Folic Acid Supplementation Does Not Reduce Cleft Risk

Other nutrients may play a role in lowering risk of orofacial clefts

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Folic acid supplements do not reduce the risk of cleft lip or cleft palate, but other nutrients may reduce the risk, according to a study in the May issue of Epidemiology. The finding runs counter to previous studies that suggested that folic acid may reduce cleft risk, the authors report.

Gary M. Shaw, Dr.P.H., from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation in Berkeley, Calif., and colleagues interviewed 704 women who had infants or fetuses with cleft lip (with or without cleft palate), 404 with cleft palate and 2,594 control women who had infants without malformations, about their periconceptional intake of folate and other nutrients.

The researchers found that the intake of vitamin supplements containing folic acid did not affect the risk of clefting. The risk of developing cleft palate fell by about 30 percent with increasing intake of total protein, choline and methionine. Iron and riboflavin were also associated with lower cleft palate risk after adjusting for other nutrients. Increased intake of cysteine was also associated with a reduced risk of developing cleft palate, according to the study.

"Our observations contribute to the limited body of evidence suggesting a woman's periconceptional diet may influence clefting risks in her offspring," Shaw and colleagues conclude. "Our finding of no reduction in clefting risk with periconceptional use of supplements containing folic acid is inconsistent with many previous observations but not all."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Alka Agrawal

Alka Agrawal

Updated on June 02, 2006

Read this Next
About UsOur ProductsCustom SolutionsHow it’s SoldOur ResultsDeliveryContact UsBlogPrivacy PolicyFAQ