Multivitamins with Low Dose Folic Acid Better for Birth Defect Prevention

According to a paper by Prof. Andrew E. Czeizel published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences, a daily multivitamin with 0.4 – 0.8 mg of folic acid is more effective than a higher dose of folic acid alone to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects.

The author compared pooled data of two Hungarian trials using a multivitamin containing 0.8 mg folic acid and the data of the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities using high dose of folic acid. The examination indicated that multivitamins and folic acid can prevent some malformations, while multivitamins were able to reduce obstructive defects of urinary tract, limb deficiencies and congenital pyloric stenosis. Folic acid was effective in preventing some rectal/anal stenosis/atresia, and the high dose of folic acid had effect in preventing some orofacial clefts.

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