Health Benefits of Oyster Mushroom
Oyster Mushroom, the pearl oyster mushroom or tree oyster mushroom, is a common edible mushroom. It was first cultivated in Germany as a subsistence measure during World War I and is now grown commercially around the world for food.
Oyster mushroom, like other mushrooms have been widely used as food or food ingredients in many food products for a long time. It has been used because of their anti-tumor, antifungal, and reducing hypercholesterolemia activities. From a nutritional point of view, oyster mushroom contains high protein and low fat. In addition, high dietary fiber of mushrooms was reported to function as an antitumor and antiviral agent. Moreover, oyster mushroom is recognized as a good source of amino acids which play an important role in its flavor.
In a 2009 research conducted by Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, investigated the amino acid composition and antioxidant properties of two oyster mushroom species, Pleurotus ostreatus and Pleurotus sajor-caju. The study concluded that Oyster mushrooms, and in particular P. sajor-caju, have been reported to have antitumor and antiviral activity due to the high content of dietary fiber.
Anti-inflammatory activity of edible oyster mushroom was investigated by another study in 2011. The study found that OMC suppressed LPS-induced secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and IL-12p40 from RAW264.7 macrophages. OMC inhibited LPS-induced production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO) through the down-regulation of expression of COX-2 and iNOS, respectively. OMC also inhibited LPS-dependent DNA-binding activity of AP-1 and NF-κB in RAW264.7 cells. Oral administration of OMC markedly suppressed secretion of TNF-α and IL-6 in mice challenged with LPS in vivo. Anti-inflammatory activity of OMC was confirmed by the inhibition of proliferation and secretion of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-2, and IL-6 from concanavalin A (ConA)-stimulated mouse splenocytes. Basically, the research suggests that oyster mushroom possesses anti-inflammatory activities and could be considered a dietary agent against inflammation. The health benefits of the oyster mushroom warrant further clinical studies.