Nutrients 2013, 5(11), 4760-4775; doi:10.3390/nu5114760
Review

Folate Deficiency and Folic Acid Supplementation: The Prevention of Neural-Tube Defects and Congenital Heart Defects

1 Foundation for the Community Control of Hereditary Diseases, Torokvesz lejto 32, Budapest 1026, Hungary 2 Versys Clinics, Human Reproduction Institute, Madarasz utca 47-49, Budapest 1138, Hungary 3 Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Ulloi ut 78/a, Budapest 1082, Hungary
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 October 2013; in revised form: 2 November 2013 / Accepted: 5 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Folate Metabolism and Nutrition)
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Abstract: Diet, particularly vitamin deficiency, is associated with the risk of birth defects. The aim of this review paper is to show the characteristics of common and severe neural-tube defects together with congenital heart defects (CHD) as vitamin deficiencies play a role in their origin. The findings of the Hungarian intervention (randomized double-blind and cohort controlled) trials indicated that periconceptional folic acid (FA)-containing multivitamin supplementation prevented the major proportion (about 90%) of neural-tube defects (NTD) as well as a certain proportion (about 40%) of congenital heart defects. Finally the benefits and drawbacks of three main practical applications of folic acid/multivitamin treatment such as (i) dietary intake; (ii) periconceptional supplementation; and (iii) flour fortification are discussed. The conclusion arrived at is indeed confirmation of Benjamin Franklin’s statement: “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of care”.
Keywords: neural-tube defects; congenital heart defects; folic acid; multivitamins; primary prevention

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MDPI and ACS Style

Czeizel, A.E.; Dudás, I.; Vereczkey, A.; Bánhidy, F. Folate Deficiency and Folic Acid Supplementation: The Prevention of Neural-Tube Defects and Congenital Heart Defects. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4760-4775.

AMA Style

Czeizel AE, Dudás I, Vereczkey A, Bánhidy F. Folate Deficiency and Folic Acid Supplementation: The Prevention of Neural-Tube Defects and Congenital Heart Defects. Nutrients. 2013; 5(11):4760-4775.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Czeizel, Andrew E.; Dudás, Istvan; Vereczkey, Attila; Bánhidy, Ferenc. 2013. "Folate Deficiency and Folic Acid Supplementation: The Prevention of Neural-Tube Defects and Congenital Heart Defects." Nutrients 5, no. 11: 4760-4775.

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