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A review on vitamin A deficiency and depleted immunity in South Asia: from deficiency to resilience

Kumar, R., Oruna-Concha, M. J. ORCID:, Keshavan, N. and Vimaleswaran, K. S. ORCID: (2024) A review on vitamin A deficiency and depleted immunity in South Asia: from deficiency to resilience. Nutrition, 124. 112452. ISSN 1873-1244

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2024.112452


In the developing world, the twin challenges of depleted health and growing issue of food waste management loom large, demanding simultaneous attention and innovative solutions. This review explores how these issues can be effectively mitigated while shedding light on the transformative impact of food waste valorisation on health management. A spotlight is cast on vitamin A deficiency (VAD), an acute public health concern, especially prevalent in South Asia, driven by economic constraints, sociocultural factors, inadequate diets, and poor nutrient absorption. VAD's devastating effects are exacerbated by limited education, lack of sanitation, ineffective food regulations, and fragile monitoring systems, disproportionately affecting children and women of childbearing age. Recent studies in South Asian countries have revealed rising rates of illness and death, notably among children and women of childbearing age, due to VAD. To address inadequate dietary intake in children utilizing vegetable waste, particularly from carrots and beetroot, which are rich in β-carotene, and betalains, respectively, offers a sustainable solution. Extracting these compounds from vegetable waste for supplementation, fortification, and dietary diversification could significantly improve public health, addressing both food waste and health disparities economically. This approach presents a compelling avenue for exploration and implementation. In summary, this review presents an integrated approach to tackle health and food waste challenges in the developing world. By tapping into the nutritional treasure troves within vegetable waste, we can enhance health outcomes while addressing food waste, forging a brighter and healthier future for communities in need.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH)
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:116111


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