According to a study performed at the Universidad de Granada in Spain, Turkey Tail medicinal mushroom, also known as Coriolus Versicolor, has the ability to kill cancer cells by causing them to commit suicide.
PSK is a protein-bound polysaccharide that is derived from the CM-101 strain of Coriolus Versicolor medicinal mushroom. It has been shown to have significant anticancer activity. In fact, several randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that PSK can improve the cancer cure rates, especially when used in connection with traditional cancer therapies. The best results have been accomplished with breast and lung cancer as well as gastric, esophageal and colorectal cancers.
While polysaccharides tend to activate and boost the production of the body’s own natural killer cells (NK cells) which then attack cancer cells, the Spanish study by Jimenez-Medina E, Berruquilla E, et al, suggests that PSK can fight cancer in other ways as well.
According to the study, PSK showed in vitro inhibition of tumor cell proliferation ranging from 22% to 84%. How did PSK accomplish this? Through cell cycle arrest and apoptosis! Apoptosis has often been called a process through which cells commit suicide. More specifically, it is really a process where biochemical events lead to programmed cell death.
The conclusion of the study was that PSK polysaccharide from Coriolus Versicolor or Turkey Tail mushroom does not only boost the count of the body’s natural killer cells, but it also independently attacks cancer by having cytotoxic activity on tumor cell lines.
PSK is probably the most researched cancer killing ingredient in medicinal mushrooms. However, beta glucans (polysaccharides) are present in other potent medicinal mushrooms as well. They include Agaricus Blazei Murill, Reishi, Cordyceps and even Shiitake.
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