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Folic Acid Prevents Birth Defects, But Corn Masa Flour Isn't Fortified

Harold Maduro
Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

If you ate cereal this morning, chances are you got the recommended daily allowance of folic acid.

Most U.S. cereals have 100 percent of the daily value, which protects against serious spinal cord abnormalties that can develop before a woman even knows she's pregnant.

The FDA requires folic acid be added to enriched bread, flour, cornmeal, rice, pasta and other grain products, but not the corn masa tortillas are commonly made with.

And, as KUT's Veronica Zaragovia reports, Hispanics have the highest rate of pregnancies affected by the kind of defects folic acid can prevent.

If Folic Acid Stems Certain Birth Defects, Why Isn't Corn Flour Masa Fortified?