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Is Bio-Active Folate what I want to take before/during pregnancy?

Commented on August 03, 2014
Created August 01, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I've been researching about what to take to have the healthiest pregnancy and I've been reading about taking folate instead of folic acid. Now I've been searching for folate supplements and I'm only coming across bio-active folate. I am assuming this is what I need to take, but I just want to make sure I'm not taking the wrong form of it.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on August 03, 2014
at 08:16 PM

A few more interesting studies:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2166548

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/1/216.full.pd...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23740686

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC285489...

Folate binding proteins and receptors show preferential tight binding of synthetic folic acid relative to natural folates. Maternal intake of synthetic folic acid leads to unmetabolized folic acid in milk and a down-regulation of milk folate binding protein synthesis. Synthetic folic acid may disturb intracellular methylation contributing to increase birth defect risk.

2cbd904ebf34e1df5ccd2ded41ce7c16

(102)

on August 03, 2014
at 06:13 PM

Good to know, thanks for the link!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 03, 2014
at 02:35 PM

Or not: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)62001-7/fulltext

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3 Answers

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 03, 2014
at 02:32 PM

Tetrahydrofolic acid is the active form of Vitamin B9, folic acid is converted to tetrahydrofolic acid in at a low rate (this is not a bad thing!), because - surprise! - vitamin B9 needs are rather modest (<500 µg per day.) All the alternative health folks have latched onto the difference to push their overpriced supplements. Unless you're in the tiny minority of the population that cannot recycle folic acid into tetrahydrofolic acid, you're fine with whatever run-of-the-mill supplement.

0
2cbd904ebf34e1df5ccd2ded41ce7c16

(102)

on August 03, 2014
at 01:27 AM

I just went through this same issue when my wife was pregnant. The worry was that folic acid supplements may have some link with breast cancer.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.137...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 03, 2014
at 02:35 PM

Or not: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)62001-7/fulltext

2cbd904ebf34e1df5ccd2ded41ce7c16

(102)

on August 03, 2014
at 06:13 PM

Good to know, thanks for the link!

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on August 03, 2014
at 08:16 PM

A few more interesting studies:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2166548

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/1/216.full.pd...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23740686

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC285489...

Folate binding proteins and receptors show preferential tight binding of synthetic folic acid relative to natural folates. Maternal intake of synthetic folic acid leads to unmetabolized folic acid in milk and a down-regulation of milk folate binding protein synthesis. Synthetic folic acid may disturb intracellular methylation contributing to increase birth defect risk.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on August 01, 2014
at 04:45 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levomefolic_acid

"Approximately 10% of Caucasian and Asian populations (homozygous TT) have 70% less activity in the enzymes needed to receive any benefit from folic acid. Another 40% of the population (heterozygous CT) appear to convert only a limited amount of folic acid into levomefolic acid. They cannot fully process supplemental folic acid at RDA"

This is what you would test to determine that enzyme activity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylenetetrahydrofo...

As folic acid is a synthetic / fully-oxidized manmade chemical which is foreign to the human body and not found naturally in any foods, unmetabolized folic acid is probably worth avoiding (while instead supplementing a natural folate, if recommended.)

Talk with your obstetrician about it.

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