Health Update: Risk of cleft palate 'cut by folic acid'

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Indy Lifestyle Online
FOLIC acid tablets taken before and during pregnancy protect against cleft lip and palate in the unborn baby, according to a US study reported in Pulse. Folic acid taken early in pregnancy is already known to reduce the risk of spina bifida, but the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, involving nearly 1,500 mothers, has shown that taking folic acid one month before and two months after conception almost halves the risk of the baby developing lip and palate defects.

And Canadian researchers have found that older mothers are no more likely to give birth to a child with cleft lip or palate. A study of more than 700, published in Teratology, found no significant increase in the incidence of palate defects in their babies.