Folic Acid Fortification Urged
TORONTOFolic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida. But, according to newly published research, the global use of folic acid supplements is suboptimal and in many countries, fewer than 50 percent of women take periconceptual folic acid supplements (Hal., 111, 5:399-408, 2004) (www.womenshealth-elsevier.com/doc/journals/bjog1.html). For this reason, researchers concluded folic acid fortification of centrally processed foods, such as wheat, corn and rice flour, should be considered, along with further promotion of vitamin supplement use and planned pregnancy. Fortification is probably the best way to reach most women worldwide, given that not enough women take tablet supplements alone, said Joel Ray, M.D., one of the studys authors.