Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Folic Acid Fortification Needed To Lower Neural Tube Defect Risks

Date:
May 21, 2004
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
Only about 25 per cent of women in many countries voluntarily take folic acid tablets before conception, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Only about 25 per cent of women in many countries voluntarily take folic acid tablets before conception, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Dr. Joel Ray, along with fellow researchers Gita Singh of McMaster University in Hamilton and Robert Burrows of Monash University in Australia, reviewed nearly 50 studies conducted in about 20 countries between 1992 and 2001. Their findings are published in the May 2004 edition of BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

By taking folic acid before pregnancy or during the first few weeks after conception, women can markedly lower the risk of neural tube defects in their offspring; the defects commonly manifest themselves as a debilitating health condition known as spina bifida. The neural tube is fully developed 22 to 28 days after conception, but many women are not aware they are pregnant until after this time. While starting folic acid supplements after this period is too late to realize benefits, Ray believes the answer is to fortify the food supply with folic acid, something that has been done in Canada, the U.S., Chile and Israel.

"There's an incredible debate overseas, in the United Kingdom and Europe," says Ray, a professor in the Department of Medicine and a physician in the Inner City Health Research Unit at St. Michael's Hospital. "There has been a heated discussion about the long-term safety of folic acid and, while no harm is evident, we are just beginning to study the effects of long-term exposure. But as a society, where's the greater good versus the lesser harm? Fortification is probably the best way to reach most women worldwide, given that not enough women take tablet supplements alone."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Folic Acid Fortification Needed To Lower Neural Tube Defect Risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040519071843.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2004, May 21). Folic Acid Fortification Needed To Lower Neural Tube Defect Risks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040519071843.htm
University Of Toronto. "Folic Acid Fortification Needed To Lower Neural Tube Defect Risks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040519071843.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins