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UVB exposure of farm animals: Study on a food-based strategy to bridge the gap between current Vitamin D intakes and dietary targets

: Schutkowski, A.; Krämer, J.; Kluge, H.; Hirche, F.; Krombholz, A.; Theumer, T.; Stangl, G.I.

Postprint (PDF; )

PLoS one. Online journal 8 (2013), Nr.7, Art. e69418, 9 S.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IWM ( IMWS) ()

Vitamin D deficiency is a global health problem. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of ultraviolet (UV) B radiation for improving vitamin D3 content of eggs and meat. In a two-factorial design hens that received diets with 0 (-D3) or 3,000 IU (+D3) vitamin D3/kg were non-exposed (-UVB) or exposed to UVB radiation (+UVB) for 3 h daily over 4 weeks. Data show that UVB radiation was very effective in raising the vitamin D3 content of egg yolk and meat. Egg yolk from +UVB/-D3 hens had a higher vitamin D3 content (17.5±7.2 g/100 g dry matter (DM)) than those from the -UVB/+D3 group (5.2±2.4 g/100 g DM, p<0.01). Vitamin D3 content in egg yolk of vitamin D3-supplemented hens could be further increased by UVB radiation (32.4±10.9 g/100 g DM). The content of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) in the egg yolk also increased in response to UVB, although less pronounced than vitamin D3. Meat revealed about 4-fold higher vitamin D3 contents in response to UVB than to dietary vitamin D3 (p<0.001). In conclusion, exposure of hens to UVB is an efficient approach to provide consumers with vitamin D3-enriched foods from animal sources.