Microalgae Nannochloropsis oceanica as a future new natural source of vitamin D3

Anita Ljubic*, Charlotte Jacobsen, Susan Løvstad Holdt, Jette Jakobsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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For the last two decades there has been a rise in awareness about the general low dietary intake of vitamin D3. Fish have the highest natural content of vitamin D3, which is suggested to originate from zooplankton and microalgae. However there are no studies reporting which microalgal species may be the source of vitamin D3. In this study, four selected microalgal species were cultivated during exposure of artificial UVB. The effect of UVB dose on the growth and biochemical composition of the cells (vitamin D3, PUFAs and carotenoids) was evaluated. Of the four species, exclusively Nannochloropsis oceanica was able to produce vitamin D3 (up to 1 ± 0.3 µg/g DM), and production was significantly enhanced by increasing the dose of the UVB. These findings suggest that N. oceanica exposed to artificial UVB could be used as a new natural source of vitamin D3, either as direct source or through animal feed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126627
JournalFood Chemistry
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 7-Dehydrocholesterol
  • Carotenoids
  • Fatty acids
  • Microalgal cultivation
  • Ultraviolet radiation


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