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Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
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Hispanic Newborns at Higher Risk of Neural Tube Defects

Hispanic Newborns at Higher Risk of Neural Tube Defects

Kathleen Lees k.lees@scienceworldreport.com
First Posted: Jun 20, 2014 05:03 PM EDT

The findings are updated from a similar 2008 paper by the March of Dimes, a nonprofit foundation that highlights the growing number of Hispanic women who have children each year in the United States. The report found that this group has more babies each year than any other population in the country.

Unfortunately, many of these women are also more prone to giving birth prematurely or before the 37th week. This puts many of their future children at an increased risk of spina bifida and anencephaly, brain and spinal cord malformations that are a form of neural tube defects.

Many researchers believe that because corn masa flour is common staple of the Hispanic diet, some women's children in this population will be at an increased risk for certain neural tube defects because of a lack of folic acid and vitamin B in their diet. The report also found that Hispanic women are less likely to take a multivitamin than other ethnicities.


From the comments:

stephelinda nosuprise 19 hours ago

We've known for a long time that folic acid deficiency can cause neural tube defects. Most cereal products -- but not corn masa -- are fortified with folic acid. In addition, folic acid can be acquired from dark leafy greens, asparagus, turnip, beets, and mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, lima beans, soybeans, beef liver, brewer's yeast, root vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ, bulgur wheat, and some beans. But young Mexican American women, many of whom live on a tight budget, typically consume neither fortified grains nor quantities of fresh vegetables. So while I share your suspicion around GMOs, I think we could prevent birth defects by fortifying corn masa.

stephelinda 18 hours ago

The original report, Fortification of corn masa flour with folic acid in the United States: an overview of the evidence, in "Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences," of which this is an attempted synopsis, can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

(For some reason the URL is truncated when I post, but anyone interested can google it.)

Regarding the complaint that Lee used "Hispanic" carelessly, it's worth noting that the original study showed "no difference was observed between Hispanic women who reported speaking primarily English at home and white women."

In other words, the increased incidence of pregnancies with neural tube defects was found only in a population of Mexican American women who had immigrated less than 15 years earlier and who spoke Spanish at home. This is the primary target population for fortification of corn masa flour. The term "Hispanic" was far too general to be meaningful.

stephelinda's comments were in response to some racist complaints and comments but stephelinda adds some very important facts to the discussion. My question is why corn masa unlike most grain products not fortified with folic acid? It's a simple, inexpensive step that would save so many lives and so much grief.

Anybody else having a problem with ActBlue?

I got an email from Nancy Pelosi about the petition to support a Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United but I keep getting error messages when I try to get to ActBlue to sign the petition. Neither the link in the email or just the direct link.

Every link reverts to a https secure connection and I get a message:
Secure Connection Failed

An error occurred during a connection to secure.actblue.com. The OCSP server found the request to be corrupted or improperly formed. (Error code: sec_error_ocsp_malformed_request)

The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem. Alternatively, use the command found in the help menu to report this broken site.

I see a Facebook account for them, but I hate Facebook and don't want to use it.

A balancing act!

Amazing dog, Nana, balances all sorts of things.

Lawrence O'Donnell will be back Monday night!

Just now on Rachel Maddow, he said he will be back on his show Monday night!

No link.

UPDATE: Anyone here gotten their glasses from Costco or WalMart?

Our vision insurance gives us two choices to get glasses - Walmart and Costco. I try to not go to Walmart and don't want to get something like glasses from them.

The local Costco was not sure if they would have the line of frames our insurance covers - but apparently they can order them.

If anyone has used Costco, how were they for service and quality?

Why isn't the NFL as decent as the NBA?

Thought of this while watching Chris Hayes with his interview about the Washington team's trademark case.

The NBA banned a team owner for using racial slurs in a private conversation. But the NFL will NOT prohibit a team owner from using a racial slur as their team name?

NFL, get a clue - it's the 21st century and people just don't accept that any more!

Glitch? I just found that I can recommend hidden threads

This thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025115440#post112
Was hidden - after it was hidden I was able to REC it. If you can't respond in a thread, why can you add more recommendations to it? It doesn't make sense!

Lock down lifted, armed suspect seen on Tallahassee Community College campus


Tallahassee Community College Police say campus is safe after police say a man pulled a gun on a student.

The entire campus was placed on lock down as law enforcement officers searched from the air and on the ground for a gunman who is still on the run. The lock down lasted from 10:30 a.m. to 12:57 p.m. School leaders say there were no shots fired and there were no injuries.


Witnesses say saw two people running through campus and that it looked like one man was chasing the other. Students who saw the two said that one of the men pulled a gun on the other.

The man with the gun was described as a black male in his 20's with dreadlocks and wearing a baseball cap with long blue sleeves and a blue jacket. The school updated its alert to describe the suspect as "black male last seen wearing a dark hoodie, blue jean shorts, plaid boxers, short dreadlock hairstyle and gold teeth."

Just another day in Florida / the United States / NRA heaven....

SCIENCE explains why you LOVE the smell of BACON

Reaction between compounds found to ... you're already off to fry some bacon, aren't you?
By Shaun Nichols, 31 May 2014
Scientists have explained the reason why humans love the smell of frying bacon.

Bacon-boffins from the American Chemical Society and Compound Interest produced a video summarizing a research effort into the compounds that give everyone's favorite cured breakfast meat its distinctive and wonderful aroma.

The video explains that bacon's smell is the result of a process known as the Maillard Reaction, in which sugars break down and combine with amino acids to form any of 150 different organic compounds.

Among those compounds, researchers say, is a collection of aldehydes, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen-containing pyridines and pyrazines which humans (and most other carnivorous or omnivorous species) find so enticing. That collection of compounds is unique to bacon and is not produced when other types of pork are fried.

I've given up on the photo copy stand - found a 11" x17" all in one instead

While the copy stand functioned OK, none of the camera and lens combinations I had were perfect and the lights on the stand needed to be replaced. Just to buy replacement lights would cost at least $100 and I'd still have to figure out how to mount them and get them to light various sized items evenly. Getting a new camera or even new lenses is not in the budget

Meanwhile, my old Epson color inkjet printer has been giving me problems (I think the printer heads are going bad) so I went looking for a replacement. I happened on an Epson Workforce WF-7520 - wide format, scans and prints 11" x 17" (in fact, it can print up to 13" x 19"!). The specs were decent, maybe not as good a photo printer as my old Epson R380 but the ability to scan 11x17 was appealing.

The price - $299 list - was not appealing. While searching for more reviews and better prices I found the Workforce WF-7510. It's the same printer but with only one paper tray, sells for $50 less. But last week Staples had it on sale for $180. With more hunting, though, I found the WF-7510 for only $150 from Epson - refurbished. Then I found the 7520 also refurbished from Epson for $180 with free shipping. I went for that extra paper tray - I can leave plain letter size in one and put specialty papers in the other.

As a multi-function, this thing also has a document feeder, faxes, duplexes, can act as a copy machine without a computer, and the scanner is amazing. Right now I am scanning 12x16 pages from a 50 year old scrapbook. I scan the entire page (the 12" dimension includes the binding part so I am not losing any of the actual information) then select the various items on the page to scan at higher resolution. There is no worry about uneven lighting, the old warped pages are flattened by the scanner lid and I can easily handle these fragile pages without damage. I can also immediately make sure the scans are perfect and not have to pull a memory card, download the images to check, then have to pull the page back out to re-shoot if they are not sufficient quality.

Aside from my dislike of the Epson scanning software (I have Vuescan for my Epson photo scanner since the Epson software will NOT scan to the full ability of the scanner and will not let me scan my antique odd size medium format negatives even though the scanner CAN) the only complaint I have is that this thing is massive. I have a kitchen utility cart and ended up putting the AIO on it so I can move it out of the way when I am not using it.

All in all, since I am much more used to scanning than specialty photographing, I am very pleased with this scanner especially for the prince. I haven't yet tested the large format printing - I don't have a pressing need for it - but do want to check out all the features.

I did not mean this to be a promo for this machine. But if anyone needs a large format scanner/printer it's worth a look, especially at this price. A tip - the Epson Store does not provide a direct link to refurbished products. I googled the model and the refurbished link showed up in the sponsored links on the right side.
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