Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits the Diversity of the Gut with Prebiotic Effects
We are living in an age where supporting the gut microbiome is all the rage. In modern health blogs we are learning about how much the gut influences our overall health and its important connection to our brain and immune system. Probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented drinks like kombucha and kefir have become popular for their gut-supporting capabilities and are now more available to the public online and in stores. The word ‘bacteria’ is looked at with less aversion as we gain and spread knowledge about the good bacteria living in our gut. Did you know that mushrooms are now being highlighted for their prebiotic activity? Read on to find out how turkey tail mushroom benefits the gut microbiome.
What is the Gut Microbiome?
The gut microbiome consists of microorganisms, which are mostly bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria help us digest what we eat, as well as absorb and synthesize nutrients. The gut affects so many of our bodies’ important systems such as metabolism, weight, and immune regulation, as well as brain functions and mood. When the balance of our gut microbiome gets disrupted, there is the potential for inflammation to increase, and the risk of other physical and mental disorders can rise.
Based on our environments and habits, each person’s gut looks slightly different, like a “bacterial fingerprint” of you. Diversity in the gut is thought of as beneficial, and seen more often in healthier populations, aiding in the resistance to pathogens. To promote a healthy and diverse gut microbiome, it is essential to eat a nourishing and balanced diet, exercise regularly, support the stress response, maintain consistent sleep and reduce frequency of antibiotics. 
Turkey Tail Mushroom History
Turkey tail mushroom can be found in the wild with bands of colors such as orange, blue, white and tan, resembling the tail of a turkey. In Latin, Trametes means “one who is thin,” and versicolor means “variously colored.”
This mushroom has long been used in Japanese folk medicine as anti-cancer support. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, turkey tail was used to support lung health, excess phlegm and hepatitis.
The Japanese began studying the benefits of Turkey tail mushroom extracts in 1965. They developed Krestin (PSK), which was a popular anti-cancer drug in the 1980’s, and which is still used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The Chinese were then inspired to develop Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP), another type of polysaccharopeptide extract found in this mushroom and used for similar purposes. 
Study on Mushroom Prebiotics
Prebiotics are fermented ingredients (essentially dietary fiber) that support the gut by allowing certain changes in the constitution and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microbiota. In a study looking at how the gut microbiome is affected by turkey tail mushroom extract (PSP) compared to amoxicillin, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, it was found that turkey tail mushroom benefits the gut microbiome by acting as a prebiotic and diversifying the gut.
The study found that amoxicillin treatment caused substantial microbiome changes which lasted until the end of the study, over a month after the antibiotics were being ingested. Instability of the microbiome is associated with poorer gut health. PSK has been shown to provide prebiotic support to gut health as well. 
Turkey Tail at Mushroom Revival
Here at Mushroom Revival, gut health is super important to us! We can be found enjoying fermented foods, fermented drinks, and regularly incorporating mushroom medicine into our diets and supplements. Turkey tail mushroom and its benefits can be found in our Mushroom Immunity tincture and Mush 10 powder and tincture. We invigorate the health of the planet and the customer by planting a tree for every product sold. Be a part of the revival story with your purchase!
 What is the Gut Microbiome? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://foodandmoodcentre.com.au/2016/07/what-is-the-gut-microbiome/
 Miller, A. H., & Halpern, G. M. (2002). Medicinal mushrooms: ancient remedies for modern ailments. New York: M. Evans and Co.
 Pallav, K., Dowd, S. E., Villafuerte, J., Yang, X., Kabbani, T., Hansen, J., … & Kelly, C. P. (2014). Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial. Gut microbes, 5(4), 458-467.
 Cruz, A., Pimentel, L., Rodríguez-Alcalá, L. M., Fernandes, T., & Pintado, M. (2016). Health benefits of edible mushrooms focused on Coriolus versicolor: A review. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 4(12), 773-781.