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Benefits of fortifying flour with folic acid

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Approximately 57,000 birth defects of the brain and spine could be immediately prevented every year in 71 countries by adding folic acid to wheat flour, according to a study led by Dr. Vijaya Kancherla, research assistant professor of epidemiology.

“It’s important to note that 57,000 is an annual number. If fortification is sustained, in 20 years there will be more than 1 million fewer children with severe birth defects in these 71 countries,” says Kancherla. “Fortification in these countries can be easily started using their current milling infrastructure, and the result would be an immediate prevention of unnecessary disability and death in children for years ahead.”

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