AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound)

AHCC is a supplement made from medicinal mushrooms that have been fermented in rice bran. It is currently being used in 700 hospitals and clinics in Japan to treat a wide range of health conditions, from minor ailments such as colds and flu, to serious diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

AHCC works as a Th1 stimulator (increasing the strength of your immune system). The common underlining factor in ALL cancers is a compromised immunity. As a biological response modifier, AHCC turns the dial up on your natural immune response, helping you fight all kinds of threats to your health.

Remember the Key Players of the Th1 Immune Response: Your First Line of Defense

  • Cytokines: Chemical messengers that help immune cells communicate and coordinate an immune response
  • Natural killer (NK) cells: Specialized white blood cells (WBCs) that recognize and destroy infected or abnormal cells by injecting granules into them, causing them to explode
  • Macrophages: WBC that engulf and ingest bacteria, virus, and other cellular debris
  • Dendritic cells: WBC that present foreign substances to B and T cells, initiating an adaptive response

Proven Benefits of AHCC

In vivo and human clinical trials have shown that AHCC increases the Th1 immune response, by:

  • Increasing the production of cytokines
  • Increasing the activity of NK cells by as much as 300-800%
  • Increasing populations of macrophages, in some cases doubling them
  • Increasing the number of dendritic cells
  • Increasing the number of T cells by as much as 200%

AHCC has been used in Japan with great success in cancer patients. Data from the treatment of over 100,000 individuals with various types of cancer have shown AHCC treatment to be of benefit in 60% of cases. That doesn’t mean the cancer disappeared; it means it helped. AHCC has been shown to be particularly effective for liver, lung, stomach, colon, breast, thyroid, ovarian, testicular, tongue, kidney and pancreatic cancers.

One landmark AHCC trial enrolled 269 patients with liver cancer. Following surgery, about half of the patients took AHCC and about half did not. The results were dramatic: At the end of the ten-year study, only 34.5% of the AHCC patients experienced a recurrence in their cancer, compared with 66.1% of the control group that did not take AHCC. Similarly, while 46.8% of the patients in the control group had died at the end of ten years, less than half that amount – 20.4% of those in the AHCC group had. Another study found that AHCC not only prolonged survival of advanced liver cancer patients, it also improved various parameters of quality of life, including mental stability, general physical health status and the ability to have normal activities.

Medicinal Mushrooms

Since we are talking about mushrooms, I must tell you that I love to use them to stimulate the immune system.  Here are some of my favorites:

Agaricus Mushroom

Agaricus mushroom is a Brazilian rainforest herb that is among the premier immune system tonics of all known natural substances. It is the richest source in the world of a type of polysaccharide known as beta-glucans (see section on this), which has been solidly established to be among nature’s most potent immune potentiating substances. Agaricus has double-direction activity on the immune system. In other words, it may be used to bolster a deficient immune system, as occurs in cases involving infections, or Agaricus may be used to moderate an excessive system, as occurs in cases of autoimmune disease and allergies.  This means it is an “immune modulator”. In cancer patients, it helps suppress a hyper-active Th2 system and increase a Th1 response! Agaricus may therefore be used by anyone. In Japan, Agaricus is considered a “cure-all” herb.   

Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps is one of the ‘major players’ of the Chinese tonic herbal system and is a ‘hit’ in dealing with cancer. It is an extremely effective and powerful life-enhancing agent, boosting energy and vitality. Because it is rare, potent and highly treasured, like Deer Antler, ‘good cordyceps’ can be expensive. It is a mushroom that consumes the body of a particular type of caterpillar in mountainous regions of China, Mongolia, and Tibet. It has enormous renown as a ‘supertonic’ in Chinese herbal circles, and is said to build sexual and physical power, mental energy, the immune system and is universally believed in the Orient to prolong life.

Cordyceps is used to strengthen and stabilize the body and mind at a fundamental level. It is said to be able to increase the “primary motive force for life activities” which can be lost following a grim diagnosis.  Some people walk into my office with a complete loss of hope; cordyceps is one tool that can give people a renewed desire to live.  Because it contains both Yin and Yang (Chinese medicine for a balance in force) it can be used by anyone safely and over a long period of time. It replenishes the deep energy expended as a result of excessive exertion, adapting to extreme stress (the real killer in cancer patients) or from aging.

Cordyceps is also used for the purposes of strengthening the Kidney functions and kidney detoxification, which also includes sexual function, brain power (decreasing Th17 activity that causes inflammation in the brain), structural integrity and healing ability. Consistent use of Cordyceps helps to strengthen the skeletal structure, and specifically benefits the lower back region, the knees and ankles. It can be great for patients with metastatic disease to the bones.  

Cordyceps is also a major Lung tonic. It can be used to strengthen respiratory power in those who require extra energy in order to perform physical work (e.g. labor, sports or exercise) or it can be used by those who suffer from deficiency of Lung strength due to cancer, asthma, Mesothelioma, etc. It is especially beneficial to those who suffer chronic Lung weakness with cough, wheezing or shortness of breath. It is highly regarded in China as a tonic for those who are recovering from an illness or an operation, or after giving birth.  In these cases, the Cordyceps helps the patient more quickly recover their physical power, to improve their appetite, and to protect the body from infection.

Maitake Mushroom

Maitake mushroom has gained a place in tonic herbalism due to its broad spectrum tonic benefits similar to Agaricus and Reishi. Like Agaricus, it is primarily beneficial to the immune system, having double-direction activity on the entire immune system. It is often called the “king of mushrooms” and though only a legend, it has been said that Japanese monkeys who commonly consume large quantities of Maitake have no know cancer and other diseases.  

Clinically, Maitake has proven itself to be an effective tool for cancer patients. In laboratory tests, powdered Maitake increased the activity of three types of Th1 immune cells -macrophages, natural killer (NKC) cells, and T cells by 140, 186, and 160 percent, respectively. A Chinese clinical study established that Maitake treatment reduces the recurrence of bladder surgery from 65 to 33 percent. Researchers have found that Maitake, when combined with the standard chemotherapy drug mitomycin (Mutamycin), inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells, even after metastasis. (Note: most studies on alternate products like this MUST be done “in conjunction with standard pharmaceutical drugs” to get funding!)

Maitake also protects the liver. Chinese doctors conducted a controlled trial with thirty-two patients who had chronic hepatitis B. The recovery rate was 72 percent in the Maitake treatment group, compared with 57 percent in the control group. Hepatitis antigens disappeared in more than 40 percent of the Maitake patients, indicating the virus had been purged from the liver. Laboratory studies also show that Maitake protects liver tissue from hepatitis caused by environmental toxins such as carbon tetrachloride and paracematol. These compounds go through a two-step process in the liver in which they are first activated into toxic forms and then deactivated into harmless forms. Since Maitake helps the liver handle chemical poisons in both steps, it protects this organ against a broad range of potential toxins. Finally, Maitake provides nutritional support by enhancing the colon’s ability to absorb micronutrients, especially copper and zinc.

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is the most revered herbal substance in Asia, ranking as the elite substance for the attainment of radiant health, longevity and spiritual attainment. It ranks in Asia with Ginseng, Deer Antler, Rhodiola, and Cordyceps as a pre-eminent tool in the attainment of radiant health.  It has maintained that position for at least 3000 years, and its reputation and value are only increasing.  Numerous legends provide a rich and extensive record of Reishi in Asian society. 

Reishi has traditionally been used as (and recent studies confirm the benefits) an anti-aging herb, and has been used for many diseases and disorders as well. It has long been a favorite tonic by the Chinese Royal family and virtually anyone who could obtain it. Reishi was particularly revered by the followers of the Taoist tradition as the “Elixir of Immortality”. Taoists have continuously claimed that Reishi promotes calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness and inner strength. They have used it to improve meditative practices and to protect the body, mind and spirit so that the adept could attain both a long and healthy life and “spiritual immortality” (enlightenment). Due to its rarity in the past, the common people could rarely obtain a Reishi mushroom, and it was popularly revered as a greater treasure than any jewel.

Reishi is said to be capable of building body resistance, and to be powerfully detoxifying to the cells and tissues. Reishi is slightly sedative on an immediate basis but builds energy over time; it is universally believed in Asia to prolong life and enhance intelligence and wisdom.  Since Reishi has been known to have many functions, it has been the subject of a great deal of research in recent years. It is absolutely safe for everyone and is completely non-toxic.

Use in cancer patients centers around Reishi as a profound immune modulator. It has been found to significantly improve the balance of the immune system whether the immune system is deficient or excessive. Many chemical constituents play a role in Reishi’s immune modulating capacity.  The polysaccharide components in particular seem to play an important role in attacking cancerous cells, while simultaneously strengthening the body’s overall immune functions. The polysaccharides appear to help the body attack microbial invaders such as viruses, bacteria and yeast. 

 Another group of chemicals found in Reishi known as the ganoderic acids help fight auto-immune diseases by inhibiting histamine release, improving oxygen utilization and improving liver functions. Ganoderic acids are also potent antioxidant free-radical scavengers. 

Poly MVA

Palladium Lipoic Acid Complex (PdLA) is the most active ingredient in a dietary supplement called Poly-MVA. In the palladium lipoic acid complex, the element palladium is covalently bound to the anti-oxidant alpha-lipoic acid, a potent ‘cancer killer’. In addition to PdLA, the proprietary blend of Poly-MVA is formulated with minerals, vitamins and amino acids such as molybdenum, rhodium, ruthenium, thiamine, riboflavin, cyanocobalamin, acetyl cysteine, and formyl methionine (Garnett 1995, 1997, 1998). Dr. Merrill Garnett invented Poly-MVA. His inquiry and screening of thousands of organo-metallic compounds led to the discovery of the non-toxic supplement and found it to have potent chemotherapeutic properties.

Poly-MVA, is not merely a cocktail of different nutrients, it is HOW they are put together that makes them work differently. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a great nutrient by itself working it help liver detox pathways and dozens of other metabolic functions but there is really no free ALA or free palladium in Poly-MVA. They are bound together that makes them function differently and THIS is what makes it a special product. This compound was synthesized by Dr. Garnett to create a ‘metallic bioorganic molecule’ that demonstrates enhanced fat and water-solubility. Furthermore, it is prepared in a unique fashion so it does not produce toxic products upon consumption. This is unlike many other chemotherapeutics, which breakdown, accumulate in tissue and eventually become toxic.

Its unique properties appear to be the key to its physiological effectiveness. When glucose enters a cell, it is broken down under anaerobic conditions (absence of oxygen in glycolysis) into pyruvate. Pyruvate subsequently enters the mitochondria, and is quickly oxidized, in the presence of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), to acetyl-CoA so that it can enter the Citric Acid Cycle and produce even more energy. In aerobic respiration, acetyl-CoA is then channeled into the Krebs/Citric Acid Cycle to create the reduced forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FADH2). NADH and FADH2 donate their electrons to the electron transport chain to make the high energy molecule ATP. This is how your body makes energy.

Recent studies in India (Sudheesh et al., 2009) have demonstrated Palladium Lipoic Acid Complex’s ability to facilitate aerobic metabolism, which is responsible for ATP production in healthy cells. The energy needs of the body are supplied by splitting ATP into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and a free phosphate (Griffin et al. 2006). Studies have demonstrated that Poly-MVA provides electrons to DNA, via the mitochondria. 

Let’s simplify: Poly-MVA helps energy production by providing electrons to speed production.  Whenever anything increases electrons to your body, it increases pH as well. That’s all good!

Electrons are lost in normal cells as a result of oxidative damage from radiation and chemotherapy (Garnett and Garnett 1996) – that’s BAD and exactly how poisons work. Poly-MVA electron transfer provides an additional energy source to normal cells that increases pH and overall health. However, cancer cells are metabolically challenged, and function in a hypoxic (without oxygen) environment. Since there is less oxygen and more free electrons in the cancer cell, generation of free radicals occurs at the tumor mitochondrial membrane (Antonawich et al. 2004). This activates apoptosis by facilitating the release of cytochrome C from the inner mitochondrial membrane, allowing the formation of an apoptotic complex in the cytoplasm. This complex, results in the subsequent activation of enzymes that destroy the malignant cells. At significantly higher concentrations of Poly-MVA necrosis becomes apparent in the malignant cell. Given that normal cells are richly oxygenated, Poly-MVA is nontoxic to them and they actually benefit from the energy boost (Antonawich et. al 2006).

So, Poly-MVA appears to be a ‘selective’ metabolic modulator as it increases the apoptotic function of cancer cells (helps them undergo normal cell death) and helps normal cells thrive. But, like every ‘cancer killer’ discussed, it just doesn’t work on everyone.  Sometimes (most of the time) a combination of diet, Th1 stimulators and specific ‘killers’ are necessary.

Burzynski’s Antineoplastons

At his professional clinic in Houston, Texas, Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski heads an impressive team of physicians where they treat cancer patients with an innovative non-toxic approach called “anti-neoplaston therapy.” This treatment is unique and can only be obtained at this clinic and one other location in Mexico. It is the most expensive alternative cancer treatment (averaging around $9,000 per month), but boasts a good track record for many types of cancer. For a number of years now, the FDA has been supervising clinical trials at the Burzynski Clinic, and this restricts the administration of anti-neoplaston therapy to only certain cases. However, anyone with cancer can call the clinic, set up a consultation, and find out if they qualify for entering a trial. If not, Burzyndki’s group offers some other innovative methods for treating cancer as well. I recently heard him speak at a seminar and was impressed with his passion to help people.

I have met Dr. B at my Integrative Cancer Therapy Fellowship meetings and though I am convinced that his approach has proven beneficial in some cases; NO therapy is an ‘end-all’ or ‘perfect fit’ for everyone.


This unique, liquid formula is one of the easiest and least expensive alternative approaches to cancer, yet may be one of the most successful. Protocel is non-toxic and, because it is so easy to use, is often ideal for administering to small children or elderly with cancer. It was developed by a chemist to interfere with the anaerobic (without oxygen) function of cancer cells. The fact that cancer cells obtain their energy primarily through anaerobic means (glycolysis) was proven in the 1930s and 1940s by two-time Nobel Prize-winner, Otto Warburg. Since all healthy cells in the body use aerobic functioning, Protocel leaves healthy cells unharmed. In 1990, the National Cancer Institute tested this formula (under its previous name of Cancell®), and the results showed it to work better than chemotherapy on a large variety of cancer cells lines. A great book to help understand Protocel is Outsmart Your Cancer, the only source in print to present the history, theory, and correct usage of Protocel, and it also presents 16 inspiring testimonials from cancer patients who used it successfully to fight their cancer.

We recommend the book below about a patient who used Protocel with great success:

Budwig Detox

Flaxseed oil and cottage cheese, combined in the right way, is the mainstay of this dietary approach to cancer. Developed by the brilliant German biochemist, Dr. Johanna Budwig, it has been used very successfully by thousands of cancer patients.  Dr. Budwig was one of Germany’s top biochemists as well one of the best cancer researchers throughout all of Europe. She was born in 1908 and seven times she was nominated for the Nobel Prize. Dr. Budwig claimed to have had over a 90% success rate with her diet and protocol with all kinds of cancer patients over a 50 year period. This approach is based on the fact that flaxseed oil is one of the highest sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and cottage cheese is one of the highest sources of sulfur-based proteins. Taken together, the fatty acids bind to the sulfur-based proteins, which results in optimum transport of the fatty acids to cancer cells.

The underlying concept is that the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids repair the damaged cell walls and chemical communication of the cancer cells to the point where they normalize. Dietary restrictions and extra supplementation is also recommended. People with many different types of cancer have responded well to this method, but prostate cancer appears to show a particularly good response to this approach.

Directions from The Budwig Center

Generally, each tablespoon of Flaxseed Oil (FO) is blended with 2 or more tablespoons of low-fat organic Cottage Cheese (CC) or quark. 

Note: Whenever Tablespoons are mentioned it is the standard US tablespoon which is the equivalent of the British “dessert” spoon (the Budwig Center is in Spain).

1 US Tablespoon (T) = 15 ml and 1 British Tablespoon is 18 ml – 16 tablespoons = cup and 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup.

  • To make the Budwig Muesli, blend 3 Tablespoons (British dessert spoons) of flaxseed oil (FO) with 6 Tablespoons  low-fat(less than 2%) Quark or Cottage Cheese (CC) with a hand-held immersion electric blender for up to a minute If the mixture is too thick and/or the oil does not disappear you may need to add 2 or 3 Tablespoons of milk (goat milk would be the best option). Do not add water or juices when blending FO with CC or quark. The mixture should be like rich whipped cream with no separated oil. Remember you must mix ONLY the FO and CC and nothing else at first. Always use organic food products when possible.
  • Now once the FO and CC are well mixed grind 2 Tablespoons of whole flaxseeds and add to the mixture. Please note that freshly ground flaxseeds must be used within 20 minutes after being ground or they will become rancid. Therefore do not grind up flaxseeds ahead of time and store.
  • Next mix in by hand or with the blender 1 teaspoon of honey (raw non-pasteurized is recommended)
  • (Optional) For variety you may add other ingredients such as sugar free apple sauce, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice, chopped almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews (no peanuts), pine kernels, rosehip-marrow. For people who find the Budwig Muesli hard to take these added foods will make the mixture more palatable. Some of our patients have even added a pinch of Celtic sea salt and others put in a pinch of cayenne pepper for a change
  • (Optional) Dr. Harvey Diamond who wrote a book on the importance of “food combining” and other experts recommend not mixing fruit with other foods (they say to eat fruit on its own on an empty stomach and wait 10 minutes before eating other foods) If however you do not have any digestion problems you may want to add various fruits, especially berries fresh or frozen. No more than 1 cup of fruit should be added.
  • (Optional) Add ground up Apricot kernels (no more than 6 kernels per day). Or you may decide to eat these apricot kernels on their own

Nausea – Some people get nausea from the ground flaxseeds, to counter this by taking a small bowl of papaya immediately afterwards. Also put a lot of papaya into the morning muesli too, it may be there is a special enzymes in the papaya that quells the nausea. 

The Basic Rule with the Budwig diet is “if God made it then its fine and try to eat it in the same form that God made it”. Here are some foods that many are not sure of, but they are accepted on the Budwig diet:

  • Stevia, raw non-pasteurized honey, dates, figs, berry and fruit juices serve as sweeteners.
  • Herbs in their natural form (pure nothing added)
  • All nuts (raw unroasted) are fine except peanuts
  • All seeds good, sunflower seeds are very complete and filling
  • Raw un processed cocoa, shredded (unsweetened coconut) and rose hip puree
  • Cup of black tea is accepted (coffee beans are toxic and not recommended)
  • Any flour is permissible as long as it’s 100% whole grain. Corn is generally believed by the group to be an exception because of mold/fungus and genetic manipulation
  • 2 or 3 slices of health food store pickles (no preservatives! – read label!)
  • Freezing cottage cheese /Quark as well as fruits and vegetables is okay.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: The flaxseed oil must always be kept in the refrigerator. It will keep for 12 months in the freezer. Arrange to purchase as direct as possible from a manufacturer (like Barlean’s, cold pressed) and when it arrives put it right away in the refrigerator.
  • Drink only distilled water or reverse osmosis water
  • NO hydrogenated oils, NO trans-fats, (cold pressed sunflower seed oil is a better choice than olive oil)
  • NO animal fats NO pork (pigs are the cleaners of the earth and their meat is loaded with toxins. ham, bacon, sausages, etc. should be avoided)
  • NO seafood (lobsters, clams, shrimp, and all fish with a hard shell are cleaners of the sea and are loaded with toxins…)
  • White regular pasta is eliminated, as is white bread, (Gluten-free pasta and bread is a better choice than wheat as many cancer patients have an intolerance to wheat, whole Rye, Oat, Multigrain bread is good. Corn is very discouraged because of mold and genetic modification issues).  
  • NO ice cream or dairy products (other than the cottage cheese and some cheese)
  • NO cane sugar, white sugar, molasses, maple syrup, Xylitol, preservatives
  • NO processed foods (NO store bought pastries), make your own with our recipes
  • NO Soy products (unless fermented or used for 2 or 3 weeks at the beginning if you cannot tolerate the cottage cheese)
  • Avoid pesticides and chemicals, even those in household products & cosmetics. Good old vinegar, as well as baking soda are excellent household cleaners (look on the Internet for more info)

NO microwave, NO Teflon or aluminum cooking ware or aluminum foil. We recommend and provide during your stay at Budwig Center enamel cooking ware. Stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron, glass and corning cookware are fine.

This was an excerpt from Dr Conners’ book, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause.

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