Active Hexose Correlated Compound, more commonly referred to as AHCC, has a surprising natural source: fungi. It has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine but is gaining traction in modern supplementation with solid research on its potential benefits. Not only does AHCC have the potential to boost overall immune strength, but it can also treat serious health conditions.
If you are looking for a simple, high-quality supplement for both general wellness and treatment of specific health conditions, look no further than Quality of Life Labs Kinoko Gold AHCC.
What to know before you buy an AHCC supplement
You could certainly grow your own mushrooms in special mushroom grow bags, but it's unlikely that you'll be able to harvest enough to reap the benefits of an AHCC supplement. However, it's important to consider the strength of each supplement you need. Many manufacturers recommend three 500-milligram capsules daily to treat specific conditions and two of the same strength for maintaining wellness.
It’s important to note that in many of the research studies of AHCC, the dose was much higher than those recommendations. You’ll need to take 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) daily to achieve the same potential benefits for specific health conditions.
AHCC supplements are available in various forms, including liquid, capsules and gel caps. A liquid AHCC supplement is often the best choice for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.
As with any medication, natural or otherwise, the risk of side effects is present. Although AHCC is generally considered safe, there are a few side effects, including diarrhea, itching, fatigue and foot cramps. If you experience these side effects, stop taking the supplement and contact your doctor.
AHCC supplement features
Follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines
Because supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it's important to look for those that are checked in other ways. Companies that follow GMP guidelines adhere to strict manufacturing, processing and packaging systems that ensure that what is on the label is what's in the bottle.
In 2023, the best AHCC supplements have no fillers, additives or preservatives. AHCC is cultured in liquid using shiitake mushrooms. The extract is then separated and freeze-dried. Once this process is complete, the extract can be encapsulated. Some companies bulk up the capsule with additives. Look for supplements that have no additional ingredients.
Capsules have a much longer shelf-life than liquids. They'll retain potency for around two years when stored in a cool, dark place. Liquids can start to deteriorate after two months, so check the expiration date.
Free from allergens
People with specific dietary concerns need to pay special attention to the labels of AHCC supplements. Many companies are going above and beyond, clearly indicating which supplements are free from common allergens such as gluten, soy, corn, dairy products, shellfish and animal products.
AHCC supplement cost
The cost varies depending on the amount of AHCC in each capsule and the dose. Most 500-milligram supplements cost $45-$55, with 750 milligrams in the $60-$75 range.
AHCC supplement FAQ
What are the research-based potential benefits of AHCC supplements?
A. AHCC has several potential benefits. A University of Texas study found that taking 3 grams of AHCC daily cleared the human papillomavirus (HPV) from the system of two-thirds of the study participants. HPV is the virus responsible for some forms of female reproductive system cancer.
Multiple studies on humans and mice cited by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that AHCC increases the activity of natural killer (NK) cells. These NK cells are the first line of defense against cancer and other immune-attacking viruses. This includes viruses caused by the flu.
NIH also found that AHCC supplementation increased T-cell activity, another critical factor in the fight against cancer, infection and inflammation. In these studies, AHCC was administered to adults and in vitro, with a corresponding bump in T-cell production in both.
Is there anyone who should not take AHCC?
A. As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you are being treated for the same condition with other medications. People taking immunosuppressants and drugs that change the function of the liver may want to avoid this supplement. If you are allergic to or sensitive to any mushroom, this is not a good supplement for you.
Which AHCC supplement should I get?
Best of the best AHCC supplement
Our take: This clean product is the gold standard for AHCC supplements.
What we like: It's manufactured and processed following GMP guidelines. It has no additives or fillers and is gluten-free and vegetarian. More than 20 studies back this formula.
What we dislike: At 600 milligrams per capsule, it's a little more than is required for a daily wellness dose.
Best bang for your buck AHCC supplement
American BioSciences ImmpowerD3 AHCC Mushroom Extract Plus Vitamin D3: available at Amazon
Our take: It provides immune-boosting power with two potent ingredients.
What we like: It provides nearly 200% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin D3, a critical component of your immune system that is often decreased in the colder months. Two capsules provide 500 milligrams of AHCC. It's vegetarian and gluten-free and is produced following GMP guidelines.
What we dislike: At a two-capsule dose, one bottle only lasts 15 days.
Honorable mention AHCC supplement
Olympian Labs Premium AHCC Supplement: available at Amazon
Our take: This is an extra-strength supplement designed for treating serious immune conditions.
What we like: Just one capsule delivers 750 milligrams of AHCC. It's vegan and free of major allergens such as shellfish, peanuts and soy. It is tested by a third party and also follows GMP manufacturing guidelines.
What we dislike: It's more expensive than the other choices, but it delivers more AHCC per capsule.
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.