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Sat May 23 13:53:45 SAST 2015

Mushrooms can be an effective source of vitamin D: study

AFP Relaxnews | 24 April, 2013 11:48

Image by: ©Imageman/Shutterstock.com

Tucking into a bowl of cream of mushroom soup or a plate of sauteed mushrooms may be an effective way of upping your vitamin D intake, provided you choose mushrooms that have been exposed to plenty of UV light, suggest the authors of a new US study.

In the randomized study out of Boston University, 30 healthy adults took capsules of vitamin D2, capsules of vitamin D3, or mushroom powder containing vitamin D2 once a day during the winter, when stores of the sunshine vitamin are low.

Doses all measured 2 000 International Units (IUs). Vitamin D is crucial for building strong bones and muscle strength, and helps reduce the risk of fracture and osteoporosis. It’s been shown to help fight infections like the flu and to play a role in fighting cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression and diabetes.

After 12 weeks, researchers found no difference in the vitamin D levels among participants who took supplements versus those who ingested the mushroom powder.

"These results provide evidence that ingesting mushrooms which have been exposed to ultraviolet light and contain vitamin D2, are a good source of vitamin D that can improve the vitamin D status of healthy adults,” said lead author Michael Holick in a statement.

The findings were published in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology and presented Monday at the American Society for Biochemistry and Microbiology annual meeting in Boston.

It’s been a good week for the fungi, as another study released this week out of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health concluded that swapping out meat for mushrooms in one meal a day helped subjects lose weight, reduce overall body fat and maintain their weight loss over time.

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