Prenatal Folic Acid Supplements Endorsement Reaffirmed by USPSTF

The Task Force recommends that women of childbearing age should take 400 to 800 µg daily.
The Task Force recommends that women of childbearing age should take 400 to 800 µg daily.

HealthDay News -- In a recommendation statement published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reaffirms that folic acid supplements reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

As it advised in 2009, the independent panel of experts said women who are pregnant or able to get pregnant should take a daily supplement that contains between 400 and 800 µg of folic acid to prevent these potentially fatal birth defects.

"The Task Force found convincing evidence that the risk of neural tube defects can be reduced when women take a daily folic acid supplement of 400 to 800 µg," Task Force member Alex Kemper, MD, MPH, a professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical School in Durham, NC, said in a USPSTF news release.

"These supplements can be taken as a daily multivitamin, prenatal vitamin or single tablet that has the recommended amount of folic acid," Kemper added.

References

"Folic Acid Supplementation for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement." JAMA. 2017;317(2):183-189. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19438

Viswanathan M, et al. "Folic Acid Supplementation for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: An Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force." JAMA. 2017;317(2):190-203. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19193

Mills JL. "Strategies for Preventing Folate-Related Neural Tube Defects: Supplements, Fortified Foods or Both?" JAMA. 2017;317(2):144-145. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19894

Mitchell LE. "Folic Acid for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: The US Preventive Services Task Force Statement on Folic Acid Supplementation in the Era of Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification." JAMA Pediatr. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4983. [Epub ahead of print]

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