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Towards an optimal use of folic acid


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Request for advice
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21 February 2008

European legislation and research in the field of vitamins, minerals and trace elements (known as micronutrients) undergo rapid development. For this reason, the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport has asked the Health Council of the Netherlands to reconsider its policy on micronutrients. The aim of the new policy is to ensure that as many people as possible consume adequate quantities of micronutrients while, at the same time, minimising the risk that people exceed the safe upper level of intake.

This advisory report on folic acid is the first in a series of four advisory reports on micronutrients. The other reports will deal with vitamin D, iodine and vitamin A.


  • Professor G. Schaafsma, Emeritus Professor of Food and Nutrition, Wageningen University / Former director food and health, TNO Quality of Life, Zeist, chairman
  • Dr. H. van den Berg, Nutritional expert, Nutrition Centre, The Hague
  • E.N. Blok, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Hague, advisor
  • Dr. H.J. Blom, Clinical biochemic geneticist, Free University Medical Centre, Amsterdam
  • Professor C.P.G.M. de Groot, Professor of Nutritional Physiology, with a particular focus on the ageing process and elderly people, Wageningen University
  • Dr. M. den Heijer, Endocrinologist, St. Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen
  • Dr. K.F.A.M. Hulshof, Nutritional expert, formerly with TNO Quality of Life, Zeist
  • Professor P.T.A.M. Lips, Professor of Endocrinology, Free University Medical Centre, Amsterdam
  • Professor I.M.C.M. Rietjens, Professor of Toxicology, Wageningen University
  • Professor P.J.J. Sauer, Professor of Paediatric Medicine, University of Groningen
  • Professor P. van ’t Veer, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Wageningen University
  • Dr. T. Vulsma, Paediatrician and endocrinologist, Amsterdam University Medical Centre
  • Dr. R.M. Weggemans, Health Council, The Hague, scientific secretary

This publication may be cited as follows

Health Council of the Netherlands. Towards an optimal use of folic acid. The Hague: Health Council of the Netherlands, 2008; publication no. 2008/02E. ISBN  978-90-5549-714-0