Sweet potato to help combat blindness

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sweet potato, Vitamin a, Potato

A new variety of sweet potato selected by scientists at the
International Potato Centre (CIP) in Peru could help to prevent
millions of cases of blindness...

A new variety of sweet potato selected by scientists at the International Potato Centre (CIP) in Peru could help to prevent millions of cases of blindness and disease among children in Africa, the British Medical Journal reported this week. A simple deficiency of vitamin A is the leading cause of childhood blindness in developing countries where around 251million children are vitamin A deficient. The new bright orange sweet potato, known as SPK 004, is rich in b carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A. The potato institute's $3.2m (£2.3m) project will plant 5000 hectares with the new variety of sweet potato by 2004 in an effort to enable people in sub-Saharan east Africa to avoid vitamin A deficiency.

Related topics: Science

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