NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
A new study has found that rice exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide — reduces the nutritional value of the rice.
The study, published on May 23 in Science Advances, shows for the first time that rice grown at concentrations of atmospheric CO2 expected by the end of this century has lower levels of vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9 — vitamins essential to helping the body convert food into energy. The research team includes researchers from the University of Washington (UW) schools of public health and medicine.
Rice is the primary source of food for more than 2 billion people. About 600 million people, mostly in Southeast Asia, get more than half of their daily calories and protein directly from rice.
“Reductions in the nutritional quality of rice could affect maternal and child health for millions of people,” said study co-author Kristie Ebi, director of the UW Center for Health and the Global Environment and professor of global health and environmental and occupational health sciences.
In addition to changes in vitamins, researchers reported an average of 10.3 percent reduction in protein, 8 percent reduction in iron, and 5.1 percent reduction in zinc, when compared with rice grown under current CO2 concentrations.
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