Mushroom extract may help clear cancer virus — study

Researchers studying immunity in cancer patients have found that supplementing with a powerful extract of the shiitake mushroom may help eradicate the viral infection which causes cervical cancer.

The cultured extract of the shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes), known as AHCC, has been widely researched for its positive impact on modulating immunity. Now, a preliminary report of a US clinical trial of 50 women shows that supplementing with the extract may help eradicate the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) in women with cervical cancer.

The report, by researchers from the University of Texas, notes: “Pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated durable clearance of HR-HPV infections.

“The preliminary data from the two pilot studies suggested that AHCC supplementation supports the host immune system for successful clearance of HR-HPV infections,” researchers said, adding that studies were ongoing.

An earlier pilot study found that 50% of participants supplementing with AHCC cleared the HPV infection within three months, while it is predicted that 80% of women who test positive may potentially clear the virus in a year.

HPV is present in 60 – 80 percent of women at some time in their life and all doctors can do is monitor these patients for early signs of cancer. Supplementing with AHCC may change this, researchers found.

Leading Japanese biochemist and expert in nutritional medicine and integrative health, Dr Kohei Homma, said AHCC’s efficacy is supported by more than 30 human clinical studies and over 100 research papers. He said the final report of the latest study is expected to further solidify AHCC’s standing as one of the world’s most powerful nutritional extracts to help modulate the immune system to prevent and fight disease.

Homma, who will visit SA from June 6 to share with health professionals the latest developments on AHCC, said a clinical study into liver cancer patients showed AHCC helped cancer survivors live longer, while studies had shown that AHCC helped reduce side effects of chemotherapy or radiation, allowing patients to live relatively “normally”.


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