Vitamin D in UV-Treated Mushrooms

A couple days ago, someone posted to the SFBAVeg email list that they saw some white mushrooms in Safeway advertised as having 100% RDA for vitamin D. I was aware that some mushrooms had small amounts of vitamin D2 in them, but 100% of the RDA (5 mcg / 200 IU) was a surprise.

A follow up post linked to the article Light-zapped mushrooms filled with vitamin D, from 2006, which reported a study being conducted measuring the levels of vitamin D2 in mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. I then went to PubMed and found a few abstracts (listed below) of completed studies indicating that exposing mushrooms to uv rays does increase their vitamin D content.

I’m not sure what the exact content of vitamin D in such mushrooms tends to be, but if it is about the RDA per serving, then one serving is still far short of the 25 mcg (1,000 IU) that recent research indicates might be needed for optimal health (for people not getting much sunlight). That said, eating UV treated mushrooms could be a big boost.

More info on vitamin D.

Ko JA, Lee BH, Lee JS, Park HJ. Effect of UV-B exposure on the concentration of vitamin D2 in sliced shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) and white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus). J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3671-4. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Koyyalamudi SR, Jeong SC, Song CH, Cho KY, Pang G. Vitamin D2 formation and bioavailability from Agaricus bisporus button mushrooms treated with ultraviolet irradiation. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Apr 22;57(8):3351-5.

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