The medicinal mushrooms market is set for significant growth. According to various experts in market research, the industry is likely to grow by approximately 10% per year for at least the next six years.
Turkey tail is one of the most popular fungi on the market at present. Also known as Coriolus versicolor or Trametes versicolor, turkey tail mushrooms are linked with various immune-boosting properties. Products such as turkey tail mushroom capsules are often purchased by individuals who want to experience what these fungi can do without being exposed to the taste.
In any case, let’s check out three benefits to the immune system associated with turkey tail mushrooms.
1. Turkey Tail Mushrooms Are High In Antioxidants
Oxidative stress happens because of an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. We require antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress damage, which leads to chronic inflammation and cellular damage. It is a potentially serious issue. Studies such as this one published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity in 2016 have found that oxidative stress could increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease.
However, having a diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress and the ensuing inflammation. Turkey tail mushrooms contain a huge variety of antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenols. Indeed, research has found that turkey tail mushroom extract contains over 35 different phenolic compounds.
This is relevant because of what flavonoid and phenol antioxidants can do. They potentially promote better immune system health by decreasing inflammation. These compounds also increase the production of protective compounds released into the body. Many mushroom products contain these health boosting benefits.
Quercetin is an antioxidant flavonoid that inhibits inflammatory enzymes while also releasing immunoprotective proteins.
2. Turkey Tail Mushrooms Could Improve Digestive Health
In the United States, there are over 440 million acute noncancerous medical conditions reported each year. Approximately 22 million relate to acute digestive conditions, half of which involve patients with gastroenteritis. Another six million Americans report conditions such as nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.
Individuals with these problems tend to have an unhealthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Our gut bacteria interact with immune cells and have a major effect on our immune response.
Prebiotics aid in the production of helpful bacteria, and turkey tail mushrooms are full of them! A study published in Gut Microbes in 2014 looked at the effects of polysaccharopeptides from the turkey tail mushroom on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers.
This clinical trial lasted for eight weeks and involved 24 individuals. Those who used 3,600mg of PSP (Polysaccharide Peptide) taken from turkey tail each day experienced benefits in gut bacteria. Moreover, users of turkey tail showed decreased growth of Shigella and E. coli bacteria.
There is also evidence that turkey tail mushrooms increase the production of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Having healthy levels could improve intestinal symptoms, such as lower cholesterol levels, and lead to an enhanced immune system.
3. Turkey Tail Mushrooms Contain Polysaccharopeptides
You will find these protein-bound polysaccharides in turkey tail mushrooms. PSP and Krestin (PSK) are two of the most abundant. Both have strong immune-boosting potential and achieve this by activating and inhibiting certain immune cell types and lowering inflammation.
A study published in Food Chemistry in 2013 looked at the effects on PSP. The researchers looked at test-tube studies, which showed that PSP increases monocytes. Monocytes are a form of white blood cell that helps improve immunity and fight against infection.
In a handful of Asian nations, PSK and PSP are used as anticancer agents along with chemotherapy or surgery.
What Else Could Turkey Tail Mushrooms Do For Me?
We said we would include three benefits, but in reality, there are potentially dozens. These include:
- Combatting HPV
- Improving athletic performance
- Boosting insulin resistance
- Antibacterial qualities
Aside from the ones mentioned above, turkey tail mushrooms are also believed to help strengthen conventional cancer treatments by slowing down the growth of cancer cells and tumors.
Also, turkey tail mushrooms have surprising skin benefits such as:
- They can keep the skin looking younger and more radiant by getting rid of wrinkles and other signs of aging.
- They can protect the skin from further damage that may speed up aging and other skin issues, such as dark spots and uneven texture caused by overexposure to UV radiation.
- They can minimize the appearance of puffiness by reducing skin inflammation that may cause irritated or damaged skin.
Indeed, turkey tail mushrooms can be beneficial to your body.
The rapid growth of the market means we can expect further research on turkey tail mushrooms imminently.
Ways To Use Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Now that you know the benefits of turkey tail mushrooms, it’s time to get familiar with how you can consume them more effectively. Generally, turkey tail mushrooms can be eaten in their original form. However, their chewy texture makes them distasteful.
Because of this, turkey tail mushrooms can be best consumed as a tea or an extract. This allows you to get the most out of its beneficial compounds, such as polysaccharide Krestin (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide (PSP). You can drink a tea made from turkey tail mushrooms by simmering some chopped pieces in hot water. For turkey tail extracts, you can have them in the form of capsules, liquids, and powder.
Moreover, some companies like Mushroom Revival offer mushroom extract gummies as another way to reap the benefits of mushrooms. They’re known as chewable supplements made from a vegan gelatin base with organic flavor additives and mushroom extracts.
Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms
There are lots of brands on the market. However, make sure you only purchase turkey tail mushroom capsules from a reputable source. Companies must show third-party lab reports to prove that their products contain nothing but the highest quality turkey tail extract.