‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Are Your Mushrooms Tripping Vitamin D?

It's winter in the northern hemisphere, so it's a perfect time to talk about vitamin D, affectionately nicknamed the sunshine vitamin. Without further ado, let's talk vitamin D.

While researching a different article, I found some great, and fun info about vitamin D from an unlikely source... Mushrooms. Intrigued?

Some mushrooms are specially grown to contain vitamin D, perhaps you've seen them at your local supermarket. But how?

Here's what you need to know about your mighty, meaty, magical friend, the mushroom:
  • They contain a vitamin D precursor called ergosterol
  • When ergosterol is exposed to UV light it is converted to vitamin D (just like in your body - more on that later)
  • Wild mushrooms naturally contain vitamin D because they are exposed to the sun 
  • Commercial mushrooms are like your unfriendly hoarder neighbour... in the dark, therefore not exposed to sun
  • Commercial mushrooms that contain vitamin D do so because they are exposed to UV lamps after harvesting
    • A serve (90g/3oz) of these mushrooms contain ~400IU (international units) of vitamin D
    • For reference, most adults need 600 IU/day
If you don't buy the vitamin D-enhanced mushrooms, there is a poor man's solution...! It's all about letting the sun shine where the sun don't shine... Take your mushies outside and turn them upside down, gills (called lamellae) facing up, leave for 15 minutes. Benefits of mushroom sunbathing:
  • They will produce between 200-800IU of vitamin D
  • They may dry out a little or have mild discolouration, but they retain >90% of the vitamin D even after stored and cooked
Some information on vitamin D:
Estimating vitamin D status has some challenges because sun exposure affects vitamin D status, not just food intake. While there are some food sources of vitamin D, it's not as easy to obtain from food compared to other vitamins and minerals. See the table below for food sources.
Source: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/#h5
How is vitamin D synthesised in the body?
When skin is exposed to UV B radiation, a cholesterol metabolite in the skin produces vitamin D3. But it's not that simple... Your friendly liver and the kidneys are needed to perform a conversion (called hydroxylation) to produce the biologically active form of vitamin D. Voila.

Spend a little time exposing yourself to the sun each day
What did we learn?
  • Mushrooms can provide vitamin D
    • If they are grown and exposed to UV light commercially
    • If you expose their lamellae to sunlight (sounds dirty... get it, coz mushroom grow in dirt?)
  • Your skin, liver, and kidneys are the players that convert sunlight into vitamin D