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EFSA approves vitamin D-enriched yeast in bread products

Posted on: January 22, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


Recently, The European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies issued a positive opinion on the safety of UV-treated baking yeast.

The approval comes after the European Commission requested that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel look into the safety of the UV-treated yeast.

The UV-treated baking yeast comes from the Montreal based company Lallemand. Back in 2012, Lallemand issued a petition to the FDA to amend the regulation regarding how much vitamin D2 could be added to bread in the United States. We covered the story around the time of its release.

This new approval in Europe will allow for most bread products in the European Union to only be fortified with a maximum of 200 IU of vitamin D2 per 100g of bread. This amount was determined not to exceed the tolerable upper intake levels established by EFSA which is currently set at 4,000 IU/day for adults and children 11-17 years old and 2,000 IU/day for infants.

The UV-treated yeast is expected to become available in Europe sometime around spring or early summer 2014.


Ingma, C. Bread and Baked Goods in the EU Soon to Become New Daily Sources of Vitamin D – Contributing to Reduce Vitamin D Deficiency. Digital Journal, 2014.

Scientific Opinion on the safety of vitamin D-enriched UV-treated baker’s yeast. European Food Safety Authority, 2014.

1 Response to EFSA approves vitamin D-enriched yeast in bread products

  1. Ted

    Do you not see an enormous problem here? What is proposed is to fortify bread with ergocalciferol, Vitamin D2, which is synthetic form of the vitamin that may have significant negative consequences, as has been discussed at several points in this blog. There is the January 27 2014 News post that indicates that Vitamin D2 causes muscle damage in the context of lifting weight:

    “The research team recruited NASCAR pit crew members for the study. Pit crew members often undergo intense weight lifting and other muscle related exercise during their job. They conducted a double blind randomized controlled trial study on pit crew members for six weeks. During the six weeks, the pit crew members either took 3,800 IU/day of vitamin D2 or a placebo.They found that the pit crew members taking vitamin D2 had increased muscle damage compared to those taking a placebo.”

    This is bad enought, but do we know what happens to that most important muscle of all, the heart?

    And then there is the July 16, 2012 Blog post that indicates that consumption of Vitamin D2 destroys Vitamin D3 in the body: RCT: Dietary and supplemental D2 did not increase total vitamin D blood levels

    Here is the discussion:

    “Each group received a lunch at the study site for six weeks that contained a serving of the mushroom they had been randomized to along with the corresponding capsule. They were provided with meals to take home for weekend lunches.

    “All the treatment groups experienced statistically significant elevations in D2 levels, but these gains were negated by an almost equal decrease in their D3 levels. Interestingly, the more vitamin D2 participants received, the more their D3 levels dropped. A significant negative association was calculated, such that for every .4 ng/mL increase in D2 levels, there was a .3 ng/mL decrease in D3 levels. At the end of the study, none of the treatment groups experienced statistically significant increases in total vitamin D [25(OH)D] status.”

    So we are proposing to fortify our food with a substance that may be harmful and simultaneously destroys the beneficial form in the body? By the way you may notice that almond milk is fortified with Vitamin D2, with the consequence that all those people who can’t drink milk (the commonest D3 fortified food in the US) because they are lactose intolerant (most adults not of northern European ancestry) and therefore substitute almond milk are consuming a substance that is destroying what little D3 they have in their bodies and perhaps causing illness. Now add D2-fortified bread and we have a worse problem.

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