King oyster mushroom: Health benefits and Side effects

Edited By: Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati

One minute summary of King oyster mushroom

This mushroom has many common names like King trumpet mushroom, French horn mushroom, King brown mushroom. This mushroom is rich in vitamins and dietary fibers, amino acids and low in calories.

Health benefits of King oyster mushroom

  1. Improve gut health
  2. Immunity booster
  3. Lowers cholesterol
  4. Reduce toxic aflatoxin
  5. Manage diabetes


Name: King oyster mushroom

Scientific name: Pleurotus eryngii of family Pleurotaceae

Common name: Almond oyster mushroom, Umbel oyster mushroom, Scallop mushroom, Boletus of the steppes, King trumpet mushroom, French horn mushroom, King brown mushroom

Cultivated in: Mediterranean Basin, Central and Southern Europe, and Central and Western Asia (1). 

It is very popular and is highly appreciated for its firm texture, taste, flavor and nutritional value due to its excellent consistency of cap and stem, culinary qualities and longest shelf life than any other oyster mushroom which attract consumers (2).

This fungus is a weak parasite on the roots and stems of umbellifers (family Apiaceae, genera Eryngium, Ferula, Ferulago, Cachrys, Laserpitium, Diplotaenia, and Elaeoselinum). It is also cultivated on low-cost substrates derived from agricultural and forest wastes such as Sawdust, cottonseed hulls, corn stover, wheat straw, sugarcane bagasse, combined with various amounts of soybean meal, peanut meal, wheat bran, and wheat bran, etc (3).

Nutritional value of King oyster mushroom

King oyster mushrooms are highly nutritious and offer a good source of protein than most vegetables, carbohydrates, fiber, amino acids, low calories, vitamins and minerals (4).

Compound                                          Amounts per 100 g.
Energy                                                 48 kcal
Protein 3.53 g
Total lipid (  Fat)s 0 g
Carbohydrates 1.18 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Sugar 1.18 g
Calcium 0 mg
Iron 0 mg
Sodium 247 mg
Vitamin C 4.2 mg

Health benefits of King oyster mushroom

King oyster mushroom exhibits various biological functions, including anti-hypertensive, antioxidant, anti-hypercholesterolemic, anti-hyperglycemic, immunomodulating, antitumor, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-osteoporotic effects as follows

1. Nutrient-rich King oyster mushroom

This mushroom is rich in carbohydrates, dietary fibers, chitin, and polysaccharides. It also contains amino acids such as aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and arginine. King oyster mushroom is also abundant in vitamins (C, A, B2, B1, D, and niacin) and minerals (especially K, Mg, Na, and Ca) with very low amounts of lipids, and high moisture (5). It also contains a high amount of selenium and ergothioneine which make it novel functional food (6).

2. β glucans of King oyster mushroom helps in managing diabetes

King oyster mushrooms contain β glucans which act as a hypoglycemic agent which improves insulin resistance and subsequent decrease in blood glucose levels.

Moreover, consumption of king oyster mushroom increase glycogen and insulin concentrations as well as recovering injured β-cells and reduce free radical damage. Therefore, king oyster mushroom (100 and 200 mg/kg) increases the body weight and may be useful for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes (7).

3. King oyster mushroom stalk improve meat quality in broilers

Stalk residue (byproduct) of King oyster mushroom contains activate antioxidative enzymes in serum, liver, spleen, and fillet tissues. Thus, king oyster mushroom may potentially be useful as an antioxidant to decrease lipid peroxidation and improve meat quality in broilers (8).

4. Improves gut health

Intake of King oyster mushroom reduces colonic inflammation, fecal microbiota alteration by increasing the good bacteria. It also increases the formation of short-chain fatty acids and antioxidant capacity of colonic contents. Moreover, regulate the immune response of the host. Thus king oyster mushroom is very beneficial against inflammatory bowel disease (9).

5. The polysaccharide of King oyster mushroom inhibits tumor growth

Polysaccharide present in King oyster mushrooms may activate the cellular and humoral immunity significantly thus inhibiting the tumor growth of various cells such as Renca renal cancer, human hepatoblastoma (10,11). Furthermore, triterpenes found in king oyster mushroom showed significant inhibitory activity against breast cancer (12).

6. Antimicrobial properties of King oyster mushroom

King oyster mushrooms contain broad-spectrum antibiotic compounds which are beneficial for protection against various bacteria such as Bacillus megaterium, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Trichophyton spp., and Epidermophyton spp (13).

7. Good for bone health treat osteoporosis

Ergostadienol, dihydroxyergostenone and other active substance present in King oyster mushroom have the potential to enhance bone metabolism by reducing the loss of trabecular bone mineral density and protect against the bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency in a postmenopausal woman which further prevent osteoporosis (14).

8. Ergothioneine the main Antioxidant in King oyster mushrooms

King oyster mushrooms have ergothioneine and another phenolic compound which is an effective antioxidant and scavenging ability. Therefore, king oyster mushroom products with high amounts of ergothioneine act as a protective agent and beneficially as a functional food (15).

9. Lowers cholesterol level

Lovastatin and mevinolin obtained from king oyster mushroom act as a hypocholesterolemic agent which suppresses endogenous cholesterol biosynthesis. It also reduces plasma total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein, total lipid, phospholipids, and LDL/HDL ratio (16). 

Moreover, intake of king oyster mushroom inhibits the fat absorption from the small intestine that further reduces pancreatic lipase (enzyme) activity and significantly reduces body weight in hypercholesterolemic patients. Thus after consumption of this mushroom tri oleoyl glycerol absorption is also decrease and prevent postprandial hyperlipidemia (17).

10. Antiviral properties of King oyster mushrooms due to protease


Presence of pleureryn (protease) in King oyster mushroom protects against HIV-1 reverse transcriptase which later progresses to AIDS (18). Furthermore, king oyster mushroom is very beneficial to inhibit the reproduction of influenza virus (19).

11. The immune-enhancing β-glucan compound in King oyster mushroom

β-glucan found in king oyster mushroom increase natural killer cell activity and act as an immune enhancer that enables patients to rebuild their own immune system by activating humoral and cellular immunity (20).

12. Anti-allergic properties

The mast cell is responsible for the early allergic response after exposure to an appropriate antigen which results in inflammatory disorders. Consumption of King oyster mushrooms prevent or treat mast cell-dependent allergic diseases (21).

13. Reduce toxic aflatoxin

Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most harmful mycotoxin produced by contaminated staple cereals such as maize. Therefore, cultivation of King oyster mushroom degraded (bioconvert) up to 86% of the AFB1 in 28 days into high nutritional value material intended for feed production (22).

Side effects of King oyster mushroom

King oyster mushroom has no side effect because practically no clinical study has been reported. Therefore it is safe, and no one really knows its long-term effects on a person’s health.




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