Impact of biofortified maize consumption on serum carotenoid concentrations in Zambian children

Amanda C Palmer, Neal E. Craft, Kerry J Schulze, Maxwell Barffour, Justin Chileshe, Ward Siamusantu, Keith West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biofortified maize, designed as an intervention strategy to prevent vitamin A deficiency, can provide upwards of 15 μg β-carotene per g dry weight. Some varieties also have elevated concentrations of other carotenoids. We conducted a cluster randomized, controlled feeding trial in rural Zambia to test the impact of daily consumption of biofortified maize over a 6-month period on vitamin A status. Serum concentrations of retinol and carotenoids were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Data on circulating carotenoids by intervention group in 679 children are reported here. As previously shown, consumption of this β-carotene-rich maize significantly improved serum β-carotene concentrations (0.273 vs. 0.147 μmol/L, p < 0.001, in this subset of children). Here we show significant increases in α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin (p < 0.001). There was no impact on lutein or lycopene concentrations. Consumption of biofortified maize can have broader implications beyond the control of vitamin A deficiency (Trial registration: NCT01695148).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 10 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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