Monday, April 30, 2007

Mushrooms, A Source of Vitamin D?

Mushrooms could soon be considered a source of Vitamin D

Do you spend your 20 minutes outside in the sun as part of our daily requirement for Vitamin D? A lot of Canadians may find it hard to with the unpredictable weather, and long winters.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cancer, multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes and osteoporosis. So how can you get your daily requirement of Vitamin D? You could spend 20 minutes outside, but researchers say that you soon might be able to pop a few mushrooms and you will be well on your way.

“This could be it,” said Robert Beelman, a Penn State food scientist who has spent more than a decade working with mushrooms. If this study is successful, mushrooms could provide your body with almost the entire daily required of Vitamin D. In order to get that from other foods, for example milk, an adult would have to drink about 40 glasses a day.

Today, mushroom farmers typically grow the mushrooms indoors in the dark, switching on fluorescent lights only at harvest time. That means they now contain negligible amounts of vitamin D. Research suggests that if mushrooms are exposed to UV light following harvest they synthesis Vitamin D.

Beelman said his research has shown that exposing growing mushrooms to three hours of artificial UV light increases their vitamin D content significantly. The only drawback is that the white button mushrooms — like people — tend to darken with increased UV exposure.

BakuSun & The Globe and Mail

My questions is, how many of you would still buy and eat white mushrooms if they contained significant amounts of Vitamin D, but were turned slightly brown in the process? Does having a snow white mushroom matter in this type of situation?

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