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P. 14-17 /

Orange sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A

TAMI TURNER, BETTY J. BURRI*
*Corresponding author
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service
Western Human Nutrition Research Center, 430 West Health Sciences Drive, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Abstract

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for proper growth and development, vision, red blood cell production,and immune function. An estimated 208 million women and children suffer from vitamin A deficiency worldwide, makingvitamin A deficiency a public health problem in numerous countries. Several carotenoids, including beta-carotene, can convert to vitamin A in the body. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes contain high concentrations of beta-carotene, and havesucceeded in improving human vitamin A status in several small-scale food-based interventions. We estimated the amountsof orange sweet potatoes needed to provide sufficient vitamin A for individuals and at the international level. The amountsrequired can reasonably be provided by orange sweet potato making it an excellent source of vitamin A.


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