Hidden shift of the ionome of plants exposed to elevated CO 2 depletes minerals at the base of human nutrition

Irakli Loladze
  • eLife, May 2014, eLife
  • DOI: 10.7554/elife.02245

Rising CO2 worsens the quality of human nutrition

What is it about?

The largest study of elevated CO2 effects on the quality of crop and wild plants, covering over 7,500 paired observations, reveals declines in essential minerals, including iron, calcium, and zinc, that are deficient in the diets of hundreds of millions of people. The shift in plant quality is pervasive, global, and systemic. Furthermore, the study finds dramatic increases in carbohydrates-to-minerals and probes a link between the shift in crop quality and human obesity.

Why is it important?

Rising CO2 stimulates carbohydrate production in plants that leads to a higher starch & sugars content in plants. Concomitantly, the concentrations of essential for humans minerals, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, decline in crops worldwide. This shift in crop quality will aggravate 'hidden hunger' and will contribute to rising obesity rates.

open access logoRead Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Irakli Loladze