The xanthophyll composition of biofortified maize (Zea mays sp.) does not influence the bioefficacy of Provitamin A carotenoids in Mongolian Gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus).
Maize has been targeted for biofortification with provitamin A carotenoids through traditional breeding. Two studies were conducted in gerbils to evaluate factors that may affect provitamin A activity. Maize diets had equal theoretical concentrations of vitamin A (VA) assuming 100% bioefficacy. Study 1 (n = 57) varied the ratio of β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene but maintained the same theoretical VA. Study 2 (n = 67) varied lutein and zeaxanthin. Other treatments were oil, VA, or β-carotene doses. Serum and livers were analyzed for VA and carotenoids. In study 1, total liver VA did not differ among the maize groups. In study 2, total liver VA of the VA and maize groups were higher than controls (P
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2008) 56 (15) 6745-6750 [DOI: 10.1021/jf800816q]