Folic acid versus Folinic Acid
….an why it’s important for all of us & not just Women trying to fall pregnant.
Most couples are aware of the importance of having Folate in the diet when trying to conceive, and during the first trimester of the pregnancy.
Folate is essentially another name for B9. It’s found naturally in many food sources – legumes, leafy greens, eggs ). Research and science tells us that folate is really important for Women wanting to fall pregnant, and for those who are already pregnant – protecting the new born from neural tube defects.
Aside from this, its a really important nutrient for us – it’s required for what we call the methylation cycle. Methylation is essential for many processes in the body :
- DNA synthesis
- neurotransmitter production
- formation of white and red blood cells
- detoxification of heavy metals
- breaking down of histamines + more .
You can see it is a very important vitamin!
Plus, if you are part of the 20- 30% of the population who have what we call a methylation defect ( a gene which prevents you from being able to break folate down ), known as a MTHFR defect, then it is extra important to be taking a bio-available version.
Both the USA and Australia supplement many food products, most commonly flour, with a synthetic version of Folate, Folic acid. Good thinking you think?
Well, good intentions perhaps, but unfortunately Folic acid is not as easily assimilated as the natural form of Folate found in food. The bodies inability to metabolise folic acid and convert it into Folate, leaves an excess of folic acid in the blood stream. Whilst there is some conflicting evidence to date, science is now suggesting that this may lead to numerous health defects such as cognitive decline, anxiety, recurrent miscarriage, as well as certain types of cancers (1).
So, if you’re already a patient of this clinic you’ll know that we take a better safe than sorry approach. We have sourced an excellent pre-natal supplement which contains both bio-available forms of folate which works for those without the MTHFR defect and those who happen to have it.
In short, Folinic acid and Levomefolate calcium (5-MTHFR) are the bio-available versions of Folate, so check your supplement.
As always, we’re here for questions and have your best health in mind.
(1). https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/5/1123/4690413 ( viewed January 2019 )