Mushrooms and Vitamin D Supplements for Vitamin D Deficiency

Mushrooms and Vitamin D Supplements for Vitamin D Deficiency

Seeking to Increase Serum Vitamin D Levels

According to a 12-week trial study, participants taking mushroom extract daily had increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to the same level as with daily vitamin D2 or D3 supplementation. This report was presented by Dr. Michael Holick from Boston University at a meeting of the Experimental Biology and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

This study finally confirmed that exposing mushroom to ultraviolet light makes it a good source of vitamin D.

The process of exposing mushrooms to sunlight or UV radiation to produce vitamin D or ergocalciferol is similar to the process of exposing human skin to sunlight to produce vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. This capability to produce vitamin D is not present in all plants, but yeast, seaweed and fungi possess this property.

For most vitamin D deficient patients, doctors prescribe vitamin D3 supplements to help with calcium and bone metabolism. Vitamin D2 supplements can also be taken to increase serum vitamin D levels, but it is avoided because of the bad rap it received in recent years.

With this study on mushroom and vitamin D2, there are now more ways to treat the vitamin D deficiency of people using foods that does not come from animals.

This is how the research study was specifically conducted. The researchers got extracts of dried Agaricus bisporus or white button mushrooms, vitamin D2 capsules and vitamin D3 capsules They chose 30 adults with mean age of 35.2 and assigned each to take once a day for 12 weeks either 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 capsule, 2,000 IU vitamin D2 capsule, or 2000 IU of vitamin D from mushroom extract.

The participants had the same baseline serum vitamin D levels to start with. After 12 weeks, the participants’ serum vitamin D levels went up until they stopped going up on the seventh week and remained the same for the last 5 weeks of the study.

When the study ended, all the participants had comparable vitamin D levels suggesting that taking mushroom powder or vitamin D2 supplements can both help in improving serum vitamin D levels.

Two Sources of Vitamin D Confirmed

Taking vitamin D2 can be a good way to increase serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Vitamin D2 is available from fortified orange juice, supplement and medical formulation.

As for mushrooms, exposing them to UVB light make them produce vitamin D that can help treat patients with vitamin D deficiency.

Photo credits: By böhringer friedrich (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Categories: Nutrition