More Folic Acid Needed
Health officials say that current fortification levels may not be enough to ensure that every pregnant woman receives the recommended daily amount.
Grain products have been fortified with the B vitamin folic acid (aka folate) since 1998, a measure that has reduced by more than one-third the nation’s rate ofneural-tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. But health officials say that current fortification levels may still not be enough to ensure that every pregnant woman receives the recommended 400 micrograms daily. Folate is found naturally in leafy vegetables, beans, citrus fruit and whole grains. According to the March of Dimes, pregnant women and women of childbearing age should take a multivitamin and folic acid supplement in addition to eating breads and cereals fortified with folic acid. — S.R. PEDIATRICS