Turkey Tail Mushroom Supports Immune System and Cancer Treatment

Turkey Tail Benefits - Turkey Tail Mushroom Cancer Study

Posted by Blair Kovacs on

Immune System Support

Turkey Tail Mushrooms Trametes versicolor, also known as Coriolus versicolor are considered a member of the medicinal mushroom family.  Similar to Reishi and Chaga, Turkey Tail also offer immune system support.  Turkey tail are rich in beta glucans PSP and PSK polysaccharides which help to support the small intestines function to fight against bacteria and viruses.  

Test-tube studies have shown that PSP increases white blood cells that fight infection and boost immunity (1).  PSK stimulates dendritic cells that promote immunity to and regulate the immune response. 

Due to their ability to naturally strengthen the immune system, PSP and PSK are commonly used as anticancer agents in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation in countries like Japan and China (2).

Turkey Tail extract
Annanda Organics Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract 


Antioxidants are compounds that help inhibit or reduce damage caused by oxidative stress.  Free radicals result from this oxidative stress and can cause damage to cells and lead to chronic inflammation and other serious conditions like certain cancers and heart disease.

There are many foods that are rich in antioxidants including mushrooms like Turkey Tail which includes both phenols and flavonoids (3).  Some studies detected over 30 different phenolic compounds in turkey tail mushroom extract (4).

Phenol and flavonoid antioxidants promote immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds (5).


Cancer Fighter 

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 (6).  

Furthermore, a certain type of polysaccharide found in turkey tail mushrooms called Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG) may suppress certain tumors.  A study in tumor-bearing mice found that daily treatment with CVG extracted from turkey tail mushrooms significantly reduced tumor size (7).  Researchers attributed this development to enhanced immune response (8).

Another study demonstrated that daily treatment with turkey tail mushroom extract significantly slowed the spread of cancer cells in dogs with (hemangiosarcoma).

The most impressive evidence regarding the anticancer benefits of turkey tail mushroom is when it’s used in combination with more traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation (10, 1112).

chaga reishi turkey tail mushrooms

Good for The Gut 

Turkey tail contains prebiotics which help nourish beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus while reducing potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridiumand Staphylococcus 

An 8-week study in 24 healthy people found that consuming 3,600 mg of PSP extracted from turkey tail mushrooms per day led to beneficial changes in gut bacteria and suppressed the growth of the possibly problematic E. coli and Shigella bacteria (14).

Having healthy levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria has been linked to improved intestinal symptoms like diarrhea, enhanced immune system, reduced cholesterol levels, lower risks of certain cancers and improved digestion (15).

Additional Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom

  • Fights HPV: A study of people with HPV found that once treated with turkey tail experienced clearance of HPV (16).
  • May improve athletic performance: A mouse study showed that turkey tail extract improved exercise performance and reduced fatigue. Plus, the mice treated with turkey tail experienced lower blood sugar levels at rest and post-exercise (17).
  • May improve insulin resistance: A study in rats with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that turkey tail extract significantly reduced blood sugar levels and improved insulin resistance.

Side effects of turkey tail

Turkey tail mushroom is considered safe, with few side effects reported in research studies.

Some people may experience digestive symptoms like gas and dark stools when taking turkey tail mushroom.

When used as a cancer treatment alongside chemotherapy, side effects including, vomiting and loss of appetite have been reported.

Another potential side effect of consuming turkey tail mushroom is darkening of the fingernails (20).

It is recommended to speak with your doctor before supplementing with turkey tail mushroom.

Annanda Organics Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract is Dual Extracted using organic cane alcohol and Canadian Turkey Tail mushrooms from Northwestern Ontario.  visit www.annandachaga.com for more details. 

New Cancer Fungotherapy - Supporting Cancer Treatment with turkey tail, lions mane and chaga mushrooms