AHCC is the brand name of a nutritional supplement produced from the mycelia (essentially roots) of mushrooms.
AHCC is a popular alternative medicine in Japan, used to treat a wide range of health conditions, from the common cold to HPV infections.
However, not all of these claims are supported by medical research, so this article will help you discover the health benefits of AHCC and choose the best AHCC supplements for your needs.
Unlike many other dietary supplements, AHCC is a registered trademark of and manufactured by Amino Up Co., Ltd in Hokkaido, Japan, so it is more closely regulated than most supplements. AHCC supplements are widely promoted as immune boosters and may be able to reduce inflammation, improve your immune response, and control the symptoms of infections.
Like many other mushroom-based supplements, AHCC is promoted as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and intended to support conventional medical treatments. Additionally, AHCC supplements can help improve the quality of life in otherwise healthy people, and the best AHCC supplements may even contribute to lower chances of cancer.
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What is AHCC?
Active Hexose Correlated Compound (to use the full name of AHCC) is a natural substance extracted from hybridized Basidiomycetes, a group of mushroom species including shitake. Developed by Amino Up Co., LTD. and Dr Toshihiko Okamoto in 1987, AHCC is one of the most researched dietary supplements, with 20 human clinical studies, 30 published papers and 100+ pre-clinical and in vitro studies on the effects of AHCC.
However, many of these studies were funded by Amino Up, leading many people to doubt the results due to conflict of interest, and there is very little evidence to support their bolder claims that AHCC can help with serious illnesses like cancer.
AHCC is widely used as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for immune support and is the 2nd most popular CAM medicine used by cancer patients in Japan. AHCC supports the immune system by maintaining natural killer cell activity, and the best AHCC supplements are often used in conjunction with chemotherapy to improve patient recovery.
What is the best way to take AHCC?
Amino Up Co, Ltd produce AHCC in fine, soft granules and liquid form, so it can be taken in capsules, as a powder and in liquid forms. Because the main difference is the delivery method, we recommend you choose the type of supplement you find easiest to include in your daily routine, whether you like to mix a little powder into your morning coffee or take a couple of pills to work.
While there is no officially recommended dosage (because AHCC is regulated as a dietary supplement in the US), Amino Up Co. recommends you take between 1 and 6 grams of AHCC per day. Even if you take higher amounts of the best AHCC supplements you can find, many of the studies took place over several months, so we recommend sticking with it for around 6 months before deciding that AHCC isn’t worth it.
RELATED: Read our blog on Mushroom Powder Vs Extracts for more in-depth advice on the pros and cons of different forms of mushroom-based supplements.
Which AHCC Supplement is Best?
Because AHCC® is only produced by one company, Amino Up Co., Ltd is the best and only AHCC producer, though they do not sell AHCC supplements directly to the public. Instead, they supply AHCC to licensed supplement producers who produce “Authentic Verified AHCC®” supplements and keep a list of approved sellers on their official website.
Because other brands of AHCC supplements are not verified (and technically aren’t AHCC® at all), you should refer to the official list when searching for the best AHCC supplement. Within the list of approved AHCC® supplement producers, many supplements contain added ingredients, so we recommend researching what nutrients may benefit you, whether that’s nootropic mushrooms or immune-boosting vitamins.
As with many other supplements, we strongly recommend you seek out trustworthy manufacturers (look for GMP and third-party certification) and choose one with ingredients designed to support your health concerns.
RELATED: Read our reviews of the best AHCC supplements available to learn more about the benefits and uses of this mushroom-based supplement.