Orange sweet potatoes can save lives

Feb. 18, 2011 at 9:36 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
CHICAGO, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Sweet potatoes come in white, cream, yellow, orange and purple, but U.S. researchers say orange sweet potatoes are best source for vitamin A.

Betty J. Burri of the Western Human Nutrition Center at the U.S. Department of Agriculture says in some developing countries vitamin A deficiency is common.

An article published in the Comprehensive Reviews of Food Science and Food Safety explained how orange sweet potatoes could help prevent vitamin A deficiency in developing countries where this nutritional disease causes more than 600,000 deaths per year -- mostly of young children or pregnant women.

Sweet potatoes in the United States are largely orange, but in some parts of Africa the custom is to feed orange sweet potatoes to livestock and white sweet potatoes -- which have very little pro-vitamin A carotenoids -- to people, Burri says.

Ongoing educational programs have been developed to guide these populations to eat more orange sweet potatoes and improve their vitamin A status, but the food industry could develop different food products made from sweet potatoes such as sweet potato flour, which can be made into biscuits and buns, Burri says.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
New data shows Melbourne is most well-rested city in the world
A child's early drawings might predict intelligence later on
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
Physically fit kids have more white brain matter
Study: Women say love makes sexual relationships better
Trending News