Mushrooms, vitamin D and cognition – human studies (MU12003)
What was it all about?
Mushrooms are a convenient source of vitamin D and contain a range of other bioactive micronutrients. This project aimed to increase the understanding of the role of vitamin D in human cognition and mood, and to better understand the potential health benefits of mushrooms, with a view to encouraging increased consumption.
The project’s work included examining the efficacy of the vitamin D2, specifically found in mushrooms, in promoting the cognitive function of healthy people.
Results showed there are positive relationships between vitamin D and selected brain function in older groups (65-90 years). It supported claims there is a link between vitamin D and healthy brain function and led to a more detailed study looking at the efficacy of vitamin D mushroom supplementation on cognition and mood.
This project also looked at the effects on a particular protein that is found in the brains of dementia patients. While the results showed no notable effects of vitamin D supplementation for improving mood, there was evidence of some benefits of vitamin D2-enhanced mushrooms in improving the cognitive function of particular groups. While these benefits were not linked to vitamin D directly, results did suggest eating more mushrooms generally could improve cognition in people suffering cognitive decline and other age-related conditions.
Other elements of the study indicated there may be a correlation between vitamin D and a protein involved in the immune system, although further clinical studies are required to substantiate these observations.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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