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  • Scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK have edited the genetic properties of tomatoes to become a strong source of vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is created in the body after exposure to sunlight, however, its major source is in food, mainly meat and dairy – causing a challenge to vegetarians and vegans
  • Tomato leaves naturally contain 7-DHC which is one of the building blocks of vitamin D3 that is considered the best at raising vitamin D levels
  • The scientists used the Crispr tool to adjust the tomato plant’s genome so that 7-DHC is present in the fruit as well as the leaves
  • Researchers are now evaluating this theory, however, it could be a while before the tomatoes will be available in supermarkets

Scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK have edited the genetic properties of tomatoes to become a strong source of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is created in the body after exposure to sunlight, however, its major source is in food, mainly meat and dairy – causing a challenge to vegetarians and vegans.

Not enough vitamin D can cause loss of bone density, osteoporosis and broken bones.

Tomato leaves naturally contain 7-DHC which is one of the building blocks of vitamin D3 that is considered the best at raising vitamin D levels.

The scientists used the Crispr tool to adjust the tomato plant’s genome so that 7-DHC is present in the fruit as well as the leaves.

Most vitamin D3 supplements come from lanolin which is extracted from sheep wool, and since the sheep stays alive it works for vegetarians but not vegans.

Further, when the fruit and leaves were exposed to UV light for an hour, one tomato contained the equivalent vitamin D levels as two medium-sized eggs or 28 grams of tuna.

These scientists are now evaluating whether sunshine can effectively convert 7-DHC to vitamin D3 instead of UV light.

Researchers are now evaluating this theory, however, it could be a while before the tomatoes will be available in supermarkets.

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