Review of interventions for the prevention and control of folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies
Authors: Cordero, José F.; Do, Ann; Berry, R. J.
Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 29, Supplement 1, June 2008 , pp. 188-195(8)
Abstract:Folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies represent important and evolving global health challenges that contribute to the global burden of anemia, neurologic conditions, neurodevelopmental disorders, and birth defects. We present a review of population-based programs designed to increase consumption of folates and vitamin B12.
A folic acid supplementation program targeting couples prior to marriage in China has led to optimal consumption of supplements containing folic acid and a significant reduction of neural tube defects (NTD). Supplementation programs that use mass community education show some promise, but have not been shown to be as effective as targeted education. The success of supplementation programs hinges on a strong and persistent educational component and access to the supplements.
Fortification with folic acid has been shown to reduce the prevalence of NTD in the countries where it has been implemented. Challenges to fortification programs include identifying the appropriate delivery vehicles, setting the optimal fortification level, sustaining the quality assurance of the fortification level, and addressing regulatory challenges and trade barriers of commercially fortified flours.
Supplementation and fortification are cost-effective and viable approaches to reducing the burden of NTD, anemia, and other conditions resulting from folate deficiency. The experience with interventions involving folic acid could provide a model for the subsequent development of supplementation and fortification programs involving vitamin B12.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2008
- Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation. The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.
Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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