New Delhi: CSIR-IHBT scientists are planning to initiate a human clinical trial to evaluate the benefits of laboratory-developed mushrooms for patients with vitamin D deficiency.
In February of this year, ThePrint reported that a group of researchers from CSIR-IHBT led by Rakshak Kumar had developed a low-cost method of growing shiitake mushrooms in the laboratory, which will increase the income of local farmers.
Shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia and are a large, fragrant umbrella-shaped mushroom, mainly used in Japanese cuisine. However, the researchers said that shiitake mushrooms are becoming more and more popular in India.
Shiitake mushrooms are expensive because they grow on fallen trees under very special conditions. Although Shiitake mushrooms are currently grown in northeastern India, CSIR-IHBT researchers have developed a new technology that allows these mushrooms to grow faster under controlled laboratory conditions.
In addition, the varieties grown by CSIR have increased vitamin D levels.
In order to understand whether mushrooms can be used as a nutrient-food or part of a food that provides medical or health benefits-to raise the level of vitamin D deficient people, the team led by Rakshak Kumar is now planning to conduct human trials to evaluate standardization ( The formulation must be such that each batch of the final nutritional product has the same level of vitamin D) the benefits of mushroom soup on the vitamin D level.
"A lot of our work now allows us to stay indoors. Due to lack of sunlight, many people are deficient in vitamin D. We want to evaluate whether our vitamin D-enhancing mushrooms can help people overcome this deficiency," Kumar Labs PhD student Aman Thakur told ThePrint.
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According to Thakur, the trial will recruit at least 60 people, who will be divided into three groups.
The first group of 20 people will be fed a soup made from ordinary shiitake mushrooms that do not enhance vitamin D levels. The second group will receive a soup made from vitamin D-rich mushrooms grown in the CSIR-IHBT laboratory. The third group will receive vitamin D supplements.
The trial will run for four to six weeks, after which the team will analyze the vitamin D levels in the participants' serum samples.
The trial has not yet started, but will be carried out by a third party. Thakur said that the institute will soon issue a tender to invite third-party organizations to participate.
Thakur said that the preparation of dried shiitake mushrooms used to make the soup will also be standardized before testing.
Read also: Scientists start looking for people who are naturally resistant to Covid, 1,000 volunteers will be recruited
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