What if potato is modified in labs a bit and they become all healthy and might even help us in fighting diseases? Sounds like a dream, eh? Well, researchers have developed an experimental ‘golden’ potato which has potential to boost vitamin A and E, hence helping us to prevent diseases!
Potatoes are generally seen as food with carbs and starch, and when they are turned into all those irresistible fast foods by deep frying and cheesing up – they turn up to be pretty unhealthy. A serving of the yellow-orange lab-engineered potato has the potential to provide as much as 42 per cent of a child’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 34 per cent of a child’s recommended intake of vitamin E, researchers at The Ohio State University in the US said. So the golden potato could help prevent disease and death in developing countries where residents rely heavily upon the starchy food for sustenance.
Women of reproductive age could get 15 per cent of their recommended vitamin A and 17 per cent of recommended vitamin E from that same 5.3 ounce (150 gramme) serving, they said. Potato is the fourth most widely consumed plant food by humans after rice, wheat and corn, according to the US Department of Agriculture. It is a staple food in some Asian, African and South American countries where there is a high incidence of vitamin A and vitamin E deficiencies. So if these golden tubers have far more vitamin A and vitamin E than white potatoes, and that could make a significant difference in certain populations where deficiencies – and related diseases – are common.
Vitamin A is essential for vision, immunity, organ development, growth and reproductive health. Its deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children. Vitamin E protects against oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions associated with damage to nerves, muscles, vision and the immune system. Researchers created a simulated digestive system including a virtual mouth, stomach and small intestine to determine how much provitamin A and vitamin E could potentially be absorbed by someone who eats a golden potato. So literally, the golden potato is GOLD.