Truffle Therapy: Can Eating Truffles Improve Your Health?

Black truffle and olive oil on bread, garlic truffles with creamy pasta, french fries with parmesan and truffle oil; if you eat truffles on a regular basis, you’ll know this isn’t just a pricey delicacy reserved for the most complicated dishes. Can something so delicious be good for you, and if so, what are the health benefits of truffles?

truffle health benefits

Yes, truffles do have plenty of health benefits. We know that in amounts typically eaten, truffles provide nutrient-rich flavor and are packed with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins. Studies have also shown compounds found in truffles provide antioxidants, block cancer growth, fight bacterial infections, and contain anti-inflammatory properties, though more research needs to be conducted to confirm these hypotheses.

Truffles are great for healthy eaters and food lovers alike! We’ll take look at all the health benefits that different types of truffles offer you.

Health benefits of truffles

Many believe this delicacy with a hefty price tag is reserved for the kitchen, but there are benefits outside of shaving them into room-temperature butter, then spreading the combo on bread. In fact, many test tube studies have produced tons of promising results relating to different aspects of the health benefits of truffles.


Because truffles are a type of mushroom (sorry, we’re not talking about the chocolate confectionery), fresh truffles have an impressive nutrient profile.

Not only are they packed with carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, but they also contain unsaturated fatty acids and micronutrients like vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Each type of truffle contains a different nutrient profile, but they all contain important vitamins for your health. In fact, research has found that truffles provide nine essential amino acids your body needs, making it a complete source of protein, even in the smaller amounts used for toppings and flavors! [1]

Potent antioxidant resource

Truffles provide tons of antioxidants, which are compounds that help fight free radical formation in your cells. Some studies have linked antioxidants to lowering the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Truffles contain compounds like gallic acid, homogentisic acid, vitamin C, and lycopene, which are all strong sources of antioxidants. In fact, one test-tube study even found that the black and white species of truffles can kill cancer cells, and a similar test found the same truffles can reduce inflammation.

It’s important to note, however, that the studies which confirm the reduction of cancer cells and inflammation performed these tests with highly concentrated truffle extracts. [2] It’s not clear whether the small number of truffles used in cooking would affect the number of antioxidants you get.

Contain antibacterial properties

Another health benefit that truffles can boast is their antimicrobial properties. This helps to slow the growth of dangerous strains of bacteria that can cause illnesses.

A test tube study showed that white desert truffles inhibited and slowed the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that causes a number of illnesses, by up to 66%. [3] Other test tube research of the same truffle type observed a decrease in grown of pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria which is resistant to antibiotics. [4]

The amount of truffles you’d need to consume, however, has not been discovered yet. Though these studies are exciting and promising, there’s still a lot scientists need to learn beyond test tubes of truffles in their concentrated extract form.

Potential to kill cancer cells

Several test tube studies have found that truffles may also contain anticancer properties.

Scientists extracted compounds from different types of ruffles to see their effect on colon, lung, liver, and breast tumor cells. When exposing the compound to the cancerous cells, researchers found that the growth of these tumor cells was blocked. A similar test found that both black truffles and white truffles decrease cancer cell growth in breast, colon, and cervical cancer cells. [5]

Though this research is exciting for scientists, more studies need to be conducted to see what effects eating truffles would have on cancer growth.

May relieve inflammation

Several studies have been conducted linking truffles with anti-inflammatory properties. When you get a wound, whether that be a cut, bruise, or anything of that nature, the area swells up, turns red, and produces pain.

This is your immune system reacting to the injury to defend your body from an irritant like a germ or a foreign object like a splinter. This is called inflammation, and when your body sustains high levels of inflammation for long periods of time, this can lead to illness or infection.

Research in one test tube study observed that compounds in black and white truffles helped block specific enzymes involved in inflammation. Another research found truffles can help fight free radicals from forming, which contribute to cell damage and inflammation, as well. [6]

Though the research has found truffle compounds to reduce inflammation, there is still more human research to be conducted before we know if consuming the truffles in a reasonable amount has a significant effect.

Final Thoughts

Though research suggests there are tons of potential in truffle compounds, scientists still have much to learn and further research to conduct before finding how eating them affects your body. However, eating normal amounts of real truffles still has plenty of nutritional value, nonetheless. You can enjoy gourmet dishes full of truffle flavor from the culinary world without worrying about the negatives to your health.








Andrea Arthur