Refined components of shiitake mushrooms have been used in various
kinds of cosmetics for a few years now, but researchers at the University of Tokyo Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences have found that active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) appears to enhance the effect of the human body’s natural killer (NK) cells almost immediately upon ingestion. The result of a complex fermentation, sterilization, concentration and freeze-drying process that breaks the nutrients down into an extremely low molecular weight, AHCC is easily absorbed through the walls of the small intestine.
The compound is made from the mycelium (the mass of threadlike tubes in the vegetative part of the mushroom) and is used every day in Japanese hospitals as an accompaniment to mainstream treatment for cancer. It is still not as well known in western countries, but is currently the subject of a great deal of research at universities in the United States, China, Korea and Thailand. So far, it seems that AHCC is an effective weapon in the fight against cancer, hepatitis, glaucoma, diabetes, cardiac conditions and autoimmune diseases. The compound seems to help the body combat viruses, bacteria and parasitic infections.
Research is ongoing, but some of the reported data are:
➢ AHCC helps strengthen the immune system during cancer chemotherapy.
➢ AHCC seems to reduce tumor mass, stop tumor growth, increase survival time and generally improve quality of life.
➢ Myelosuppression (reduced bone marrow function) is a side effect of chemotherapy that leads to anemia. AHCC seems to protect bone marrow during treatment.
➢ Anecdotal reports from patients taking AHCC during chemotherapy say that they maintained hair volumn, had less nausea and vomiting, and improved appetite.
➢ In cases of autoimmune diseases, AHCC seemed to slow the progression of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease by strengthening cellular immunity; however research in this area is not complete and is continuing.
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