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Author: Tero Isokauppila

If you live in the United States, chances are you probably know someone who suffers from digestive problems.

IBS, Crohn’s, celiac, leaky gut… even good ol’ bloating. The truth is, these health issues affect more people in our lives than we might realize – even some us here at Four Sigmatic.

Did you know over 60 million people in the United States alone are affected by digestive disorders? And of those 60 million, nearly half end up in the emergency room.

It’s enough to make your stomach churn.

(Sorry, dad joke)

But seriously, if you or someone close to you suffers from digestive issues, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. And as more and more research comes to light, it’s clear gut health isn’t just about a sore stomach. The wellbeing of our gastrointestinal systems has been linked to everything from cognitive health to immune function.

A well-balanced gut microbiome should hum like a well-oiled machine, supporting immune function, energy, mental clarity, and of course, good digestion.

Could mushrooms also help with digestion? They sure can!

In fact, there are a few mushrooms that could be especially good for this purpose.

You may have even glimpsed one of these "gut mushrooms" while walking in the forest… but we haven’t talked too much about it yet.

I’m talking about Coriolus versicolor, a.k.a. Turkey Tail. And it boasts a host of benefits:

  • Rich in prebiotics, turkey tail could support overall gut health by encouraging the growth of good bacteria, like acidophilus and bifidobacterium.
  • Potential antioxidants could promote wellbeing from the inside out.
  • Turkey tail contains Polysaccharide krestin, which could support cellular functions.

Specifically, turkey tail’s gut-friendly nature could be thanks to a specific polysaccharide, Polysaccharopeptide (called PSP for short). Says one study:

“Another randomized trial compared the effects of PSP and amoxicillin on gut microbiome composition and showed effects similar to prebiotic treatment, which suggest a benefit on gut/mucosal immunology when delivered orally.”

(For the non-scientists among us: PSP = good for the gut)

It’s said that ancient Taoists were especially impressed with turkey tail’s ability to grow almost anywhere, especially on pine, a tree notorious for its antifungal properties. Clearly, they thought, any mushroom that can thrive in such an unwelcoming environment must possess some pretty epic benefits.

And clearly, they were they right.

But how do you use it?

Think of turkey tail’s prebiotic and antioxidant support as your daily probiotic’s BFF. Separate, they’re great. Together, they’re a dream team, keeping your gut flora thriving so you can feel your best. A well-balanced gut (with well-balanced and well-fed “good bugs”) could support energy, immune function and full body wellbeing.


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