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Bioavailability of vitamin D2 from UV-B-irradiated button mushrooms in healthy adults deficient in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D: a randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Background

/Objectives:Mushrooms contain very little or any vitamin D2 but are abundant in ergosterol, which can be converted into vitamin D2 by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Our objective was to investigate the bioavailability of vitamin D2 from vitamin D2-enhanced mushrooms by UV-B in humans, and comparing it with a vitamin D2 supplement.

Subjects/Methods:

Fresh mushrooms were irradiated with an UV-B dose of 1.5 J/cm2, increasing vitamin D2 content from <1 to 491 μg/100 g and made to an experimental soup. In this 5-week, single-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 26 young subjects with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) 50 nmol/l were randomly assigned into three groups ((a) mushroom, (b) supplement and (c) placebo). They received during winter (a) 28 000 IU (700 μg) vitamin D2 via the experimental soup, or (b) 28 000 IU vitamin D2 via a supplement or (c) placebo, respectively.

Results:

After 2 weeks, serum 25OHD was significantly higher in the mushroom than in the placebo group (P=0.001). The serum 25OHD concentrations in the mushroom and supplement groups rose significantly and similarly over the study period by 3.9 nmol/l (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 2.9, 4.8) and by 4.7 nmol/l per week (95% CI: 3.8, 5.7), respectively.

Conclusions:

We are the first to demonstrate in humans that the bioavailability of vitamin D2 from vitamin D2-enhanced button mushrooms via UV-B irradiation was effective in improving vitamin D status and not different to a vitamin D2 supplement. This trial was registered at http://germanctr.de as DRKS00000195.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Carole Cürten for proofreading this manuscript, to Peter Metzger from Schlossbergpilze, Freiburg, Germany, for donating the button mushrooms used in this study, to Daniela Klein and Elmar Maier for their help preparing the soups in the university's kitchen and to Weber GmbH for technical support with the construction of the UV unit. The authors’ responsibilities were as follows: PU, study concept and design, obtaining funding, statistical analysis, data interpretation and writing the manuscript; FS, construction of UV-unit, collection, assembly and interpretation of data; GI, study design, statistical advice and analysis; HKB, critical review and contribution to the final draft; HB, supervision of the study, critical review and contribution to the final draft. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

The work was supported by a PhD grant (PU) from the National Research Fund, Luxemburg. Financial support for the irradiation experiments was by the Dr Heinrich-Kircher Foundation, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

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Correspondence to P Urbain.

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Urbain, P., Singler, F., Ihorst, G. et al. Bioavailability of vitamin D2 from UV-B-irradiated button mushrooms in healthy adults deficient in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 65, 965–971 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2011.53

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Keywords

  • vitamin D2
  • ergosterol
  • button mushrooms
  • ultraviolet irradiation
  • bioavailability
  • humans

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