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Thread: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

  1. #101

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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    As Korn says and has been discussed in this thread, vitamin D can be made by the body when the skin is exposed to long sunlight rays, which means May to September daytime sun in Northern climes. The human body has not evolved to produce vitamin D in the Northern winter sun. The human body is capable of making many substances vital to our survival.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D
    for the science behind it for any boffins out there.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  2. #102
    nervine
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    Default Re: Vitamin D in Spirulina?

    10 grams containst 300% of ur RDA of vitamin D

    http://www.spirulina.com/SPBNutrition.html

  3. #103
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    Shopping today I was looking down the cereal aisle and couldn't for the life of me find one that didn't contain (number un-specified) vitamin D. I'm under the impression that when un-specified you should expect it to be D3 so I then thought, "Oh wait, I remember, Grape Nuts I've read on line is vegan, I'll buy that". Well I read the label and was surprised to see just "Vitamin D", no number. Wouldn't they brag that it's D2 so as to attract us vegans? Their website doesn't say (Kraft foods) and I'm not a strong believer in emailing companies about such matters because I feel the answer you get really only applies to that batch of vitamin D they bought that month. They could care less if its vegan or not and would easily switch to a different supplier (using the other D number) instantly to save costs next month, there would be no change to their label that would alert me to this, and no, I don't want to email them every month asking, "Are you still using D2?" [They'd eventually just ignore me, I'm sure, anyways.]

    So I bought no cereal. Now I've verified that at least Peta thinks Grape Nuts is vegan (so I'm not crazy after all ) but then again they also list all those other ones as well! [examples: corn flakes and corn chex] Have they really checked to be sure they're all D2 and promise to stay that way forever or is Peta telling a bunch of lies? Anyone?

    Peta's "vegan cereal" list.

  4. #104
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    Are you unable to buy Nature's Path or Peace Cereals where you are? These are all vegan.

  5. #105
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    Thanks for the suggestion, Roxy, yes those can be found at Whole Foods Market when I go there but I don't think standard American supermarkets have those. I long for a simple bowl of corn flakes or corn chex with soy milk. I think there may be a house brand at WFM. I'll check, but I still want to know why Peta calls all those cereals in that link "vegan". Anyone know?

  6. #106
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    I don't know Mahk, sorry.

    Some of the mainstream grocery stores up here are open to carrying new stock that customers request/suggest. Perhaps you could ask one or 2 of your grocery stores if they'd be happy to carry some of the vegan cereals?

  7. #107
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    Here's some interesting reading about Vitamin D in plants:

    From http://www.reptileuvinfo.com/docs/pr...nt-ecology.pdf:

    Occurrence of provitamins and vitamins D in higher plants

    Plants produce provitamins D, vitamins D and related compounds in their leaves (Napoli et al. 1977;
    Wasserman 1975; Prema & Raghuramulu 1994, 1996; Zucker et al. 1980; Rambeck et al. 1981; Horst et al.
    1984).

    In the case of ergosterol and vitamin D2 one has to be cautious in assigning substances found in the analysis
    of plants to synthesis by the plants themselves. Many plants, among them many grasses, harbour en-
    dophytic fungi (Clay 1990; Redlin & Carris 1996; Siegel et al. 1987), and fungi regularly produce ergos-
    terol as their major sterol. The content of ergosterol in plant tissue has been used as a measure of fungal
    contamination (Gessner & Schmitt 1996).

    It is a widespread misconception in the literature that plants produce only provitamin D2 and vitamin D2
    (e.g., Buddecke 1980). Often as much provitamin D3 and vitamin D3 are produced (Zucker et al. 1980,
    Prema & Raghuramulu 1996). Even 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 has been found in plants (Napoli et al.
    1977), as well as a glycoside of this compound, sometimes at concentrations high enough to poison grazing
    animals (Wasserman et al. 1976).

    We have confirmed a UV-B dependent synthesis of vitamins D2 and D3 in the leaves of the tomato plant.
    An interesting observation is that the provitamin D3 content of tomato leaves is not reduced by growing
    plants under UV-B radiation, although a substantial amount of vitamin D3 is formed (Table 2). This points
    to a feedback mechanism regulating the amount of the provitamin.



    Table 2. Contents of provitamins and vitamins D2 and D3 in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill).
    Tomato plants were grown in a greenhouse with or without UV-B radiation (0.85 kJ plant weighted UV-B
    radiation per m2 and day).

    Organism Micrograms per gram dry weight
    Provit.D2 Provit. D3 Vitamin D2 Vitamin D3
    Tomato (-UV-B) 1.83 0.61 0 0
    Tomato (+UV-B) 2.23 0.76 0.087 0.28


    Recently Curino et al. (1998) made the startling discovery that Solanum glaucophyllum cells are able to
    synthesise vitamin D3 and its derivatives in darkness. This is the only documented case of vitamin D3
    synthesis in the absence of UV-B. Solanum glaucophyllum is a very special plant which accumulates large
    amounts of dihydroxy vitamin D3 as a protection against grazing mammals. Mechanisms for nonphoto-
    chemical formation of vitamin D have been proposed by Norman & Norman (1993).

    [...]

    Conclusion

    Plants and some algae are able to perceive ultraviolet-B radiation and regulate chemical processes and morphogenesis in a radiation-dependent manner, and are thought to have an ultraviolet-B specific photorecep-
    tor. Provitamins D2 and D3 are present in leaves of land plants and in some algae, and are converted, with a high quantum yield, to previtamins D and vitamins D upon exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation. The action
    spectrum for several ultraviolet-induced phenomena in plants (Björn 1999) and for provitamin D conversion in human skin peak at the same wavelength. Photodestruction of provitamin D is known to
    change the activity of membrane-bound enzymes in yeast cells. We have pointed to the possibility that provitamins D act as ultraviolet-B photoreceptors for UV-B induced regulatory reactions in plants, and
    proposed that the proportions between provitamins, previtamins, and vitamins D can be used to evaluate the UV-B exposure of phytoplankton and plants.


    From http://www.prn2.usm.my/mainsite/bull...996/sun44.html :
    Vitamin D and its analogues are a group of sterol compounds that occur naturally, chiefly in animals. It can also be found in plants and yeasts. The D vitamins are generated from the provitamins ergosterol and 7-dehydrocholesterol, which are found in plants and animals.

    Ultraviolet irridiation of a variety of this animal and plant sterols results in the conversion of provitamins to compounds with vitamin D activity. Ergosterol, which is derived from plants, can be converted into ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) with the aid of ultraviolet irridiation. For instance, vitamin D was once made available in commercial quantities when vitamin D2 was manufactured by irridiation of ergosterol derived from yeast.

    In animal tissues, 7-dehydrocholesterol, which occurs naturally in the epidermal layers of the skin, can be converted by ultraviolet irridiation to cholesterol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D3 is also present in fish oil. Both ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol are of equal biologic potency as D vitamins.

    Screening of Vitamin D activity (VDA) of Solanum glaucophyllum leaves measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA)

    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curati...?spnumber=2679
    Solanum glaucophyllum is of economic importance mainly because it causes a disease, “enteque seco” or “espichamento,” of grazing animals (D’Arcy, 1974; Morris, 1977; Okada et al., 1977; Wasserman, 1974). The disease is characterized by calcification of soft tissues, frequently leading to death, and has caused losses of millions of dollars annually to livestock ranchers in Argentina (Cabrera, 1983). The active principle of S. glaucophyllum has been shown to be a vitamin D-like substance that increases calcium and phosphorous absorption (Morris, 1977; Wasserman, 1974). Extracts of S. glaucophyllum are currently being tested for activity as bone growth factors useful in human and veterinary medicine (Morris, 1977; B. Barr, pers. comm.).
    From http://www.noarthritis.com/research.htm:

    An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis
    Diet appears to be a factor in the etiology of arthritis based on surveys of over 1400 volunteers during a 20-year period. Plants in the drug family, Solanaceae (nightshades) are an important causative factor in arthritis in sensitive people. This family includes potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.), eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), and peppers (Capsicum sp.) of all kinds except the black pepper (family, Piperaceae). A buildup of cholinesterase inhibiting glycoalkaloids and steroids from consumption and/or use (tobacco) of the nightshades and from other sources such as caffeine and some pesticides (organophosphates and carbamates) may cause inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis appears to be a result of long-term consumption and/or use of the Solanaceae which contain naturally the active metabolite, vitamin D3, which in excess causes crippling and early disability (as seen in livestock). Rigid omission of Solanaceae, with other minor diet adjustments, has resulted in positive to marked improvement in arthritis and general health.
    [...]
    In conclusion, low levels of potato increased bone mineralization due to a hypothesized increase in the intestinal absorption of Ca, P, and Mg. Conversely, a high intake of potato resulted in (1) decreased bone mineral content, (2) soft tissue mineralization, and (3) a decrease in body weight gain. The overall effect indicated the potato does have vitamin D-like activity.
    [...]
    Conclusions
    Davis [18] stated [14] that "The demonstration that the active form of vitamin D (D3) is present in at least three species of three (now four [24]) different genera of plants, raises many questions regarding the possible role of diet and calcium and phosphorous metabolism. Are there many other plants common to human diets, as well as in animal feeds, that contain significant if small quantities of the active form of vitamin D? Can the presence of such a compound be used advantageously to protect against the occurrence of osteomalacia? Is it possible that the presence of the active form of vitamin D may result in abnormal calcium absorption and deposits in connective tissue with resultant pathology [38,39]? Obviously, the discovery that plants can form the active vitamin D3 opens a vast new area of research with potentially far reaching importance for human and animal health."
    Kingsbury [8] stated that "Despite the ancient and general reputation of the nightshades as poisonous plants, very few feeding experiments have been performed with any of the toxic species... begging experimentation." Further research with the food nightshades, which has been done with tobacco, may also be fruitful in helping solve the problems of heart, circulatory, cancer, and related diseases.



    Effects of vitamin D overdose


    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...799fb6d85c9739
    Vitamin D compounds in plants

    Ricardo Boland, , Mario Skliar, Alejandro Curino and Lorena Milanesi
    Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional del Sur., San Juan 670, Bahia Blanca 8000, Argentina
    Received 30 April 2002; revised 24 September 2002; accepted 10 November 2002. ; Available online 14 December 2002.


    Abstract

    An appreciable number (15) of flowering plants, specially within the Solanaceae family, have been shown to contain vitamin D3 and its hydroxylated derivatives, including 1α,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)D3], a pluripotent hormone in animals. These secosteroids have also been detected in members of the Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae families. On the basis of recent cladistic analysis it is possible to predict that the synthesis of these compounds is a characteristic of the Angiosperms. Highly specific and sensitive bioassays and analytical procedures of high resolution are now available which may allow confirmation of this hypothesis. Solanum glaucophyllum is the species which accumulates 1α,25(OH)D3 to the greatest extent. The metabolite is distributed among different tissues of the plant as a free steroid or glycoside derivatives. The presence of 7-dehydrocholesterol, vitamin D3, 25(OH)D3 and 1α,25(OH)2D3 in S. glaucophyllum and other species has been unequivocally demonstrated. Moreover, recent studies with radioactive precursors, protein immunoblot and RNA hybridization analysis suggest the presence of specific hydroxylases for vitamin D3 and 25(OH)D3 structurally related to the corresponding enzymes in vertebrates. It appears then that plants possess a similar synthetic route to 1α,25(OH)2D3 as in animals. However, of unique biological importance, evidence obtained with S. glaucophyllum and Nicotiana glauca supports the operation of a non-photolytic reaction of vitamin D3 synthesis. Both intermediates and enzymes of the vitamin D3 pathway can be detected in cell and tissue cultures thus affording a convenient experimental model for studies on its molecular characterization and regulation. This is also endowed with biotechnological significance. Vitamin D3 compounds may play a function in Angiosperms. Studies in vitro have shown that, like mitogenic plant hormones, they stimulate root growth and differentiation through activation of the Ca2+ messenger system. There are vitamin D3 and 1α,25(OH)2D3 binding proteins in plants which exhibit characteristics suggesting a regulatory function. It remains to be established whether these binders act as true steroid hormone receptors.
    And, In case you want a PhD scholarship in improvement of Vitamin D in food crops:
    http://www.dtu.dk/Om_DTU/ledige_stil...?guid=22207039
    (The research will partly focus on investigation of the production of vitamin D in plants from their content of pro-vitamin D).

  8. #108
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Vitamin D stored in the body

    Here's some random info about how long vitamin D is stored in the body. As you'll see, these people don't agree with each other.

    http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseas...rosis/vitd.htm
    Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in your body fat. In general, adults and children living in New York State can get enough casual sun exposure from March to October to store a significant amount of vitamin D. It will later be released for the body's use during the winter months. However, the use of sunscreen and/or sun-protective clothing, cloudy northern climate, and window glass block your body's ability to make vitamin D from sun exposure.

    http://www.nysopep.org/page.cfm/65
    Since vitamin D can be stored in your body, it has been presumed that too much may be harmful. However, toxicity is rarely seen. It is important to follow the advice of your doctor or medical professional and not to exceed 2000 IU/day of vitamin D from diet and/or supplements without a prescription.

    http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info.../vitamin_d.php
    While some vitamin D is stored in the body during the summer months, it is important that you get a good dietary source of vitamin D to help you out during the winter months.


    http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/...ciarickets.htm
    Milk contains added vitamin D in the USA but not in the UK. Most people in the UK get most of their vitamin D from exposure of the skin to sunlight.

    The average person has enough vitamin D stored in their body to last for two or three years.

    Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency?

    People who get little exposure to sunlight are most at risk of vitamin D deficiency in the UK. Immigrants from Asia, particularly women and children, are at risk, as are elderly people who are housebound or confined to residential and nursing homes.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D
    Whether it is made in the skin or ingested, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is then hydroxylated in the liver to 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3 or calcidiol) by the enzyme 25-hydroxylase produced by hepatocytes, and stored until it is needed. [...] Vitamin D stored in the human body as calcidiol (25-hydroxy-vitamin D) has a large volume of distribution and a long half-life (about 20 to 29 days).[8] However, the synthesis of bioactive vitamin D hormone is tightly regulated and vitamin D toxicity usually occurs only if excessive doses (prescription forms or rodenticide analogs) are taken.[26]

    http://www.clinicalanswers.nhs.uk/in...?question=7309
    “Treatment for rickets may be administered gradually over several months or in a single day's dose with 15,000 mcg (600,000 U) of vitamin D. If the gradual method is chosen, 125-250 mcg (5000-10,000 U) is given daily for 2-3 months until healing is well established and the alkaline phosphatase concentration is approaching the reference range. Because this method requires daily treatment, success depends on compliance.
    • An alternative and recommended therapy is to administer the vitamin D in a single day, usually divided into 4 or 6 oral doses. An intramuscular injection also is available. Vitamin D is well stored in the body and released gradually over many weeks. Neither calcitriol nor calcidiol with their short half-lives are suitable. The single-day therapy avoids problems with compliance and, on occasion, is helpful in differentiating nutritional rickets from FHR [familial hypophosphatemia rickets].

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/review/s...7vitaminD.html
    Q: What are the best sources of vitamin D?

    A: The sun is the most potent source. When the sun’s ultraviolet rays hit the skin, the skin makes the vitamin, which is rapidly absorbed in the blood and can be stored for several months, mostly in the blood and fat tissue. This is why it’s hard to figure out how much supplemental vitamin D people might need.

    If you spend a fair amount of time outdoors, you probably don’t need a vitamin D supplement. A light-skinned person living in Boston who takes walks in the summer with the face, neck, and arms exposed for 15 minutes gets enough. A 30-minute, full-body exposure to summer sun at noon without any sunscreen protection triggers the release of about 20,000 IU into the bloodstream. Most of that is stored. Someone dark-skinned would, with the same exposure, generate about half or less as much vitamin D.

    For people who rarely get sun exposure or who live in the north, where the body can’t make vitamin D in the late autumn and winter months, even 800 IU per day during these months may be too low. Dark-skinned individuals, whom research suggests are more prone to colon cancer than whites, should probably take vitamin D supplements, considering that their colon cancer risk may be related to insufficient vitamin D.

    Evidence shows modest exposure to sun can have long-term benefits. However, I don’t recommend excessive sun exposure because of the well-known risk of skin cancer.
    [...]
    Q: Who might benefit most from supplements?

    A: Most people will benefit. The elderly; dark-skinned individuals; obese individuals, in whom fat cells extract vitamin D from blood and hoard it; and those who avoid the sun are all at risk for a less-than-adequate intake or a deficiency. People living in northern latitudes—for Americans, that means north of an imaginary line connecting San Francisco to Philadelphia—only make vitamin D from March through September. Although vitamin D stored from summer sun exposure lasts for some months, most of these individuals will be deficient by late winter.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/z003838.html
    Adams: What about storage of vitamin D in the body. If someone lives in a climate where it gets cloudy for 2 months in a row, what then?

    Dr. Holick: Excellent point. Remember I told you about the major circulating form of vitamin D which is 25-hydroxy vitamin D? It's half-life in the blood stream is 2 weeks. So when you build up your vitamin D levels during spring, summer and fall, you can use them because your blood levels are much higher, and also some of the vitamin D is stored in your body fat and is released during the winter time. But the opposite is true also, and that is that if you're obese, we know that most obese people are prone to deficiency in vitamin D, and the reason is that the vitamin D gets sucked into the fat and it can't get out. And so we actually did a study in obese and non-obese individuals, and we gave them either an oral dose of vitamin D or we put them on our tanning beds so that they can make vitamin D in their skin. Obese people could only raise their blood levels of vitamin D about half as much as non-obese individuals.

    Adams: Very interesting.

    Dr. Holick: And so if a person is in fact overweight, they don't need 1000 units of vitamin D a day, they probably need 2000 units of vitamin D a day.

    Adams: That's fascinating, because again that plays into the sensitivity to vitamin D, so there's a vicious cycle going on there in obesity.

    Dr. Holick: Exactly.

    Adams: It's going to take a lot of vitamin D, a lot of sun exposure to help break that cycle. I've got another question for you here. So if a person has all the vitamin D that their body wants, and it's stored in the fat tissues, how long can they go, is it a period of months?

    Dr. Holick: Yeah, I mean if you're getting a really adequate source in the spring, summer and fall, it'll last two to three months. So it'll get you through the winter. But for those that are concerned about this issue, what I always tell my patients is, take a multivitamin, you're getting 400 units and get some sun exposure to really make sure that you're building up your stores of vitamin D. And then during the wintertime especially take at least a multivitamin, and maybe take an additional supplement, a vitamin D supplement that contains another 400-1000 units of vitamin D.

  9. #109
    veggiemaya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    I have been trying to figure out if a lack of a particular vitamin can cause me to feel so down on days that are rainy and/or overcast. I have also noticed that on those kind of days, in addition to feeling depressed or irritable, that there is a glare that seems to really put a strain on my eyes. I also know people that almost always get migraine headaches on days like these.

    Can helping this be as simple as taking a vitamin D or another type of supplement?
    Last edited by veggiemaya; Jun 4th, 2008 at 07:33 PM. Reason: skipped a word
    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.~ Mahatma Ghandi

  10. #110

    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, Roxy, yes those can be found at Whole Foods Market when I go there but I don't think standard American supermarkets have those.
    My local Meijers and Busch's have both started carrying cereals marketed to the "health" and "organic" crowds. I think that finding vegan cereal w/ Vt D is getting easier all the time. Heck, both carry a veriety of vegan soymilks, and i've yet to go to a supermarket in the continental USA that doesn't have vit D fortified soymilk.
    context is everything

  11. #111
    TheVeganSociety
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    Default Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Greetings,

    The Vegan Society has put a new statement on rickets and vitamin D on to our Web site news feed:

    http://www.vegansociety.com/newsroom...Vitamin-D.html

    Please consider using this material as a source for writing to your local newspapers, TV & radio, magazines etc. We would be grateful if you could send copies of any letters which you send or replies which you receive to us at The Vegan Society office.

    Many thanks,

    Amanda at The Vegan Society

  12. #112
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    "Vitamin D is found in many vegan foods including some breakfast cereals and margarine and some fortified non-dairy milks."
    Amanda, I was under the impression that all major brands of breakfast cereals that are fortified with vitamin D use specifically D3, cholecalciferol, which to the best of my understanding is always made from sheep's wool and therefor not vegan. Please explain my error.

    Thanks

  13. #113
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    in the UK at least, a few fortified breakfast cereals use D2 but D3 is by far the more widely used version.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  14. #114
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Gorilla, I'm curious, here in the US (on cereal boxes at least) it pretty much just reads "Vitamin D" even on "health food" brands' boxes. Is your statement for the conditions in the UK based on info from just reading the labels on the boxes or through other correspondence, email, "vegan lists", this forum, etc?

    Thanks and good to have you back.

  15. #115

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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Gorilla, I'm curious, here in the US (on cereal boxes at least) it pretty much just reads "Vitamin D" even on "health food" brands' boxes. Is your statement for the conditions in the UK based on info from just reading the labels on the boxes or through other correspondence, email, "vegan lists", this forum, etc?
    A bit of both, usually. Some say "D2", but mostly we've found out for ourselves, or use cereals without D and have "milk" with it added.

  16. #116
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Thanks, B.

    Can anyone think of a brand, from any country, that actually lists D2 on the actual label? If people could come up with some names I could then go see if my US version is the same. I want D2 fortification and having to avoid all cereal with just "vitamin D" is a real pain.

    I personally don't believe in the concept of "well why don't you just email them for clarification?" regarding these sorts of issues, BTW. My belief is that the response one receives is transitory; they'll gladly switch between D2 and D3 for any number of reasons (mostly cost at the time of purchase, I'd assume). Sadly the Vegan Society isn't here in the US to protect me (through certification stamps on the boxes) keeping the cereal makers from freely changing at will between D2 and D3 at any time.

  17. #117
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Quote bryzee86 View Post
    A bit of both, usually. Some say "D2", but mostly we've found out for ourselves, or use cereals without D and have "milk" with it added.
    indeed, most packets just say vitamin D, but there are a couple of stores which label their cereals as vegan, so those which are fortified and also labelled vegan obviously use D2.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  18. #118
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Quote Mahk View Post
    I personally don't believe in the concept of "well why don't you just email them for clarification?" regarding these sorts of issues, BTW. My belief is that the response one receives is transitory; they'll gladly switch between D2 and D3 for any number of reasons (mostly cost at the time of purchase, I'd assume). Sadly the Vegan Society isn't here in the US to protect me (through certification stamps on the boxes) keeping the cereal makers from freely changing at will between D2 and D3 at any time.
    I think the email I just received bares this out:

    Mr. Zee,

    Thank you for contacting us regarding Kelloggs® Corn Flakes®. The
    vitamin premixes used in Kellogg® products include Vitamin D. Our
    ingredient specification for Vitamin D says that we can use either Vitamin D2
    or D3 in our products. Vitamin D3 is derived from lanolin, an animal
    product; Vitamin D2 is not animal-derived. In either case, the vitamin
    premix is Kosher certified.

    We appreciate your interest in our company and products.


    Sincerely,


    Ruben Hacker
    Consumer Affairs Department

    4RHX/cl

    013459326A

    Kellogg North America
    PO Box CAMB
    Battle Creek, MI 49016-1986


    How the frick can I be a vegan if even a direct letter to the food manufacturer receives a reply "we don't legally have to answer your question."? Between this and the ambiguity of "natural flavoring" found on the labels of almost half of the foods sold here it makes me think veganism is nearly impossible in the US.

  19. #119
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D


  20. #120
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Harpy, your link doesn't work for me. Do you need a subscription to see it? I see how to search at the Guardian so if you would be so kind as to give the title of the article I think I could find it that way. Thanks.

  21. #121
    Enchantress's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Mahk, if you change the two asterisks in the link to two commas you'll be able to view the article.

  22. #122
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  23. #123
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Thanks everyone - sorry about that. Have corrected original link.

  24. #124
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Quote harpy View Post

    Jeez, that article goes on forever. Can you gimme the gist? I'm curious about breakfast cereals now

  25. #125
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    The gist is that you might as well eat the cardboard packaging as eat the contents - not new, but this time an exec from a cereal manufacturer said as much

  26. #126
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Quote harpy View Post
    The gist is that you might as well eat the cardboard packaging as eat the contents - not new, but this time an exec from a cereal manufacturer said as much
    Harpy, Thanks for the link.

    He actually said," "And the risk is, if you take the salt out, you might be better off eating the cardboard carton for taste."

    High sugar, high salt breakfast cereal, which amounts to 75% of the UK market according to the survey mentioned in the article, is certainly not health food, but this doesn't condemn healthy ones such as whole grain varieties including Weetabix, one of my favorites. It is low fat, low sugar, low sodium, high fiber, organic, vegan, GMO free, and fortified with 8 vitamins and minerals. Alas, it has no vitamin D2, but the fortified soymilk I add provides at least some.

    I'm still hoping someone here will think of a brand that has "D2" spelled out and written on the box. Anyone?

  27. #127

    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Mahk, I live in the US, and this is the cereal I normally eat: http://www.naturespath.com/products/.../optimum_power
    along with Silk soymilk which is fortified with D2.

    I just looked on the internet for a while, and still couldn't find info on the other cereals I eat (and feed the family): 365 raisin bran.

    Regardless, I find it quite easy to get vitamin D from soymilk and orange juice (Tropicana has vegan vitamin D, the others rarely do). More info on that here (read all the way to the bottom): http://www.vegblog.org/archive/2004/11/03/the-oj-post/
    context is everything

  28. #128
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Sorry, I have some bad news, my friend. Tropicana has revised their "vitamin D3 is synthesized" story over the years, even though their actual source remains exactly the same I assume ( a company called DSM as is mentioned by the last entry from your link). Check out this email:

    kpickell 03-13-06, 11:58 PM

    Tropicana wrote back:
    ___________________

    Rachel:

    We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns about the Vitamin D in Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice plus Calcium.

    The form of vitamin D added to Tropicana products is Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is considered synthetic and the starting raw material is cholesterol which is
    derived from lanolin. The concentration of Vitamin D in our orange juice is
    about 15 parts per billion. Therefore, the presence is insignificant.



    That's quite a different answer from the one I got last year. (see the link posted earlier). I think I'll contact them with a complaint.


    Source [read post #25]

    I also independently looked into this myself a few months ago and posted about it in our orange juice/ animal derivatives thread. "Synthetic" doesn't mean the raw material they use isn't an animal derived compound and they also can call it "vegetarian" because like milk and eggs you don't have to kill a sheep to get its wool (although they do often shear off their nipples in the process and museling is still used in many countries, but hey, sheep were put here on the planet to make us wool, right?)

    Don't feel bad. We've all been there. I fell into the exact same trap but in regarding Grape Nuts cereal. I read on the web that it was "vegan" and bought it. Turns out Peta has a whole web page of "I can't believe it's vegan" foods including all sorts of cereals which they haven't scrutinized for the source of Vitamin "D"; they, like Tropicana, think small amounts "don't count".

    I think I'm just about to throw in the towel on Vitamin D.

    edit to add: Here is yet more evidence their D3 supplier is DSM:

    DSM products are used in a wide range of end markets and applications including human and animal nutrition and health, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It is the world's largest manufacturer of bulk vitamins, which are sold to food and supplement companies for use in fortified foods and dietary supplements. DSM vitamins can be found in familiar brands such as Centrum, One-a-Day, Total, Quaker Oatmeal and Tropicana juices.

    Source.

  29. #129
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    You can buy vegan vitamin D supplements though, can't you? The Vegan Society's V-1 supplement has vitamin D2 I believe.

    Is there some advantage to getting it from fortified foods rather than a supplement? Or is the problem that animal-based vitamin D is hard to avoid in breakfast cereals? Presumably things like muesli are OK.

  30. #130
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Quote harpy View Post
    You can buy vegan vitamin D supplements though, can't you?
    Yes (and I do) but that feels like an admission that a true vegan diet is indeed intrinsically vitamin deficient, at least regarding vitamin D, that is. Getting vitamin D through food, albeit fortified, just "seems" better to me, I can't give you a rational argument why though. Relying on the sun for vitamin D is not an option for many months of the year where I live.

    Or is the problem that animal-based vitamin D is hard to avoid in breakfast cereals?
    Here in the US it is not hard, it is impossible to find fortified cereal which uses D2, not D3. I don't want to have to avoid all fortified cereals in general, perhaps 80-90% of the US market, just because of this. I want vitamin D fortification, it's lacking in my vegan diet, but I want it to be D2 of course!

    Interestingly I see the Vegan Society, UK, has rescinded the words "some breakfast cereals" from the sentence I quoted in post #2 of this thread from their Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D. It now reads:

    "Vitamin D is found in many vegan foods including margarine and some fortified non-dairy milks. "

    I wonder if that has anything to do with this thread?

    Margarine would also be incorrect, BTW, at least regarding the only US brand sold where I live [or perhaps anywhere in the US, I'm not sure]. The only US vegan margarine available to me, Earth Balance (also called Soy Garden), contains no vitamin D of any kind, although I see the UK's Pure brand does have some D2.

    Any of you in the UK know of a cheap flat for rent?

  31. #131

    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Thanks for the info on Tropicana.

    Well, there's still always fortified soymilk.
    context is everything

  32. #132
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Thank goodness I like soymilk (mostly on whatever vegan cereal I can find). I just looked at the two different brands of soymilk I happen to have on hand, both fortified with D2: Organic EdenSoy and the other VitaSoy. One had 20% DV per cup serving and the other 10%. Hmm, by my math I'd have to drink five cups of one, or ten of the other, to get my daily allowance. That's way more than I would tend to consume per day and it's D2 not D3 so I hear it isn't as bio-available and that you need around 60% more than you would D3. 16 glasses per day, yeah right. Not happening. Ugh, vitamin pills seem unavoidable during the winter months for me. Oh well.

  33. #133

    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    I drink Silk, which has 30% of vitamin D, if that helps. It's available everywhere I've been in the US, even around here, which is about 5 miles from where EdenSoy is harvested/processed/etc.
    context is everything

  34. #134
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Yes, I buy Silk too. Thanks for the tip. Whole Foods Duper Market near me has a huge selection of options. When I get a chance I'll read 'em all and report back on my findings.

    Right now I am making low-sodium hot and sour soup and it has mushrooms in it (although I'm using fresh shiitake, not the best kind for vitamin D I've since learned). One cup of regular cooked (or raw) mushrooms has 100% the DV of vitamin D!

    Mushrooms are my new friend.

    [Except I've heard some folklore quality data that suggests one should be concerned with their hydrazine content. I suspect it could be one of the many things idiots on the internet don't understand, i.e. without specifying concentration level, stating that the food merely "has some" is meaningless. Lots of healthy foods we eat contain arsenic, lead, cyanide etc. but at concentrations that don't disturb humans. Anyone know more, from a credible medical source that is, regarding hydrazine in mushrooms?]

  35. #135
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    I probably eat some d supplement as part of my diet(e.g in soya milk), but it's not something I pay attention to for either me or my children. I was always of the opinion that we get enough from sunlight as we walk and cycle a lot all year round. My understanding was that you get vit D from sunlight and not necessarily sunshine.
    Does anyone know of any research on the subject?

  36. #136
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    There's some research suggesting it may be hard to get enough vitamin D from sun in the winter in northern countries. There's a summary here

    http://www.vegansociety.com/food/nutrition/vitaminD.php

    ...unfortunately without any refs to peer-reviewed studies, but there are some in the Walsh book referred to, which I can look up later for you if you like.

    Of course, there are varying definitions of what 'enough' is, and maybe if you're out a lot in the summer you can store up enough to see you through the winter.

    ETA this article refers to a recent study http://health.usnews.com/articles/he....html?PageNr=1

  37. #137
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Thank goodness I like soymilk (mostly on whatever vegan cereal I can find). I just looked at the two different brands of soymilk I happen to have on hand, both fortified with D2: Organic EdenSoy and the other VitaSoy.
    are organic products allowed to be fortified in the US? they're not in the UK.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  38. #138
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    ^ I'm not much of an expert on the legal definition of "organic" but if the calcium and vitamins added are themselves organic then perhaps it is allowed?

  39. #139
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    the US definition of organic is probably different to the UK. i don't think calcium and vitamins are allowed to be classed as organic and therefore the addition of them makes a product non-organic, in this country at least.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  40. #140
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    I think besides the difference of our two countries is also that there seems to be more than one body that can certify a product as "organic", at least here.

    This one's label reads: "OCIA Certified Organic" whereas the first one was "USDA Organic" and elsewhere on the panel "Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International".

  41. #141
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    I found a fantastic on line calculator to determine how many hours one needs for vitamin D synthesis by sunlight exposure. Before you go there you have to determine your latitude and longitude.

    This can help.

    And your skin color as determined by a scientific scale called the "Fitzpatrick skin type 1-6" [black people need 5 to 10 times the amount of sun exposure compared to white people it seems.]

    This can help.

    You may have to wing some of the data entry points. I figure in the winter when I wear a hat and usually gloves my face exposure is about 10% of my body surface. Don't forget to insert a date that represents the winter, not summer:

    http://nadir.nilu.no/~olaeng/fastrt/VitD.html

    [this is a revised link]

  42. #142
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    You can use a website like this which is for working out burn damage for body surface - http://www.rch.org.au/clinicalguide/cpg.cfm?doc_id=5250
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  43. #143
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Statement on Rickets and Vitamin D

    That's great Risker! Seems I was overestimating my winter (face only) exposure quite a bit. Only 3.5 by that chart and maybe an extra 1% for the front neck. Going gloveless gains 6% more (1.5*4).

    I just did the calculator and it didn't work. Came back saying "0 Hours :0 minutes" but then I tried the alternate link and it worked so I've revised my link in that earlier post. This new link doesn't ask for skin color, BTW.


    results: 14 hours of mid day (?!) cloudless sun, for January 1st 2008, walking on dry concrete, Dobson thingy corrected to 303 for 01/01/2008, sea level, face and front neck only exposure. Oh well, vitamin D pills are a must for the winter then.

  44. #144

  45. #145
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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  46. #146
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    The number of lives saved by people doubling their sun exposure might be 10 times higher than the number of fatal skin cancers that would result, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo, Norway, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  47. #147

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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    For anyone who still does not understand the vitamin D and sunlight issue, in simple terms:
    The right kind of sunlight puts vitamin D into your body.
    Its that simple.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  48. #148
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    Its that simple
    It is that simple if you also include some relatively detailed information about how long vitamin D can be stored in the body (under various degrees of sun exposure), whether sun exposure in the winter is un-efficient in Northern/Southern-most parts of of the world even for people who work outdoors all day, to which degree the statements about how much we need are based on face exposure only or '40% of the skin-exposure', to which degree vitamins generated in plants that are exposed to sun drying is valuable/durable for humans and a few more things - like include a reminder about sunscreen preventing the sun's vitamin D generating effect.

  49. #149

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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    That's why I wrote "the right kind of sunlight"!
    Thanks for the clarification.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  50. #150
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, vitamin D and the sun

    Here's some more info about vitamin D, plants and sunlight:

    From http://books.google.com/books?id=a8M...um=7&ct=result

    As much as 95% of most humans' vitamin D requirements comes from casual exposure to light.

    From http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller25.html
    Except for oily fish like (wild-only) salmon, mackerel, and sardines and cod liver oil – and also sun-dried mushrooms – very little vitamin D is naturally present in our food. Milk, orange juice, butter, and breakfast cereal are fortified with vitamin D, but with only 100 IU per serving. One would have to drink 200 8-oz. glasses of milk to obtain as much vitamin D as skin makes fully exposed to the noonday sun.
    A majority of Americans have insufficient or deficient vitamin D blood levels. In veterans undergoing heart surgery at the Seattle VA hospital, I found that 78% had a low vitamin D level: 12% were insufficient; 56%, deficient; and 10% were severely deficient.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=--X...sult#PPA149,M1
    There are few naturally available dietary sources. [...] Less dependable sources include butter, egg yolks, sweet potatoes (yams), sun dried mushrooms, especially the shiitake and reishi varieties, dandelion greens, as well as margarine, milk and breakfast cereals, some of which are fortified with vitamin D. Parsley and alfalfa are said to contain small quantities of the vitamin.
    Table: Influence of Sunlight on Vitamin D Content in Mushrooms (page 203)

    Mushroom processing to develop vitamin D
    More than 40 percent of American adults are deficient in vitamin D (Allen, 2004). Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and bone health, and vitamin D deficiency can lead to softening of the bone in children and adults as well as osteoporosis in adults. Moreover, vitamin D has recently been linked to a significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer, autoimmune disease, and cardiovascular disease (Holick, 2004).
    [...]
    Vitamin D intake comes naturally from sunlight and a limited number of foods. Dependency of sunlight as a vitamin D source is compromised for those avoiding sunlight or using sun block to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen with as little as a sun protection factor (SPF) of eight inhibits more than 95 percent of vitamin D production (Holick, 2004; Sayre and Dowdy, 2007). Melanin acts like a sun block inhibiting ultraviolet light (UV) from penetrating deep enough in the skin for vitamin D to be produced. Individuals with dark skin do not produce vitamin D at the same rate as those with lighter skin, and vitamin D deficiency in these population groups is a concern. However, lighter-skinned populations are more susceptible to skin cancer and need to limit sun exposure or wear sunscreen, so vitamin D deficiency among those with lighter skin are also at risk. Moreover, recent report stated that the elderly who are in living-assistance and nursing homes do not get enough sunlight and are at risk for vitamin D deficiency (Holick, 2001).

    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1659193
    Fresh common (Agaricus bisporus) and high-temperature mushrooms (A. bitorquis) were irradiated with ultraviolet-C (UV-C) for 0, 0.5, 1, and 2 h at 12 °C. Fresh common, shiitake (Lentinula edodes), and straw mushrooms (Volvariella volvacea) were irradiated with UV-B for 0, 0.5, 1, and 2 h at 12 °C. After UV-C irradiation for 2 h, vitamin D2 contents in common and high-temperature mushrooms increased from 2.20 and 4.01 μg/g of dry weight to 7.30 and 5.32 μg/g, respectively. After UV-B irradiation for 2 h, the vitamin D2 content in common mushrooms reached 12.48 μg/g. UV-B irradiation resulted in higher vitamin D2 conversion for common mushrooms. After UV-B irradiation for 2 h, vitamin D2 contents in shiitake and straw mushrooms increased from 2.16 and 3.86 μg/g to 6.58 and 7.58 μg/g, respectively. The increase rates in shiitake and straw mushrooms were not as high as in common mushrooms.
    http://themushroomlady.blogspot.com/...vitamin-d.html
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA has been seeking a natural, non-animal food, rich in Vitamin D. That led them to mushrooms. It has been demonstrated that when white button mushrooms are exposed to Ultraviolet B radiation, for a short period of time, the level of Vitamin D increases to levels many times the minimum daily requirement, i.e. 10 mcg. Normally, a serving** of white button mushrooms contains 18 IU (0.45 mcg.). Treated mushrooms contain over 80 mcg.***

    Mushrooms show great promise as a natural, non-animal source of Vitamin D. That being the case, there are some hurdles to overcome before Super-D Mushrooms are featured in the produce section of supermarkets. The hurdles involve not only production-line technology and shelf-life, but also bio-availability of the vitamin. These hurdles are being addressed in Canada, the USA and Australia.

    http://iotftraining.nci.nih.gov/calvo.html
    Optimizing vitamin D and ergosterol content of white button and portabella mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus): Effects on innate immune response and mammary tumor development in rodents.

    The IOFT Fellow's activity would in part be involved with a proposed study which examines the effects of commonly consumed mushrooms on breast tumor growth and development. Since ancient times many world cultures have prized mushrooms for their exotic taste and medicinal value. Mushrooms are nutritious containing 19-35% high biological quality protein and significant levels of fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, vitamin D2 and trace minerals .Mushrooms also contain non-nutritive substances such as ?-glucan, ergosterol, and chitin that have been shown to have anti-tumor, anti-angiogenic and immune response enhancing properties that promote health by preventing chronic diseases such as cancer. Mushrooms are the only natural dietary source of vitamin D2 commonly consumed in the US and Canada and they also contain a high amount of ergosterol or pre-vitamin D2, which when isolated from mushrooms has been shown to have anti-tumor actions. An adequate vitamin D intake is important to the prevention of cancer, infections and other chronic diseases, and this knowledge has been strengthened by several recent cross-sectional or longitudinal studies which demonstrate a significant association between estimates of vitamin D intake and reduction in cancer or other disease risk. Given these findings, vitamin D merits consideration for inclusion in the list of nutrients that could qualify a fruit, vegetable or grain product for a cancer health claim on its label. Moreover, several recent studies have identified a surprisingly high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in otherwise healthy adults in North America, which establishes a clear need for more vitamin D rich food sources.

    The specific aim of this study is to ascertain if feeding white button mushrooms with optimized vitamin D2 content during early life and through sexual maturity is protective against the development and growth of mammary tumors in a rat model for carcinogen induced mammary cancer. The focus of this study is on the vitamin D2 and ergosterol content of mushrooms and involves exposing the mushrooms to short periods of ultraviolet light (UVB) or sunlight during harvesting to maximize the amount of vitamin D2 and ergosterol content, which is analogous to what happens in human skin upon exposure to sufficient UVB light. Circulating levels of 25(OH)D, the main indicator of vitamin D status, reflect contributions from dietary sources, both natural foods such as fungi (D2) and vitamin D3 from fatty fish and organ meats and vitamin D2 and D3 from fortified foods, and contributions from endogenous synthesis in the skin (D3). In most individuals the largest contributors to circulating 25(0H)D levels is from cutaneous synthesis, however environmental, seasonal, physiologic and behavioral factors are increasingly impairing the amount of vitamin D3 we can make through solar exposure. We have only recently recognized the significant need for more vitamin D rich foods in the US and Canadian food supply in order to maintain adequate serum levels of 25(OH )D to help prevent the development of chronic disease.
    The vitamin D levels of common varieties of mushrooms are listed below for a standard 100 g serving

    Vitamin D2 enhanced mushrooms - coming soon to consumers near you?
    Currently, dietary recommendations regarding vitamin D intake assume no sun exposure. Since many of us no longer live near the equator but rather live in city environments, our exposure to sunlight is limited. There is now a ground swell among some experts to increase the recommended Adequate Intake (AI) for vitamin D beyond the current range of 200 to 600 IU (depending on age) perhaps to a range between 1,000 and 2,000 IU [the Daily Value (DV) for labeling purposes is 400 IU].
    A mushroom industry pilot study (Mushroom News May 2006), undertaken in response to research proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) described below, has shown that mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light (UVB or UVC) results in vitamin D levels that exceed the current Daily Value.
    And finally, from today's news:
    Light-treated mushrooms 'help' vitamin D deficiency

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