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USPSTF Reaffirms Endorsement of Prenatal Folic Acid Supplements

Women of childbearing age should take 400 to 800 µg daily, Task Force recommends

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TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In a recommendation statement published in the Jan. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reaffirms that folic acid supplements reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

As it advised in 2009, the independent panel of experts said women who are pregnant or able to get pregnant should take a daily supplement that contains between 400 and 800 µg of folic acid to prevent these potentially fatal birth defects.

"The Task Force found convincing evidence that the risk of neural tube defects can be reduced when women take a daily folic acid supplement of 400 to 800 µg," Task Force member Alex Kemper, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical School in Durham, N.C., said in a USPSTF news release.

"These supplements can be taken as a daily multivitamin, prenatal vitamin, or single tablet that has the recommended amount of folic acid," Kemper added.

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