Researchers Find That a Japanese Medicinal Mushroom Extract Can Help the Body Clear Persistent HPV Infections

Nearly two-thirds of study participants cleared their HPV infection with daily use of AHCC®

NEW YORK, June 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — According to a paper published in Frontiers in Oncology, daily use of a unique mushroom extract AHCC® supported the immune system in clearing HPV infections in two-thirds of study participants after six months of supplementation.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study by researchers at UTHealth Houston was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal "Frontiers in Oncology."

The study focused on women with a greater than two-year history of persistent high-risk HPV. Patients in the treatment arm received AHCC supplementation for six months, followed by six months of a placebo. Patients in the placebo arm received a placebo for 12 months. Researchers confirmed that of those who received six months of AHCC®, followed by six months of placebo, 63.6 percent (14 of 22) cleared the infection with no adverse side effects.

"Our results showed that AHCC supplementation helped most patients in the AHCC arm of the trial become HPV-negative therefore decreasing the long-term risk of HPV-related cancers," said Dr. Judith A. Smith, the lead researcher on the study and professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. "Importantly, through multiple studies, we have shown that the AHCC supplement is safe and readily available, so patients can ask their clinicians about using it to support their immune system in clearing persistent HPV infections."

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, affecting more than 80 percent of sexually active adults at least once in their lifetimes. Unlike the "low risk" HPV that produces visible lesions but doesn’t cause cancer, "high risk HPV" is an invisible infection that can only be detected through a tissue swab and is the leading cause of six different types of cancer, with the two most common being cervical cancer and head-and-neck cancer.

"At HPV Cancers Alliance, we envision a world where no one endures the devastation of an HPV-associated cancer," said Lillian Kreppel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the HPV Alliance and a cancer survivor. "This groundbreaking research provides hope that high-risk HPV patients no longer need to sit and wait to see if their HPV develops into one of six cancers. Instead, they can take actionable steps to support their body’s fight against HPV. And because high-risk HPV is essentially an invisible virus with few detection methods available, all of us should consider taking steps now to support our immune systems naturally and effectively with genuine AHCC."

About High-Risk HPV

Most healthy individuals with optimally functioning immune systems can clear HPV infections on their own within two years. However, the presence of the virus can cause changes to cellular DNA and increase the risk of 6 HPV-associated cancers, the most common being cervical cancer in women and head & neck cancer in men. Since reinfections are common and some infections become persistent, this risk can rise during the lifetime. In addition, a person could contract an infection early in life but not have it manifest until years later, long after they’ve been in a monogamous relationship with an HPV-free partner.

About AHCC

AHCC® is a unique natural cultured extract derived from the cell wall of the mycelia (roots) of lentitula edodes mushrooms. A complex molecule rich in alpha-glucans and other immune modulating polysaccharides, AHCC® is one of the world’s most researched natural immune-modulating compounds. Supported by more than 20 human clinical studies and over 50 papers published in Medline-indexed journals, AHCC has been used in more over 1000 healthcare facilities worldwide. For more information, please visit AHCC is available from more than a dozen reputable nutritional supplement brands. Consumers should be warned to avoid fake products sold under different product names.

About AHCC Research Association

AHCC Research Association supports research and public awareness initiatives that enable clinicians, patients and consumers to evaluate the use of AHCC as an immune support nutrient in healthy and immune-compromised individuals, as well as an immunotherapeutic adjuvant to traditional mainline treatments in Western medicine. The Association also supports regulatory initiatives that would help healthcare professionals and consumers to differentiate clinically validated nutritional products from untested and unregulated dietary supplements. 

Medical Endorsements: 

"The findings in this study are intriguing and represent an important step forward in treatment strategies to eliminate ongoing high-risk HPV infection. While HPV vaccination represents the best deterrent for cancers associated with high-risk HPV infection, we need treatment options for those patients who do have persistent high-risk HPV. The data in this study will help guide future interventions for persistent high-risk HPV infection," says Dr. Joshua G. Cohen, MD, FACOG, FACS of UCLA. 

After reviewing the study, these findings are exciting because there is currently no treatment available for asymptomatic high-risk HPV. High-risk HPV infections often remain dormant for years until another co-factor such as high stress on the body, immune suppression or malnutrition activates cancer pathways. While prevention of HPV infection with vaccination is ideal, having treatment for persistent HPV is a vital step in lowering cancer risk," says Dr. Tracilyn Hall, assistant professor of gynecologic oncology in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine

"This exciting work highlights the importance of the patient experience in gynecologic care. High-risk HPV is extremely distressing for women. Detection leads to extra tests, procedures and increased screening which is aimed at preventing a cancer. Patients frequently ask about what they can do to help get rid of this infections and outside of vaccination, we have little to offer. The work provides a low-risk adjunct to care that patients can explore to help reduce their risk of cancer while promoting wellness," says Stephanie Sullivan, MD, Assistant Professor at VCU Health.

Camille Dawson

SOURCE AHCC Research Association