Recent headlines linking folic acid and autism are misleading and potentially dangerous. Photo credit: Tatiana Vdb // Flickr
Recent headlines linking folic acid and autism are misleading and potentially dangerous. Photo credit: Tatiana Vdb // Flickr

Last week, many in the nutrition and medical fields let out a collective sigh. That’s because there is good quality nutrition research, from actual humans in randomized control trials, showing the importance of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy. Taking a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid (the form of folate found in most supplements) can prevent birth defects associated with the brain and spinal cord. And organizations like the March of Dimes have done a good job getting the word out about folic acid to women of childbearing age. The FDA even just announced it would allow corn flour to be fortified with folic acid, in order to prevent birth defects among women who eat corn as a staple in their diet.

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FDA Nutrition Facts Label 2006On the back of every cereal box, frozen dinner, condiment bottle, and any other packaged food, you will find the Nutrition Facts label.

Introduced by the Food and Drug Administration over 25 years ago, the purpose of this labeling system is to help consumers make more informed food choices.

Thus it would be natural to think you’re covered for, say, vitamin C, if a product’s Nutrition Facts label says it provides 100% of the Daily Value of vitamin C.

 

But you’d be wrong.

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