“Golden” potato delivers bounty of vitamins A and E

Golden potatoes, shown in the two examples on the right, pack more vitamin A and vitamin E than traditional white potatoes, seen on the left.Golden potatoes, shown in the two examples on the right, pack more vitamin A and vitamin E than traditional white potatoes, seen on the left.

Experimental tuber could cut disease in developing nations, study suggests

 By Misti Crane

An experimental “golden” potato could hold the power to prevent disease and death in developing countries where residents rely heavily upon the starchy food for sustenance, new research suggests.

A serving of the yellow-orange lab-engineered potato has the potential to provide as much as 42 percent of a child’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 34 percent of a child’s recommended intake of vitamin E, according to a recent study co-led by researchers at The Ohio State University.

Women of reproductive age could get 15 percent of their recommended vitamin A and 17 percent of recommended vitamin E from that same 5.3 ounce (150 gram) serving, the researchers concluded.

The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE.

Potato is the fourth most widely consumed plant food by humans after rice, wheat and corn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is a staple food in some Asian, African and South American countries where there is a high incidence of vitamin A and vitamin E deficiencies.

“More than 800,000 people depend on the potato as their main source of energy and many of these individuals are not consuming adequate amounts of these vital nutrients,” said study author Mark Failla, professor emeritus of human nutrition at Ohio State.

“These golden tubers have far more vitamin A and vitamin E than white potatoes, and that could make a significant difference in certain populations where deficiencies – and related diseases – are common,” said Failla, a member of Ohio State’s Foods for Health Discovery Theme.

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