Eat sun exposed mushrooms to boost your vitamin D intake

Eat sun exposed mushrooms to boost your vitamin D intake

A couple of recent studies in Australia and the USA have shown that leaving mushrooms out in the sun for an hour or two before you eat them boosts their (and your) vitamin D levels.

Might be worth considering if you like mushrooms and would prefer to have a more natural way of supplementing your vitamin D intake.


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  • Interesting post Neil

    Do we know which vitamin D type is most helpful when consumed by CLL people?. The researchers suggest D2 from mushrooms is as good as D3?

    "'Furthermore we found ingesting mushrooms containing vitamin D2 was as effective in raising and maintaining a healthy adult's vitamin D status as ingesting a supplement that contained either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3,' said lead author Dr Michael Holick".

    From CLL reading most advice suggests D3 is of greater benifit to CLl people and consequently supplementation is with this.

    I am a forager and was out getting my wild blackberries yesterday and will be picking natures own crop of mushrooms this autumn so it is interesting to know that they also provide us with vitamin D on top of cold water oily fish and protected sunshine I consume.

    The articles mention half an hour to an hour of summer sun is sufficient to load a mushroom, how long would that be in the winter? When we all feel like mushrooms and are kept in the dark. Like the vitamin D we make with our own skin perhaps in the UK we can only take seasonal advantage as UK growers do not expose their crop to UV . However as many with CLL are likely to avoid the summer UV, mushrooms could have a place?

    Each year when I seed my garden I have considered planting mushrooms and I notice many outlets are marketing seed pellets. I will now give them a try and bring them into the light.


  • Given the generally overcast winter skies, it might be easier to use a UV flash to produce the vitamin D in the mushrooms per this article:

    And here's a FAQ page from an enterprising business that is marketing vitamin D mushrooms

    Years ago my family had fun with a 'mushroom farm'. Basically it's just a cardboard box containing suitable compost that has been seeded with mushroom spores. Just add a spray of water and keep in a warm enough room and watch your crop grow! I presume these are available in the UK?

    If you decide to give the mushrooms the sunlight treatment to boost their vitamin D, you really do have to put them outside in (preferably bright) sunshine. I'm sure you could work out the time difference for the different seasons by using the different angle of the sun along with basic trigonometry to calculate the same exposure, or you could ask a mate with solar panels to tell you how long it takes to generate a set amount of power on sunny days throughout the year. Or you could just buy vitamin D3 supplements in the bottle - but that wouldn't be as much fun nor provide other the nutritional benefits.

    Glass and plastic greatly filter out UV as does cloud cover to a certain extent. UV flash units use quartz glass as this doesn't contain any dopants that otherwise would block the UV.

    I've always enjoyed mushrooms and have been eating more of them since my CLL diagnosis. They are grown locally and are regularly available around the year with no out of season price hikes. Common varieties are available for around $11/kg or under 7 UK pounds/kg.


  • Suspect the chestnut mushrooms in the supermarket have not been exposed, so as I can't forage like HAIRBEAR (I'd poison myself) guess I'll keep up with the tablets. Mine don't say 2 or 3 just some kind of ug. Do I need to change them?


  • If the mushrooms were exposed, then I'm sure you'd be paying a premium!

    The vitamin D capsules I'm currently taking are labelled in large print VITAMIN D then under that in much smaller print VITAMIN D3 1000 IU (Cholecalciferol 25mcg).

    The 1000 IU is the dose in international units (IU), which also weighs 25 micrograms (mcg). Vitamin D3 is what your skin generates from cholesterol under UV exposure, so taking the D3 form means you don't have to concern yourself with UV damage/increased risk of skin cancer.

    From Wikipedia:

    Cholecalciferol (also known as toxiferol or sometimes called calciol) is a form of vitamin D, also called vitamin D3. This form of vitamin D gets chemically modified in the liver and kidneys into a form usable in the body.

    It is well worth reading the Dose section. From that you can see that it is very hard to overdose on Vitamin D3, though given our very incomplete understanding on the relationship between blood levels and CLL progression, I always recommend that anyone that wishes to supplement their Vitamin D levels should do so with the support of their doctor/specialist, so that they just get their levels into the normal range. That way they will hopefully have reduced fatigue and better immune function without worsening their CLL.

    The Mayo study on the influence of Vitamin D levels on CLL should prove very interesting when it arrives!


  • I've just met someone enrolled in a study run by Australia's CSIRO that is checking how various forms of vitamin D delivery work in helping improve cognition in older adults. Under test are vitamin D tablets, mushroom powder and mushroom powder enriched via UV exposure per this article. The fourth arm takes a placebo.

    The trial is running for 6 months overlapping our winter months.


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