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Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Dec;8(6):394-7.

Folic acid to prevent neural tube defects: scientific advances and public health issues.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Folic acid prevents some neural tube defects by correcting abnormal homocysteine metabolism. A defective gene coding for a homocysteine-related enzyme has been shown in people with neural tube defects. An extensive educational campaign will be required to alert women to the need to take 0.4 mg/day of folic acid during their childbearing years.

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