AHCC has been used successfully to treat a wide range of health conditions, from minor ailments such as colds and flu, to serious diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The immune system’s job is to protect you from harm. It is always scanning your body to determine if bacteria, viruses, toxins, parasites and other pathogens have entered your system or if any of your cells have mutated and become abnormal. You have two basic types of immunity: innate and adaptive. Your innate immunity launches an immediate, non-specific attack against a threat. Your adaptive immunity takes longer to kick in, but produces a specific response to a particular microbe.
Key Players of Innate Immunity:
• Cytokines: Chemical messengers that help immune cells communicate and coordinate an immune response
• Natural killer (NK) cells: White blood cells (WBC) that recognize and destroy infected or abnormal cells by injecting granules into them, causing them to explode
• Macrophages: WBC that engulf and ingest bacteria and cellular debris
• Dendritic cells: WBC that present foreign substances to B and T cells, initiating an adaptive response
• B and T cells: Both B cells (which mature in bone marrow) and T cells (which mature in the thymus) are lymphocytes, WBC that are able to recognize previous invaders and destroy them with a specific response
In vivo and human clinical trials have shown that this product modifies both the innate and adaptive immune response, by: Increasing the production of cytokines and the activity of NK cells by as much as 300-800% as well as populations of macrophages, in some cases doubling them; Increasing the number of dendritic cells and the number of T cells by as much as 200%.
Research Summary – Infections
AHCC is the world’s most researched specialty immune supplement, supported by over 80 research studies. It is utilized by over 700 hospitals and healthcare facilities worldwide as a standard preventative regimen for incoming patients to reduce the risk of hospital infections. In vivo research has shown that AHCC modulates the immune response against a variety of infectious agents, including influenza virus (the common flu), avian influenza virus (“bird flu”), Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria (which causes pneumonia), Candida albicans fungus (which causes yeast infections), Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria (which can infect any part of the body), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (or MSRA, which causes an antibiotic-resistant staph infection). Most recently, AHCC was found to boost protective immune response specific to the West Nile Virus in mice.
AHCC has been used with great success in cancer patients. Data from the treatment of over 100,000 individuals with various types of cancer have shown AHCC treatment to be of benefit in 60% of cases. (Kenner p. 15) AHCC is particularly effective for liver, lung, stomach, colon, breast, thyroid, ovarian, testicular, tongue, kidney and pancreatic cancers. (Kenner p. 15) One landmark AHCC trial enrolled 269 patients with liver cancer. Following surgery, about half of the patients took AHCC and about half did not. The results were dramatic: At the end of the ten-year study, only 34.5% of the AHCC patients experienced a recurrence in their cancer, compared with 66.1% of the control group. Similarly, while 46.8% of the patients in the control group had died at the end of ten years, less than half that amount – 20.4% – of those in the AHCC group had. Another study found that AHCC not only prolonged survival of advanced liver cancer patients, it also improved various parameters of quality of life, including mental stability, general physical health status and the ability to have normal activities.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is fraught with side effects, which range from psychologically distressing to life-threatening. In addition to being able to fight cancer directly, AHCC also alleviates many of the side effects of chemotherapy, including:
• Hair Loss: Doctors noticed that chemotherapy patients taking AHCC did not lose their hair. Subsequently, an in vivo study found that mice treated with AHCC were protected from chemically induced hair loss.
• Nausea: Clinical studies in Korea and Japan have indicated that AHCC remarkably improves symptoms of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. (Kenner, p. 18)
• Bone Marrow Suppression: Chemotherapy can inhibit bone marrow function, which is life-threatening because the body’s key immune soldiers – the white blood cells – originate in bone marrow. AHCC has been shown to raise the white blood cell count of cancer patients by about 30%. (Kenner, p. 17)
• Liver Damage: One of the major drawbacks of chemotherapy is that it kills healthy cells in addition to cancer cells. An in vivo study found that while rats given chemotherapy experienced large increases in liver enzymes (indicative of liver damage), those given chemotherapy plus AHCC had normal levels. (Kenner, p. 17)
Dr. Fred Pescatore, of the Center for Integrative and Complementary Medicine in New York, has reported that he has achieved marked reductions in the liver enzymes of hepatitis patients through the use of AHCC. This is an important discovery, as high levels of liver enzymes are indicative of liver damage. Dr. Pescatore has also observed massive drops in the viral loads of hepatitis C patients. One case study, a 47 year-old male, had a viral load of 2,498,200 before treatment, which plunged to 499,600 after six months on AHCC – an 80% reduction. Animal studies confirm AHCC’s liver-protective effect. Rats treated with AHCC and then administered the liver-toxic chemical carbon tetrachloride were spared from its liver-damaging effect. Similarly, rats treated with AHCC and then administered the lethal substance galactosamine had an improved survival rate compared to control rats. (Kenner, p. 19)
AHCC appears to have several benefits for diabetics. A small human clinical trial conducted in Japan found that all 13 diabetic patients enrolled in the study experienced a significant drop in blood glucose and glycohemoglobin levels after taking AHCC for six months. (Kenner, p. 21) AHCC’s blood-sugar lowering effect was also observed in animal research. Diabetes was induced in rats through injection with the chemical streptozotocin (STZ). Among untreated (control) animals, blood glucose levels increased, insulin levels decreased, and insulin-secreting cells were damaged. Among AHCC-treated rats, however, blood glucose levels decreased, insulin levels increased, and there was little damage to insulin-secreting cells.
AHCC was first developed as a treatment for hypertension, so it’s not surprising that several doctors have reported on its positive impact on cardiovascular health. Dr. Fred Pescatore, of the Center for Integrative and Complementary Medicine in New York, reported that AHCC can prevent stress-induced high blood pressure and damage to the heart. Dr. M. Iwamoto of the En-Zan-Kai Medical Corporation reported that AHCC has a beneficial influence on ventricular arrhythmias, a type of heart disorder in which the heart rhythm is disrupted. (Kenner, p. 21)
It is widely recognized that stress plays a major role in the etiology of many diseases. When people and animals are under stress, several things happen: the production of stress hormones such as adrenalin and corticosteroids increases, uric acid production increases, and blood sugar rise. A study in rats that had been stressed through immobilization found that AHCC mediated the stress response, keeping levels of stress hormones, uric acid, and blood sugar normal. Other in vivo studies have shown that as a potent antioxidant, it may also protect against disorders caused by oxidative stress (cellular stress caused by free radicals).
While many people associate inflammation with arthritis, few realize it is one of the underlying contributors to a number of different diseases, from asthma to heart disease to Alzheimer’s. In acute situations, such as sickness or injury, inflammation is helpful because it helps the body eliminate pathogens. When inflammation becomes chronic, however, it can destroy healthy tissue. Research show that AHCC has a profound anti-inflammatory effect. One study found that AHCC administration attenuated inflammation in rats with colitis (inflammation of the colon) on a level equal to that of the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine. Another study observed that AHCC protected rats from the damaging effects of peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity). (Kenner, p. 23)
Combination with other complementary Immunostimulators
Provita Nutrition AHCC Pro contains in addition two complementary ingredients known for their immunostimulatory actions: Beta 1.3 / 1, 6 glucan and Arabinogalactan from Larix dahurica. Arabinogalactan, a polysaccharide, stimulates the immune system, increases the activity of macrophages, increases the antibody response to viral infections, and stimulates cytotoxicity of NK killer cells with cytotoxic effects and, extremely important, inhibits metastasis of tumor cells by the liver. Beta 1.3 / 1,6 glucan acts in many ways like AHCC – stimulates inflammatory cytokines such as TNF alpha, IL-6 and IL-12 with anti-tumor effects. Beta-glucan reduces carcinoma angiogenesis by reducing vascularity (angiogenesis is one of the mechanisms of tumor growth and Metastasis).
Complementary products which may be associated with AHCC Plus: Super Immune • Organic Germanium GE-132 • Stemulin • Revital TA • Astragalus 9000 • Reishi 5000 • Maitake • Shiitake • Agaricus • Vitamin C crystals • Shark Cartilage
Provita Nutrition AHCC Pro and chemotherapy:
There are no contraindications in using AHCC during chemotherapy. Moreover, it revealed that it will amplify and increase the therapeutic effects of anti-cancer agent Cisplatin, and probably others. The only specification was made in a study conducted Anderson Cancer Center (“University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center”), the University of Texas, which was published in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology (Ref. 1). Researchers found that AHCC could be subject to interactions when used together with chemotherapeutic agents metabolized by the CYP450 2D6 process. This process includes drugs such as doxorubicin and ondansetron. In other words, the use of AHCC with these drugs reduces their effectiveness. The conclusions of the study: “General data suggest that AHCC is safe for use in association with most chemotherapeutic agents which are not metabolized by the CYP450 2D6 process”.
NOTE: Avoid supplementation of AHCC during doxorubicin and ondansetron administration
Each capsule contains:
- AHCC ………………….500mg
- (Proprietary Extract from Amino Up Chemical Company Ltd, Sapporo, Japan)
- Beta 1.3 / 1,6 glucan …………………….150mg
- Arabinogalactan ……………………50mg
- Profound anti-inflammatory effect
- Reduces side-effects of chemotherapy
- Excellent Immunostimulator
- Reduces metastic spread
- Leading alternative cancer therapy
- Maintenance, rebuilding the immune system: 1-2 capsules per day (1-0) or (1-1) on an empty stomach between meals
- Recurrent cancer prevention: 1-2 capsules per day (1-0) or (1-1) on an empty stomach between meals
- Adjuvant in cancer treatment along with other components of the protocol for cancer or reduce side effects of conventional anti-cancer therapies (chemotherapy or radiation therapy): 2-4 capsules per day (1-1) or (2-2) on an empty stomach between meals
- Hepatitis C or B: 2-4 capsules per day (1-1) or (2-2)
- In severe cases may be given for 1-2 months to a maximum of 6 capsules / day (3-3) on an empty stomach between meal.