Fortification boosts folate levels in young women

AUSTRALIA’S mandatory folic acid fortification program has slashed the number of women of childbearing age who are folate-deficient, a study shows.

The mandatory fortification of bread flour has been controversial, with public health experts warning it may be insufficient to reduce neural tube defects and others citing concerns the move may increase cancer or mask vitamin B12 deficiency.

An analysis of more than 20,000 blood samples collected at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, shows mean red blood cell folate levels have increased