Medicine

Role of Magnificent Turkey Tail Mushroom or T-Versicolor in Pharmaceutical Industry | by Angole Marcus | Sep, 2021

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Angole Marcus
Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

While there is an abundance of mushrooms with medicinal properties, one of the most well-known is Trametes versicolor, also known as Coriolus versicolor(Commonly called turkey tail due to its striking colors). It is one of the most commonly found species of mushroom in North America. This is pretty rudimentary “field cultivation” but apparently turkey tail mushrooms are very easy to cultivate.

Turkey tail mushrooms are a polypore, meaning that it has pores on the underside, very small, pores that are only just barely visible, at a rate of 3 to 8 pores per millimeter.

The “fuzz” on a turkey tail mushroom actually glitters a bit in the light and gives them a slight silver sheen when the light hits them and it is actually easy to see with a magnifying glass.

Turkey tail is a medicinal mushroom with an impressive range of benefits.

Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules known as free radicals. This can result in cellular damage and chronic inflammation. Turkey tail contains an impressive array of antioxidants, including phenols and flavonoids, for example, Quercetin has been shown to promote the release of immunoprotective proteins like interferon-y, while inhibiting the release of the pro-inflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX)

Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) are two types of polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tails. Both PSK and PSP possess powerful immune-boosting properties. They promote immune response by both activating and inhibiting specific types of immune cells and by suppressing inflammation.

The study showed that people with breast cancer, gastric cancer, or colorectal cancer treated with turkey tail and chemotherapy experienced a 9% reduction in 5-year mortality compared to chemotherapy alone,6–9 grams of turkey tail powder per day following radiation therapy experienced an increase in cancer-fighting cells in the immune system, such as natural killer cells and lymphocytes.

A test-tube study found that turkey tail extracts modified gut bacteria composition by increasing populations of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus while reducing potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium and Staphylococcus.

With all its immune-boosting qualities, it’s no wonder turkey tail is a popular natural treatment to promote health. Some people may experience digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, fingernails darkening, and dark stools when taking turkey tail mushrooms. These people should use it according to prescription.


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