TUESDAY, May 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A genetically engineered tomato could one day rival salmon as a dietary source of vitamin D, if early research pans out.
The gene tweak targeted an enzyme in tomatoes that normally converts provitamin D3 to cholesterol. With the gene edit, that process was disrupted, resulting in a tomato fruit rich in the precursor.
“We have produced a plant-based source of vitamin D3 suitable for vegans and vegetarians,” said senior researcher Cathie Martin. She is a professor at the John Innes Center, a plant science research center in Norwich, England.
That’s important, she said, because few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and they are all animal products — fatty fish (like tuna and salmon) and egg yolks among them.