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What Does AHCC Do To Your Body?

April 03, 2021

What Does AHCC Do To Your Body?

What does it do? How does it work? These are two fundamental questions that people are constantly asking as they make their way in the world. But why these questions? Perhaps these questions are asked out of pure curiosity. There is something more behind these questions. When we ask these questions, we want to know whether or not something is useful for us and our needs. We want to know if something will be beneficial to our lives. 

When it comes to your body and health, these questions become even more important. The food you eat, the drinks you drink, and the things you do every day can all have an important impact on your body. These things impact your health, and they demand careful attention. Your immune system is an important part of your body as well. Should you give your immune system the same careful attention? Quality of Life answers that with a resounding, yes

What is AHCC?

So glad you asked! AHCC is known as a functional food, having expansive nutritional benefits beyond the ordinary nutritional value. It is derived from the mycelia, or roots, of healing mushrooms. More specifically, it is a standardized extract of cultured Lentinula edodes, better known as the Shiitake mushroom. Mushrooms are among foods that naturally boost immunity. These immune-boosting properties have been used in traditional medicine for many centuries. 

Being studied widely for over 20 years, AHCC has anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant properties that show useful in aiding normal immune system functions.*

AHCC: How It Is Made

Let’s look briefly at how AHCC is made.

  • The first key ingredient is the wonderful superfood itself, the shiitake mushroom. The roots of the shiitake mushroom are combined with other mushroom hybrids (Basidiomycota) with comparable nutritional capability. 
  • Next, these mushroom roots are cultured within a rice bran extract. In time, these various roots, combined with the rice bran extract, will form a colony. This process will continue for approximately 45 to 60 days.
  •  Lastly, the nutritional colony will undergo various processes; cultivation, decomposition by enzymes, sterilization, concentration, and freeze-drying. AHCC is the final product. 

Some AHCC fun facts for the science lovers among us: AHCC has an abundance of saccharides, more specifically polysaccharides, which include oligosaccharides, starches, and other sugar molecules. This makes AHCC unique among other mushroom-sourced ingredients. Polysaccharides are known to have immunomodulatory effects. 


AHCC and Your Body

We are back to those fundamental questions: What does it do? How does it work? To fully understand the remarkable benefits of AHCC we must first take a brief look at that all-important system within the body that keeps us going from day to day: the immune system


The Immune System and How It Works

Before we can answer the question of what AHCC does to the body, we must first look at the system it aims to support: the immune system. 

The immune system is a very active and very complex system within your body. The immune system is made up of various organs, tissues, and a whole host of cells. Its primary job is to patrol your body for unwanted toxins and pathogens that are trying to take up residence within your body. Your immune system is a self-defense system.  

There are two primary systems or two types of immunity in your body: Innate immunity and Adaptive immunity. Each system has an important function and role to play within your body. However, each system has the same goal in mind; you and your health.  

The innate immune system rushes to the scene first when any unwanted pathogen tries to invade your body. The innate immune system’s primary responsibility is to launch an immediate, non-specific attack against any dangerous pathogen that could be roaming around in your body. It doesn’t come to the fight alone; an army of specialized white blood cells (WBC) join the charge:

  • Natural killer (NK) cells: These WBC are the noble knights. They specialize in launching an attack against unwanted and unhealthy pathogens. They do this by recognizing and destroying abnormal or infected cells. NK cells inject granules into infected cells, which causes them to explode.
  • Cytokines: Cytokines are next. Cytokines are known as signaling immune cells. They are chemical messengers that communicate with other immune cells and  are in charge of coordinating an immune response.
  • Macrophages: These WBC are never late to the party. Macrophages are like bacteria destroyers. They literally engulf and ingest both foreign bacteria and cellular debris. The immune response of macrophages helps to fight against invaders. Like cytokines, they also help to activate other cells to join the immune response. 

The adaptive immune system, though not first on the scene like the innate immune system, it has a role that is just as important. Rather than an immediate, non-specific response, the adaptive immune system launches a specific, targeted response to recognized microbes and pathogens. It brings its friends along as well:

  • Dendritic cells: Another WBC, dendritic cells mediate the cellular immune response. They also help support cytokine production, aiding in both the innate and adaptive immune system responses. Talk about working overtime.
  • B and T cells: These lymphocytes, a type of WBC, work to respond with a specific and targeted attack to microbes that it identifies as threats by eliminating these compromised cells within the body. It also helps to produce surplus cytokines.

Ok, we have seen the wildly complex system known as the immune system and know its importance for overall health. We know that a compromised and weakened immune system puts the body at risk. But how does AHCC support your immune system? What does it do to your body?


AHCC’s Benefits to Your Body

The good news is, AHCC offers support to the body’s normal immune function and its goal to maintain overall wellness.* The immune-enhancing properties help to promote and support proper immune system responses.* Known as a biological response modifier, AHCC gives the body the extra support it needs during its natural immune response by joining the fight against pathogens that threaten your health.*

AHCC does this by supporting your immune response through several key areas of your immune system.* It does this by modifying elements of both the innate and adaptive immune response systems discussed above -- cytokines, NK cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, T cells, and white blood cells. 

Here are a few key benefits of AHCC and its role in extra immune system support:

  • AHCC helps to support and maintain optimal levels of natural killer (NK) cell activity by as much as 300-800%*
  • AHCC helps to increases the production of cytokines during normal immune system function*
  • AHCC promotes optimal T-cell immune activity by as much as 200%*
  • AHCC increases populations of macrophage activity within the immune system*
  • AHCC increases the number and activity of dendritic cells with the body*
  • Bonus: AHCC is shown to have strong soothing properties within the digestive system!*

In Summary

We are fond of asking the all-important questions in life, what does it do, and how does it work? We do this because the answers to these questions have important bearing on our lives. What we really want to know is whether the answers to these questions meet our needs. These questions are never more important than when we ask them for the benefit of our bodies and our health.

Questions surrounding our health are important to us, and they demand careful attention. Your immune system is one of your body’s most important parts, and its role cannot be taken lightly. Your body’s immune system is a sensitive and complex network of organs, tissues, and cells. Its number one goal is to keep your body safe from any threats.

AHCC can help your body accomplish that goal. AHCC is a natural, functional extract derived from mushrooms with immunomodulating properties. AHCC offers extra immune support right at the base of your immune system’s defenses.* AHCC helps to promote proper immune system response and its goal of overall health.* 

AHCC supports both the innate and adaptive immune systems within the body by helping to maintain NK cell activity by enhancing cytokine production, promoting T-cell and macrophage activity, and increasing the number and activity of dendritic cells.* 

So, keep asking those all-important questions, especially when they have to do with your body. But don’t forget about your immune system. It deserves respect and sometimes a little extra support too!


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


Sources:

https://www.ahcc.net/blogs/news/learn-the-facts-on-ahcc-and-how-this-functional-food-supports-your-immune-system-health/

https://www.ahcc.net/pages/what-is-ahcc/

https://www.ahcc.net/blogs/news/ahcc-what-are-the-benefits/

https://www.ahcc.net/blogs/news/foods-to-boost-immunity-ahcc-research-association/

https://www.ahccresearch.org/pages/pre-clinical-in-vitro-studies


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