If women take folic acid in pregnancy it can reduce the chance of their baby having neural tube defects (spina bifida or anencephaly). Could other food supplements further reduce the risk of a birth defect, particularly in those cases where folic acid is not effective?
It is known that the nutrient inositol can prevent neural tube birth defects in mice and an ongoing study aims to test whether this is also the case in people. The PONTI Study is a controlled randomized clinical trial in pregnant women - half the women receive folic acid plus inositol and half receive folic acid plus placebo. The intention is to see whether inositol and folic acid are more effective than folic acid alone in preventing these birth conditions.
Professor Andrew Copp, Director UCL Institute of Child Health, and leading on the research said "While all pregnant women should take folic acid it is known that some people, derive less benefit from it in reducing these defects. (This may be because of their specific genetic inheritance.) The study could therefore add very useful public health information and advice to the existing programme."
Further information about the trial for proposed participants from email@example.com
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