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No evidence to support downside to adding folic acid to bread, says GP

Commenting on research suggesting that bread should be fortified with folic acid, Dr James Gill, of the Warwick Medical School, provided his analysis and said:

"If you’ve ever been pregnant, or had a pregnant relative then you’ll have heard about folic acid. We know that it greatly reduces the risk of a problem with the babies developing spine, called spinae bifida.

"We also know that low levels of folic acid, can cause a type of anaemia in adults, and many patients are asked to take folic acid supplements for short periods to address this.

"Previously in the UK we’ve held off putting folic acid in bread, as there was some doubt about safety. Further studies have not found evidence to support a downside of adding this vitamin to bread - there is a big difference between a lack of evidence, and safety BUT we KNOW that low levels of folic acid does cause health problems.

"We frequently ask patients to try and consider a healthy diet, but for many reasons this doesn’t always happen. Bread is already fortified in the UK, and that has helped a range of health issues. Hopefully we’ll now add folic acid to bread, and see improvements for pregnancy outcomes, and perhaps other areas of health too!"

Dr James A Gill

31 January 2018


Tom Frew - Senior Press and Media Relations Manager:

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