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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (
Subject:         Re: Plant Foods with Vitamin D
Date: October 25, 2008 at 5:37 pm PST

In Reply to: Plant Foods with Vitamin D posted by Tim on October 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm:

Hi Tim

Vitamin D is really not a vitamin but a hormone and the best source of vitamin D is the sun. We should do whatever we can to ensure adequate sunshine whenever we can. It doesn't take much and we have the ability to store Vitamin D so even those who live in more northern climate can still "potentially" get enough.

In regard to plant foods, in general they are not a good source of Vit D, including mushrooms.

However, I am rarely one to promote a specific product, but those of you who live in northern climates may really benefit from these new mushrooms. In one of the discussions on Vitamin D, I mentioned that companies were looking into this and now one has come out with them. The Vitamin D is produced by exposing the mushrooms to light during the growing process.

In Health


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.

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.

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