Turkey tail, named for its colorful stripes grows widely in forests around the world, but its health potential has never been fully measured in scientific trials.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a clinical trial for a turkey tail extract, for patients with mutagenic prostate tissues and breast tissues, allowing it to be taken in combination with conventional therapies to observe if it strengthened the subjects’ immune systems. The breast trial will have lasted seven years for continuous follow up.
Persons undergoing standard therapies for breast or prostate mutated tissue cells, tend to have very low levels of natural killer (NK) cells and other immune cells, which protect the body from tumors and viruses. NK cell activity typically plummets after chemotherapy, leaving the body vulnerable to new diseases.The NK cells, believed to be promoted by ingesting turkey tails, are being studied for results.
Effective Immunotherapy from Asia
“We didn’t discover turkey tail,” says lead investigator Leanna J. Standish, PhD, ND, LAc, FABNO, medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center.
“It’s been used in Asia for thousands and thousands of years, and it turns out to be a really potent immune therapy. Natural products have multiple mechanisms of action, and it is very difficult scientifically to figure out all those mechanisms. But our bodies have evolved to rely on them.”
“Bringing clarity to time-tested but little-understood medicines requires combining traditional wisdom and modern science,” says Hailing Lu, MD, PhD, research assistant professor of oncology at UW.
“That’s the point of the turkey tail study. We’re excited about this,” Dr. Lu said recently. “Japan and many other Asian countries have been using this [mushroom extract] for a long time. For me, it’s a great combination. I come from China, so the use of herbal products is not new for me. This is a bridging of Eastern and Western medicine.”
Stimulate Immune System with Medicinal Mushtrooms
Coriolus versicolor (雲芝 yún zhı; Polyporaceae) has a long history of medicinal use in China and Japan and is one of the most researched and respected of the medicinal mushrooms from Europe to the Far East.
Yun zhi in Chinese and kawaritake in Japanese mean “cloud mushrooms,” invoking an image of looking towards the sky and seeing swirling clouds overhead. In many Asian cultures, turkey tails’ billowing cloud forms symbolize longevity and health, spiritual attunement and infinity.
Turkey tail mushrooms contain large quantities of β-glucans that stimulate the immune system. The most active medicinal components are protein-bound β-glucan polysaccharides (PSKs, also known as Krestin in Japan) and polysaccharide-peptides (PSPs, yún zhı in China).
PSPs have been more recently developed in China as immunomodulatory agents and also found to exhibit antioxidant properties, with strong scavenging effects on superoxide and hydroxyl radicals.
Mushrooms may Help with Neurological Disorders and Viruses
Mushrooms have long been used not only as food but also for the treatment of various ailments. Although at its infancy, accumulated evidence suggested that culinary-medicinal mushrooms may play an important role in supporting the prevention of many age-associated neurological dysfunctions.
A review of over 20 different brain-improving culinary-medicinal mushrooms and at least 80 different bioactive secondary metabolites isolated from them were studied. The mushrooms, or isolated compounds, reduced beta amyloid-induced neurotoxicity (found in Alzheimer’s) and had multiple positive functions, including:
- Supporting the firing of nerve and brain signals.
- Nerve stimulation.
- Nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis.
- Nerve protection.
- Antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects in nerve cells.
More clinical studies are needed to observe if these extracts support neurological function in humans.
The Science Behind Turkey Tail Mushrooms
The natural killer cells promoted by ingesting turkey tails also target virally-infected cells. Moreover, turkey tail mushrooms have strong antiviral compounds, specifically active against Human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical tissue abnormalities, and hepatitis C virus (HEP-C), which affects the liver.
Viruses that induce mutations in tissues are called “oncoviruses.” The virus-to-cancer connection is where medicinal mushrooms offer unique opportunities for medical research. The current thinking amongst many researchers is that turkey tails and other medicinal mushrooms may help by reducing causal co-factors such as oncoviruses.
Although more research is needed, much tradition and science has been accomplished to definitely support adding quality mushrooms to your daily diet. One of the easiest ways is to take IMMUNE+++.
IMMUNE+++ Fortified with Turkey Tail Mushrooms
IMMUNE+++ contains a synergistic, balanced blend of the finest quality mushrooms. When combined with the Life-C blend of highly bioavailable vitamin C—which is two times more potent and stays in circulation twice as long as other vitamin C forms—this formula clearly has superior benefits.
Additionally, IMMUNE+++ has a synchronistic blend of natural antioxidants and bioflavonoids from:
- Camu Camu
- Acerola fruit
- Pomegranate fruit
- Sea Buckthorn
Take one to two tablets daily or more depending on your own health needs and guidelines. This formula was exclusively designed to optimize your health and immunity. Visit our website for more information about IMMUNE+++ and its health benefits.