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UVB on legs of chickens resulted in 70 IU vitamin D per egg yoke – July 2013

UVB Exposure of Farm Animals: Study on a Food-Based Strategy to Bridge the Gap between Current Vitamin D Intakes and Dietary Targets

Alexandra Schutkowski, Julia Krämer, Holger Kluge, Frank Hirche, Andreas Krombholz, Torsten Theumer, Gabriele I. Stangl gabriele.stangl at landw.uni-halle.de

Vitamin D deficiency is a global health problem. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of ultraviolet (UV) B radiation for improving vitamin D3 content of eggs and meat. In a two-factorial design hens that received diets with 0 (-D3) or 3,000 IU (+D3) vitamin D3/kg were non-exposed (-UVB) or exposed to UVB radiation (+UVB) for 3 h daily over 4 weeks. Data show that UVB radiation was very effective in raising the vitamin D3 content of egg yolk and meat.

Egg yolk from +UVB/−D3 hens had a higher vitamin D3 content (17.5±7.2 µg/100 g dry matter (DM)) than those from the –UVB/+D3 group (5.2±2.4 µg/100 g DM, p<0.01).
Vitamin D3 content in egg yolk of vitamin D3-supplemented hens could be further increased by UVB radiation (32.4±10.9 µg/100 g DM). The content of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) in the egg yolk also increased in response to UVB, although less pronounced than vitamin D3.
Meat revealed about 4-fold higher vitamin D3 contents in response to UVB than to dietary vitamin D3 (p<0.001).
In conclusion, exposure of hens to UVB is an efficient approach to provide consumers with vitamin D3-enriched foods from animal sources.

Received: March 13, 2013; Accepted: June 10, 2013; Published: July 24, 2013

Egg shells became less stable in just 4 weeks after stopping Vitamin D in feed


Much more vitamin D generated where feathers were not in the way


PDF is attached at the bottom of this page

Highlights from the study

  • Wanted to increase vitamin D levels in chicken meat and eggs without encountering the bio-addition limits which most governments have imposed
  • Most of the vitamin D creation appears to be on the legs – which do not have feathers
    Legs have 190X more pre-vitamin D than other portions of the chicken
  • UVB illumination 3 hours total daily
  • UVB intensity was estimated to be the same amount as natural sunshine would provide
  • 2,500 IU vitamin D3/kg of feed – not body weight
  • Egg yoke with UVB + vitamin D got to 1300 IU per 100 grams
    Since a yoke appears to weigh 18 grams, this is 70 IU per yoke

See also VitaminDWiki

Items in both categories Veterinary and UV are listed here:

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
3649 Chicken UVB F1.jpg admin 23 Feb, 2014 13:34 57.77 Kb 1111
2852 Egg shell.jpg admin 30 Jul, 2013 02:16 19.46 Kb 1742
2851 UVB and chickens.pdf PDF 2013 admin 30 Jul, 2013 02:05 352.08 Kb 924