Research by the University of Texas has found a mushroom extract that supports the immune system in clearing HPV infections.
The mushroom extract, known as AHCC (active hexose correlated compound), is a proprietary extract that when administered daily, supports the immune system to clear human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.
“Our results show that AHCC® supplementation may help most patients eliminate their HPV infection and may decrease the long-term risk of HPV-related cancers,” said Judith A Smith, PharmD, lead researcher on the study and professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “Through this study, as well as multiple other studies, our research has shown that the AHCC supplement is safe.”
The findings are published in Frontiers in Oncology.
What is HPV infection?
HPV is the name for a group of common viruses. Whilst they do not cause problems in most people, some strains can cause genital warts or cancer. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, and data has indicated that 99.7% of cervical cancer cases are caused by persistent genital high-risk HPV infection.
There is no current recommended treatment for HPV infections. However, genital warts and cell changes in the cervix will need to be addressed by a medical professional.
What is AHCC supplement?
According to the AHCC Research Association, AHCC is the world’s most researched speciality immune supplement. It has been trialled in 20 human clinical studies and published in over 30 PubMed-Indexed journals.
AHCC is a functional food derived from healing mushrooms and has shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune system enhancing, and immunomodulatory properties. Research indicates that AHCC can modulate the immune system by maintaining optimal natural killer (NK) cell activity, enhancing cytokine production, promoting T-cell and macrophage activity, and increasing the number and activity of dendritic cells.
Supplementing high-risk women with AHCC
To discover their findings, the researchers executed a clinical trial of women with a minimum two-year history of persistent high-risk HPV infection. Patients in the mushroom extract group received the supplement of AHCC for six months, followed by six months of a placebo. The control group received a placebo for 12 months.
The study found that 14 out of 22 patients (63.6%) in the treatment arm became HPV negative.
“We have no other effective treatment for persistent HPV infections other than watchful waiting. While AHCC supplementation may not help everyone, it is readily available today for patients to ask their clinicians about using it to support their immune system in clearing persistent HPV infections,” Smith said.