Do you need more vitamin D but dislike taking pills? Try eating more mushrooms. New research from a team led by Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., a leading expert on vitamin D, found that taking daily doses of mushroom extract for 12 weeks raised blood levels of “D” as high as daily supplements.
The research team used an extract of dried white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) and recruited 30 adults whose vitamin D levels were low to assess its efficacy. The participants were randomized into three groups and instructed to take either supplements providing 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, 2000 IU of vitamin D2, or 2000 IU of the mushroom powder containing vitamin D2.
The team reported that 25 of the 30 participants completed the 12-week study, and that their serum vitamin D levels increased gradually until they all leveled off at about seven weeks and remained at that level for the next five weeks. The study was reported in April 2013 at the joint American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Experimental Biology meeting in Boston. Dr. Holick stated that the results show that eating mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light and contain vitamin D2 “can improve the vitamin D status of healthy adults.”