KENMORE, Wash. -- For centuries cultures around the world have been searching for turkey tails. The mushrooms are common in forests around the globe and in the Pacific Northwest. Ancient and modern physicians are convinced that mushroom and others can boost the body s immune system.

Researchers at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, are convinced cancer is a the result of a weakened immune system. So they have received permission from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test the turkey tail on cancer patients.

Lisa Clinton is one of their patients. The ice skating competitor and instructor was worried her skating days might be over when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After getting surgery, she opted out of the recommended chemo-therapy and turned to Bastyr. Today she is on a regular regimen of turkey tail tee and she can be seen several times a week gliding across the ice at Kingsgate Arena.

Clinton s doctor Leanna Standish at Bastyr explains turkey tail and other mushrooms have elements that can boost the body s immune system when swallowed. They first expose the digestive system and eventually other parts of the body.

Standish says before and after tests of Clinton s immune system show improvement.

Clinton says she feels better each day, and has no intention of leaving the ice.

Bastyr will soon be looking for prostate cancer patients to take part in the study, men who want to know more can contact the Bastyr program at (425) 602-3419.

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