Turkey Tail features a broad array of naturally occurring compounds that help improve stamina and support gut health, which, in turn, can correlate with a healthy immune system. It is packed with antioxidants, including powerful flavonoids and more than 35 phenols. They promote immune system health by helping management of inflammation and by stimulating the release of supportive compounds. It’s also replete in prebiotics, which nourishes the beneficial bacteria in the gut and restores a balance of good flora in the gastrointestinal tract, helping with improved digestion and immune response.
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Teelixer Turkey Tail Mushroom
Cancer fighting potential.
A number of studies have shown that turkey tail mushrooms have immune boosting properties.
For example, its extract may be useful in fighting certain types of cancer; colon and breast being the most commonly tested.
The researchers looked at studies of five types of mushroom, including turkey tail, as complementary cancer treatments. They conclude, “The evidence base for using mushrooms in cancer treatment has greatly increased.”
However, none of these studies recommend any mushroom extract as a standalone treatment. Instead, the researchers have found that these extracts may have benefits for people who use them alongside other treatments and therapies.
Turkey tail mushrooms contain compounds called polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK). PSP and PSK appear to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Some evidence suggests that PSP may also have the ability to stimulate the immune system, especially when combined with other anticancer treatments.
Researchers have isolated the PSK compound. In Japan, PSK is an approved adjuvant cancer treatment, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Gut health benefits
The compounds in turkey tail may also offer benefits for gut health.
Like most mushrooms, turkey tail contains fiber, which is an indigestible part of plant foods that helps maintain healthy digestion.
These mushrooms may also provide other benefits, including:
Healthy gut bacteria
Research has shown that having a healthy colony of bacteria in the gut can help prevent disease and support the immune system. Turkey tail may be helpful in keeping a balance of gut bacteria, therefore improving overall health.
One study found that PSP from turkey tail has prebiotic abilities and helps the gut regulate its balance of bacteria. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that act as a food source for healthy bacteria in the gut.
In addition, other evidence indicates that PSP regulates the gut microbiome by balancing levels of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
Limited research suggests that a component of turkey tail called protein-bound beta-glucan (PBG) could help prevent obesity.
A study in mice, for example, found that PBG helped prevent weight gain in those that ate a high fat diet.
The study found that PBG may help balance certain bacteria in the gut, which can help prevent obesity. However, confirming these effects in humans will require further research.
Because turkey tail is a fungus, anyone with a mushroom or mold allergy should not use it. Taking any mushroom extract could cause a life threatening reaction in some people.
Researchers have yet to identify any severe side effects associated with turkey tail. However, some milder adverse effects may include:
- chest pain
- cold- or flu-like symptoms