Carotenoid-biofortified maize maintains adequate Vitamin A status in mongolian gerbils.
Efforts to biofortify maize with provitamin A carotenoids have been successful, but the impact on vitamin A (VA) status has not been determined. We conducted two studies that investigated the bioefficacy of provitamin A carotenoids from maize and compared maize percentage and carotenoid concentrations on VA status in VA-depleted Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). Gerbils (n = 40/study) were fed a white maize diet 4 wk prior to treatment. In study 1, treatments (n = 10/group) included oil control, 60% high-ß-carotene maize, and ß-carotene or VA supplements (matched to high-ß-carotene maize). In study 2, gerbils were fed 30 or 60% orange or yellow maize diets. Gerbils were killed after 4 wk. In study 1, liver VA concentrations, compared with the high-ß-carotene maize group (0.25 ± 0.15 µmol/g), were higher in the VA group (0.56 ± 0.15 µmol/g, P
Journal of Nutrition (2006) 136 (10) 2562-2567