||Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM
Carrots have been modified to have higher amounts of calcium, according
to studies by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists who
report that the research could be used to add this valuable nutrient to
The current U.S. recommended average intake of calcium for adults aged
19 to 50 is 1,000 milligrams daily. But inadequate dietary calcium is a
global concern, and poor diets and exercise habits prevent many people
from achieving and maintaining optimal bone health. Calcium is a key
component for healthy bones.
At the Children’s Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) in Houston, Texas,
CNRC professors of pediatrics Kendal Hirschi and Steven Abrams boosted
calcium levels by inducing carrots to express increased levels of the
gene sCAX1, which enables the transport of calcium across plant cell
To determine the bioavailability of the calcium in the modified
carrots, 30 volunteers--15 females and 15 males of various ethnic
backgrounds and in their early to late 20s–ate single meals containing
regular or modified carrots, which were labelled with a stable isotope
After two weeks, the researchers found that the calcium intake of
volunteers who consumed the modified carrots increased by 41 percent,
compared to those who ate regular carrots.
Read more about this research in the November/December 2008 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
CNRC is operated by Baylor College of Medicine in cooperation with
Texas Children's Hospital and ARS, a scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Alfredo Flores, (301) 504-1627, [email protected]
November 19, 2008
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr
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