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Quality AHCC®: What to Look For


As we continue to live in such a hectic world, with our schedules maxed out and time flying by before our eyes, it’s as important as ever to prioritize our physical health and general well-being to keep up.

How can we improve our physical health and well-being during such difficult times?

Many people have turned to nutritional supplements for the answer. Nutritional supplements are manufactured products meant to supplement the human diet when taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid. These supplements can provide nutrients that have been extracted from natural food sources, or synthetically produced, to increase the quantity of their consumption for various reasons.

One such example of such a nutrient is AHCC®: an effective, well-absorbed, proprietary cultured shiitake mushroom extract, backed by over 30 human clinical studies.* AHCC® is taken with the intention of improving the body’s immune system by enabling it early, while:*

  • Enhancing the production of cytokines (immune-signaling molecules)*
  • Increasing the activity of certain white blood cells, to include*:
    • NK cells*
    • DC cells*
    • T-cells*
    • Macrophages*

There are many things to consider when looking for and purchasing quality AHCC®, and it is best to fully understand what you are looking for in AHCC® as you consider how it can improve your own general well-being.

How is AHCC® Produced?

AHCC® is made from a unique, standardized extract of cultured Lentinula edodes, or shiitake mushroom, mycelia. It is particularly rich in alpha-glucans.

Shiitake mushrooms are first cultivated by mushroom farmers. This careful process includes selecting quality wood, which is then drilled and filled with shiitake mushroom spawn, along with a mixture of other growth-promoting ingredients.

There are multiple steps in producing the shiitake mushroom extract compound known as AHCC®:

  1. Shiitake mushrooms are carefully selected.
  2. Several hybrids from the Basidiomycota phylum of fungi are selected.
  3. Using only the mycelia of shiitake mushrooms (the hair-like root structures located below the ground), they are cultured in a rice bran extract rich in antiviral and immune system enhancing qualities until they form a colony.
  4. The colony is further cultured for an additional 45 to 60 days.
  5. The colony goes through an additional, patented process in preparation for consumption and distribution, including cultivation, enzyme decomposition, sterilization, concentration, and freeze-drying into powdered form.

This entire process is very carefully computer-monitored and results in the nutritional supplement AHCC®.

This process was researched and developed at the University of Tokyo Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences by Dr. Toshihiko Okamoto, along with a team of researchers from Amino Up Chemical Co Ltd. in 1989. All AHCC® is made by Amino Up Chemical Co. Ltd. at their factory in Sapporo, Japan. 

Therefore, the quality of the AHCC® ingredient in any AHCC® nutritional supplement is standardized and top-tier, as a result of its careful production process.

Why Should I Take AHCC®?

AHCC® is made from the extract of shiitake mushrooms, which has a long and extensively documented history of health-promoting properties.

Some studies suggest that shiitake mushrooms contain certain molecules that help boost heart health by lowering cholesterol levels, including beta-glucans, sterols, and eritadenine.* In one study, using lab rats that were fed a high-fat, high-calorie diet, it was found that rats supplemented with shiitake mushroom powder developed lower cholesterol levels and less plaque on their artery walls, in comparison to rats that were not supplemented with shiitake mushroom powder.

It has also been suggested that shiitake mushrooms have immune system enhancing properties. The immune system is very important in the way that it protects the human body from foreign invaders and disease. If the immune system is overactive, then it may attack the human body itself. If the immune system is underactive, then the body is left susceptible to disease and foreign invaders. One study found that participants who were given two dried shiitake mushrooms daily for a month had improved immune markers compared to those who did not take any shiitake mushrooms. 

As a mushroom extract composed of primarily shiitake mushrooms, AHCC® provides many of the same general health-enhancing properties. It’s always important to keep a strong and resilient immune system, as it is your first line of defense against illness and disease.

The bottom line is that the stronger your immune system--, the healthier you will be! When people are forced to compromise on sleep, exercise, healthy diet, or hobbies that allow us to lower our stress, they put unnecessary strain on their immune system, making it much more difficult to protect your body from disease, bacteria, viruses, infections, and so on.

Paired with a healthy lifestyle, AHCC® can provide your immune system with the support it needs to help you maintain overall health and wellness.*

What Does AHCC® Do, And How Does It Support My Immune System?

AHCC® can help improve your general health and immune system, which is quite complex.

Here’s a quick crash course on a few important things to know about the human immune system:

  • There are two different types of immunity: innate and adaptive.
  • Your innate immunity launches immediate, non-specific attacks against threats and microscopic foreign invaders.
    • Innate immunity includes 4 important parts: Cytokines, Natural Killer (NK) Cells, Macrophages, and Dendritic Cells.

  • Your adaptive immunity is slower-acting and longer to respond but can produce specific responses meant to combat a particular microscopic foreign invader in the body.
    • Adaptive immunity is composed of T cells and B cells.

Various institutions have studied AHCC®, and results have supported the beliefs that AHCC®

  • Increases the production of cytokines*
  • Increases the populations of macrophages by as much as 200%*
  • Increases the activity of NK cells by as much as 300% - 800%*
  • Increases the number of T cells by as much as 200%*
  • Increases the number of dendritic cells*

Where Can I Get Quality AHCC®?

AHCC® nutritional supplements can be purchased online from Quality of Life®.

Quality of Life® is a company providing online purchasable nutritional supplements, with the goal of providing consumers with easy access to a wide variety of condition-specific supplements, formulated only with unique, quality nutraceutical ingredients.

Since 1998, Quality of Life® has been a trusted supplement company committed to keeping its patrons happy by keeping an eye on the latest trends and developments in nutritional supplements, as the natural products industry continues to grow. They offer all of this while striving to provide excellent customer service and friendly support, all while putting you forward as a friend first.

Every single ingredient in every one of their products is backed by human studies and delivered in dosages consistent with clinical research--with no exceptions and no compromises.

Quality of Life® distributes only quality, premier AHCC® products:

These AHCC® products are created from a cultured extract of the mycelia of shiitake mushrooms, or Lentinula edodes, and a combination of other health-promoting fungi. Both Quality of Life® products are composed of the same raw ingredients, with the capability of delivering quality AHCC® by vegicap to the body. As to keep in the mission and vision of the company to provide consumers with easy access to natural, health-promoting supplements, both products are dairy-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, magnesium stearate free, vegetarian, and are packaged and shipped in the United States.

You can learn more about Quality of Life® and their dedication to providing the population with science-backed nutritional supplements HERE.

What Makes Quality of Life® AHCC® Unique?

Unlike most other medicinal mushroom extracts, Quality of Life® AHCC® (both Platinum and Gold Products) has a very low molecular weight of only 5,000 daltons and is also very rich in alpha-glucans--meaning it can easily be absorbed and distributed within your body.* Because of its history of research into possible health-promoting benefits, it has been a premier choice for usage by approximately 1,000 health clinics worldwide.*

These supplements are delivered to the body via vegicap, which include:

  • AHCC®, a proprietary blend of mushroom mycelia extract from hybridized basidiomycetes or shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) with acetylated alpha-glucans
  • Carnauba plant wax
  • Dextrin (tapioca)
  • Cellulose (plant)
  • Alpha-cyclodextrin (vegetable)

Where is AHCC® Popular?

AHCC® is widely used in both Japan and China and is available to the general public in both countries without a prescription. It is often used by many people for general health maintenance and improvement. It is also used as an alternative medicine for immune support, as many animal and clinical studies have shown that AHCC® is associated with improved immune response.*

AHCC® has also seen a positive trend in the western market, particularly in the United States. As Americans continue to search for ways to maintain their general health and well-being, it is of the utmost importance to look into nutritional supplements to provide what we need.

What Do I Need to Know Before Taking AHCC®?

People who are allergic to mushrooms may be unsure of whether or not they can take AHCC®. 

However, allergy mushrooms are most commonly a result of exposure to mushroom spores. Mushroom spores originate in what is called the “fruiting body,” or the top, of the mushroom. However, AHCC® is produced from the mycelia, or the root of the mushroom, which does not contain any of the spores that typically cause mushroom allergies. 

Furthermore, in the manufacturing process of AHCC®, the raw shiitake mushroom material undergoes a complex fermentation process, which breaks down the high molecular weight molecules that may be particularly tough to digest, and produces low molecular weight compounds--which further lowers any possible allergy risk. 

Many people who believe they have mushroom allergies are able to take AHCC® successfully. However, for reassurance, you can check with a healthcare professional that specializes in natural products, or you can take AHCC® very slowly. This is done by taking a quarter of the vegicap on the tip of your tongue and waiting to see if you experience itching or any other sign of allergy--in which you can then work your way up to 2 to 6 capsules per day over the course of several days.

People interested in taking AHCC® may also wonder if it can be taken with other medications. 

Studies have determined that AHCC® is metabolized via an enzyme pathway known as “P450 2D6,” which means AHCC® has the potential to interact with and increase or decrease the absorption of any other drug that uses the same pathway. 

If you are taking other medication and are concerned about possible interactions between AHCC® and your medication, it is recommended that you consult a doctor or medical professional to specifically determine whether the medication you are taking is metabolized through the “P450 2D6” enzyme pathway. If not, then it is highly unlikely that AHCC® will interact with the drug you are taking.

Some people may be concerned about whether or not AHCC® can lose its effectiveness over time, as other existing medications can. As shown in previous AHCC® placebo-controlled scientific trials, patients who used AHCC® regularly over a 10-year period had consistent and significant improvement when compared to the placebo group, which does not show any signs of AHCC® losing its effectiveness.*

Let AHCC® Help You!

AHCC® is an excellent choice for people wanting to give their immune system that extra bit of support it needs, which can go a long way. For many people, it is difficult to get enough health-promoting ingredients from their diets alone.

As always, it is of the utmost importance to always discuss any new additions to your daily intake or diet with a health practitioner, such as your doctor. This can ensure that AHCC® will not have any interference with anything you are already taking.

Though AHCC® and shiitake mushrooms, in general, have made such a wonderful impact in Eastern traditional medicine, Western practitioners are just now finally catching on and making the best use of these benefits. Putting your health first is always important, and it’s wonderful to see that supplements such as these can give our immune system the extra boost it needs!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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