AHCC® was first developed in 1987, and has been in use in hospitals, universities, and other institutions around the globe ever since. AHCC® modulates the body’s innate immunity and supports healthy immune function.


In one gram of AHCC®, there will be an abundance of saccharides. While saccharides often make one think of sugars such as glucose or sucrose, the type found within AHCC® are polysaccharides, such as oligosaccharides, starches, and other combinations of sugar molecules. There are many different types within the polysaccharide group, and their functions within the body vary from type to type. While most mushroom-sourced functional ingredients contain the polysaccharide beta-glucans, AHCC® is unique in that it also includes characteristic alpha-glucans.


Some varieties of polysaccharide are known to have immunomodulatory effects, and AHCC® has been shown to modulate the immune system by maintaining optimal NK cell activity, enhancing cytokine production, promoting optimal T-cell and macrophage activity, and increasing the number and activity of dendritic cells.


For healthy people AHCC® is considered to be useful for health maintenance, and helps to prevent infections by aiding in the normal functioning of the immune system. In integrative oncology, research indicates that it may lead to longer post-operative survival, help support patients through chemotherapy, reduce the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and lead to an improvement in quality of life.


AHCC® has been a focus of research at prestigious institutions worldwide, and has been the subject of over 100 published papers, including 30 human clinical studies. A wealth of information on both AHCC® and its research can be found on this website.