Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Folic Acid Recommendations Have Had Little Impact On Birth Defects

Date:
March 5, 2005
Source:
British Medical Journal
Summary:
Recommendations on use of folic acid consumption have had no detectable impact on the incidence of neural tube defects, according to an international study published on bmj.com.

February 17, 2005 -- Recommendations on use of folic acid consumption have had no detectable impact on the incidence of neural tube defects, according to an international study published on bmj.com today.

These results support a move towards food fortification in addition to recommending use of supplements.

Trials showed, more than a decade ago, that folic acid can reduce the occurrence of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, by half or more. Since then, many countries have tried to promote use of folic acid, either by fortifying foods or, more often, by recommending the use of supplements.

Although studies have shown that fortification of flour is effective, the impact of recommendations alone is not known.

Researchers examined data from over 13 million births in Europe and Israel from 1988 to 1998. For each country, cases of neural tube defects were identified, and policies and recommendations regarding folic acid were ascertained.

Recommendations alone did not seem to influence trends in neural tube defects, despite the proved effectiveness of folic acid. The authors estimate that thousands of pregnancies that would otherwise have been healthy were affected by neural tube defects in the study area alone since 1992.

The most likely explanation for these results is that recommendations were not implemented widely enough to produce a sustained change in behaviour in a sufficiently large proportion of women to cause measurable effects, say the authors.

These findings underscore the ongoing missed opportunities for prevention. In addition to recommending use of supplements, public health agencies and medical professionals should strongly consider implementing food fortification programmes, they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Medical Journal. "Folic Acid Recommendations Have Had Little Impact On Birth Defects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223141748.htm>.
British Medical Journal. (2005, March 5). Folic Acid Recommendations Have Had Little Impact On Birth Defects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223141748.htm
British Medical Journal. "Folic Acid Recommendations Have Had Little Impact On Birth Defects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223141748.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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