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Kaufland offers vitamin D mushrooms: how useful are these mushrooms?
The food retail chain Kaufland has been offering mushrooms for some time, the vitamin D content of which is said to be 30 times higher than that of conventional mushrooms when irradiated with UVB light. The Stiftung Warentest has now taken a closer look at the cultivated mushrooms and explained how useful they are.
Widespread vitamin D deficiency
Last year it was reported that around 60 percent of children and adolescents in Germany have more or less low levels of vitamin D. A study also showed that around half of those over 65 years of age are affected by a vitamin D deficiency. In general, the vitamin D supply in Germany is considered to be poor. So does it make sense to fortify foods with vitamin D, as is now the case with some mushrooms?
Now also available in Germany
German researchers reported years ago that mushrooms enriched with vitamin D are sold in Great Britain and Ireland.
A few months ago, Swiss mushroom producers also launched mushrooms that are rich in vitamin D.
And in the meantime the food retail chain Kaufland in Germany also offers cultivated mushrooms, which are said to be rich in vitamin D due to exposure to UV light.
But what are the benefits of the vitamin D mushroom?
Mushrooms are briefly illuminated with UVB light
“30 times more vitamin D” than in conventional cultivated mushrooms, “100 grams contain 125 percent of the recommended daily dose” - that is what the label on the vitamin D mushrooms, which are exclusively available from Kaufland, promises, reports the Stiftung Warentest website.
200 grams are said to cost around two euros.
According to a message from the food retail chain, the mushrooms are briefly illuminated with UVB light. According to the company, this increases the vitamin D content of the mushrooms by 30 times compared to conventional mushrooms.
Irradiation mimics a process in the wild - the mushrooms produce plenty of vitamin D under the influence of sunlight.
This hardly happens with conventional cultivated mushrooms because they do not sprout in daylight. The vitamin D is said to support the health of bones and teeth.
The process was developed by Dr. Paul Urbain, nutritionist at the University Hospital Freiburg.
The special mushrooms are produced by the Pilzland company in Lower Saxony.
The radiation procedure works
The Stiftung Warentest has sent the mushrooms to the laboratory and reports on “test.de” whether the mushrooms really do something for the vitamin D budget and whether the vitamin D contents stated are correct.
According to the information, the experts determined the vitamin D content of the mushrooms from seven different packs and found that the radiation process works.
The average vitamin D content is 9.6 micrograms per 100 grams, which is significantly higher than that of ordinary cultivated mushrooms.
In a sample analysis of common mushrooms, only about 0.3 micrograms of vitamin D per 100 grams were found.
Based on the average, the supplier's promise that the vitamin D mushrooms contain 30 times more of the so-called sun vitamin is correct.
Vitamin D levels fluctuate significantly
However, the vitamin D levels vary significantly from pack to pack. The lowest level found in the mushrooms in a pack was 5.3 micrograms of vitamin D per 100 grams.
The highest content, however, was 15.1 micrograms. This value even exceeds the maximum level that the EU has set for these novel foods in accordance with the European Novel Food Regulation: ten micrograms per 100 grams.
Mushroom lovers don't have to worry about an overdose of vitamin D. According to the product test, even the mushrooms that are richest in vitamin D could be safely eaten several packs a day.
Because the vitamin D contents of the special mushrooms differ so much, the testers describe the precise vitamin D information on the pack of 6.25 micrograms per 100 grams as "seemingly precise".
In addition, the mushrooms are not correctly named: The Novel Food Regulation requires that mushrooms that have been treated with UV rays must be called "UV-treated mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)".
But only the names "Vitamin D mushrooms" and "Kultampampignon" are on the label.
Humans mainly get vitamin D through sunlight
“Especially now in the dark season, many people suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. Because the UVB content in sunlight is too low for your own vitamin D production in the skin, ”says Dr. Paul Urbain.
"The stone mushrooms are an ideal opportunity, especially for vegetarians and vegans, to meet their vitamin D needs simply and tastefully," says the nutritionist.
It is important to know, however, that people only cover about ten to 20 percent of their vitamin D requirements through food.
Noteworthy amounts are found in fatty sea fish such as herring and salmon. Smaller quantities, for example, provide egg yolk and margarine, which may be enriched with vitamin D.
Mainly, people get vitamin D, which is particularly important for their bones, through sunlight in the summer half-year.
For this reason, specialist societies recommend exposing your face, hands and arms to the sun two to three times a week between March and October and without sun protection - but avoid the harsh midday sun.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), half the time in which sunburn would otherwise develop without protection is sufficient.
Those who stay longer in the sun should protect themselves from it, for example with sunscreen. The body can store a supply of vitamin D, which is enough for most people to get through the dark season without any symptoms of deficiency.
Some people still choose to take vitamin D supplements. However, this should always be discussed with the family doctor.
However, such supplements are not advisable for all people, experts warn.
In addition, some of these preparations are not recommended, but even a risk, as tests have shown.
And the drug commission of the German Medical Association (AkdÄ) pointed out that an overdose with vitamin D supplements can also occur.
According to the Stiftung Warentest, taking vitamin D supplements can make sense for certain risk groups, for example in bedridden people or people over the age of 65 who are no longer able to form vitamin D via the skin. (ad)