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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ABSORPTION AND METABOLISM OF ESSENTIAL MINERAL NUTRIENTS IN CHILDREN Title: Yellow maize with high heta-carotene is an effective source of vitamin A

Authors
item Grusak, Michael
item Muzhingi, Tawanda -
item Gadaga, Henry -
item Siwela, Andrew -
item Russell, Robert
item Tang, Guang-Wen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Maize is an important staple food crop that is grown throughout much of the developing world; this includes regions of Africa, where vitamin A malnutrition is prevalent. Maize does not typically contain high levels of pro-vitamin A carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, but breeders are currently developing varieties containing high levels of this carotenoid. In order to determine the vitamin A value (i.e., beta-carotene conversion efficiency) of yellow maize directly in humans, a selected high beta-carotene-containing maize line was intrinsically labeled with deuterium (a non-radioactive stable isotope of hydrogen), by growing plants in a nutrient solution containing 23% heavy water (deuterium oxide). The maize beta-carotene was enriched with deuterium with the highest abundance isotopomer peak at M+9. Eight healthy Zimbabwean men with a mean serum retinol concentration of 59.2 +/- 17.l ug/dL, and mean body mass index (in kg/m2) of 22.4 +/- 3.1 volunteered for the study. On day 1 after a fasting blood draw, subjects consumed 300 g of yellow maize porridge containing 1 mg beta-carotene, 20 g of butter, and a 0.5 g oil capsule. On day 8, after a fasting blood was drawn, subjects consumed 1 mg [13C10] retinyl acetate in oil capsule and 300 g of white maize porridge with 20 g of butter. Thirty-six blood samples were collected from each subject over 36 days. Concentrations and enrichments of retinol and beta-carotene in dose and serum were determined using HPLC, GC/MS, and LC/MS. By using the response to the dose of 13C-retinyl acetate as reference, the conversion efficiency of 1 mg yellow maize beta-carotene was 3.7 +/- 1.0 to 1 (mean +/- SD) by weight. Thus, in eight healthy Zimbabwean men, 1 mg yellow maize beta-carotene consumed with 20 g butter and 0.5 g oil capsule was shown to have the same vitamin A activity as 0.37 mg retinol. Results of these studies will be presented in the context of yellow maize's potential contribution to population-based vitamin A adequacy.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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