Decline in Prevalence of Neural Tube Defects in a High-Risk US area
The use of folic acid in periconceptional women is lowering the risk of birth defects. A few notes here on this good news. First, most women get most of their folic acid from supplements, but a much better source is from whole grains. Next, the truly sad part about this news is that research suggesting a benefit for folic acid on neural tube defects began to surface in the late FIFTIES. If only we had begun to recommend something as safe as folic acid before we were entirely sure it would work, we would’ve saved literally hundreds of thousands of defects. Incidentaly, we are at that same stage with vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid for lowering homecysteine and possibly heart attacks. Do you want to wait another 50 years before someone finally says conclusively that these nutrients lower risk of cardiovascular disease??
Pediatrics — Abstracts: Stevenson et al. 106 (4): 677