Quality of Life Labs said today that it arranged to ship 300 bottles of ImmunoKinoko AHCC (worth $30,000) to Hong Kong to help victims of the deadly SARS virus maintain a healthy immune response.
Additional supplies of the product will be provided over the coming months, added the company.
ImmunoKinoko AHCC contains Active Hexose Correlated Compound, a Japanese medicinal mushroom extract used to strengthen the immune system. The ingredient is derived from a specialized manufacturing process developed in the mid-1980s that relies on the hybridization of several species of mushrooms cultivated in Japan.
"While no one knows what causes SARS yet, it is clear that the vast majority of diseases we come into contact with on a daily basis can be managed by the body's immune system," said Dr Fred Pescatore, medical director of the AHCC Research Association.
"By providing some of those who are suffering with ImmunoKinoko? AHCC, we hope we can help them remain healthy until a cure is discovered for this mysterious flu-like illness."
More than 2,630 cases and 95 deaths have been reported in 17 countries in Asia, Europe and North America since SARS first emerged in China.
Last weekend reports that the probiotic drink Yakult could help prevent people from catching the virus helped lift shares in the Japanese company.
ImmunoKinoko? AHCC is packaged in bottles of 60 capsules, with a suggested use of two to six capsules daily. According to industry analysts in Japan, over 700 hospitals and medical clinics currently recommend AHCC to patients in that country as part of an immune support regimen.
Quality of Life Labs, sister company to Maypro Industries, located in Purchase, New York, is the sole US distributor of AHCC.