Samuel S Myers 1 , Antonella Zanobetti 2 , Itai Kloog 3 , Peter Huybers 4 , Andrew D B Leakey 5 , Arnold J Bloom 6 , Eli Carlisle 6 , Lee H Dietterich 7 , Glenn Fitzgerald 8 , Toshihiro Hasegawa 9 , N Michele Holbrook 10 , Randall L Nelson 11 , Michael J Ottman 12 , Victor Raboy 13 , Hidemitsu Sakai 9 , Karla A Sartor 14 , Joel Schwartz 2 , Saman Seneweera 15 , Michael Tausz 16 , Yasuhiro Usui 9
Jun 05 2014
Dietary deficiencies of zinc and iron are a substantial global public health problem. An estimated two billion people suffer these deficiencies, causing a loss of 63 million life-years annually. Most of these people depend on C3 grains and legumes as their primary dietary source of zinc and iron. Here we report that C3 grains and legumes have lower concentrations of zinc and iron when grown under field conditions at the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration predicted for the middle of this century. C3 crops other than legumes also have lower concentrations of protein, whereas C4 crops seem to be less affected. Differences between cultivars of a single crop suggest that breeding for decreased sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration could partly address these new challenges to global health.