Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Food & Recipes

Font Size

Antioxidant Levels Not Higher in Organic Vegetables

Polyphenol Content Similar in Conventionally Grown and Organically Grown Veggies, Study Finds
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Nov. 5, 2010 -- Organically grown crops are widely perceived as being healthier than conventionally grown crops. But a new study finds that some vegetables that are grown in conventional ways using fertilizers and pesticides have antioxidant levels similar to their organic counterparts.

Pia Knuthsen, PhD, senior research scientist at Denmark’s National Food Institute, and colleagues analyzed antioxidants called polyphenols in onions, carrots, and potatoes grown organically and also in the same veggies cultivated conventionally.

They found no differences in polyphenol content.

Polyphenol Levels Similar

“On the basis of the present study carried out under well-controlled conditions, it cannot be concluded that organically grown onions, carrots, and potatoes generally have higher contents of health-promoting secondary metabolites in comparison with the conventionally cultivated ones,” the Danish researchers report in a news release.

The finding could have impact because the demand for organically produced food has been increasing “due to the expected health benefits of organic food consumption,” the researchers say. And organically grown food is generally more expensive than conventionally produced crops.

Organically produced foods also are considered to have better texture and taste, which also explains why they have become more popular in recent years, the researchers say.

The scientists cultivated onions, carrots, and potatoes in two-year field trials in three different locations. The vegetables were grown in conventional ways in one of the three, and organically in the other two.

“In onions and carrots, no statistically significant differences between growth systems were found for any of the analyzed polyphenols,” the authors write. Thus, it appears that the polyphenols found  in organically grown foods that have been shown to help fight dementia, heart disease, and cancer are found in similar quantities in vegetables grown using fertilizer and pesticides.

The study is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
 
vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
fresh vegetables
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow