Since 2020, the health of the immune system has become more important than ever. Faced with the constant threat of disease in the midst of a global pandemic, most people are looking for information on how best to prepare their immune system to face the virus, which is probably why you may have found AHCC. Read on to find out what AHCC is and learn about the many benefits of this super combination.
What is АНСС®?
AHCC stands for active hexose correlated compound. In addition to its unique health benefits, AHCC offers additional support for good health. Most importantly, AHCC supports the immune system, which protects us from various diseases big and small. AHCC can also help you better tolerate medication for chronic diseases.
AHCC is made from a type of medicinal mushrooms and is a standardized extract of cultivated Lentinula edodes. These mushrooms, better known as Shiitake, have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various diseases.
AHCC has anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects and strengthens the immune system. The product is also rich in antioxidants and alpha-glucans.
Antioxidants are crucial in preventing cell damage caused by dangerous free radicals.
АНСС®offers many qualities for boosting immunity, including:
- Supports optimal natural killer (NK) activity
- Increases the production of cytokines
- Promotes white blood cell (WBC) production
- Calms the digestive system, which is crucial to the immune system and other parts of the body
- Increases the number and activity of dendritic cells
- Promotes the activity of T-cells and macrophages
In what follows, we will look more closely at the importance of each of these components of the immune system.
What is immunity and why do we get sick?
We need our immune system to fight infections and avoid serious illnesses. A strong and healthy immune system is better equipped to recognize and respond to external threats. A healthy immune system will also provide us with energy. If we talk about the most common causes of disease, it’s not just infections and toxins.
Most of the time we get sick because of a weakened immune system, including deficiencies in vitamins, micronutrients and other nutrients in our food.
The immune system has two parts:
- The innate immune system (innate humoral immunity)
- Adaptive immune system (adaptive humoral immunity)
We need both of these systems to be as strong as possible and to work in perfect harmony with each other so that the overall immune system is as good as it can be with a rapid response (immune response) to pathogens. Each part of the immune system has a role to play in keeping the body healthy:
Congenital immunity (innate humoral immunity) consists of:
- NK cells (NK cells)
- Dendritic cells
This is the initial ‘responder’ to any threat and the response is likely to be non-specific. Rather, these components of the immune system work to identify the threat and communicate to the general immune system and other body systems what is happening.
Once the innate immune system has assessed the situation, the adaptive immune system will also be able to respond.
Adaptive immunity (adaptive humoral immunity) or the adaptive immune system consists of:
- lymphocytes, such as B cells and T cells
These white blood cells are able to ‘recognize’ previous ‘invaders’ and initiate an attack adapted to the threat in question.
When our adaptive immune system is able to recognize an invader, it helps the entire immune system fight it, using ‘lessons from their past experience’.
This is why vaccines against common diseases, such as influenza, can safely help the body prepare for a potential future attack. AHCC® modulates (i.e. balances) both our innate and adaptive immune systems, allowing each to work better and become stronger.
When both systems work together as one, our immune system is in a healthy state and will effectively protect us from any harm that we may encounter during life.
AHCC® was originally developed in 1987 by the Japanese biotechnology company Amino Up Chemical Co., Ltd. with special input from Dr. Toshihiko Okamoto. AHCC® is derived from the mycelium or roots of medicinal mushrooms. In fact, if you are allergic to mushrooms, the allergic reaction is usually triggered by the above-ground part of the mushroom, but not the mycelium.
We certainly recommend that you consult your doctor, but AHCC can be used safely even if you are allergic to mushrooms.
How do they do AHCC®?
The process of producing AHCC consists of a few steps:
- First, the roots of shiitake mushrooms are combined with those of several Basidiomycota hybrids
- These roots are then grown in a specially prepared substrate that has immunity-enhancing qualities.
- Eventually, the different roots form a fungus, which is then continued to be cultivated for another 45-60 days.
Finally, the colony will undergo various processes such as culturing, fermentation, sterilization, concentration, and freeze-drying. The final product will be the functional food supplement AHCC®. Since its development, AHCC has been the subject of many clinical and other studies.
What are the benefits of АНСС®?
As mentioned earlier, AHCC has many qualities for both the innate and adaptive humoral immune systems. Let’s take a closer look at what it means for our bodies:
Natural killer NK cells (NK cells): these white blood cells are in the bloodstream and ‘look for invaders’, destroying infected and/or abnormal cells that may cause harm to the body. The number of white blood cells is the key to health
AHCC® supports the number and activity of NK cells (NK-cells) at an optimal level!
Macrophages are special white blood cells that essentially work as ‘scavengers’ in the immune system, clearing cellular debris and absorbing bacteria. AHCC® gives macrophages the energy they need to work.
AHCC® gives macrophages the energy they need to function.
B and T cells – these two major components of the adaptive immune system are responsible for recognizing previous ‘invaders’ and initiating specific attacks to destroy them.
The AHCC® provides just that important function!
Dendritic cells, like many others in the immune system, are white blood cells. They can be seen as a bridge between the adaptive and innate immune systems, given that they ‘supply’ ‘invaders’ to B- and T-cells to then destroy them. Dendritic cells are also responsible for enhancing cytokine production.
AHCC® increases both the number and activity of dendritic cells!
This is just a small overview of all that the immune system consists of and what AHCC® does for the immune system.
Who should take АНСС®?
AHCC® has clear benefits for all without exception, but especially for immunocompromised patients, as it promotes optimal functioning of almost all aspects of the immune system.
If you are looking for extra support in dealing with a chronic illness, are living under a lot of stress, or just want to boost your immunity, AHCC can help you. The average healthy adult might wonder why an immunostimulatory supplement such as AHCC® might be good for them? The answer is found in numerous clinical studies and trials of AHCC® with people who have shown that AHCC®, benefits those who are feeling well as well, showing a lower incidence of illness and more pronounced immune function.
AHCC® is a powerful product derived from extracts of medicinal mushrooms that provides tremendous support for both the innate and adaptive immune systems. It is a proven option for all people wishing to improve their immune health, whether they are feeling well or suffer from chronic diseases.
Sources and references
- https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized immunology/cells/macrophages#:~:text=Macrophages%20are%20specialised%20cells%20involved,cytokines)%20that%20activate%20other%20cells