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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Dietary Modulation of Immune Function and Oxidative Stress

Location: Immunity and Disease Prevention Research Unit

Title: Biofortified cassava increases ß-carotene and vitamin A concentrations in the TAG-rich plasma layer of American women

Authors
item Lafrano, Michael
item Woodhouse, Leslie
item Burnett, Dustin -
item Burri, Betty

Submitted to: British Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 12, 2012
Publication Date: January 21, 2013
Citation: Lafrano, M.R., Woodhouse, L.R., Burnett, D.J., Burri, B.J. 2013. Biofortified cassava increases ß-carotene and vitamin A concentrations in the TAG-rich plasma layer of American women. British Journal of Nutrition. First View Article:pp 1-11. DOI: 10.1017/S0007114512005004.

Interpretive Summary: Cassava is a staple crop in Africa. Most varieties of cassava are poor sources of most vitamins and phytonutrients, including beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is important because it is the major source of vitamin A, an essential nutrient. Recently, careful crossbreeding of cassava has resulted in varieties that contain appreciable amounts of beta-carotene. This biofortified cassava may be useful for preventing vitamin A deficiency, which is an important cause of disability and death in Africa. The main purpose of this experiment was to evaluate beta-carotene-enhanced cassava as a source of beta-carotene and vitamin A for healthy adult women. The secondary goal of this experiment was to determine the effect of adding oil to the cassava meal, since adding oil often increases beta-carotene absorption. We conducted this study in 10 healthy American women. Each consumed one meal of 3 different porridges containing: biofortified cassava with oil; biofortified cassava without added oil, and white (non-biofortified) cassava with oil. Our results showed that the biofortified cassava porridge, with or without additional oil, increased beta-carotene and vitamin A concentrations in these healthy well-nourished adult women.

Technical Abstract: Background: Biofortification of cassava with the provitamin A (PVA) carotenoid beta-carotene (BC) is a potential mechanism for alleviating vitamin A (VA) deficiency. Cassava is a staple food in the African diet, but the human bioavailability of BC within this food is unknown. Objective: To evaluate PVA-enhanced cassava as a source of BC and VA for healthy adult women. Design: A cross-over trial in 10 American women, who consumed one meal of 3 different porridges containing 100 g of cassava. Treatments were: biofortified cassava (2 mg BC) with 14 mL oil (22g fat); biofortified cassava without oil (7g fat), and white cassava with oil. Porridges were consumed in random order, separated by 2 week washout periods. Blood was collected six times from -0.5 – 9.5 h post-feeding. Triacylglycerol-rich plasma (TRL) was separated by ultracentrifugation and analyzed using HPLC and coulometric array electrochemical detection. Results: Areas under the curve (AUC) for retinyl palmitate (RP) were significantly higher in the biofortified cassava with (P < 0.03) and without oil (P < 0.04) compared to white cassava. Mean absorption (BC plus RP) AUC was greatest in the biofortified cassava with added oil, but this increase was not significant. VA equivalence of biofortified cassava with and without added oil was 3.8 ± 2.6 ug and 4.3 ± 3.6 ug, respectively. Conclusion: Biofortified cassava can increase PVA carotenoid and RP concentrations in healthy well-nourished adult women.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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