Golden rice: vitamin A food

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Importance of vitamin A

In nutrition field, vitamins are part of a group known as micronutrients. Although the prefix "micro" means small, it does not have to do with its importance, but with the amount our body needs of these nutrients.

Despite low vitamin amount needs, a vitamin deficit can have serious consequences in our body such as blindness. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading preventable cause of blindness in the world. Furthermore, growth retardation, decreased fertility and increased propensity for respiratory infections might also appear.

For this reason, it is important to know your genetic variants associated with the metabolic capacity of your body in terms of conversion, transportation or absorption; in order to optimize and personalize your daily diet and thu0073, personalize your well-being.

Golden rice

However, not everyone can access to a varied diet, suffering vitamin A deficiency problems. The aforementioned health problems affect 250 million children and a substantial proportion of pregnant women in Africa and Southeast Asia. According to the WHO, subclinical vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of mortality up to 19% in children with diarrheal disease. Additionally, it is responsible for 6% of deaths in children under 5 years of age in Africa and 8% in Asia.

As the majority of vitamin A deficiencies population almost exclusively base their diet on rice, genetic engineers synthesized provitamin A precursors in the edible part of rice (in the endosperm), giving rise to what is known as golden rice. The idea of this project is to use it in humanitarian missions to replace rice in those areas where rice cultivation predominates and there is a vitamin A deficiency. According to one of the CSIC researchers – José Pío Beltrán – between 100 and 200 grams of the latest version of golden rice would be enough to meet the daily needs of vitamin A.

To date, this food is not used for human consumption. There is a strong opposition from certain environmental organizations due to its possible environmental and economic impact. 

Having a good balance in your vitamins and minerals level is key for your wellbeing, and adapting your diet is easy if you know how. Discover with ADNTRO how to personalize your diet to reach your optimal levels of vitamins and minerals based on your genetic variants.

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