This holiday season, consider a different variety of turkey. While not quite as appetizing as a perfectly roasted, juicy bird surrounded by stuffing and yams on your Thanksgiving table, the turkey tail mushroom is perhaps even more beneficial. One purported reason to consume turkey tail would be sure to impact many, with cancer being prevalent globally. Cancer is a leading cause of death and Coriolus Versicolor potentially has much to offer in the ongoing battle against it.
Tamer of Tumors
Research has demonstrated that turkey tail extracts have such powerful effects on the immune system that it's compounds can suppress tumors. In a study conducted by Dr. Annoor Awadasseid et al. and published by the National Center for Biotechnical Information, turkey tail mushroom extracts were given to mice suffering from tumors. Over a nine day trial, the overall weight of each tumor decreased while relative spleen and thymus weight increased. An Anticancer glucan found in turkey tail, known as CVG, is thought to be the driver behind the reduction in tumor size. This is isolated through a dual extraction, using both ethanol and hot water. The decrease in tumor size was observed while the mice consumed 100 or 200 mg per kg of body weight.
A similar study, which also used a turkey tail dual extraction, exhibited a prolonged lifespan for dogs with an aggressive form of cancer known as hemangiosarcoma.
Pair with Traditional Cancer Treatments
While the anti-cancer properties of turkey tail extracts are evidently strong, mainstream cancer treatments are still essential for the best chance of recovery. There have been several studies conducted on the efficacy of turkey tail supplements taken while patients are also enduring chemotherapy. One study showed a 9% reduction in five year mortality amongst patients with breast, gastric, and colorectal cancer. Yet another study, involving over 8,000 patients struggling with stomach cancers, showed a pattern of prolongated lifespans when turkey tail was ingested during chemotherapy. An increase in cancer fighting immune cells was observed.
Excellent Source of Antioxidants
Staying in line with a theme common to medicinal mushrooms, turkey tail is brimming with antioxidants. This trait is of great benefit to people who struggle with chronic inflammation and cellular damage. While turkey tail contains a variety of antioxidative compounds, phenols and flavonoids are amongst the most notable. If your immune system is struggling, or you're simply interested in fortification, turkey tail double extractions are a great option.
In a study conducted by Chun-Sheng Ho et. al., Effect of Coriolus versicolor Mycelia Extract on Exercise Performance and Physical Fatigue in Mice, the athletic benefits of turkey tail were tested. The monitored criteria included forelimb grip strength, swimming endurance, and fatigue related parameters such as serum lactate, ammonia, glucose, and creatine levels. The mice which received turkey tail supplements showed significant improvements in every monitored category compared to the control group. This points towards turkey tail extracts having high potential in improving the athletic performance of humans.