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> Pregnancy Concerns, Folic Acid and Low Carb diets
post Mar 19 2004, 06:36 PM
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From: Spokane, WA
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I'm currently in Vancouver, BC, and saw an interesting article in the local paper this morning. It pointed at low carb diets, Adkins in particular, as having possible health effects on a fetus.

Here's a partial reprint. I don't know about this in the US, but I'd bet it is similar.

The popularity of low-carbohydrate regimes like the Atkins diet could trigger a sharp resurgence in devastating birth defects and childhood cancers, scientists warn.

Bread, pasta, breakfast cereals and orange juice -- which are largely shunned in low-carb regimes -- are key sources of folic acid, a micronutrient essential to the neurological development of fetuses.

Since 1998, all white flour, white pasta and cornmeal in Canada have been fortified with folic acid.

As a result, the number of children born with neural tube defects has fallen by half. The incidence of neuroblastoma, a common childhood cancer, is down 60 per cent.

"Fortification is one of the greatest success stories in the history of medicine but, with so many people on low-carb diets, there is a real danger that those gains will be lost," said Gideon Koren, director of the Motherisk program at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

Folate, or vitamin B-9, is found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, fruits like oranges, and in legumes like lentils and kidney beans.

The synthetic version, folic acid, is found in commercially prepared baked goods and pasta and can be purchased in supplements.

The recommended daily dose is four micrograms. A woman would have to eat about eight slices of white bread daily to reach that minimal level. Because almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned, supplements are recommended for all women of childbearing age.

The rest of the article is here:


While SB isn't low carb, it is low in enriched flour, which could cause the same problems. My advice is to talk to your doctor if you are pregnent, folic acid is available in pill form, if desired.

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post Mar 19 2004, 06:51 PM
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Thanks for posting that! I would agree...consult with your dr. This is a real healthy diet otherwise.

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