A better understanding of bananas could help prevent blindness

Bananas (stock image) | Credit: © yurakp / Fotolia

Carotenoids, which are found at various levels in different banana cultivars, are important vitamin precursors for eye health. In a study published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers report a new understanding of how the fruit makes and stores the compound. Their findings could someday help in the development of banana varieties with enhanced health benefits.

Vitamin A deficiency is rampant in Africa and Southeast Asia, causing an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 children to become permanently blind each year, the researchers note. Even worse, half of those children die within a year of losing their sight. To combat vitamin A deficiency, other researchers have been investigating methods to boost carotenoids in bananas, because these compounds–which turn fruits and vegetables red, Continue reading A better understanding of bananas could help prevent blindness

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