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Researchers in Denmark are experimenting with ways to get cultivated mushrooms to produce vitamin D, according to a report on FarmingUK.com.
Mushrooms, like people, produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Mushrooms are one of the only non-animal food sources of vitamin D, and studies have shown that wild mushrooms can increase vitamin D levels in the blood.
Unfortunately, most cultivated mushrooms are grown entirely in the dark, never see sunlight, and therefore never produce any vitamin D. A new research project at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of Aarhus University in Denmark aims to change that.
Previous studies have shown that mushrooms can be induced to produce vitamin D when exposed to UV-B light during the packaging process. The researchers hope to prove that integrating UV-B light into the growing process will produce the full complement of stable vitamin D the mushrooms produce in the wild. Small amounts of mushrooms added to your diet should be enough to cover the recommended daily vitamin D dose.
Vitamin D has been shown to be important in maintaining good health and fighting off cancer, diabetes and inflammatory disease. Levels of vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. are high, especially in northern areas with long winters.
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