Changes in serum folate concentrations following voluntary food fortification in Australia

Jack Metz, Ken A Sikaris, Ellen L Maxwell and Mark D Levin
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04306.x
Published online: 21 January 2002

To the Editor: With the recognition that supplements of folate given early in pregnancy can reduce the incidence of neural tube defects,1,2 Australian manufacturers were allowed voluntary food fortification with folate from 1995, and these foods subsequently became available from August 1996. We assessed the impact of this fortification by comparing the results of assays of serum folate, a sensitive index of folate intake, before and after the introduction of folate-fortified foods.

  • Dorevitch Pathology, Heidelberg, VIC.


  • 1. MRC Vitamin Study Research Group. Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. Lancet 1991; 388: 131-137.
  • 2. Czeizel AE, Dudás I. Prevention of the first occurrence of neural-tube defects by periconceptional vitamin supplementation. N Engl J Med 1992; 327: 1832-1835.
  • 3. Bhattacharya CG. A simple method of resolution of a distribution into Gaussian components. Biometrics 1967; 23: 115-135.
  • 4. Folate status in women of child bearing age – United States, 1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2000; 49: 962-965.
  • 5. Lawrence JM, Petitti DB, Watkins M, Umekubo MA. Trends in serum folate after food fortification. Lancet 1999; 354: 915-916.


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