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 Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

19.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Thin films from Braunschweig on the way to Mercury

19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

App-App-Hooray! - Innovative Kits for AR Applications

19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>