A method has been optimized for the conversion of ergosterol in mushrooms to vitamin D2, and the vitamin D-enriched mushrooms have been tested for bioavailability of vitamin D2 using a rat model. Femur bone mineral density (BMD) of the experimental group of animals fed with vitamin D2 (1 microg/d) obtained from irradiated mushrooms was significantly increased. Femur BMD of two groups was significantly higher. Femur BMD of the experimental group was significantly elevated compared to initial femur BMD of the study group. Data indicate that vitamin D2 from ultraviolet (UV)-irradiated mushrooms was well absorbed and metabolized in animals.
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