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Folic acid fortification of wheat flour: Chile.

Authors
  • Hertrampf, Eva1
  • Cortés, Fanny
  • 1 Drs. Hertrampf and Cortés are with the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, (INTA), University of Chile, Casilla 138-11, Santiago, Chile. , (Chile)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nutrition reviews
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2004
Volume
62
Issue
6 Pt 2
Identifiers
PMID: 15298448
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Neural tube defects (open spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele) represent the first congenital malformations to be preventable through public health measures such as supplementation and/or food fortification with folic acid. In Chile, starting in January 2000, the Chilean Ministry of Health legislated to add folic acid to wheat flour (2.2 mg/kg) to reduce the risk of NTDs. This policy resulted in an estimated mean additional supply of 427 microg/d in significant increases in serum folate and red cell folate of 3.8 and 2.4-fold, respectively, in women of fertile age, one year after fortification. The impact on the rate of NTDs is presently being studied in all births, both live births and still births, with birth weight >500 g in the city of Santiago. Preliminary results show a reduction of 40% in the rates on NTDs from the pre-fortification period (1999-2000) to post-fortification period (2001-June 2002). Fortification of wheat flour with folic acid in Chile is effective in preventing NTDs in Chile.

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