Active hexose correlated compound

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Active Hexose Correlated Compound is a chemical isolated from the Shiitake mushroom.

Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) is an alpha-glucan rich nutritional supplement produced from the mycelia of shiitake (Lentinula edodes) of the basidiomycete family of mushrooms. The compound is a subject of research as a potential anti-cancer agent but has not been conclusively found to treat cancer or any other disease, and there are conflict of interest concerns about the published research.[1][2] AHCC is a popular alternative medicine in Japan.[3]

Chemical composition[edit]

Polysaccharides comprise 40% of the composition of AHCC[citation needed]. These include beta-glucan (β-glucan) and acetylated α-glucan. Acetylated α-glucan, produced by culturing the mushroom mycelia, is unique to AHCC[citation needed]. Glucans are polysaccharides and these polysaccharides are known to have immune stimulating effects.[4]

As a supplemental alternative medicine[edit]

AHCC is widely used in Japan and China. It is available to the general public in Japan and China without a prescription and many people use it for general health maintenance and treatment of acute infections. Its legal status is that of a "functional food".

In Japan, AHCC is the 2nd most popular complementary and alternative medicine used by cancer patients. Agaricus blazei supplements are the most popular, outpacing AHCC use by a factor of 7:1.[3]


Nearly all of the research into AHCC has been funded by the manufacturer, which complicates the discussion of currently available results – independent research is needed to verify them.[2] The mechanism of action of AHCC is poorly understood and there is little known about its safety.[2] As of 2011 clinical research into AHCC has been of poor quality: there are no large-scale studies or randomized controlled trials.[2]

Laboratory research suggests AHCC may have immunostimulatory effects.[2]

AHCC has been proposed as a treatment for cancer, but research into its effectiveness has produced only uncertain and inconclusive evidence.[1] Detailed research is needed into the pharmacology of AHCC before any recommendation of its use as an adjuvant therapy can be made.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "AHCC". WebMD. Retrieved March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Shah SK, Walker PA, Moore-Olufemi SD, Sundaresan A, Kulkarni AD, Andrassy RJ (2011). "An evidence-based review of a Lentinula edodes mushroom extract as complementary therapy in the surgical oncology patient". JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr (Review) 35 (4): 449–58. doi:10.1177/0148607110380684. PMID 21628606. It is important to note that the vast majority of the published research on AHCC has been supported by the manufacturer. 
  3. ^ a b Hyodo I, Amano N, Eguchi K (April 2005). "Nationwide survey on complementary and alternative medicine in cancer patients in Japan". Journal of Clinical Oncology 23 (12): 2645–54. doi:10.1200/JCO.2005.04.126. PMID 15728227. 
  4. ^ Fujii H, Nakagawa T: Novel substance having physiological activity, process for producing the same, and use, U.S. Patent Application Publication, Mar 6, 2003.