the-food-doctor-bfw.jpgOver recent years, bread has been demonised by the popularity of low-carb diets and fitness fads alike, with the common claim of bloating and weight gain. However, bread has historically been a beneficial carrier of natural nutrition, so to bring women back to bread, leading nutrition brand and consultancy, The Food Doctor, has launched ‘Bread For Women’. This is the first product launch specifically designed for women and is set to be the first of a new ‘For Women’ category offered by The Food Doctor. Too frequently, eating fads starve women of the essential nutrients they need to be healthy. Two slices a day of ‘Bread For Women’ provide the essential nutrients for all round female health, including Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Selenium, Vitamin E, Vit B complex, including Vit B12, and Fibre, as a pre-biotic, (see notes to editor for full benefits of the vitamins and minerals provided). These nutrients are commonly recognised as necessary to ward off the incidence of osteoporosis later in life; anaemia; to raise immunity; and improve hormonal health.

Specifically developed to address women’s nutritional needs, ‘Bread For Women’ also provides a convenient way of providing 100% RDA of folic acid in just two slices. The loaf is a UK-first and the inclusion of folic acid is in line with the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) recommendation of mandatory fortification of bread flour with folic acid for general female health and the delivery of healthy babies.

The Food Doctor has partnered with BDF Newlife, as their chosen charity to benefit from all sales of ‘Bread For Women’. BDF Newlife has for 12 years been dedicated to countering birth defects and improving the chances of babies being born healthy. In aid and support of the charity, The Food Doctor has provided corporate sponsorship to BDF Newlife by way of a substantial donation to the charity, as well as a contribution from the sale of each loaf toward this very worthwhile cause. BDF Newlife has campaigned for the mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid, and believes that the FSA’s recommendation, with the support of Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), will help reduce the estimated 700 – 900 pregnancies* per annum affected by neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Since compulsory folic acid fortification was introduced in 1998 in the US and Canada, the number of births affected by neural defects is said to have fallen by 50%. In the UK 47% of women are deficient in folic acid, which leaves them open to a greater incidence of neural birth defects than in countries where folic acid is consumed at the recommended levels.

Sheila Brown OBE, Chief Executive and co-founder of BDF Newlife said: “The fortification of folic acid will make a significant difference in reducing the number of birth defects, as was seen in the US and Canada. Until fortification occurs, following up on Government advice, The Food Doctor has now set the agenda by launching ‘Bread For Women’ and we hope that this is the start of similar products giving women the clear opportunity to act to prevent conditions, such as spina bifida.”

Fertility and pregnancy expert, Zita West, also supports this innovative product; “Building the maternal store of Folic Acid is important when planning for a pregnancy. ‘Bread for Women’ provides women with a useful alternative source with which to supplement their everyday diet.”

Leading Obstetrician, Patrick O’Brien at University College Hospital London, concurs, stating that: “We have known for some time that deficiency of Folic acid in a woman’s diet increases her risk of having a baby with spina bifida and other neural tube defects. The experience from the US and Canada is clear: fortification of bread flour with Folic acid has led to a marked fall in the number of babies being born with this major disability”. He supports those medical researchers and doctors who have been pushing for fortification of bread and sees this initiative by The Food Doctor as a positive move.

Writing in the Lancet a group of UK doctors have urged the government to proceed with the move towards fortifying flour with folic acid, dismissing any link between folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiency or colon cancer, which has been cited in the past, and believe that any minimal risk is far outweighed by the benefits of fortification.

‘Bread For Women’ (RRP £1.19) is available in the bread aisle now at Waitrose, ASDA, Budgens and Booths and will soon be available nationwide.

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