Mushrooms Canada

Mushrooms  &  Vitamin  D

Vitamin D

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that light-skin people should obtain 1000 IU (International Units) per day during fall and winter, and dark-skin people should obtain 1000 IU year-round. 

Since 1920, it has been known that the main role of Vitamin D is to work with Calcium and Phosphorus to make strong bones.  Recent findings suggest that Vitamin D also helps to:

  • prevent bone fractures
  • reduce the risk of diabetes in young people
  • protect against heart disease
  • reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis, and
  • improve lung function.

Mushrooms Have Vitamin D

Mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains Vitamin D, naturally.  All other natural food sources of Vitamin D are of animal, poultry or seafood origin.  Also, some foods, such as milk, orange juice and cereals may be fortified with Vitamin D, up to 100 IU.

Cultivated mushrooms contain a plant sterol called ergosterol, which is the precursor of Vitamin D².  In fresh mushrooms, ergosterol is stimulated to convert to Vitamin D² by ultraviolet light, either from sunlight or artificial lights.

The vitamin D levels of common varieties of mushrooms are listed below for a standard 100 g serving. 200 IU recommended for adults up to the age of 50.

Variety IU/100gm* % Daily Value (200 IU)

White Button

7

4%

Shiitake (cooked)

26

13%

*Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

Find out more about adding Vitamin D to fresh mushrooms