Vital stats: Maypro's AHCC compound
Study Claim: AHCC may help fight flu and other infectious agents.
Published: Ritz BW. Supplementation with active hexose correlated compound increases survival following infectious challenge in mice. Nutr Rev 2008 Sep;66(9):526-31.
Abstract: Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is a fermented mushroom extract that is promoted for immune support. This review focused on results from in vivo studies evaluating the effects of AHCC supplementation on survival, and the immune response to a variety of infectious agents, including influenza virus, avian influenza virus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Candida albicans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Supplementation with AHCC appears to modulate immunity and help the body respond to a broad spectrum of infectious threats.
Research completed with AHCC has shown that it activates immune white blood cells, including macrophages, NK cells and LAK cells. AHCC also induces the production of cytokines that serve as chemical messengers between cells. AHCC has been the subject of more than 80 research studies worldwide.
In addition to these studies, further investigation is being done to examine the role of AHCC in humans for its ability to impact the T cells related to cellular immunity, and to determine if AHCC supplementation can serve as a beneficial vaccine adjuvant for the flu shot.
Potential applications: For supplements and medical foods. Health conditions for which AHCC has been clinically used: viruses and infections, allergies, auto-immune diseases, cancer, reduction of chemotherapy side effects. Maypro's health claims focus on AHCC's ability to increase the activity of NK cells and cytokines, and to provide immunomodulation.
Vital Stats: Embria Health Sciences' EpiCor
Study Claim: EpiCor supports red blood-cell health and mucosal immune protection.
Published: Jensen GS, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized pilot study: consumption of a high-metabolite immunogen from yeast culture has beneficial effects on erythrocyte health and mucosal immune protection in healthy subjects. Open Nutr J 2008;2(8):68-75.
Abstract: This double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled pilot study was designed to evaluate effects of consumption of an antioxidant-rich, yeast culture-based high-metabolite immunogen, EpiCor. Twenty-five healthy participants consumed 0.5g EpiCor or placebo daily for five weeks. The red blood-cell portion of the blood (haematocrit) increased significantly among people in the EpiCor group. The number of red blood cells did not increase, but the volume of red blood cells (RBC) increased by about seven per cent. No significant change in the haemocrit was observed in the placebo group. Researchers concluded EpiCor resulted in production of healthier RBC.
A mild increase in saliva sIgA upon EpiCor consumption prompted a subsequent eight-week, open-label study involving 22 people showing significant increase in sIgA. EpiCor consumption led to a mild increase in serum interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, indicating an anti-inflammatory role for the supplement.
Minor health complaints decreased in the EpiCor group compared to the placebo group. Seasonal allergies increased in the placebo group, but were not observed in the EpiCor group; this was reflected by increased serum IgE in the placebo group compared to the EpiCor group. Researchers concluded that consumption of EpiCor resulted in production of healthier RBC, because their numbers did not change, but their volume (as measured by the haematocrit) and content of haemoglobin increased compared to baseline; Epicor also improved mucosal immune protection.
Potential applications: EpiCor is an all-natural nutritional dietary-health supplement that helps support the immune system. It is a complex, nutrient-rich ingredient composed of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.
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