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U.S. researchers modify carrots to pack more calcium

By Xinhua

Los Angeles : Carrots can be genetically modified to pack more calcium, according to a new study by researchers in the United States.

A carrot a day may keep osteoporosis away — if that carrot has been genetically modified, said the study conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston.

In the study, the researchers let 15 men and 15 women aged 21 to 29 eat regular carrots, and carrots that had been genetically modified to allow them to store more calcium. Through urine tests, the researchers found that subjects absorbed about 41 percent more calcium per serving from genetically modified carrots than from the regular carrots.

In 100 grams of carrots, or about four ounces, that translates into 27 to 29 milligrams of calcium, according to the study.

“Fruits and vegetables are generally a pretty low source of calcium,” Jay Morris, lead author of the study published online on Sunday in the January issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“But if we can increase calcium in a wide variety of foods, we can have a modest effect in the amount of calcium available to people in their diets,”

“In the future, this would be to simply offer consumers that choice,” Morris said.