Scientists have slammed the British government for refusing to add folic acid to flour. According to experts, 150 babies per year could be saved from birth defects if the government followed the lead of 78 other countries around the world.
Six British universities are working together to push folic acid regulations forward. According to them, more than 2,000 babies have died or become disabled since the original recommendation was made back in 1998.
Rates of birth defects that affect the brain, spine or spinal cord as a results of low folic acid levels in mothers are not reducing in the UK like they are around much of the world and babies dying as well as being born with lifelong disabilities.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition wrote to ministers in 2000, 2006, 2009 and this year demanding that folic acid consumption be taken seriously.
The current recommendation for pregnant women is to get 400 micrograms a day and that’s particularly important during the first three months. A shocking 85% of British women 16 to 49 have low folic acid levels. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid if you plan to become pregnant.