Medicinal Mushrooms are well known for their potent medicinal qualities. All medicinal mushrooms are effective at supporting immune health if they:
1. Are hot water extracts and
2. contain effective levels of beta glucans
- Beta glucans (non-linear polysaccharides) are structurally unique and have potent immune stimulating properties
- β-glucans are known as “biological response modifiers” because of their ability to activate the immune system.
- β-glucans seem to make the immune system work better without becoming overactive
- Immunologists at the University of Louisville, discovered that a receptor on the surface of innate immune cells called Complement Receptor 3 (CR3 or CD11b/CD18) is responsible for binding to beta-glucans, allowing the immune cells to recognize them as “non-self.”
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, Trametes versicolor has been used around the world for centuries to treat various conditions. Perhaps the most impressive quality of the turkey tail mushroom is its ability to enhance the health of your immune system. Here are 5 immune-boosting benefits of the turkey tail mushroom. (Info below summarized obtained from article written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD)
5 Immune-Boosting Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom
1. Rich in antioxidants
Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules known as free radicals. This can result in cellular damage and chronic inflammation. This imbalance has also been linked to an increased risk of developing health conditions, for example cancer and heart disease. disease.
Turkey tail contains a wide variety of phenol and flavonoid antioxidants which help promote your immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds.
Polysaccharopeptides are protein-bound polysaccharides (carbohydrates) that are found in, for example, turkey tail mushroom extract. Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) are two types of polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tails.
PSK stimulates dendritic cells that promote immunity to toxins and regulate the immune response. In addition, PSK activates specialized white blood cells called macrophages, which protect your body against harmful substances like certain bacteria.
3. May Improve Immune Function in People With Certain Cancers
Research has demonstrated that turkey tail mushrooms may have antitumor properties, thought to be related to its immune-boosting effects.
One test-tube study found that PSK, the polysaccharopeptide found in turkey tail mushrooms, inhibited the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells (.
What’s more, a certain type of polysaccharide found in turkey tail mushrooms called Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG) may suppress certain tumors.
Researchers attributed this development to enhanced immune response.
4. May Enhance the
Efficacy of Certain
Several research studies have demonstrated that turkey tail mushroom enhances the efficacy of both chemotherapy and radiation in people with certain cancers.
5. May Enhance Gut Health
Keeping a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut is critical for maintaining a strong immune system. Your gut bacteria interact with immune cells and directly impact your immune response
Turkey tail contains prebiotics, which help nourish these helpful bacteria.
Turkey tail mushroom may positively impact gut bacterial balance by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria while suppressing harmful species.