Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research shows folic acid in grains has reduced birth defects

06.09.2005


March of Dimes calls on FDA to increase fortification levels to save more babies



Folic acid fortification of grain foods has produced a one-third decline in serious birth defects of the brain and spine, but the March of Dimes urged federal officials to help spare a greater number of babies from these devastating conditions by requiring higher levels of the B vitamin.

The March of Dimes restated its longtime position in response to two articles published today in Pediatrics. "It’s so rare that we get the opportunity to save thousands of babies from being born with a disabling or fatal birth defect with such a simple, low-tech means as folic acid fortification," says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "Studies have shown that adequate daily folic acid intake beginning before pregnancy can reduce the incidence of these tragic birth defects by up to 70 percent, and we should not settle for anything less than maximum prevention."


Since 1996, the March of Dimes has recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration set the level of folic acid required in enriched grain foods at 350 micrograms per 100 grams of grain to prevent as many neural tube defects (NTDs) as possible, said Dr. Howse.

A team of researchers led by Laura J. Williams, M.P.H., of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that folic acid fortification accounted for a 36 percent decline in NTDs in the Hispanic population and a 34 percent drop among the white, non-Hispanic population between 1995 and 2002. The prevalence of NTDs in the black, non-Hispanic population did not decrease significantly, the CDC researchers said.

In an accompanying editorial, Robert L. Brent, M.D., Ph.D., and Godfrey P. Oakley, Jr., M.D., MSPM, call on FDA to at least double the amount of folic acid required in enriched grain foods (currently set at 140 micrograms of folic acid per 100 grams of grain). They also urged FDA to require grain suppliers to add vitamin B12 to enriched products to optimize health effects from fortification. The authors also urged the manufacturers of corn flour to make all their products enriched with folic acid, in order to prevent more NTDs among Hispanic babies.

Dr. Howse said the March of Dimes also supports the idea of enriching corn flour with folic acid to help prevent more NTDs among Hispanics and other populations for whom corn products are a dietary staple.

Before fortification, about 4,000 pregnancies annually were affected by an NTD, some of which resulted in miscarriage or stillbirth. Currently, about 1,000 fewer babies annually develop one of these devastating conditions in which the neural tube, the embryonic structure from which the brain and spinal cord are created, fails to close properly before birth.

To help prevent NTDs, the March of Dimes says, all women capable of becoming pregnant should consume a multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day starting before pregnancy, as part of a healthy diet containing foods fortified with folic acid and foods that naturally contain folic acid, such as leafy green vegetables, and beans. Daily consumption is crucial because NTDs occur in the early weeks following conception, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

"Decline in the Prevalence of Spina Bifida and Anencephaly By Race-Ethnicity, 1995-2002," by Ms. Williams and colleagues from CDC and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and "The FDA Must Require the Addition of More Folic Acid in ’Enriched’ Flour and other Grains," by Drs. Brent and Oakley, appeared in the September issue of Pediatrics, volume 116, number 3.

Elizabeth Lynch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.marchofdimes.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>