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The National Nutrient Database has been updated to include vitamin D values in its register of nutritional value for common foods.
The database, which is maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, lists data for more than 7,500 food items for up to 143 nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. Extensive in its influence, the list is used for identifying the nutritional components of recipes and serves as a primary resource for food policy research.
Vitamin D, which can be absorbed through sunlight as well as some foods, is known to help prevent high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, the spread of flu, prostate cancer and breast cancer.
According to Dr. Daniel Chong, a naturopathic physician in Oregon, 40 percent of the U.S. population is currently vitamin-D deficient.
The database gave the largest nutritional boost to mushrooms, which is the only fruit or vegetable with natural vitamin D.
Marry Jo Feeney, Fellow of the American Dietetic Association commented, "The inclusion of vitamin D values for mushrooms in the database enables health professionals to asses consumers' intake of vitamin D and use mushrooms to help meet their dietary needs."
The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to determine deficiency of the so-called sunshine vitamin.
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