No Spina Bifida. No Peanut Butter Sandwiches. The Unintended Consequences of Pregnancy Interventions.
Note: In no way am I poking fun at the pregnancy vitamin supplementation program that cured spina bifida by preventing the diagnosis. That said.... What sane person would not want to prevent a lifelong diagnosis that could be a severe, even life threatening handicap requiring a lifetime of care? What doctor would not want to recommend something as simple as a vitamin to prevent this severe, terrible diagnosis?
But what if this benign vitamin intervention during pregnancy, which became so ubiquitous as to literally become "white bread" was found to perhaps be associated with life threatening FOOD ALLERGIES? What is a researcher recommended further research to dig deeper into the science, because while the spina bifida was a birth defect no parent wanted for his or her child, the food allergies were also a diagnosis that no parent wanted for his or her child? Would the vitamin makers make sure to PULL HIS PAPER from publication and pillory him for say, 20 years?
In other news, does this tongue make my cheek look fat?
From USDA: Beginning in January 1998, the B vitamin folic acid will be added to enriched bread, flour, cornmeal, rice, pasta, and other grain products, according to a 1996 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation.
The regulation grew out of evidence that the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects in newborn infants dropped if mothers took more folic acid before pregnancy.
In 1992, the Public Health Service recommended that all women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily to reduce risk. That 400 millionths of a gram could spare many of the 2,500 infants born in the United States with neural tube defects each year.
...“The balance of evidence from this study suggests that the benefits of folate fortification at the currently mandated level would greatly outweigh the risks...
Damn Skippy! Kim
Orlando, FL - Research being presented at the 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and World Allergy Organization (WAO) Joint Congress suggests that folic acid exposure in utero could have an effect on whether children develop food allergy.
Folate, or vitamin B9, is available in both natural and synthetic forms. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is often recommended to pregnant women as a way of preventing neural tube defects in their children, like spina bifida. When folic acid is consumed in higher quantities, some of this folic acid is not metabolized and circulates in the blood as “unmetabolized folic acid.”
In a nested case control study performed in the Boston Birth Cohort, scientists found that higher levels of unmetabolized folic acid measured at birth was associated with the development of food allergy.
A subset of children in the cohort were tested at birth and early life for their levels of unmetabolized folic acid and the main folate metabolite involved in biochemical processes in the body,
5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). Diet, clinical history and specific-IgE to common food allergens were also assessed in early life. Out of the 1,394 children included in this study, 507 had a food sensitization and 78 had a food allergy.
“Interestingly, while the mean total folate levels at birth were lower among the children that developed a food allergy, mean levels of the synthetic folic acid derivative, unmetabolized folic acid, were higher,” said author Emily McGowan, MD.
The authors suspect that increased levels of unmetabolized folic acid may be due to increased exposure to synthetic folic acid in utero or underlying genetic differences.
“More research is needed to conclude whether mothers should consider consuming different sources of folate like leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans or lentils instead of synthetic forms of folate,” said author Corinne Keet, MD, MS, PhD. READ MORE HERE.