Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
AHCC has been studied extensively for its immune-boosting effects in humans and has the support of many clinical trials looking at how the supplement may improve the immune system. Many people take AHCC supplements for optimal health and well-being.
AHCC is a potent mushroom extract which has several beneficial effects in the body helping which are more potent than other immune system boosting beta-glucan supplements you’ll typically find in the store.
Some AHCC supplements are used for research and also in the clinic to treat patients. This AHCC brand is one of the best because of its purity level and that’s why it’s used in clinical research on patients and in universities. If you’re on a budget, there are other options available below!
To create the supplement, advanced technology is used to culture and extract the contents from hybridized mycelia and other mushrooms which are fermented in rice bran. This creates a functional food supplement comprised mainly of alpha-glucans, which have powerful effects on the immune system.
Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) provides both alpha-glucan and beta-glucans and offers far better absorption than most beta-glucan supplements due to alpha-glucans having a low molecular weight.
Also, to make sure that this food supplement maintains its effectiveness, batches of AHCC are tested to see if they match the mushroom which was developed over 20 years ago. The manufacturers do this by performing routine DNA pattern testing.
According to AHCC Research, it has been used in 700 or more hospitals and clinics. It has been used to treat over 100,000 patients and there are now over 50 clinical studies looking at its effects for prevention and treatment of disease.
If you’re in a bit of a rush, I have listed below four of the highest-quality AHCC supplements available with a short description for each of them.
Top AHCC Supplement Picks for Immune system support
Now you know a little bit about the benefits of taking AHCC (and there are many more!), how do you decide which one to buy?
You want to make sure that the supplement contains the proprietary mushroom blend which is responsible for the powerful immune system enhancing effects.
For quality control, it’s best to use a supplement from a well-known company that manufactures these supplements in an FDA facility and adheres to strict quality control standards.
Below are three supplements from two brands that provide the highest quality AHCC supplements.
PREMIUM – Kinoko Platinum AHCC Supplement
Kioko’s AHCC supplement provides a large dose of AHCC – 1.5 grams per serving (2 capsules) and you get a month supply.
Quality of Life Labs won “Best New Product” of the year for its AHCC supplement and it’s one of Japan’s best selling immune system enhancer that is used at various medical establishments such as Yale Medical School.
One great thing about this supplement is that it has been tested for its efficacy and has been used in clinical trials on humans. Therefore you can be sure of its quality.
The supplement was also created in an FDA certified facility in the USA.
The main benefits of using this supplement include:
- Help maintain a healthy immune system.
- May increase natural killer cell activity.
- Help promote T Cell activity.
- It may support the production of cytokines to offer both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory effects where needed.
- One of the best AHCC supplements for maintaining optimal immune system function.
See more information and current price. (Amazon).
Quality of Life AHCC Gold
AHCC from the same brand as mentioned above, but this time with a few differences and perhaps better for a person who is on a budget right now and can’t afford the premium product.
This supplement contains just 1000 mg of AHCC per serving (2 capsules) and will last 30 days at this dose. It’s significantly less than what you’d get in the premium product, but still enough to have some immune-system boosting effects.
That being said, you’d be getting a supplement that has been clinically tested and well researched, which is more than most other AHCC products available.
See more information and current price. (LifeExtension.com)
NOW Foods AHCC Immune System Support Supplement
Their products are sourced from sustainable places and they try to have a minimal impact on the environment.
As with the previous supplement, each capsule contains 750 mg of AHCC proprietary extract derived from the hybridized mushrooms known for their amazing immune-enhancing effects.
The supplement is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is free from many ingredients such as preservatives, gluten, soy, and shellfish.
There is no information that I am aware of which states that this supplement specifically has been used in clinical trials, and that’s why I’ve put it as the second choice. Although, as someone who has used NOW Foods supplements for over 10 years, I trust them and their products for being high quality.
Many of the reviews for this supplement are also quite positive. I recommend that you check them out.
Main benefits of AHCC
Note: Before considering AHCC as a treatment, please consult with your doctor beforehand. This article is for informational purposes only.
AHCC was developed by researchers who were looking to find ways to reduce high blood pressure. During their studies’ it was soon discovered to have other amazing benefits:
- Boosts immunity – AHCC can help maintain a strong and healthy immune system. Some research suggests that it helps boost key cells produced by the body that allows the body to maintain a strong defense. 
- Antioxidant – Due to the antioxidant and immune system modulating effects, AHCC may help reduce the damaging effects of free radicals. 
- Anti-inflammatory and Prebiotic – It may help inhibit the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing levels of good bacteria in the gut because AHCC acts as a prebiotic and feeds good bacteria. 
- Reduce glucose and stress – AHCC may reduce the level of stress hormones and glucose levels, thereby help maintain a normal blood sugar level.
- Clearer mind – The mushroom blend has been shown to improve the well-being of people who are under mental stress associated with depression and poor sleep quality. One study showed that AHCC was able to correct immune system dysfunction and normalize hormones in the body. 
AHCC is a unique and powerful supplement that is great to take on a daily basis for achieving optimal immune function as it has a broad range of positive health effects.
It’s amazing that we have these powerful compounds in nature that are able to drastically affect and improve human health.
AHCC is certainly one supplement that deserves a lot more attention than it has been getting. Unfortunately, one of the problems is that the supplement can be costly if you’re taking it every day, so perhaps it’s best to take it when you need it or cycle it.
Take the supplement for a few months and then have a break and go back to it later. Perhaps take it just in the wintertime when you’re at a greater risk of catching an infection.
Watch the video below where Dr. Pescatore discusses all of the research which has been done and why it’s an important supplement to take because of its immune system enhancing properties.
How to take AHCC
To get the most out of the supplement, it is advised that you take AHCC on an empty stomach. You can take it either 30 minutes before a meal or 1 hour after a meal. But if you have to take it at mealtime, this is fine, and shouldn’t affect the absorption hugely.
AHCC can be taken indefinitely or as needed. Long-term studies have been conducted on AHCC and they show that there are no toxic effects at normal doses and the supplement does not seem to lose its effectiveness if you continue to take it.
Frequently asked questions about AHCC
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding its uses.
1. Should you take AHCC if you are healthy and don’t suffer from a health condition?
AHCC is a natural food supplement and safe to take daily in healthy individuals. A lower dose between 500 – 1000 mg will offer immune system support and prime the immune system to attack invaders like bacteria, viruses, and fungal infections.
Every day you have exposed to pathogens and your immune system goes into action quickly to deal with them to stop you from becoming sick. AHCC will help your immune system stay on the alert for invaders without overstimulating the immune system.
AHCC can be therefore very useful if you know you are at going to be at a higher risk of infection like when you travel on a plane, studying for exams, going into hospital, or if there are bugs going around.
2. Can AHCC be used in combination with other immune system supplements?
The short answer is yes. There are many foods and supplements which help fight off pathogens and boost the immune system.
If you want to see the best results from AHCC, you want to make sure that you are consuming adequate amounts of nutrients involved in a healthy immune system such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium.
3. Can eating mushrooms provide the same benefits as taking AHCC?
It provides a significant amount of alpha-glucans which are better absorbed by the body and that’s why it’s more effective than various beta-glucan supplements you may find in various mushrooms that are edible.
Many supplements also contain beta-glucan and no alpha-glucans. The reason why alpha-glucans are more effective because they have a lower molecular weight.
4. Can AHCC be taken with other medications?
AHCC is generally safe to take with supplements and medications. However, can increase the enzyme CYP450 2D6 which is involved in processing certain medications.
These medications include things like Ondansetron and Sertraline (Zoloft). If you’re concerned, it’s best you speak with your doctor and pharmacist and they will be able to guide you if you tell them which enzyme this mushroom extract affects.
5. How can I make AHCC more effective?
When taking a supplement to boost your immune system, you want to get the most benefit out of it. Therefore you should also do various things to improve your health and well being.
- Maintain a healthy body weight with a BMI between 19 – 24.
- Manage your stress levels because this can change how your immune system functions.
- Make sure that you’re eating a nutritious diet that is full of plant foods. Go for fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Be involved in the community, stay socially active. These are important for one’s mental well being and can help reduce the chances of developing depression.
- Maintain healthy sleep habits. Make sure that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep more if you find yourself waking up tired in the morning.
- Avoid smoking, drinking, and taking other substances that harm health.
- Try to spend time in a less polluted and toxic environment. Get clean air more often if you can.
Article reviewed and updated: May 2020.