A Canadian study has offered invaluable advice to women of childbearing age, who would indeed be wise to include a multivitamin daily, to cut the risks of delivering a child with birth defects.
The new research has indicated that by being regular with intake of vitamins and minerals, the risk of many severe birth defects can be offset. The defects that can be offset include neural-tube defects such as spina bifida, brain-damaging hydrocephalus, heart malformations, truncated or missing limbs, urinary-tract abnormalities and cleft palate.
Gideon Koren, director of the Motherisk Program at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, said "The data are really very striking. It seems almost too good to be true that a prenatal multivitamin can have such an impact. But it is true."
Dr Koren, from the facts gathered in the study, advised all women of childbearing age to take a multivitamin daily. This is applicable to all women, because statistics show that nearly 50% of the pregnancies happen without planning and the first trimester is crucial during which time all birth defects set in. He suggested the intake of a specific prenatal vitamin that would include additional folic acid, more iron and less vitamin A.