Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 2010
Publication Date: August 20, 2010
Citation: Rosenberg, I.H. 2010. Getting folic acid nutrition right. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 91:3-4.
The two articles in this issue of the journal provide some definitive answers to questions relating to folic acid exposure and folate nutritional status of the US population in the post-fortification era, and, by implication, pose other questions. Most convincingly, these reports, which are based largely on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data for the 2003–2006 time period, show how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) models of exposure, which preceded the 1996 mandate that enriched flour be fortified with 140 micrograms folic acid per 100 grams flour to prevent neural tube defect births, got the folic acid dose right. This mandate increased folic acid exposure in women of childbearing age without excessive exposure to those beneficiaries and others in the population. The documentation in these 2 articles of the remarkable predictive value of those models over a decade ago is testimony to the value of pre-fortification modeling, and also serve as a resounding argument for the benefit of such national health and dietary surveys such as NHANES on which the models and their validations are based.