Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fortification of food supply with folic acid

19.05.2004


Women can markedly lower the risk of neural tube defects in their offspring by ingesting tablets before or just after conception



Only about 25 per cent of women in many countries voluntarily take folic acid tablets before conception, says a U of T 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."


CONTACT:
Dr. Joel Ray, 416-864-6060, x 6752, RayJ@smh.toronto.on.ca; Elaine Smith, U of T public affairs, 416-978-5949, elaine.smith@utoronto.ca.

Elaine Smith | University of Toronto
Further information:
http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin5/040518c.asp

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>