Folic acid fortified milk increases blood folate to concentrations associated with a very low risk of neural tube defects in Singaporean women of childbearing age.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2016; 25(1):62-70.AP
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Folic acid (400 μg/d) taken during the periconceptional period reduces neural tube defect (NTD) risk by >75%. Achieving red cell folate (RCF) or plasma folate (PF) >905 nmol/L and >35 nmol/L, respectively, has been associated with a low risk of NTDs. We determined whether daily consumption of folic acid fortified milk increases blood folate concentrations to levels associated with a low risk of NTDs in Singaporean women of childbearing age.
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN
In this double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 70 non-pregnant women (21-35 y) were randomly assigned to receive fortified milk (FM) powder providing 400 μg folic acid per day or unfortified placebo milk (PM) powder for 12 weeks. Blood samples were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks.
At 12 weeks, mean (95% CI) RCF and PF concentrations were 376 (240, 512) and 39 (26, 51) nmol/L higher in the FM group compared with the PM group (p<0.001). Of the women receiving FM, 71% (n=25) and 86% (n=30) achieved a RCF and PF associated with a very low risk of NTDs, respectively.
Folic acid fortified milk increased blood folate concentrations in women of childbearing age to levels associated with a reduced risk of an NTD-affected pregnancy.