The offspring of industry-charity relations: Folic acid and neural tube defects
By Annie Harrison-Dunn
- Last updated on
The claim: “Supplemental folic acid intake increases maternal folate status. Low maternal folate status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects in the developing foetus.”
The conditions: For food supplements which provide at least 400μg of folic acid per daily portion. Target audience is women of child-bearing age and the beneficial effect is obtained with a supplemental folic acid daily intake of 400μg for at least one month before and up to three months after conception.
HFMA said overall for it the most significant approval of the year was that for folic acid and risk reduction of neural tube defects, a claim it helped file alongside UK spina bifida charity Shine. CRN UK echoed this, saying the successful application was a good illustration of collaboration between the third sector and trade associations – in this case CRN UK, HFMA and PAGB.
“This newly authorised claim could revolutionise the communication of the health benefits of folic acid food supplements to the target group of women of childbearing age. This will also give food for thought to the ongoing debate about mandatory fortification of bread flour and the need for a more in depth examination of the intimate metabolic relationship between folic acid and vitamin B12,” Professor David Richardson, scientific adviser to CRN UK, said.