Friday, November 2, 2012
Vitamin D Enriched Eggs
Eggs are already a source of vitamin D and this innovation shows us that the amount can be readily upgraded through feeding. Combined with omega 3 fats and much of the historic concerns over eggs, largely misplaced at best, disappear. In fact is can be come a protein of choice which has been it real place in our diet long before we began to meddle.
My mother told me a tale from her childhood in which she consumed a raw egg every day as a matter of course. This is circa 1910 to 1913. This was obviously an accepted tradition with plenty of present day support although I preferred cooked of course. Egg nog is our way of getting it down.
I do not know if the chicken coop is making a comeback in reality although we are accommodating back yard coops now. What is emerging however is a grower industry out there trying to differentiate their product. These clear improvements will do that and ultimately force the industry to make it the standard.
It is all good.
Abbotsford firm’s egg has a daily dose of vitamin D
Vita D is the first egg on the market to deliver an adult’s daily need for the sunshine nutrient
By Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun October 31, 2012
An Abbotsford-based farming innovation firm is launching the first egg that contains 100 per cent of an adult’s current daily requirement of vitamin D, as defined by Health Canada.
Each Vitala Vita D Sunshine egg contains 200 IU of vitamin D — about 5 micrograms — or seven times the amount found in a conventional egg, according to Bill Vanderkooi, owner of Nutriva, the firm that developed the egg and feed formula that produces it, and the parent company of Vitala.
A glass of milk fortified with vitamin D provides about 100 IU.
Vanderkooi is confident he will find a strong demand for an egg rich in vitamin D, as Health Canada is revising upward the recommended vitamin D intake for adults to as much as 800 IU per day, depending on age.
Feed for the hens is supplemented with plant-sourced vitamin D, said Vanderkooi. The supplement is produced by Montreal specialty yeast producer Lallemand.
The vitamin D content of eggs can be raised as high as 600 IU, according to Vanderkooi’s feed testing.
There is considerable interest in vitamin D among scientists. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with some cancers, bone density disorders, multiple sclerosis and impaired immune function.
“A lot more research needs to be done to assess the value of vitamin D for reducing the risk of all those diseases,” said Dr. Hal Gunn, CEO of Inspire Health cancer clinic. But, he said, a handful of studies on vitamin D and cancer have produced dramatic results.
A four-year study at Creighton University of 1,179 women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that calcium and vitamin D reduced the risk of cancer by 60 per cent compared with the group taking placebos.
“It was very strong evidence that vitamin D can help prevent cancer,” said Gunn.
Five studies of particular kinds of cancer have found that people who have higher levels of vitamin D at the time of diagnosis are half as likely to have a recurrence or to die from their illness, he said.
People who live in northerly regions and who stay indoors most of the time are at risk of having low levels of vitamin D, which is naturally produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight.
“Supplementing with vitamin D in a place like Vancouver is really important because many of us don’t get enough vitamin D from sunshine,” said Gunn. “It seems to reduce the risk of a whole range of diseases.”
Gunn said a person in a bathing suit standing in the summer sun can produce more than 10,000 IU of vitamin D, a production rate that would have been quite normal for humans before the industrial age. Clothing, sunscreen and indoor lifestyles have all conspired to suppress our natural vitamin D production.
Eggs from the 10,000-hen flock will appear on the shelves of Overwaitea, Save-On Foods, Urban Fare, T&T and Choices Markets this week at a cost of about $3.49 a dozen, roughly 50 to 60 cents more than conventional table white eggs.
The flock is a conventional battery cage operation, which helps keep the price of the eggs affordable for a broader range of people, according to Vanderkooi.
Vitala also markets a free-run Omega-3 egg that has 100 IU of vitamin D produced by 20,000 cage-free hens. The Omega-3 eggs sell for about $5.50 a dozen.