Vit D is really a hormone and we manufacture it as a response to sunlight. Lately, there has been a growing concern that Vit D deficiency is a problem in those who live in Northern climates or other geographical areas, where sunlight is limited.
Very few foods naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D so much of the Vit D in the food supply is from fortified foods (like dairy milk, breakfast cereals and bread). These represent the major dietary sources of vitamin D.
In latitudes around 40 degrees north or 40 degrees south (Boston is 42 degrees north), there is insufficient UVB radiation available for vitamin D synthesis from November to early March. Ten degrees farther north (Edmonton, Canada) or south, the “vitamin D winter” extends from mid-October to mid-March.
However, some interesting recent research has shown that mushrooms may be able to provide Vit D (~2700 IU per serving of vitamin D2), if they are exposed to a few minutes of UV light after being harvested or if they are exposing to about three hours of artificial UV light during growing, and this may become one of the few natural sources (outside of sunlight) of vitamin D, especially for those of you who avoid consuming animal products, if the industry adopts this practice.
Now, as you know, I am rarely one to promote a specific product, but hese mushrooms and they are now available and those of you who live in northern climates may really benefit from consuming them.
Look for them in your local produce outlet and if you don't see them, as to have them made available.
For more info
DOLE LAUNCHES NEW MEGA-VITAMIN D MUSHROOMS
New Portobellos Combat Deficiencies, Naturally Provide 100% of RDA
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California, May 27, 2008 –Dole Food Company, Inc., has announced a nutritional breakthrough with the release of new DOLE Portobello Mushrooms with naturally enhanced levels of vitamin D, reaching over 100% of recommended daily requirements.
These DOLE 6oz. Portobello Mushrooms, whole and sliced, will hit store shelves June 1, 2008.
Research on vitamin D has exploded in recent years, yielding a seemingly endless list of newly discovered health benefits. While traditional vitamin D research focused on the nutrient’s well-documented role in supporting bone health, the newly reported benefits range from dramatically reduced risk of colon, breast and ovarian cancer to improved cardiovascular health to reduced incidence of Type I diabetes.
“Until now, getting 100% of your vitamin D needs from food alone has been hard,” stated Nicholas Gillitt, PhD, Nutrition Research & Labeling Manager of the Dole Nutrition Institute. “But we’ve pioneered a patent-pending process in which light triggers vitamin D generation in mushrooms -- just as in the human body.”
An ordinary flash bulb -- similar to the sort used in cameras -- boosts the mushrooms' vitamin D content without compromising freshness or food safety.
Despite the body's natural, sun-triggered ability to produce vitamin D, deficiency remains widespread. Vitamin D deficiency may be on the rise among kids -- and is particularly acute among seniors and darker skinned ethnicities.
Such a nutrient-dense, natural source of vitamin D could be a health boon for millions suffering from vitamin D deficiency, which not only undermines bones and teeth, but low levels of vitamin D have been linked to high blood pressure, compromised immunity, and higher risk of colon, breast, kidney, prostate and colorectal cancer risk.
Dole's vitamin D innovation will shine a light -- literally and figuratively -- on the health benefits of mushrooms. Portobellos are already a significant source of seven vitamins and minerals -- including well over a third of daily recommended riboflavin, a B vitamin which helps support the body's antioxidant systems.
“When we bring these to market, mushrooms will be the only natural, non-animal source of vitamin D available,” said Gary Schroeder, Director of Dole Mushrooms. “Since plants do not make vitamin D we will be the only source of vitamin D in the produce section.”
Dole leads the industry with this unique process of exposing mushrooms to light that increases the vitamin D content to 100% of the RDA.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2007 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.