Immune-enhancing effect AHCC still present one month after use, animal study
Are there any supplements or foods that offer any protection against viral infections? This question has been preoccupying us since the outbreak of the corona crisis. One interesting candidate is AHCC, an extract of the edible shiitake mushroom. A 2007 Japanese animal study suggests that the protective effect of AHCC is still present if you have not used the supplement for a month.
The researchers gave several groups of mice a dose of AHCC every day for 7 days, and other groups of mice a placebo. If the mice had been human adults, they would have received 3-4 grams of AHCC daily.
We've written about AHCC a few times now. AHCC consists of three-quarters of sugar chains from the shiitake, and the rest of amino acids and minerals. About 20 percent of AHCC is made up of a type of sugar chain that chemists call alpha-1,4-glucan.
AHCC is a product of the Japanese Amino Up. [aminoup.jp] The researchers worked in the research department of Amino Up. That is why, however interesting this may be, we provide this study with a sponsor alert.
Three weeks after the mice received their last dose of AHCC, the researchers infected the mice with a lethal amount of the H5N1 bird flu virus. All mice given a placebo died in the days following the infection. Twenty percent of the mice given AHCC survived.
The researchers repeated the experiment, but then waited 4 weeks to infect the mice with the virus. They achieved the same results.
"Our results indicate a potential role of AHCC in helping to build up immunity for preventing the pandemic of bird flu", the researchers conclude.
They add that they are aware that their animal study is "very preliminary".
Japanese Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2007, Vol 4, Issue 1, Pages 37-40.
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