Dietary intake and blood folate levels in Honduran women of childbearing age
Neural tube defects are common birth defects, the frequency of which appears to be reduced by maternal supplementation and/or fortification of folic acid. Latin Americans have a high incidence of neural tube defects. We surveyed the dietary intake of Honduran women of childbearing age using a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire in inner-city, town, and country areas. We randomly checked blood folate in the surveyed population to compare to the normal range for the US population. Normal US recommended dietary allowance intake of folate was documented in association with a low intake of many other essential nutrients. There also were significant differences for nutrient intakes in city, town, and country areas. Blood folate levels in all locations were in the low normal range when compared to the presupplementation/prefortification US population. Our data support using an established folic acid fortification public health initiative to decrease the prevalence of neural tube defects in Honduras
Holden, K. R., Collins, J. S., Greene, J. F., Hinkle, S., Nave, A. F., Portillo, J. M., ... Stevenson, R. E. (2002). Dietary intake and blood folate levels in Honduran women of childbearing age. Journal of Child Neurology, 17(5), 341-346.