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Where Does AHCC Release? Intestine or Stomach?

January 05, 2021

Where Does AHCC Release? Intestine or Stomach?

AHCC is an immunomodulatory supplement that is derived from healing mushrooms, it’s growing in popularity in the United States based on its ability to support your immune health.* Most AHCC supplements are presented as capsules, as opposed to tablets. This difference in format affects how the supplement is absorbed and where it is released. 

There are many benefits to taking AHCC supplements, which are most effective in the capsule form you can take them in. This article will tell you everything you need to know about how AHCC works, as well as all of the advantages to including it in your diet! 


 How Does the Body Use Supplements? 

 

For a supplement to work, it has to be broken down properly and avoid any damage before it can be properly absorbed. No two supplements are digested in the same way, and individual factors, such as age, weight, and activity level, also play a role in this process. 

With oral supplements, such as AHCC, the first step is to actually ingest the capsule. The supplement will then travel through your gastrointestinal tract, where digestive enzymes will help break it down. Depending on the type of supplement, it may release in the stomach or the intestine. 

From there, your liver may partially metabolize the supplement, which will later be absorbed into the bloodstream, or otherwise it will move straight to the bloodstream. Once a supplement safely reaches the bloodstream, it can focus on performing the tasks it was consumed to do. AHCC, for example, will get to work on boosting the immune response. 

This is a general explanation of how your body digests, absorbs, and metabolizes supplements,  but each specific supplement fits into this process differently. 

In this article we are especially interested in how AHCC capsules are digested by the body. Let’s learn more about the particular benefits of capsules, and how they improve the way your body can use AHCC.


Tablets vs. Capsules: What’s the Difference? 

 

If you are taking an oral medication or supplement, chances are it comes in either tablet or capsule form. The form a drug is presented in is not random -- tablets and capsules serve the same general function (which is to help securely administer a drug) but also have many differences, including in the way they are digested. The scientists and manufacturers of a drug will decide which format is best based on many different factors. 

Tablets are generally more common, since they are less expensive to manufacture and can be stored safely for relatively longer periods of time. Tablets are a compressed form of powdered ingredients that are hard to the touch and have no artificial exterior. The best way to distinguish tablets from capsules is that tablets can be split in half without losing their integrity, while capsules cannot. 

The benefits of tablets include that they are generally more affordable and last longer periods of time than capsules. They can also hold a higher concentration of the given ingredient than capsules can.

On the flip side, tablets are more likely to have a poor taste to them, and may also trigger irritation or discomfort in the digestive system after you consume them. This irritation occurs because tablets release in the stomach. In addition, this release may also make supplements in the form of tablets less effective, since they may dissolve and later be absorbed more poorly into the bloodstream. 

Finally, your body absorbs tablets slower than it does capsules, which consequently extends the amount of time it takes for tablets to have an effect on the body. Clearly, tablets have their advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not they are preferable to capsules really depends on the supplement or drug in question. 


What Are Capsules?

AHCC supplements come in capsule form. To be more specific, Quality of Life’s AHCC Kinoko Gold and Kinoko Platinum come in vegicaps, whereas Quality of Life’s AHCC Rx comes in softgel capsules. Capsules are built from a so-called “outer shell” which holds the supplement ingredients inside. Your body can effectively break down this outer shell without any issue. 

Unlike tablets, capsules generally have a neutral and/or nonexistent taste, which makes them more enjoyable to consume. Capsules are also less likely to cause digestive irritation than tablets.

While tablets release in the stomach, capsules do not dissolve completely until they are out of the stomach and in the intestine. This means your body can absorb them more evenly and efficiently. Given that a supplement cannot do anything for the body if it cannot be properly absorbed, this is especially significant.

Finally, capsules can rapidly become effective in the body, and are quicker to enact change on the body than tablets. Depending on the supplement and its intended use, you can expect to quickly see results after taking a capsule compared to a tablet. 

So, to summarize, AHCC supplements come in capsule form, and therefore release in the intestine. From there, capsule supplements like AHCC can be absorbed more efficiently than tablet supplements. 


Facts You Need To Know About AHCC

 

Now that we know how efficiently our bodies can absorb AHCC capsules (and that AHCC releases in the intestine!), let’s now take a closer look at the supplement itself. 

Here are some important facts about AHCC:

  1. AHCC is a standardized extract of cultured Lentinula edodes, better known as shiitake mushrooms.
  2. AHCC contains many polysaccharides, including alpha glucans and beta glucans.
  3.  AHCC is also rich in antioxidants.
  4. AHCC is an immune system-supporting supplement.*
  5. AHCC is a biological response modifier, so it can benefit your innate and adaptive immune responses.* 
  6. AHCC is made from the mycelia (roots) of various mushroom hybrids. Therefore, even if you have a mushroom allergy, you are likely only allergic to the top parts (spores) of mushrooms, and AHCC will not cause you to have an allergic reaction. 
  7. More than 1000 health care facilities worldwide use AHCC.*
  8. There have been over 100 published studies on AHCC, including in vivo, in vitro, and clinical trials. 
  9. AHCC was first developed in Japan in 1987, and is manufactured exclusively by the Japanese biotechnology company Amino Up Chemical Co., Ltd. 

AHCC supplements are used to support the immune system, and they offer many specific benefits to your immunity and overall health.* 


Benefits of AHCC 

Firstly, as a biological response modifier, AHCC promotes optimal function of both the innate and adaptive immune responses.* It also improves how well these two responses are able to work in harmony, further strengthening your immune health and durability.* 

AHCC also benefits particular components of the innate and adaptive immune responses in the following ways:* 

  • Maintains optimal natural killer (NK) cell activity
  • Supports cytokine and white blood cell production
  • Promotes optimal T-cell and macrophage activity
  • Regulates the activity and number of dendritic cells 

The immune system as a whole benefits from these improvements since each of these cells play such a massive role in maintaining and regulating immune and overall health.*


How To Achieve Better Immune Health: AHCC and Beyond  

 

The following lifestyle tips will help you strengthen your immune system and build a healthier version of you:*

  • Take an AHCC supplement. Quality of Life supplements offer proprietary, clinically-backed ingredients that are guaranteed to be absorbed efficiently. Quality of Life AHCC supplements can support your overall health and energy levels, in addition to all of their main immunomodulatory benefits.*
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. This means cutting out processed, fried, and baked goods as much as possible. Center your diet around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. In addition, stick to zero-calorie beverages, such as water, tea, and/or coffee. 
  • Exercise often, or at least 3-5 times a week. 
  • Sleep around 7-9 hours every night. 
  • Reduce stress however possible -- exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress and benefit your immune health at the same time.
  • Do not smoke, or discuss with your doctor how you can try to quit smoking. 
  • Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Practice habits that promote good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and disinfecting commonly-used surfaces. 

In Conclusion 

AHCC supplements typically come in capsule form, meaning an “outer shell” encapsulates the main ingredients. Capsules release in the intestine, and your body absorbs them better than tablets. Capsules also work faster and more efficiently once in the bloodstream than tablets do.

AHCC offers many benefits to the body, such as promoting white blood cell production and modulating the innate and adaptive immune responses.* You can boost your immune health by taking AHCC supplements, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, and exercising regularly.* 



Sources

AHCC | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (mskcc.org)

AHCC Uses, Benefits & Dosage

AHCC | ICNIM|AHCC Research Association (jpn.org)

How Does The Body Metabolize Medication?

Are the Coats on Your Pills the Right Fit for Your Gut? | Gastrointestinal Society (badgut.org)

Capsule vs. Tablet: Types, Differences, Pros and Cons (healthline.com)



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