Mushrooms to replace vitamin D supplements?

A new study has shown that eating mushrooms can be as effective at increasing and maintaining vitamin D levels as taking supplements. The study included 30 healthy adults, all with similar vitamin D levels. The subjects were randomised into three groups. One group took capsules containing 2000 IU of vitamin D2, the second took 2000 IU of vitamin D3 and the third took 2000 IU of mushroom powder. All participants took their respective capsules once per day for 12 weeks during winter.

The vitamin D levels in all three groups gradually increased over the first seven weeks, then plateaued for the remaining five weeks. After 12 weeks the vitamin D levels in all three groups were not statistically significantly different.

The researchers explained that this would only work with mushrooms which had been exposed to ultraviolet light, i.e. those grown outdoors, not underground, as the mushrooms absorb vitamin D from the sun, much like human skin does.

The study did not specify how many mushrooms you would need to eat to achieve these results, but a cooking measurement chart suggests that one tablespoon of dried and powdered mushrooms is equivalent to half a cup of fresh mushrooms. 2000 IU is equal to .05 milligrams, so unless the mushroom powder was highly concentrated you wouldn’t need to eat a lot to enjoy the positive health effects.

This study used quite a small control group, so if you are taking vitamin D supplements for health reasons it is important to discuss it with your health professional before you make any changes to the dose you are taking.

Find out more at the ScienceDaily website