AHCC increases the survival chances of cancer patients
If patients with advanced liver cancer supplement with the shiitake extract AHCC, their chances of survival may increase. In 2002, Japanese surgeons from Kansai Medical University reported this in the Journal of Hepatology.
The researchers experimented with 269 patients with liver cancer - with hepatocellular carcinoma, if you want to know exactly. The patients had to undergo surgical procedures in which doctors removed the part of the liver affected by tumors.
The subjects were able to choose between two options. They could receive regular care after their surgery, or they could start using 3 grams of AHCC per day in addition to their regular care, even after their discharge from the hospital.
The subjects received the AHCC supplement for free from the producer, the Japanese Amino Up. [[aminoup.jp] Amino Up did not sponsor the study.
This experimental design is not optimal and can represent the health effects of AHCC more positively than they actually are. Supplement users, as a group, are more informed, positive, healthier, and more proactive than people who don't believe in supplements. This attitude, plus the lifestyle that results from it, may increase chances of survival.
In the patients in whom the cancer returned, AHCC slowed the rate at which the subjects were re-diagnosed with liver cancer. In addition, survival rates were greater in the group of AHCC users.
After the operation, the researchers measured the concentration of enzymes in the blood of the subjects that indicate liver damage. Those concentrations were lower in AHCC users. "These results show that the AHCC may improve liver function independent from the tumor," the researchers speculate.
"AHCC intake resulted in improved liver function, the prevention of recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after resection, and the prolonged survival of postoperative hepatocellular carcinoma patients without any adverse effects", the Japanese write. "Therefore, AHCC treatment is a valuable adjuvant therapy as a biological response modifier in these patients."
"If possible, these observations need to be confirmed in larger, randomized-controlled double-blind trials. In addition, more detailed studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the effects of AHCC."
J Hepatol. 2002;37(1):78-86.
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