Vitamins are low-molecular organic substances required in minimal quantities for the normal life activity of humans and animals. One of the most important vitamins is D. It is also known as the "sunshine vitamin". Vitamin D is a fat-soluble compound composed of vitamin D1, D2 and D3
Deficiency of vitamin D during childhood leads to the disease rickets (distortion of bones and limbs). There is a hypothesis (still research) that prolonged absence of vitamin D in the body can lead to cancer.
Vitamin D deficiency also leads to reduced absorption of calcium and phosphorus. As a result, prolonged vitamin D deficiency has a negative effect on bone mineralization. In infants and children, such a deficiency manifests as rickets, a condition characterized by bone deformities and growth retardation. Insufficient bone mineralization leads to softening. The result is deformations of the skull, chest, distortion of the bones of the limbs, etc.
Until now, it was believed that vitamin D3 is produced by the skin under the influence of the sun, thus people get 90% of their required amount. The rest is obtained through food - fatty fish or eggs. Vitamin D2 is found in mushrooms.
However, German scientists have now discovered a hitherto unknown source of vitamin D2 - cocoa and cocoa products. The largest amount of the vitamin was contained in cocoa butter and dark chocolate.
Scientists from the Max Rubner Institute and the Martin Luther University have determined the content of vitamin D2 in cocoa products with mass spectrometric analysis.