AHCC is a beneficial compound extracted from mushrooms. With a wide variety of health benefits, AHCC is one of the most promising natural health supplements being popularized around the world.
The alternative health community and eastern medicine have advocated the diverse benefits of mushrooms for years. Even centuries ago, mushrooms were taken in meals and in teas not just for their taste but also because they made those who consumed them feel healthier and better in several different ways.
Cytokines are part of a large group of proteins that play a vital role within the body’s immune system. Cytokines are one of several cells that act as “signalers” to the immune system. Sometimes the immune system needs to be “alerted,” and other times, it needs to be “suppressed.” Generally, Cytokines work to suppress the immune system in times where suppression is necessary and desirable.
There are times, however, when Cytokines misfire and signal suppression to the immune system when actually they should be doing the opposite. Although the reasons for this occurring are not fully understood, the effects can be harmful and greatly impact the body’s ability to heal and respond properly to harmful foreign pathogens.
It is believed that one of the ways AHCC works to support the immune system is via the proper regulation of Cytokines. AHCC supports Cytokine signaling and helps ensure the immune system is being either suppressed or “alerted” according to what is needed.
Rich in Polysaccharides
AHCC is rich in what are called “Polysaccharides.” Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that helps support the immune system. Namely, polysaccharides function in one of two ways: energy storage or structural cell support.
When the body’s immune system is under attack, it can suffer from both energy loss and damage to cells. As such, polysaccharides are an essential part of keeping the immune system running as it should. Some believe that the presence of polysaccharides relates to AHCC seeming benefit to those undergoing Chemotherapy.
Because Chemotherapy is so harsh on the body, it destroys not only cancer cells, but also many healthy cells. The result is that many of those undergoing Chemotherapy have serious negative side-effects like extreme fatigue, difficulty eating, and sometimes severe bone marrow and cell damage. Early studies suggest that AHCC may limit the negative side effects and or improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
Increases NK (Natural Killer) Cell Activity
Dendritic cells fall into a critical category of immune system cells called “Natural Killers” (NK). NK cells are the guards or “sentinels” of the body. When there is a virus, foreign pathogen, or any type of harmful invader in the body, the NK cells spring into action and attack. AHCC may function to boost the immune system by increasing the body’s production of these cells. This is good for those looking to fortify their body’s normal defenses going into the flu and cold season. It is also especially good for those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Why? Because harsh cancer treatments can kill many of the body’s NK cells leaving your immune system vulnerable to attack. That is why it is dangerous for anyone undergoing Chemo to get even the common cold. AHCC for immune support may help to improve the weakened immune system of those battling cancer. However, it is important to keep in mind that anyone undergoing Chemotherapy, or any other type of cancer treatment should consult with their doctor before taking any new type of medication or supplement, and that includes AHCC.
Now that you know how AHCC can improve your immune system, you can decide if the mushroom-based supplement is right for you. If, however, you are not worried about the immune system, you may still be interested in taking AHCC as a dietary supplement as it is believed to combat cancer as well as reduce bowel inflammation.