BusinessPotato Health BenefitsStudy Finds Spuds Excellent Source of Iron

Study Finds Spuds Excellent Source of Iron

-

It has been found potatoes are an excellent source of iron and can play an important role in helping to reduce iron deficiency — the leading cause of anemia, says a study recently published in the Journal of Nutrition.

The study of iron-deficient women in Peru’s Huancavelica region who ate 500 grams of potatoes per day for two weeks found the rate of iron absorption from those potatoes was much higher than that reported for other crops. People absorb only about two to 10 per cent iron in most other vegetables, but participants in this study absorbed 28 per cent of the iron in the yellow-fleshed potato they ate.

“Nobody expected the potato to have such a high level of iron absorption,” Gabriela Burgos, a nutritionist at the International Potato Center (CIP), which undertook the study in collaboration with ETH Zürich and Peru’s Instituto de Investigación Nutricional, says. She adds this was the first human study of iron bioavailability in potato ever done, and it produced the kind of pleasant surprise scientists hope for.

Burgos explains most vegetables and legumes, contain high levels of phytates and other compounds which inhibit iron absorption, whereas potatoes have low phytate levels and plenty of vitamin C, which enhances iron absorption.

The study’s results are especially significant because they took place in the framework of an initiative to increase the iron levels of potato through conventional breeding – a process called biofortification, the study notes. The resulting varieties will be disseminated in areas where iron deficiency is a problem.

An efficacy study still needs to be conducted to demonstrate there is significant improvement in the iron and zinc status of people who incorporate biofortified potatoes into their normal diets, the study says.

Trending This Week

Unwashed raw fresh potatoes

THIS is the Year I Can Put the Most Dollars in Potato Growers’ Pockets

If I were a potato, this is not the year I’d have chosen to grow. First, spuds grown across nearly all of the western half...
Tubers infected with potato wart

P.E.I. Potato Wart Discovery Sees All U.S. Potato Exports Halted

0
After potato wart was found in P.E.I. this year, all potato exports from the Island to the U.S. have been temporarily halted by the...
Canola

Are Cover Crops an Answer to Mitigating Climate Change?

0
There is a lot of talk about climate change. Many people point to agriculture as one of the potential sources to the answer of...
French fries

North American French Fry Exports Jump 32.5 Per cent

0
French fry processors in North American exported 32.5 per cent more french fries and other frozen potato products to offshore markets during the third...
Potato plants growing in a field

European Potato Growers Harvest Good Potato Crop

0
Despite a wet summer with slow and difficult harvesting conditions potato growers in Europe were able to harvest a good potato crop, but increased...