Michael Grusak mgrusak at BCM.TMC.EDU
Thu Apr 10 12:44:05 EST 1997

At 08:59 AM 4/10/97 -0700, JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU wrote:
>In Mary's summary of replies was the comment:
>>>My sources (breeders) say:
>>>b-carotine has been heavily selected for; it's one of the few sources 
>>>the human diet for this compound and is the major precursor for 
>>Vitamin A.
>It struck me as odd that someone would say carrots were on of the few 
>sources in the human diet for this compound.   Carrots may be one of the 
>best sources, but I thought all the crucifers had it, as well as many 
>other leafy greens.  And being fat souluble, Vitamin A is not lost in 
>cooking nearly so much as, say, vitamin C, so getting enough would hardy 
>be an issue for the humans selecting for orange carrots (I can imagine 
>they ate a diet more enriched in these compounds than most people do 
>today).  Did anyone else find this odd, or am I confusing my 
>vitamins/compounds or veggies?
Yes, there are a number of other vegetables and fruits which are good
sources of B-carotene, such as tomato, broccoli, kale, spinach, collard
greens, cantalope, etc.  It should be noted that other carotenoids such as
a-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene are also found in varying
amounts in these and other fruits and vegetables.  Some of these have
varying amounts of so-called Vitamin A activity (i.e. they can be
metabolized to retinol), but there is also a good deal of current interest
in the role of these carotenoids as plasma-circulating and
cellular-localized antioxidants, with efficacy in the prevention of cancers.


Michael A. Grusak
Children's Nutrition Research Center
1100 Bates Street
Houston, TX  77030

phone: 713-798-7044
FAX:   713-798-7078
e-mail: mgrusak at

Learn what our lab and others are doing in the 
area of micronutrient nutrition. See:


More information about the Plant-ed mailing list