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Research Finds No Need To Double Folic Acid Levels In Canada’s Food Supply

December 13, 2010: 08:14 AM EST

A Canadian study has found that high levels of folic acid in pregnant women can reduce birth defects, but may also be associated with adverse medical conditions such as colorectal cancer in others. For the study, researchers examined survey data on red blood cell folate concentrations in 5,248 Canadians. They found that folate deficiency is virtually nonexistent in Canada, but 40 percent showed high folate concentrations. In addition, 22 percent of women of childbearing age were below the level necessary to guard against neural tube defects. Some physicians have recommended that folic acid levels in Canada’s food supply be doubled to make sure women of childbearing age get enough of the nutrient. But, the researchers concluded that “there appears to be little rationale for doubling folic acid levels in the Canadian food supply."

Cynthia K. Colapinto, et al. , "Folate status of the population in the Canadian Health Measures Survey", Canadian Medical Association Journal, December 13, 2010, © Canadian Medical Association
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