Most people don’t get enough vitamin D. The best source of this calcium-boosting vitamin that builds strong bones and prevents disease is sunlight. When bare skin is exposed to sunlight, vitamin D precursors on the skin are converted to active vitamin D. But not everyone gets enough exposure to the sun, especially during the winter. That’s why getting vitamin D from food is so important. Unfortunately, when choosing vitamin D foods, the pickings are pretty slim.
Vitamin D Foods
There are few food sources that are naturally high in vitamin D. The best vitamin D foods are fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon and sardines, dried shitake mushrooms and eggs. Fatty fish are a much better source than eggs, which only contains small amounts of vitamin D in the yolk. Some foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice and margarine are vitamin D-fortified, meaning synthetic vitamin D has been added. But what about bread?
Bread is not a good source of vitamin D naturally – unless it’s baked with yeast that’s high in vitamin D. According to an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, baking bread with vitamin D-producing yeast could help a vitamin D deficient Americans get more of the vitamin D they need.
The only problem is the these yeast make a form of vitamin D called vitamin D2 that, according to some studies, doesn’t raise vitamin D levels as well as vitamin D3. Most experts recommend vitamin D in the form of D3 – not D2. On the other hand, when researchers fed bread made with vitamin D-rich yeast to rats, it was as beneficial as vitamin D3.
Vitamin D from Food: The Bottom Line?
Most people don’t have a lot of vitamin D foods to choose from, and this new bread could be an inexpensive way for people to get more vitamin D without taking supplements. After all, who doesn’t eat bread?
One day soon, you may be able to make a tasty sardine sandwich and get a whopping dose of vitamin D. Until then, get your vitamin D level checked periodically to make sure you’re getting enough of this vitamin that’s so important for health.
Medscape.com. “Serum Vitamin D Levels Higher with Intake of Vitamin D3 than Vitamin D2”