Study Concludes AHCC Enhances Resistance To Infection

National Space Biomedical Research Institute Studies AHCC In Simulated Space Flight Conditions

RYE, NY -- Results of a National Space Biomedical Research Institute study conducted at Morehouse School of Medicine suggest that oral administration of Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC)® can increase resistance to infection. The purpose of this study was to determine if AHCC could ameliorate or prevent the deleterious effects of hindlimb-unloading on resistance to infection and immune response. Results of this study suggest that oral administration of AHCC improves the overall condition of the host resulting in increased resistance to infection.

Hindlimb-unloading of rodents is a ground-based model for some of the effects of space flight on the immune system. Maintenance of rodents in this model induces muscle and bone loss and a fluid shift to the head, which are similar to changes induced by space flight. Previous studies conducted in the Morehouse laboratory have shown that hindlimb-unloading results in altered immune responses and resistance to infection with pathogens.

“As plans for long-term missions and flight opportunities continue to develop, it is important to develop countermeasures to prevent or ameliorate any comprised resistance to infection, thereby ensuring the safety of potential space travelers,” stated Dr. Gerald Sonnenfeld, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA, who led the study. “It is difficult to make any major assumptions from this initial study but because the results were so promising, we feel the next gradual step is to pursue human studies.”

In this present study, AHCC was orally administered to mice to determine if the treatment could decrease immunosuppression and mortality of mice maintained in the hindlimb-unloaded model infected with the bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae, a common bacteria that effects people with weakened immune systems. The results showed that administration of AHCC by gavage for one week (1g/kg body weight) prior to suspension and throughout the ten-day suspension period yielded significant beneficial effects for the hindlimb-unloaded group including: 1) decreased mortality 2) increased time to death and 3) increased ability to clear bacteria. The results suggest that AHCC can decrease the deleterious effects of the hindlimb-unloading model on immunity and resistance to infection.

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute is a unique, scientific partnership with NASA that engages academic, industrial and government researchers, and the resources of the nation's leading biomedical research institutions, in a team-based effort to reduce the significant health risks associated with human space travel. The Institute's goal-directed, cost-efficient research program impacts both the safety of human space travel and the quality of life on Earth.

The samples of AHCC used in this study were provided by Quality of Life Labs, Purchase, New York. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) partially supported this work through a NASA Cooperative Agreement NCC 9-58 with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. Facilities utilized at Morehouse School of Medicine for these studies were supported by the NIH under the RCMI program award number 5G12 RR/ AI03034.

Dr. Sonnenfeld has been working in the area of space flight Immunology since 1975 and has been involved in three flight experiments using the Russian Biosatellite Bion, and eight experiments using the U.S. Space Shuttle. He has published numerous original articles and reviews on the subject. In 1999, Dr. Sonnenfeld received the Founders Award, the highest award of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology in recognition of distinguished contributions in the field of gravitational and space biology.

The study on AHCC titled “Active Hexose Correlated Compound Enhances Resistance to Klebsiella pneumoniae: Infection in Mice in the Hindlimb-Unloading Model of Space Flight Conditions,” was published in the April 11, 2003, issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology. Copies of the abstract can be found at

For more information on AHCC® visit the AHCC Research Association More information on the NSBRI research program is available at . Contact Tiia Sumera at 801.538.0777 ext.112 if you are interested in interviewing Dr. Sonnenfeld or would like a copy of the study.


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