Lallemand hosted a breakfast meeting about the health benefits of a new vegetarian source of Vitamin D from yeast at the annual British Dietetic Association Conference. This meeting was a great opportunity to discuss with dietitians and students practicing in United Kingdom about the importance of this vitamin and new food sources available. The 2003 National Diet & Nutrition Survey has showed that, in the adult age group 19 to 64 years, 71% of men and 78% of women in the UK have a Vitamin D dietary intake below 5 mcg/day. With the re-emergence of rickets and the public health burden of low vitamin D status already apparent, Vitamin D deficiency is considered as a widespread concern among the UK population.
Emerging scientific research has linked low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to increased risk of many types of chronic diseases, as well as several types of bacterial and viral infections. Recent studies have broadened the understanding of the important roles Vitamin D plays in maintaining health. Despite the large body of scientific literature and widespread media coverage during the past decade, few of the world’s health agencies and disease organizations have embraced the Vitamin D revolution.
UK Reference Nutrient Intake for Vitamin D
At the moment, there are no Reference Nutrient Intakes for Vitamin D for people between 4 and 65 years in the general UK population, other than for those at a specific risk of limited UVB skin exposure. The re-emergence of rickets and increasing prevalence of low Vitamin D status in some subgroups of UK population (African–Caribbean and South Asian) has prompted a review of the current UK Dietary Reference Values. New terms of reference should be published by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition very soon. Following the release of the Institute of Medicine recommendations on Nov. 30th 2010 (Institute of Medicine Report Brief), both Canadian and American governments have raised their Recommended Daily Allowance from 5 to 15 mcg per day for children and most adults and from 10 to 20 mcg for adults older than 70 years, assuming minimal sun exposure.
New food sources
Summer sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D, but diet takes on an increasing importance during winter at latitudes greater than 40°N or S due to the unavailability of UVB radiation of sufficient strength to stimulate dermal synthesis of the vitamin. Unfortunately, there are very few dietary sources of Vitamin D in UK, with oily fish being the richest source of the nutrient. Other dietary sources include eggs, meat and fortified products such as margarine, reduced fat spreads and some breakfast cereals.
Helping to satisfy consumers’ quest for more natural and Vitamin D rich ingredients, Lallemand’s yeast is exposed to a source of light during the regular production process that naturally transforms the sterols present in yeast into vitamin D. In this way, Lallemand yeast products can be used as natural and vegetarian sources of Vitamin D to enhance the Vitamin D content of bread, baked goods, and other food products* and can also be used as a supplement. For more information please visit our website http://vitamind.lallemand.com/.
* EU regulatory status of Lallemand Vitamin D yeast in bread, baked goods, and other food products is still undetermined.
Lallemand Inc. is a privately held Canadian company specializing in the research, development, production, marketing and distribution of yeast and bacteria. Lallemand has over 2,300 employees located in more than 36 countries on all continents. www.lallemand.com.