What if I told you there’s a fungus that provides a ton of health benefits to your dog? One that can even fight cancer.
You might think I’m a little crazy …
But it really does exist!
It’s a mushroom called turkey tail. It also goes by the name of Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor.
Today, I’ll tell you how this pretty fungus helps fight cancer.
But first, let’s cover some of the other reasons turkey tail mushrooms are good for your dog.
Health Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushrooms (and other mushrooms) get a lot of attention in the medical world. And most of this has to do with the beta-glucans that turkey tail mushrooms contain.
The 2 primary beta-glucans in turkey tail are:
- Polysaccharide-K (PSK)
- Polysaccharide-P (PSP)
Beta-glucans are essential sugars found in the cell walls of mushrooms.
Here are some of the ways they keep your dog healthy.
RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms? Yes! Here’s Why ...
1. Boosts The Immune System
Beta-glucans interact with immune cells to:
- Increase immune function when your dog’s system needs a boost.
- Regulate the immune system for dogs with auto-immune diseases.
- Decrease inflammatory response in overactive immune systems.
Turkey tail is also a prebiotic.
Prebiotics are soluble fibers that ferment in the gut. This is important because they feed the probiotics that keep your dog healthy. The healthier your dog the better his immune system will be.
This means your dog is better equipped to fight off:
2. Fights Yeast
Yeast helps your dog digest his food. But when yeast gets out of control, it can cause a whole lot of problems:
- Itchy skin
- Hot spots
- Infected ears
- Stinky feet
- Food insensitivities
- Black skin
- Hair loss
Turkey Tail mushrooms are full of beneficial bacteria and have antifungal properties.
This makes them a great choice for keeping yeast in check and fighting off yeast infections.
3. Keeps The Digestive, Urinary And Respiratory Tracts Healthy
I mentioned earlier that turkey tail mushrooms contain beta-glucans and prebiotics. Together these regulate the inflammatory response and boost the immune system.
This is especially true in the ...
- Digestive tract
- Urinary tract
- Respiratory tract
By adding turkey tail mushrooms to your dog’s diet, you can keep these systems in top shape. And that means a happier and healthier pooch.
4. Offers Phytonutrients
Plants are full of phytonutrients to help protect them from damage. When your dog eats plants that are rich in phytonutrients it can help prevent:
- Pulmonary disease
- Heart disease
5. Protects The Liver
Recent studies show that PSP may also help prevent liver damage and primary liver cancer.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms And Cancer
As you can see, there is a lot that turkey tail mushrooms can do to keep your dog healthy.
But, one of the most exciting is how it can help dogs with cancer.
Japan and China have even approved PSP as an anti-cancer drug.
6. Increases Longevity In Dogs With Hemangiosarcoma
Hemangiosarcoma is a form of cancer that is more common in dogs than any other animal. It affects the:
Symptoms of hemangiosarcoma vary depending on the organ that’s affected.
Skin tumors will appear as red or purple bumps. They may bruise or bleed. If the tumor is under the skin, it may feel like a benign tumor.
Common symptoms for internal tumors include ...
- Weight loss
- Bulging belly
- Reduced stamina
- Decreased appetite
- Increased panting
- Pale gums
Hemangiosarcoma spreads quickly, with less than 10% of dogs surviving past 1 year.
Turkey tail mushrooms can help slow this spread.
In 2012, it was discovered that cancer spread slower in dogs given PSP. And they survived longer.
No Turkey Tail: Survived 86 days
50 mg-kg/day: Survived 117 days
100 mg-kg/day: Survived 199 days
7. Fights Other Forms Of Cancer
Turkey tail not only improves survival times for hemangiosarcoma.
It also helps with other cancers as well.
Another study showed turkey tail mushrooms increased the life span of patients with ...
- Breast cancer
- Gastric cancer
This has to do with the immune-boosting beta-glucans in turkey tail mushrooms.
But it’s also because of ergosterol which has anti-tumor and antioxidative properties.
8. Decreases Effects of Chemotherapy
When your dog receives chemotherapy, it can destroy his immune system.
But there is a close relation between fighting cancer and a healthy immune system.
That means turkey tail can be beneficial to dogs undergoing chemotherapy. It will help boost their immune system so that the effects of chemo are not as intense.
Feeding Turkey Tail To Your Dog
Raw mushrooms can irritate your dog’s liver which is why supplements are a great choice.
When looking for a supplement, you want to find one that contains the fruiting body. Most only use the mycelium (or the root of the mushroom).
Mycelium-only products aren’t as nutrient-rich as the whole mushroom. They have more starch and often only contain 5% to 7% beta-glucans
And with beta-glucans being the powerhouse of the turkey tail mushroom … you want to be sure your supplement is full of it!