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National Nutrient Database Updated to Include Vitamin D Values
Date:10/8/2009

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The next time you run nutritionals using the government's database, you might be pleasantly surprised that some of your favorite foods seem to have received a nutrient boost, virtually overnight.

The addition of vitamin D values to nearly half of all food entries - including mushrooms, the only fruit or vegetable with natural vitamin D - topped the list of important updates made to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) release 22 of the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. The database is available for anyone to search or download from the Nutrient Data Laboratory Web site and can be found here: www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.

The database - which contains nutrient data for over 7,500 food items for up to 143 food components, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids - is the foundation of most food and nutrition databases in the U.S., used for determining the nutritional components of recipes, along with serving as a resource in food policy and research.

"Nutrition and health professionals regard the database as the authoritative source of information about food composition in the United States," said Mary Jo Feeney, Fellow of the American Dietetic Association and nutrition research coordinator for the Mushroom Council. There is a substantial amount of research and public health interest in the role of vitamin D in health. The inclusion of vitamin D values for mushrooms in the database enables health professionals to assess consumers' intake of vitamin D and use mushrooms to help meet their dietary needs."

Similar to the way that humans absorb sunlight and convert it to vitamin D, mushrooms contain a plant sterol--ergosterol--that converts to vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. The top three selling mushroom varieties (button, crimini and portabella) have vitamin D rangin
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SOURCE The Mushroom Council
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