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article imageWhat a Difference a Veg Makes: The Wonders of the Super Carrot

By Michelle Duffy     Jan 15, 2008 in Health
American scientists have proved they are green fingered as well as expert in the scientific world by introducing the world's first "super carrot," guaranteed to provide huge amounts of calcium
Scientists in the States have generated a larger than life carrot which they hope will contain more calcium than the average one.
Calcium, we know is vital to maintaining good teeth and bones but having the correct amount of calcium in one's diet can also ward off terminal illness such as brittle bone disease and osteoporosis - conditions of which, there is no cure.
It is thought that this new and improved "super carrot" will provide a human being with around 41% more than a normal carrot would. Adding this to a well balanced diet could mean that certain conditions could be pretty much avoided, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences new study.
However, if you think you might be able to wander off down to your local green grocer tomorrow morning for half a pound, then wait a while, this new carrot amongst carrots has still got a long way to go to prove it's worth in calcium
The research team at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas has said that this carrot needs to prove to the study that it's okay to eat - after all such an amount of calcium in one go might not be a wise idea. Professor Kendal Hirschi told the BBC Website,
"These carrots were grown in carefully monitored and controlled environments. Much more research needs to be conducted before this would be available to consumers."
So far, those green fingers are being kept crossed, if the carrot passes the safety tests, then it will be available to all.
Up until now, we have been taking in milk and cheese for our calcium, and as we know, not all of us can consume these dairy products. So this carrot, should it hit the shelves with a large bang, could be the answer to many a prayer.
Naturally, the carrot was not grown in a back garden but under controlled lab conditions by stimulating a particular gene inside the vegetable forcing it to create more calcium.
Yet it might not just stop at carrots - other vegetables might be given the super treatment if this study goes to plan.
But we shouldn't be surprised at the fact that scientist had made a bee-line for carrots. It is not the first time they have found themselves sprawled out on a scientists table. The Dutch famously changed the colour of the vegetable from purple to orange in line with their own national flag.
Other vegetables which have come under the knife have been potatoes and broccoli.
The potato has been severely tampered with recently as researchers have tried to come up with a spud that absorbs less oil with fried or made into chips.
Broccoli's are said to be making steady progress in the fight against cancer as they produce a chemical called sulforaphane - if this is increased, it will be next on the menu for conscious consumers.
In the UK, the research has taken an equal leap. Professor Susan Fairweather-Tait of the University of East Anglia has noted the importance for these vegetables to be taken seriously in the fight against certain aging illnesses. She told the BBC website,
"People are being told to eat more modestly to prevent weight gain, and many diets now no longer contain everything we need. There has been great resistance to genetic engineering, but gradually we are moving away from the spectre of 'Frankenstein food' and starting to appreciate the health benefits it may bring."
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