Stochastic modelling to estimate the potential impact of fortification of flour with folic acid in the UK

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Stochastic modelling to estimate the potential impact of fortification of flour with folic acid in the UK. This research has modelled the potential impact of fortification of flour with folic acid on the prevention of Neural Tube Defects (NTDs).

Dietary modelling was carried out to find out the most effective way of adding folic acid to flour for the purpose of reducing Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) such as Spina Bifida in the unborn child. The modelling used current dietary information to explore the effect of different options for adding folic acid to flour while taking account of folic acid from fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and fat spreads, and from dietary supplements.

The modelling identified a number of beneficial fortification scenarios which would:

•           reduce NTDs

•           ensure no decrease in current average folate intakes

•           ensure no increase in numbers of people consuming too much folic acid

Depending on the scenarios modelled, the risk of NTDs could be reduced by between 8 and 25 % with no increase in the numbers of people consuming too much folic acid. See link to FSS Board paper on folic acid discussed on 16th August 2017.

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