Ireland :The alarming number of NTD's or neural tube defects in new borns has raised concern and now the national committee has recommended that most bread in Ireland should include folic acid, which is a way to ensure dietary folic acid supplements in women.
This would indeed help offsetting potential birth defects in children, especially when expectant mothers are low on folic acid, and do not take adequate folic acid supplements. Statistics has shown that nearly half of all pregnancies happen by accident and are hence unplanned. Women do not get to know of their pregnancy till after a few weeks, by which time, any deficiency in the mother could begin to cause irreparable damage to the fetus. Folic acid in bread could actually save the day and the baby from birth defects.
NTDs comprise of a variety of debilitating birth defects of which spina bifida is one among them. The initial few weeks of pregnancy is extremely crucial, for it is during this phase that neural defects begin to hamper the baby's growth. The advantages of consuming Folic acid, a B-group vitamin, at least eight weeks before and 12 weeks after conception, is capable of bringing down the risk of NTDs by almost 70%. It is estimated that nearly 93 babies are affected in Ireland with NTDs every year, the highest in all of Europe.