There was a recent mandatory step that was taken in terms of fortifying the bread with folic acid in UK so that the incidence of pregnancies that are affected by the neural tubes defect can be prevented.
The most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly and these are the conditions that present in the early stages of pregnancy. There was a survey conducted that showed that there are about 900 pregnancies that are affected by the neural tube defects each year, which result in termination of the pregnancies when these defects are being detected.
It is being studied that the dietary folate reduces the risk of these conditions. Folate is found in the natural foods such as grains, green leafy vegetables, peas. lentils etc. In the countries where there was fortification of the flour with folic acid were known to have a reduction in about 30 to 50 percent of the neural tube defects.
The amount or the level of the fortification that is being done in the proposed food groups have been up to about 100 and 450 mcg per 100 gm. It is important to mention here that in US there is about 140 mcg of folic acid being added to about 100 gm of grain. There are people who have been wanting to have an increase in the fortification amount to about 250 to 350 mcg per 100 gm.
It is being recommended that the adults must consume about 200 mcg of folate per day by men and the women must consume about 400 mcg during the early weeks of their pregnancy. It is sad to say, but there are about only 1/4th of the women who follow this advice.
These steps will prevent a lot of children that are being terminated in the womb because of the neural defects and that is going to prevent the mothers from getting into psychological problems and the concerns that the couple have regarding the children that they will birth to in the future.
[tags]bread,health care information[/tags]