Biofortified β-carotene rice improves vitamin A intake and reduces the prevalence of inadequacy among women and young children in a simulated analysis in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines uri icon


  • Background: Vitamin A deficiency continues to be a major public health problem affecting developing countries where people eat mostly rice as a staple food. In Asia, rice provides up to 80% of the total daily energy intake.
  • Conclusions: The results of the simulation analysis were striking in that even low substitution levels and modest increases in the beta-carotene of rice produced a meaningful decrease in the prevalence of inadequate intake of vitamin A. Increasing the substitution levels had a greater impact than increasing the beta-carotene content by >12 ppm.
  • Design: We considered a range of 4-20 parts per million (ppm) of beta-carotene content and 10-70% substitution levels for the biofortified rice. Software was used to estimate usual rice and vitamin A intake for the simulation analyses.
  • Objective: We used existing data sets from Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines, where dietary intakes have been quantified at the individual level to 1) determine the rice and vitamin A intake in nonpregnant, nonlactating women of reproductive age and in non-breastfed children 1-3 y old and 2) simulate the amount of change that could be achieved in the prevalence of inadequate intake of vitamin A if rice biofortified with beta-carotene were consumed instead of the rice consumed at present.
  • Results: In an analysis by country, the substitution of biofortified rice for white rice in the optimistic scenario (20 ppm and 70% substitution) decreased the prevalence of vitamin A inadequacy from baseline 78% in women and 71% in children in Bangladesh In Indonesia and the Philippines, the prevalence of inadequacy fell by 55-60% in women and dropped by nearly 30% in children from baseline.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016

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