UK: Folic acid to be added to non-wholemeal flour under new British rules

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Sep 20, 2021, 10:28 PM(IST)

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For at least a month before conception and up to the 12th week of pregnancy, women should take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. 

The British government has announced that folic acid would be added to the most regularly consumed flours in the UK to help prevent spinal problems in babies.

Doctors recommend that pregnant women take folic acid supplements, but with approximately half of all pregnancies in the UK being unexpected, many expectant moms may not be able to do so early enough.

The government claims that mandating flour millers to add folic acid to non-wholemeal wheat flour will help prevent roughly 200 neural tube abnormalities in infants each year, lowering the yearly UK total by about 20%. 

Everyone who eats items like bread will get more folic acid in their diets if the government implements mandatory fortification, which was the subject of a public consultation in 2019.

About 1,000 pregnancies in the UK are affected by neural tube defects such as spina bifida (abnormal spine development) and anencephaly (a life-limiting brain disorder).

Many babies born with spina bifida live into adulthood, although they will be disabled for the rest of their lives.

For at least a month before conception and up to the 12th week of pregnancy, women should take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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