EFSA: positive opinion on folic acid to prevent neural tube defects

/ / Vitamins and minerals

October 2014

The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) approves the health claim that recognizes a link of cause and effect between the intake of folic acid and reduced risk of developing neural tube defects in the fetus, associated with spina bifida or anencephaly.

According to the reg. (EU) 1335/2014, ”The supplementary intake of folic acid increases the status of maternal folate. A low maternal folate status is a risk factor for the development of neural tube defects in the fetus.”

About the conditions of employment, the regulation states that ”The indication can be used only for food supplements that provide at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per serving daily. Consumers should be aware that the target population are women of childbearing age and that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of supplementary folic acid of 400 μg for at least one month before and up to three months after conception ”.


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