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 (=starch) 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 an alternative medicine in Japan.[3]

Chemical composition[edit]

AHCC is a group of chemicals taken from fungus.[4] These include beta-glucan (β-glucan) and acetylated α-glucan.[5]

As a supplemental alternative medicine[edit]

AHCC is used in Japan as a supplement. 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".


Some of the research into AHCC has been funded by the manufacturer or includes employees of 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]

Early research suggests that taking AHCC daily for 6 months does not benefit people with hepatitis C.[4]


Research on the effects of AHCC in people with cancer is not consistent. Some limited research suggests that taking AHCC may improve quality of life in people with stomach and colon cancer. However, other early research suggests that taking AHCC does not improve quality of life or treatment in people with different types of cancer. Early research suggests that taking AHCC daily for 6 months does not benefit people with prostate cancer.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "AHCC". WebMD. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  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. ^ 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. ^ a b c "AHCC: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings - WebMD". Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  5. ^ Fujii H, Nakagawa T: Novel substance having physiological activity, process for producing the same, and use, U.S. Patent Application Publication, Mar 6, 2003.