被白白浪费掉的黄金机会

帕洛阿尔托——一支由欧洲多国科学家组成的团队已经利用基因拼接技术成功创造出了一种特别的番茄。它有着深紫色的果皮和果肉,内含的抗氧化剂成份比未经改造的番茄高出200%。当喂食给易患癌症的小白鼠时,这种番茄大大延长了小鼠的存活时间。

上述研究引起了人们的广泛关注,但基因改造领域同样重要的成果却被忽略了近乎10年的时间。此种创新成果就是“黄金稻米”,也就是具有生物防护功能或添加过表达β-葫萝卜素、维生素A前体的一系列新的稻米品种,维生素A前体可以在必要时在人体内被转化成维生素A。

北美和欧洲的多数医生终其职业生涯也没有见到过一例维生素A缺乏症。可贫困国家的情况却有很大的不同,维生素A缺乏在穷人中非常流行,(既不含β-葫萝卜素也不含维生素A的)稻米或其他富含碳水化合物、但缺少维生素的卡路里来源占据了他们饮食的绝大部分比重。

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