Thursday, December 13, 2007

New guidelines boost folic acid recommendation

From the Globe and Mail:
Women of childbearing age should increase their intake of folic acid to five milligrams a day to protect against common birth defects, according to new Canadian guidelines.

That is 10 times the level in standard multivitamins and five times that in most prenatal vitamins, but experts say the change reflects the latest science. Boosting intake, even among women who are not planning to get pregnant, could sharply reduce the rate of devastating birth defects such as spina bifida, congenital heart disease and childhood cancers such as neuroblastoma.

"A lot of this heartache can be very easily prevented," said Vyta Senikas, associate executive vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. "Women just need to take multivitamins containing a little more folic acid."

The guidelines, issued jointly by the SOGC and Motherisk and published in today's edition of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada, also call for higher levels of folic acid to be added to commercial food products. ...more

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