Cod-liver oilDiet-NutritionVitamins

September is National Mushroom Month

In advance of National Mushroom Month came news that a single serving of white button mushrooms – the most commonly sold mushroom – could contain 869% of the daily vitamin D requirement when exposed to five minutes of UV light after being harvested.

Why is this significant?

Currently, the best dietary sources of vitamin D, cod liver oil and raw Atlantic herring, provide about 2000 international units [IU]/200 calories. Mushrooms and salmon range between 600 and 1100 IU, depending on the type and preparation. After that, lots of foods contain about 300 IU/200 calories or less.

The recommended dietary intake of vitamin D is

  • Just 200 IU/day from birth to 50 years
  • 400 IU/day from 51 to 70 years
  • 600 IU/day for people older than 70 years

Yet, vitamin D deficiency is epidemic among people over 50. Only about 5% of men and 1% to 3% of the women get their recommended daily intake of vitamin D from diet alone. Supplement use helps about 35% of Caucasian, 17% of Hispanics, and about 10% of Blacks achieve their recommended intake.

What to do?

Vitamin D fortified mushrooms through UV exposure could be a whole new reason to buy mushrooms, which are already almost perfect!

  • Easy to cook
  • Fast to cook
  • Low in carbs
  • Low in fat
  • Go with most everything (pizza to beef stroganoff)
  • Available all year
  • Many varieties

9/4/06 15:16 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.