Current Studies

Etiology and Nutrition
Both heredity and environmental factors play a role in the etiology of orofacial clefts. Numerous studies in human populations and on experimental animals have focused on environmental factors related to nutrition. More specifically, studies focusing on the mother’s diet in the periconceptional period and int he early stages of embryonic and fetal development have shown the important role of vitamins and folic acid for normal development in utero.

Primary Prevention

  • Occurrences in general population)
  • Recurrences (in the risk families where a baby with anomaly has already been born)

Present studies of prevention of orofacial clefts:

Two recent studies have reported that mothers who take multivitamins with folic acid periconceptionally significantly decrease their risk for having a child with an orofacial cleft.

  • Tolarova, MM, Harris JA.
    Reduced Recurrence of Orofacial Clefts after Periconceptional Supplementation with High
    Dose Folic Acid and Multivitamins. Teratology 1995; 51:71-8
  • Shaw GM, Lammer EJ, Wasserman CR, O’Malley CD, Tolarova MM
    Risks of orofacial clefts in children born to women using multivitamins containing folic acid periconceptionally. Lancet 1995; 346:393-6