Marks and Spencer is to become the first supermarket to add vitamin D to its entire range of bread after customers’ fears they were not getting the recommended allowance of the vital supplement. The retailer, best known for its briefs will now turn its attention to its bread rolls and loafs infusing them with yeast which produces vitamin D. A deficiency of the vitamin has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, bowel cancer, heart disease, breast cancer and diabetes though research has proved inconclusive.
Vitamin D is needed to maintain healthy teeth and bones with deficiency leading to rickets in children and osteomalacia, a painful bone condition in adults. Also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, the British winter makes it difficult for the skin to produce it in sufficient doses after exposure to sunlight.
Claire Hughes, head of nutrition at M&S said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to increase their intake. By adding it to something as simple as bread it means customers don’t have to change their usual diet to get additional top-up of this vital vitamin.”