Oyster Meat and its influence on cholesterol and heart health
July 20 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Recent research has also shown more important health benefits of oysters, such as their serum cholesterol lowering ability. In Japanese studies, oysters has been shown to have considerable positive effects on heart disease. Oyster meat powder is now available as a supplement but little research is available to determine its health benefits.

Aphrodisiac benefit?
Certain libido products include oyster meat in their formula. It is difficult to know whether this small amount of oyster meat in a capsule has any effect at all.

Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2013. Anti-inflammatory Effect of Oyster Shell Extract in LPS-stimulated Raw 264.7 Cells.

Anal Sci. 2015. Mass Spectrometric Quantification of Amphipathic, Polyphenolic Antioxidant of the Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea Gigas). A novel amphipathic phenolic compound, 3,5-dihydroxy-4-methoxybenzyl alcohol (DHMBA), that can be isolated from the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) has been found to protect human hepatocytes against oxidative stress.

Shellfish, Molluscs and Bivalves
Shellfish include mollusks which include bivalves. For example, a mussel is a shellfish, a mollusk, and a bivalve. Bivalves are two shelled aquatic molluscs, bilaterally symmetrical and laterally compressed. The name bivalve indicates that the main feature of this class of molluscs have two shells. Bivalves include mussels, scallops, cockles, oysters, clams and the unusual shipworms.

Oyster sterol composition
Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) contain at least 8 predominant sterols. These sterols and the average amount found in mg/100 are: C26-sterol (trans-24-norcholesta-5, diene-3 beta-ol), 19.1; 22-dehydrocholesterol, 15; cholesterol, 46; brassicasterol, 27; delta 5,7-sterols (i.e., dehydrocholesterol) 22; methylenecholesterol 29; ethylcholesta-5,22-diene-3 beta-ol, 1.2; and ethylcholesta-5-en-3 beta-ol. The distribution of these sterols appears uniform between 5 major organs of the oyster. The percent body mass vs percent total sterols in these 5 organs are: mantle 44--41.4; visceral mass 30--36; gills 13--11; adductor muscle 8--3; and labial palps 4--6.

Oyster Contamination
2006 - Consumers should avoid eating raw oysters harvested from the Pacific Northwest due to reports of stomach illnesses linked to bacterial contamination. A growing number of people, mostly in Washington state, have reported getting sick after eating oysters tainted with the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacterium. The infection can cause diarrhea, cramps and nausea in healthy people, but those who are older or have poor immune systems are at risk for more serious problems such as a blood infection. Consumers should fully cook all oysters before eating them. People should not buy oysters that have already been opened and should throw away any that do not open during cooking.

Q. I have heard that oysters contain zinc and therefore have sexual enhancement properties. What is your opinion of oysters as an aphrodisiac?
     A. I have not seen any studies regarding the role of oysters in sexual health. However, most fish and shellfish have beneficial oils, fish oils, which help dilate blood vessels and could have a positive influence on circulation to the genital region. As to zinc and sexuality, I think too much has been made of this. Most people are not deficient in zinc and hence zinc supplements of consuming oysters for zinc alone is not the best approach to improving sexuality.

Q. What are your thoughts on krill oil supplements?
   A. I think they are a healthy addition to one's supplement routine.

Q. I have a zinc deficiency, and I prefer a powder form if I can get it. You mention this oyster powder, and since oysters are very high source of zinc. I am hoping that I can purchase this, but I cannot find it on your website to order. Am I on the right track here, and is this oyster powder available for purchase?
   A. we only have info on oyster powder but no product. Thanks for asking.