The effect of the diet containing 5% of powdered oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) or an equivalent amount of mushroom ethanolic extract on cholesterol content in serum and liver, on its distribution in lipoproteins, absorption and turnover was studied in male Wistar rats (initial body weight about 70 g) fed a diet with 0.3% cholesterol. 12 weeks of feeding with whole oyster mushroom or mushroom extract reduced cholesterol level in serum by 52 and 33%, respectively. However, cholesterol content in liver was reduced only by whole oyster mushroom (by 20%). Diminished serum cholesterol level was mediated in 60% by reduction of cholesterol in very-low-density lipoproteins. Both whole oyster mushroom and mushroom extract increased the concentration of cholesterol in high-density lipoproteins. Consuming whole oyster mushroom decreased cholesterol absorption (estimated by dual-isotope plasma ratio method) by nearly 16% while no significant effect of mushroom extract could be demonstrated. Feeding the diet containing whole oyster mushroom or its extract reduced the half-times of decay curve of cholesterol-4-14C by 29 and 35%, respectively and reciprocally increased the fractional catabolic rate of plasma cholesterol.