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Got carrots? Vegetables may have bone to pick as calcium providers
Date:1/14/2008

COLLEGE STATION A specially developed carrot has been produced to help people absorb more calcium.

Researchers at Texas A&M AgriLifes Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center studied the calcium intake of humans who ate the carrot and found a net increase in calcium absorption. The research, which was done in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, means adding this carrot to the diet can help prevent such diseases as osteoporosis.

If you eat a serving of the modified carrot, youd absorb 41 percent more calcium than from a regular carrot, said Dr. Jay Morris, lead author on the paper, a post doctorate researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

The finding will be reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online edition Jan. 14.

The primary goal was to increase the calcium in fruit and vegetables to benefit human health and nutrition, Morris said. Fruit and vegetables are good for you for many reasons, but they have not been a good source of calcium in the past.

Morris, who worked on the study while earning a doctorate at Texas A&M University, said fruits and vegetables play a role in good bone health for other reasons.

We believe that if this technology is applied to a large number of different fruits and vegetables, that would have an even greater impact on preventing osteoporosis, he said.

For this study, the researchers provided the carrots to a group of 15 men and 15 women. The people were fed either the modified carrots, called sCAX1, or regular carrots in the week one. On a second visit two weeks later, they were fed the other type of carrot.

Urine samples were collected 24 hours after each feeding study to determine the amount of specially marked calcium absorbed, Morris explained.

The study group also was evaluated for their normal absorption rate to compare with the rate of absorption from the calcium-enhanced carrots, he said.'/>"/>

Contact: Kathleen Phillips
ka-phillips@tamu.edu
979-845-2872
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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