WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. — Bread made with Vita D bakers yeast is bioavailable and improves bone quality, according to a study of vitamin D-deficient rats that appeared on-line Feb. 18 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Montreal-based Lallemand offers Vita D bakers yeast, which has a high vitamin D2 content.

“These results suggest that the bioavailability of this innovative source of vitamin D2 obtained from bread made with vitamin D-rich bakers yeast is comparable to a vitamin D3 supplement,” said Connie M. Weaver, a professor and head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Dr. Weaver led the study, which also included researchers from North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. The researchers randomly assigned 80 four-week-old male rats to diets containing 25 international units (I.U.), 100 I.U., 200 I.U. or 1,000 I.U. of vitamin D sourced from either a Vitamin D3 supplement or bread made with Vita D bakers yeast. The plasma vitamin D status and bone health markers of the rats were monitored.

Results showed a dose-dependent rise in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level with the bread made with the bakers yeast. When the vitamin D2 content was increased to 1,000 I.U. from 25 I.U., there was an improvement in bone health markers similar to the improvement with the vitamin D3 supplement. The bone health markers included mineral content and density, geometry, volume and connectivity.

“This new scientific evidence should help convince bakers and consumers that breads and yeast-leavened goods can be effective natural daily sources of vitamin D through the use of Lallemand/American yeasts,” said Jean Chagnon, chief executive officer of Lallemand.