So far, few scientific studies have focused on oyster mushrooms. While there's currently a lack of clinical trials testing the effects of oyster mushrooms, some preliminary research shows that the fungus may offer certain benefits. Here's a look at some of the available evidence for oyster mushroom's health effects:
Several animal-based studies suggest that oyster mushrooms may help lower your cholesterol and protect against hardening of the arteries.
For example, a preliminary study published in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology in 2003 found that oyster mushrooms may reduce total cholesterol levels. In tests on rats, the study's authors also observed that treatment with oyster mushroom helped increase the animals' antioxidant status and decrease their levels of triglycerides. High triglyceride levels have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some preliminary research indicates that oyster mushrooms may possess cancer-fighting properties. This research includes a study published in International Journal of Oncology in 2008, in which tests on human cells demonstrated that an oyster mushroom extract may suppress the growth and spread of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Additionally, a mouse-based study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms in 2011 determined that an oyster mushroom extract may fight tumor growth, in part by activating certain immune cells.