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A 42-year-old member asked:

is low folate (folic acid) why babies have cleft lip and palate?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Suman Das
Dr. Suman Das answered
Plastic Surgery 54 years experience
May be.: In experimental rats it has been shown that folate (folic acid) deficiency causes increased incidence of clefting of the face.Some people tried to extrapolate in human and feels giving extra Folic Acid during preganancy reduces the chance of having babies with cleft.But this has not been proven yet by clinical trial scientifically.
Dr. Richard Zienowicz
Plastic Surgery 38 years experience
Not known: There are neural tube defects related to low folate (folic acid) levels during pregnancy but cleft lip and palate is principally felt to be related to environmental toxins and/ or genetic inheritance. Folic acid deficiency is still being investigated as a possible cause.
Dr. James Sidman
Pediatric ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 40 years experience
This is not entirely correct. There is very strong evidence that folate levels are correlated with cleft lip and palate but it is not clear that taking folate changes the risk of having a baby with clefting.
Sep 6, 2013

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