Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):680-5. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28041. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. alan.dangour@lshtm.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite growing consumer demand for organically produced foods, information based on a systematic review of their nutritional quality is lacking.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to quantitatively assess the differences in reported nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs.

DESIGN:

We systematically searched PubMed, Web of Science, and CAB Abstracts for a period of 50 y from 1 January 1958 to 29 February 2008, contacted subject experts, and hand-searched bibliographies. We included peer-reviewed articles with English abstracts in the analysis if they reported nutrient content comparisons between organic and conventional foodstuffs. Two reviewers extracted study characteristics, quality, and data. The analyses were restricted to the most commonly reported nutrients.

RESULTS:

From a total of 52,471 articles, we identified 162 studies (137 crops and 25 livestock products); 55 were of satisfactory quality. In an analysis that included only satisfactory-quality studies, conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher content of nitrogen, and organically produced crops had a significantly higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity. No evidence of a difference was detected for the remaining 8 of 11 crop nutrient categories analyzed. Analysis of the more limited database on livestock products found no evidence of a difference in nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced livestock products.

CONCLUSIONS:

On the basis of a systematic review of studies of satisfactory quality, there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods.

Comment in

PMID:
19640946
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk