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Turkey Tail Mushroom, also known as Trametes versicolor is a common mushroom native to forests all over the world which are named for their distinctive and colorful appearance have a long history of being brewed into medicinal teas.
Our Turkey Tail Mushroom supplement is a potent extract of the wide variety of active compounds in Turkey Tail which are known to produce its beneficial effects. Turkey Tail is most known for supporting a healthy immune system, but has also been shown to be beneficial for digestion and to be a potent antioxidant.
Our recommended dose for Turkey Tail is to take two 500 mg capsules in the morning with food. This dose can be repeated in the evening with dinner if desired.
We don’t recommend using more than 6 capsules per day, as exceeding this dose can make GI side effects more likely.
Turkey Tail is well tolerated and adverse side effects are very rare. The most commonly reported side effects are diarrhea and GI discomfort, which are more likely when a very high dose is taken.
Turkey Tail Mushroom - $ 19.95 (120 x 500 mg capsules)
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Turkey Tail, also known as Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor, is a fungus that has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines. In Chinese culture turkey tail was used to treat pulmonary diseases and in Japanese culture as an anti-cancer adjuvant. (1,2,3,4) Turkey tail mushroom is a woody bracket fungus that grows on dead hardwood logs and stumps. Its name comes from the appearance of the mushroom, with brown, cinnamon, and reddish concentric rings that resemble a turkey’s tail feathers.
As a dietary supplement, turkey tail mushroom has become popular due to its ability to support the immune system. Turkey tail mushroom contains β-glucans Polysaccharide-K (PSK) and Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) which work to improve immune system health. (5) Turkey tail mushrooms work as a powerful antioxidant by inducing antigenotoxic effects. (6) Turkey tail has become a popular supplement for pet owners due to its ability to fight off infection and for its potential in the fight against canine cancer. (15)
Turkey Tail’s benefits come from its two bioactive ingredients, Polysaccharide-K (PSK) and Polysaccharopeptide (PSP). (5) Both components work to support immune system health. In addition to these two main ingredients, Turkey Tail mushrooms contain a large variety of phenols and flavonoids that work as potent antioxidants. (6,17)
Because of Turkey Tail’s active ingredients and probiotics, it works to support gut health and digestion. (18)
The β-glucans in turkey tail also show tremendous promise to improve canine health. (19) By attaching to the immune cells in dogs, PSK and PSP are able to destroy bacteria and viruses.
In addition to supporting immune system health, working as an antioxidant, supporting gut health, and working to improve overall health in canines, turkey tail has additional benefits that will be discussed further under “Turkey Tail Mushroom Research” that include:
Turkey Tail can be found in several different variations. Most commonly it is produced for supplementation as a capsule or extract. When taking a capsule, it is recommended to be taken with food to avoid potential GI issues. Turkey Tail is also available as a tea that can be drank. Since its difficult to determine the amount of the mushroom getting brewed into the tea, this is the least precise way to determine a dosage.
For pet owners, turkey tail can be found as a powder that may be mixed with other antibiotics to be sprinkled on your pets’ food.
It is important to note that Turkey Tail is best to be consumed from a reputable distributor and not harvested for individual use. Although the mushroom is safe, identification should only be done by trained individuals as misidentification can lead to serious health problems.
Turkey Tail Dosage
For the immunity boosting and digestive enhancement benefits of turkey tail, an average daily dose of 1,000mg to 2,000mg is recommended. Turkey Tail has been used in cancer treatment up to 3,000mg daily. (16)
For supplementation for pets, the dosage would be dependent on the size of the animal. For animals under 50 pounds, 500mg would be sufficient. For animals between 50 to 100 pounds, 1,000mg would be sufficient and so on.
Turkey tail is reported to be very well tolerated. The most commonly reported side effects are GI discomfort, diarrhea, or a loss of appetite.
Turkey tail is a very safe supplement. On a study on mice, doses as high as 1,000mg/kg per day were reported to be non-toxic. (23) In a clinical trial of turkey tail for cancer therapy, up to 9g of turkey tail daily for six months did not show any negative side effects. (12)
While Turkey Tail is a mushroom that is found in nature, it should only be ingested when harvested by professionals. Supplementation of wild mushrooms is very dangerous without proper identification and can result in serious medical issues including death.
Turkey Tail mushroom is a source of Polysaccharide-K (PSK) which is thought to be the driving force behind its mechanism of supporting immune system health. (7,8,9) Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is a protein highly expressed in white blood cells that has a role in the immune system by recognizing pathogens. (10) TLR2 is expressed on the surface of cells and works by recognizing foreign substances and then passes on signals to the cells of the immune system to activate the innate community.
One of the cell types stimulated by PSK is natural killer (NK) cells and in turn, their production of Interferon gamma (IFNγ). (7) NK cells provide rapid response to virus-infected cells by recognizing stressed cells in the absence of antibodies or major histocompatibility complex (MHC – a set of genes that codes the cell surface for foreign molecule recognition) which allows for a faster immune reaction time.
Another way PSK supports the immune system is through the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). (11) PBMCs consists of lymphocytes including NK cells, along with T cells and B cells. Two groups of T cells that are integral in shaping immune response, CD4+ and CD8+, are increased with PSK. (7) CD4+, “helper cells”, indirectly kill cells identified as foreign by determining a response for other parts of the immune system. CD8+, “killer cells”, are cytotoxic and therefore able to kill virus-infected cells. (12) B cells work in the adaptive immune system by secreting antibodies. (13)
While increasing PBMCs, PSK is also able to accumulate Interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1α). (11) IL-1α is responsible for the production of inflammation and plays a role in the regulation of immune responses through its metabolic, physiological, and hematopoietic activities.
The other bioactive component in turkey tail is Polysaccharopeptide (PSP). (5) PSP has an immunopotentiating effect by restoring cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression. (14)
Support Immune System Health (20)
To determine PSP’s immunomodulating effects, a study was conducted where it was administered with or without phytohemagglutinin (PHA). PHA is commonly used in immune system population as it is used as a mitogen that induce virus responses.
Proliferative PSP capability of various immune populations was established via flow cytometry in mononuclear cells. This was done with and without PHA as a control. It was determined that PSP significantly increased the number of white blood cells compared to the control group that also contained PHA. White bloods cells serve several functions in the immune system including killing infected host cells.
Potent Antioxidant (17)
Phenolic compounds are known to exert preventative activity against infectious diseases, allergies, inflammation, and are a reactive species towards oxidation. A study aimed at determining turkey tail’s acetylcholinesterase’s inhibitory properties detected that there are over 35 different phenolic compounds in turkey tail mushroom.
Two of the phenolic compounds detected were quercetin and baicalein. Quercetin is an antioxidant as it inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. (22) Baicalein has shown to have anxiolytic effects and to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation which is a common cause of skin and respiratory infections.
Support Gut Health (21)
24 healthy volunteers were administered PSP from turkey tail, amoxicillin, or no treatment to determine the effectiveness of turkey tail of maintaining intestinal health. The interactions of microbial flora of the intestine and the human are integral in maintaining this health and if this relationship is off, can lead to varying disorders such as diarrhea.
Results were measured utilizing the Bacterial Tag-Encoded FLX Amplicon Pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) on the specimen’s stool on seven occasions over eight weeks. It was found that supplementation with PSP led to clear and consistent microbiome changes consistent with its activity as a prebiotic. This indicates turkey tail is able to act as a prebiotic to modulate intestinal health.
Minor Increase in Pain Sensitivity (11)
Tests on rats were conducted to determine PSP’s, as extracted from turkey tail, pain sensitizing effects. These tests were conducted using the hot-plate test for tactile heat pain and acetic acid writhing test for chemical pain.
The rats were split into two groups, a control group and a group administered PSP. Initial studies showed that in the acid writhing test, acid-induced writhing was reduced by 92.9% with PSP. This later was shown to be dose-dependent.
Decrease in Inflammation (11)
In the same test that was conducted for pain sensitivity, anti-inflammatory effects of turkey tail were invoked. It was deduced that the proliferation of PMBCs, specifically IL-1α, were responsible for the reduction in acid-induced writhing. The role of the inflammatory mediator release showed a reduction in writhing of 54% and 58.5%.
Are turkey tail mushrooms safe?
Turkey tail mushroom supplements are reported to be very safe and well tolerated. But with any mushroom supplement, you should only purchase from reputable suppliers to ensure safety and quality.
Can I give my dog turkey tail mushroom supplements?
Turkey tail mushroom supplementation has become very popular in the canine community for the wide array of immune system and antioxidant benefits.
Does turkey tail help with the common cold?
As it is sold as a dietary supplement, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. However, the antioxidant and immune system benefits may be beneficial.
How different is turkey tail from lion’s mane?
In short, very different. Where turkey tail supports the immune system and is an antioxidant, lion’s mane primary functions to increase nerve growth factor (NGF) levels in the brain.
Is turkey tail psychedelic?
No, turkey tail mushroom does not contain psychedelic properties.
Do turkey tail mushrooms contain heavy metals?
When looking for dietary supplements, you should look for vendors that offer third party testing that shoes levels of heavy metals in any product.
* These reviews are the experiences of the individual customers that submitted them, results may differ from person to person.
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