HELSINKI, FINLAND — Bread baked with yeast containing vitamin D2 had an equal effect on vitamin D (S-25-Hydroxyvitamin D) levels in women as supplements containing vitamin D2 in a four-week trial at the University of Helsinki.

The single-blind bioavailability study involved 38 healthy women between the ages of 19-41. They randomly were assigned to three study groups. Each group consumed wheat bread baked with vitamin D2 bakers yeast or regular wheat bread and a vitamin D2 supplement or a placebo supplement daily. The daily dose of vitamin D was 1,000 International Units (I.U.). Researchers took blood samples at the beginning of the study, after one week, after two weeks and after four weeks.

Lallemand, Inc. offers yeast containing vitamin D2.

“Bread is a staple food consumed daily by persons of different ages and different ethnicities, and yeast is a key ingredient in the production of bread,” said Jean Chagnon, chief executive officer of Lallemand. “The simple process improvement in making Lallemand VitaD bakers yeast, with this scientific evidence, will certainly result in a significant percentage of all breads and yeast-leavened goods becoming new natural sources of vitamin D.

“This is good news at a time when the importance of this sunshine vitamin D is increasingly recognized by health professionals, public health officials and the general public. This study confirms that bread baked with Lallemand VitaD bakers yeast is as effective (bioavailable) as a vitamin D supplement.”