Functional Mushrooms: Honour your gut with Turkey Tail
This mushroom is sure to ruffle your feathers.
Turkey Tail, a mushroom that strikingly resembles that of a turkey’s behind, is primarily used for gut health and immune system support.
Where do Turkey Tail mushrooms grow?
This mushroom grows naturally on decomposing wood and is extremely abundant in many countries throughout the world, especially in the Northern hemisphere, and it can appear in many different sizes and colours.
What are the benefits of Turkey Tail mushrooms?
Turkey Tail mushrooms can be great for your body in more ways than one. I’ll tell you how, but you need to prepare to talk science-y with me for a minute here.
This functional mushroom contains two awesome bioactive compounds: Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) and Polysaccharide Krestin (PSK). The two compounds have been widely studied and have been found to provide extensive immune system support. 1
PSP and PSK are long chain carbohydrates, bound with proteins which help to induce pro-inflammatory immune cells called “cytokines”. These nifty cells are important for cell signalling during immune responses, which helps our body to more efficiently fight off infection. The cells are especially good at activating Natural Killer cells, which play a major role in the clearing of virally infected cells and tumors. Cytokines are also known to mediate and regulate inflammation caused by immune cell response. 1, 2
PSK has also been shown to have an antioxidant effect. It may help to protect the host from oxidative stress when used in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer. 3
But what about my gut?! Fear no more, PSP also acts as a prebiotic as it has shown to modify the fecal microbiome in humans. The carbohydrate is resistant to human digestive enzymes and can therefore pass through the gastro-intestinal tract and become a great snack for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. One study by Yu et al. demonstrated that PSP increased the populations of Bifidobacterium spp and Lactobacillus spp, two very important bacteria for gut health. More PSP equals more beneficial bacteria, which equals a healthy gut! 4
How can Turkey Tail mushrooms be used?
Like many functional mushrooms, there are a plethora of ways Turkey Tail can be gobbled up. Pun absolutely intended.
You can eat it raw, cook it, find it in powdered forms or as a mushroom liquid extract and make mushroom coffee. The options are endless.
Turkey Tail best supports gut health when consumed orally as part of a balanced diet.
How to use Life Cykel Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract:
Add 2 ml of Turkey Tail double liquid extract directly to your coffee, smoothie, tea, soup broth or water for best results.
For epic recipes using Turkey Tail, please check out our mushroom recipe blog.Mushroom Research:
Saleh, M. H., Rashedi, I., & Keating, A. (2017). Immunomodulatory Properties of Coriolus versicolor: The Role of Polysaccharopeptide. Frontiers in Immunology, 8. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.01087
Wang HX, Ng TB, Liu WK, Ooi VEC, Chang ST. Polysaccharide – peptide complexes from the cultured mycelia of the mushroom Coriolus versicolor and their culture medium activate mouse lymphocytes and macrophages. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 1996b;28:601 – 7.
LX, F. (2018). Anticancer effects and mechanisms of polysaccharide-K (PSK): implications of cancer immunotherapy. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12168863
Pallav et al., Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes Versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers. Gut Microbes Journal, 2015. The Celiac Center, Division of Gastroenterology; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Harvard Medical School; Boston, MA USA.