New research identifies cocoa as a source of Vitamin D2
A research group at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Max Rubner-Institut, Germany have identified a new previously unknown source of Vitamin D2. The researchers found that cocoa is a high source of this important nutrient. The research published in the journal Food Chemistry details how the researchers decided to investigate cocoa as a source of D2 as cocoa beans are dried after fermentation and then placed on mats and exposed to sunshine for 1-2 weeks.
The researchers are keen to stress that they do not recommend eating chocolate (processed and full of sugar). Instead they are using their findings in a follow up project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in ways to produce healthy foods containing cocoa and cocoa butter including pasta hoping to raise levels of Vitamin D2 in people which are notoriously low in most populations.
NOTE: There are 2 types of Vitamin D and both are essential. Vitamin D3 is produced through exposure to sunlight and Vitamin D2 can be found in food, fungi are a good source of D2. Public Health England recommends that the majority of adults should consider taking a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D during the autumn and winter months and suggest those who have little or no exposure to the sun and those from ethnic minority groups with dark skin should consider taking a supplement all year round.