Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Folic Acid Effecive In Preventing Congenital Heart Defects, Canadian Research Shows

Date:
May 19, 2009
Source:
McGill University Health Centre
Summary:
Canada's policy of fortifying grain products with folic acid has already proved to be effective in preventing neural tube defects. New research shows that folic acid also decreases the incidence of congenital heart defects by more than six percent.

The Canadian policy of fortifying grain products with folic acid has already proved to be effective in preventing neural tube defects. New research published in the British Medical Journal by a group of researchers from the McGill Adult Unit for Congenital Heart Disease (MAUDE Unit), the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University, shows that folic acid also decreases the incidence of congenital heart defects by more than 6%.

Related Articles


According to Raluca Ionescu-Ittu, a PhD candidate on the team, "this decrease is very significant and probably underestimated. During the study period, there was an increase in other factors associated with a higher prevalence of congenital heart defects, so without the fortification we would probably have seen an increase in these defects."

Since December 1998, all grain products sold in Canada have been fortified with folic acid with 0.15 mg of folate per 100 g of flour. Thanks to provincial databases, the researchers showed that the rate of congenital heart defects between 1999 and 2005 was 1.47 per 1000 births compared to 1.64 per 1000 births between 1990 and 1999 for a decrease of 6.2% per year after 1999.

Despite the success of this initiative, prevention efforts are still necessary to encourage future mothers to take folic acid supplements. "The level of fortification was established to avoid negative side effects in the general population," explained Ms. Ionescu-Ittu. "However, this level is not quite sufficient for women planning a pregnancy, who should start taking folic acid supplements at least three months before becoming pregnant."

Researchers are constantly assessing the beneficial effects of folic acid on the various aspects of embryonic and infant development. Natural sources of the vitamin, such as fruit or green vegetables, might not provide sufficient doses for pregnant women. Most gynecologists therefore recommend supplements in addition to a healthy diet rich in folic acid.

This study was financially supported by the Fonds de recherche en santι du Quιbec and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The study was conducted by Raluca Ionescu-Ittu, McGill University; Dr. Ariane J. Marelli, MAUDE Unit. MUHC and McGill University; Dr. Andrew S. Mackie, University of Alberta; and Dr. Louise Pilote, MUHC and McGill University.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Raluca Ionescu-Ittu, Ariane J Marelli, Andrew S Mackie, and Louise Pilote. Prevalence of severe congenital heart disease after folic acid fortification of grain products: time trend analysis in Quebec, Canada. BMJ, 2009; 338 (may12 2): b1673 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b1673

Cite This Page:

McGill University Health Centre. "Folic Acid Effecive In Preventing Congenital Heart Defects, Canadian Research Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514111404.htm>.
McGill University Health Centre. (2009, May 19). Folic Acid Effecive In Preventing Congenital Heart Defects, Canadian Research Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514111404.htm
McGill University Health Centre. "Folic Acid Effecive In Preventing Congenital Heart Defects, Canadian Research Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514111404.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) — Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) — Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) — As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) — A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
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