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Golden Rice An Effective Source Of Vitamin A

May 18, 2009
Baylor College of Medicine
The beta-carotene in so-called "golden rice" converts to vitamin A in humans, according to a new article.

The beta-carotene in so-called "Golden Rice" converts to vitamin A in humans, according to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Tufts University in an article that appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Golden Rice was developed in the early 1990s with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation with the goal of creating rice that had beta-carotene -- a vitamin A precursor – in the rice grain. In its current form, Golden Rice contains 35 micrograms of beta-carotene per gram.

"We found that four units of beta-carotene from Golden Rice convert to one unit of vitamin A in humans," said Dr. Michael Grusak, associate professor of pediatrics at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at BCM and Texas Children's Hospital.

They determined this by feeding five healthy adults a specific amount of specially-labeled Golden Rice and measured the amount of retinol, a form of vitamin A, in the blood.

Vitamin A deficiency is prevalent in many parts of the world where poorer community members rely on rice as their major food source. People who lack adequate amounts of this vitamin can have vision problems or even blindness as a result.

"By incorporating vitamin A into the major crop that is consumed, we would be able to make it accessible to the majority of people in the area," said Grusak.

Additional research is necessary before Golden Rice is made commercially available. The next steps of the research include incorporating this technology into the rice grains found in various regions and continuing testing the conversion rates in humans.

Others who participated in this study include Guangwen Tang, Jian Qin, Gregory G. Dolnikowski and Robert M Russell, all of the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

Funding for this study came from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Tang et al. Golden Rice is an effective source of vitamin A. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009; DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.27119

Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Golden Rice An Effective Source Of Vitamin A." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2009. <>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2009, May 18). Golden Rice An Effective Source Of Vitamin A. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 13, 2015 from
Baylor College of Medicine. "Golden Rice An Effective Source Of Vitamin A." ScienceDaily. (accessed October 13, 2015).

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