Mushroom extract shows potential for treating HPV

Priscilla Preez/Unsplash

Daily use of a mushroom extract supported the immune system in clearing papillomavirus (HPV) infections, according to new research.

The study, published in Frontiers in Oncology, was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Our results show that AHCC [active hexose correlated compound] supplementation may help most patients eliminate their HPV infection and may decrease the long-term risk of HPV-related cancers,” said Judith Smith, PharmD, lead researcher on the study and professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology 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 study focused on women with a minimum two-year history of persistent high-risk HPV. Patients in the treatment group received the supplement AHCC for six months, followed by six months of a placebo. Patients in the placebo group received a placebo for 12 months. The study found that 14 of 22 patients or 63.6 percent in the treatment arm became HPV-negative. The supplement was well tolerated with no significant adverse side effects reported, according to the study.

AHCC is a proprietary, standardized extract of cultured lentinula edodes mycelia that was developed in Japan in 1992, according to the study. The compound is primarily composed of α-glucan components.