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Int J Family Med. 2011;2011:173705. doi: 10.1155/2011/173705. Epub 2011 May 23.

Folic Acid Supplementation for Women of Childbearing Age versus Supplementation for the General Population: A Review of the Known Advantages and Risks.

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College of Arts and Sciences, Loyola University, Chicago, IL 60660, USA.


This paper focuses on the current best-evidence-based clinical practices and controversies surrounding folic acid supplementation/fortification for the prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs) during early pregnancy. The paper also discusses the controversies surrounding the effect of folic acid on the prevention as well as the promotion of cancer. Sufficient data is available to safely conclude that folic acid reduces the risk of NTDs during pregnancy; however, a safe dosage has not yet been calculated for the rest of the population. More research is necessary to study the complete role of folic acid in human growth and development.

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