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Exposing mushrooms to UV rays may boost vitamin D levels

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

For individuals who have received unhealthy vitamin D test results, help may be on the way. A new study has shown that it is possible to safely and effectively boost the vitamin D content of mushrooms without affecting any of the food's other nutrients.

Researchers reported in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry that exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light as they are growing significantly increases their vitamin D levels. This can be done on a commercial scale to help make mushrooms even more nutritious.

As part of the study, the team exposed separate sets of button mushrooms to either UVB light, natural sunlight or kept them in the dark. Compared to those that received no light, the UV-exposed mushrooms experienced a 700 percent increase in vitamin D levels.

There are relatively few significant food sources of vitamin D. Mushrooms are already among the most nutrient-rich foods, but many people have a hard time getting enough of the vitamin into their diets because there are so few other sources. Optimizing the nutritional content of mushrooms could help address this problem, the researchers said.

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