TURKEY TAIL (TRAMETES VERSICOLOR)
Enhances effects of radiation therapy
Boosts immune response
Adjunctive treatment in cancer chemotherapy
Increases interferon production
Healthy Gut Biome
Potential Weight Regulator
Turkey Tail is a mushroom that grows on hardwood, has beautiful multicolored zones and it is very easy to identify. Although not directly edible due to its tough texture, they can be made into a tincture.
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. PSP from turkey tail extract may inhibit colon cancer cell growth, according to some research. PSP may also stop the colon cancer cells from migrating and invading healthy cells, the study authors report. The authors of the review conclude that people who take PSK may have improved survival rates, and they recommend combining PSK with chemotherapy. Another study looked at natural supplements that doctors recommend in conjunction with chemotherapy. The authors suggest that turkey tail extract was the natural therapy most commonly prescribed to people with breast cancer, and they describe the extract as “chemotherapy-compatible.”
The compounds in turkey tail may also offer benefits for gut health.
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.
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