Folic acid fortification linked with lower risk of stroke

March 22, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Folic acid fortification linked with lower risk of stroke

Since the introduction of folic acid fortification in North America eight years ago, the number of deaths from stroke has dropped by five percent.

Mandatory fortification of folic acid was introduced in Canada and the United States in hopes to reduce number of birth defects related to a deficiency of the nutrient. While there has since been a 25 percent decrease in the number of babies born with neural tube defects, researchers also found the number of stokes decreased.

These findings come only days after two large studies found no benefit of B vitamins (including folic acid) on patients with heart disease.

Canadian fortification levels are currently set at 150 micrograms of folic acid per 100 grams of food. Studies have suggested that folic acid is more readily absorbed from fortified foods and supplements than folate found naturally in foods (e.g. spinach, lentils, oranges, avocado, asparagus).

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