Supplement use predicts folate status in Canadian women

Researchers have gained new insight into why 22% of Canadian women of childbearing age are still not achieving a folate concentration considered optimal for reducing the risk of having babies with neural tube defects, despite a virtual absence of folate deficiency in the general Canadian population.

When the authors examined a nation-wide study, they found a main reason why some women are not achieving levels optimal for reducing risk is many do not take the supplemental folic acid recommended for this population.

This article appears in the April issue of the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

"This segment of the population is the target of and supplementation policies and clarifying the factors associated with achieving optimal is essential to refining interventions," Cynthia Colapinto, lead author. "The importance of folic acid supplementation for women of childbearing age must be distinguished from the needs of the general population."

The study found folic acid supplement intake was the most significant predictor of optimal RBC () folate concentration for this subgroup. Supplement intake, in turn, was significantly related to income, with a greater percentage of folic acid supplement users in the highest income group. Furthermore, only 25% of Canadian women of childbearing age reported taking a folic acid supplement. According to the report, these data indicate a need for targeted strategies to improve compliance with folic acid supplement recommendations to assist women of childbearing age in achieving desired folate concentrations.

More information: Colapinto, C., O'Connor, D. Dubois, L., and Tremblay, M. (2012) Folic acid supplement use is the most significant predictor of folate concentrations in Canadian women of childbearing age. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 37(2). DOI: 10.1139/H11-161

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Folic acid cuts risk of cleft lip

Jan 26, 2007

Taking folic acid supplements in early pregnancy seems to substantially reduce the risk of cleft lip, finds a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments