Biofortified yellow cassava and Vitamin A status of Kenyan children: A randomized controlled trial

E.F. Talsma*, I.D. Brouwer, Hans Verhoef, G.N.K. Mbera, A.M. Mwangi, A.Y. Demir, B. Maziya-Dixon, Erick Boy, M.B. Zimmermann, Alida Melse-Boonstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Whereas conventional white cassava roots are devoid of provitamin A, biofortified yellow varieties are naturally rich in b-carotene, the primary provitamin A carotenoid. Objective: We assessed the effect of consuming yellow cassava on serum retinol concentration in Kenyan schoolchildren with marginal vitamin A status. Design: We randomly allocated 342 children aged 5-13 y to receive daily, 6 d/wk, for 18.5 wk 1) white cassava and placebo supplement (control group), 2) provitamin A-rich cassava (mean content: 1460 μg β-carotene/d) and placebo supplement (yellow cassava group), and 3) white cassava and β-carotene supplement (1053 mg/d; β-carotene supplement group). The primary outcome was serum retinol concentration; prespecified secondary outcomes were hemoglobin concentration and serum concentrations of β-carotene, retinol-binding protein, and prealbumin. Groups were compared by using ANCOVA, adjusting for inflammation, baseline serum concentrations of retinol and β-carotene, and stratified design. Results: The baseline prevalence of serum retinol concentration

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-267
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Biofortification
  • Efficacy
  • Food-based approach
  • Nutrition-sensitive intervention
  • Vitamin A


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