Study Of Birth Defects, Folic Acid In Foods Finds More Questions Than Answers

(By Barbara Feder Ostrov for Kaiser Health News)

Adding folic acid to foods like cereal and bread — long considered one of the most successful public health interventions to prevent birth defects — may be a less effective strategy than once thought, according to a provocative new study from Stanford University.

In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required folic acid, a B-vitamin, to be added to cereal grain products to prevent neural tube defects, which can cause spina bifida, anencephaly, cleft palate and other devastating congenital abnormalities. Major food manufacturers were already adding the vitamin supplement to foods voluntarily two years earlier. Read article here…..

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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