COMA report on folic acid

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



(2000), "COMA report on folic acid", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 30 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

COMA report on folic acid

COMA report on folic acid

The report by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) on the role of folic acid in preventing neural tube defects (NTD) was published in January this year. The report estimates that, of 98 NTD-affected births in England and Wales, 38 could have been prevented by the fortification of flour with folic acid. Spina bifida is a common form of NTD. The report looked at the benefits of folic acid supplementation. Universal fortification of flour with folic acid at 240µg per 100g in food products as consumed would reduce the risk of NTD in unborn babies and children by 41 per cent without resulting in unacceptably high intakes in any group of the population. Women who could become pregnant should continue to be advised to take dietary supplement of folic acid. Because many pregnancies are unplanned, many women continue to be at risk. The Government's advice on folic acid to women planning a pregnancy is to take 400µg folic acid supplement, to choose breads and breakfast cereals which have added folic acid and to eat more of foods which are naturally high in folates and do not overcook them.

The report Folate and the Prevention of Disease is available from: the Stationery Office, ISBN 0 11 322304 8. Enquiries should be sent to the COMA Secretariat at:

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