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Eating Mushrooms Just as Effective as Taking Vitamin D Supplements

Update Date: Apr 22, 2013 12:29 PM EDT
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Eating mushrooms can provide just as much vitamin D as supplements, according to a new study.

Researchers found that eating certain mushrooms containing vitamin D2 is just as effective as taking supplemental vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 at increasing and maintaining vitamin D levels.

The latest findings, presented April 22 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, involved 30 healthy adults who took either pills containing 2,000 International Units of vitamin D2, 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 or 2,000 IU of mushroom powder containing vitamin D2. Participants took the pills once a day for 12 weeks during the winter.

Researchers said baseline measurements indicated that there were no significant differences in vitamin D status among the different groups.

Researchers found that the levels among the three groups gradually increased and stayed the same at seven weeks and were maintained for the next five weeks. Researchers found that after 12 week the vitamin D levels in people who took the vitamin D supplements were not statistically different than those who took the mushroom powder.

"These results provide evidence that ingesting mushrooms that 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," lead researcher Michael F. Holick said in a news release.

"Furthermore we found ingesting mushrooms containing vitamin D2 was as effective in raising and maintaining a healthy adult's vitamin D status as ingesting a supplement that contained either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3," he added.

Researchers said the latest study support other findings that show that consuming fortified orange juice, supplements or pharmaceutical formulations were all capable of increasing total circulating 25(OH) D concentrations for at least three months and up to six years.

The findings will be published in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology.

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