The Surprising Health Benefits Of The Turkey Tail Mushroom

The Surprising Health Benefits Of The Turkey Tail Mushroom

Coriolus 101: A Guide 

Coriolus versicolor is a medicinal mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Easily found growing on tree trunks, the bright colors and fan-like shape of this fungus give it its common name: the turkey tail mushroom. Containing key bioactive compounds, Coriolus versicolor can support the immune system and enhance overall health. This Coriolus guide will explain how these compounds work in the body and ways they can benefit the immune system. (1)

What Is Inside Coriolus versicolor?

The turkey tail mushroom contains bioactive compounds, enzymes, and antioxidants that scientists are increasingly researching. Two compounds that are shown to have the most impact on the body are polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharopeptide Krestin (PSK). These polysaccharides--which are a form of carbohydrates--have been shown to support the function of the immune system. (1) Along with these compounds, Coriolus versicolor is also rich in antioxidants, enzymes, and amino acids. One study on turkey tail mushrooms detected over 35 phenols and flavonoids in this fungus. These specific types of compounds have been studied for their beneficial effects on the immune system. (2, 3)

Health Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms

While modern science continues to investigate the health benefits of turkey tail, these medicinal mushrooms are showing promise in supporting a variety of systems in the body. By examining the effects of PSP, PSK, and other key Coriolus compounds, researchers are noting key areas where this mushroom can offer support.

Coriolus Can Provide Immune System Support*

The PSP and PSK compounds in Coriolus versicolor have immune-balancing properties that can support the function of this important system in the body. One study showed that PSP extracted from turkey tail supported monocytes, a type of white blood cell. When stimulated, monocytes are released from bone marrow and travel where needed. They also stimulate the release of other immune cells. (4)

Antioxidant Activity And Coriolus

Turkey tail contains a variety of antioxidant compounds, such as quercetin and baicalein. These antioxidants support overall health by supporting against reactive oxygen species. Including Coriolus in the diet--whether by eating or supplementing--may thus help the body fight free radicals. (5)

Coriolus Can Balance Gut Bacteria*

The balance of bacteria in our gut can have a direct effect on overall health and wellbeing. When good bacteria are outnumbered by the bad, this can lead to intestinal problems and may also negatively affect the immune system. To increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut, prebiotic foods and supplements can be taken. These provide nourishment that increases the population of good bacteria.

Coriolus versicolor contains prebiotics in the form of PSP. One study showed an increase in beneficial bacteria in the majority of 24 participants. It also noted that the growth of harmful bacteria was suppressed. These and other findings indicate that turkey tail can promote gut health and help prevent the microbiome from becoming unbalanced. (6)

A Powerful Medicinal Mushroom For Balanced Health

Because of its long history as an often-used medicinal mushroom, Coriolus versicolor has proven to be a helpful tool in supporting overall health. With its complex profile of bioactive compounds, antioxidants, and prebiotics, turkey tail can be a great benefit to balancing the immune system and maintaining a healthy microbiome. Continued scientific research will likely shed more light on additional health benefits of this powerful fungi.

Botanically-Enhanced Mushroom Formula for Optimal Health

To obtain optimal results from beneficial mushrooms, many experts recommend taking multiple mushroom varieties together in a broad-spectrum, synergistic formula. For long-term immune health and vitality, ecoNugenics recommends the researched mushroom formula, MycoPhyto—which includes Coriolus together with other powerful fungi, and beta glucans for additional support.* 

The mushrooms in MycoPhyto are enhanced with a revolutionary, first-in-class cultivation method that grows the mushrooms on a blend of immune-supportive herbs to provide additional benefits. As a result, MycoPhyto delivers powerful and fast-acting support for immunity and overall vitality.* 

Frequently Asked Questions About Turkey Tail Mushroom

Q: What is Coriolus versicolor?

A: Coriolus versicolor is a species of mushroom, most often found growing on the trunks of trees. Its common name is turkey tail. Coriolus versicolor has a long history in Chinese herbalism as a beneficial  mushroom, used to address numerous areas of health and support overall vitality.

Q: Is Coriolus versicolor safe to eat?

A: There have been no adverse effects found in either animal or human consumption of turkey tail. It’s not commonly eaten whole or cooked; the specific compounds are usually extracted. Itcan also be dried and powdered in capsule form or added to hot water as a tea. While it’s considered safe, it’s always recommended to consult with a physician prior to use. (7)

Q: What is Coriolus versicolor good for?

A: Research shows that turkey tail has properties that positively affect the immune system, gut bacteria, and antioxidant activity in the body. Research shows that two main components--PSP and PSK--help support immune activity while supporting healthy inflammation responses. These actions contribute to the overall function and balance of the immune system that works to keep the body healthy. (1)

Sources:

  1. Dou H, Chang Y, Zhang L. Coriolus versicolor polysaccharopeptide as an immunotherapeutic in China. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2019;163:361-381. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pmbts.2019.03.001.
  2. Cruz A, Pimentel L, Rodríguez-Alcalá LM, Fernandes T, Pintado M. Health benefits of edible mushrooms focused on Coriolus versicolor: A review. J Food Nutr Res. 2016;4(12):773-781. http://pubs.sciepub.com/JFNR/4/12/2/index.html.
  3. Janjušević L, Karaman M, Šibul F, et al. The lignicolous fungus Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd (1920): a promising natural source of antiradical and AChE inhibitory agents. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2017;32(1):355-362. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6010034/.
  4. Sekhon BK, Sze DM-Y, Chan WK, et al. PSP activates monocytes in resting human peripheral blood mononuclear cells: immunomodulatory implications for cancer treatment. Food Chem. 2013;138(4):2201-2209. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23497877/.
  5. Pérez-Cano FJ, Castell M. Flavonoids, inflammation and immune system. Nutrients. 2016;8(10):659. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084045/.
  6. Pallav K, Dowd SE, Villafuerte J, et al. Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial: A randomized clinical trial. Gut Microbes. 2014;5(4):458-467. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25006989/.
  7. Barros AB, Ferrão J, Fernandes T. A safety assessment of Coriolus versicolor biomass as a food supplement. Food Nutr Res. 2016;60:29953. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4788765/.

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