Fungi in the sun

You might think that sunshine and supplements are the only ways to get more vitamin D. And if so, you’d only be half wrong.

It’s true that, in general, food isn’t a great source of this vital compound. But there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. And a new study is shedding a little light on one in particular. (Yes, that pun was completely intended.)

A group of Boston University researchers gave 30 healthy adults daily capsules filled with either vitamin D2, vitamin D3, or a powdered serving of sun-exposed mushrooms. All of the capsules delivered 2,000 IU of vitamin D.

After 12 weeks, results showed that all of the subjects enjoyed the same improvements in vitamin D status. Even the ones who took the powdered mushrooms.

I can’t imagine anyone eating enough mushrooms to do away with sunshine and D supplements altogether. But there’s still a very valuable takeaway here.

The next time you bring home fresh mushrooms, don’t just store them away in the fridge. Take them outside, unwrap them, and lay them in the sun for at least a half hour first.

It might sound silly to set your mushrooms out to “tan”–but the science speaks for itself.

“Mushrooms Can Provide as Much Vitamin D as Supplements,” ScienceDaily (, 4/22/13