Vitamin D is an important nutrient to humans, where deficiencies result in diseases like rickets and other bone deficiencies. Most humans get their vitamin D from a natural internal process triggered by sunlight, but for those of us in the north, that’s often difficult in the winter. To help us get through winter, many people take vitamin D supplements, or eat more fortified food (often breakfast cereals and some milk). These sources of vitamin D come from animals like fish, which leads to concern for vegetarians and people with allergies.
A recently published article in the Saudi Journal of Biological Science showed through High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis that oyster mushrooms produce vitamin D in quantities that can be used by humans to fortify bones. Additionally, like in humans, oyster mushrooms increase their production of vitamin D when exposed to real or artificial sunlight. This method may be a new way to increase vitamin D consumption in people with concerns for the traditional sources of the vitamin, along with finding a new, cost-effective way to produce vitamin D.