If you take supplements for vitamin D, you’ll want to read this. A team from Boston University School of Medicine has found that eating mushrooms with vitamin D2 is just as effective at raising (and maintaining) vitamin D levels as taking a supplement of vitamin D2 or D3. The findings were presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and published earlier in 2013 in the open access journal Dermato-Endocrinology.
Normally, most of us get our vitamin D from sunscreen free exposure to natural sunlight. About 20 to 25 minutes a day is good. If you’re worried about skin cancer, get out before the heat of the day (10:00 am) or after (2:00 pm) it has passed. Trouble is, this natural process is not as effective for those living at higher latitudes, in the winter or if you’re dark skinned or a bit older. If this is the case, supplements are often a good choice.
In the randomized study, 30 healthy adult subjects took capsules with 2,000 IUs of vitamin D2, 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 or 2,000 IUs of mushroom powder once a day for 12 weeks, during the winter, the time of year when it’s naturally harder to get out in the sun to make vitamin D. All the subjects had baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D measured, and levels weren’t all that different between the study groups.
At the end of the 12-week study, the levels of vitamin D for the three groups were not statistically different from those who took the mushroom powder capsules. This finding suggests that enjoying mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light so they have vitamin D2 brings you a natural source of vitamin D that can improve the levels of this nutrient in healthy adults. So taking the mushroom powder was just as effective as taking a supplement.
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Good Level Of Vitamin D in Mushrooms Continued…
You’ve heard that vitamin D is critical for healthy bones and strong muscles. Having enough of this nutrient helps the body keep bones dense and thus reducing the chance of fractures, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Vitamin D also plays a big part in moderating the immune system and is thought to help reduce the risks of diseases like cancer, heart disease diabetes, and perhaps even mood issues like depression.
Now that we know mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, experts are also able to explain just how mushrooms make vitamin D2. At a second presentation at the same annual meeting, researchers explained that the process is almost like what happens in human skin after being out in the sun. What’s more, mushrooms can make both vitamin D2 and vitamin D4; confirming the finding of several kinds of vitamin Ds and provitamin Ds in the samples.
With results being presented at a scientific meeting and appearing in a journal, the team feels that people can be assured that mushrooms are a good natural source of vitamin D that can be readily found at the grocery store and easily added to many of the foods you already love.
Michael F. Holick, the principal investigator on the project believes these results confirm what other studies have shown us. There are many ways to increase total circulating vitamin D, taking supplements is just one of them.
To your good health,