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Supplement folic acid in pregnancy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Is it advisable to supplement frolic acid in early pregnancy if you are eating a whole foods diet, but not eating the processed grain products that have vitamins added?

Not very paleo at the moment, eating alot of grains and dairy due to adversions to meat and fish cooking smells. I do eat leafy greens every day. What do you think, should I use a supplement?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 19, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I hate the inexactness of scientific language here. Folate and folic acid are the same thing, but the difference is the most useful compound is tetrahydrofolate/tetrahydrofolic acid.

Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on November 19, 2012
at 04:15 PM

I did not know about the difference between folate and frolic acid. Glad I asked.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on November 19, 2012
at 03:42 PM

Yes! Up to 40% of the population may not be able to process folic acid to folate very well. (http://hsfighters.bioactivhealth.com/folate_not_folicacid.htm) Then folic acid could compete with uptake of folate from foods, lowering your effective folate intake.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 19, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Agreed. Liver is a great food source of folate, but if you can't stomach liver, then a folate supplement is good.

7bab99c303f1e83d3d9722a414dd7b45

(524)

on November 19, 2012
at 03:10 PM

For women who are pregnant, or even planning to be pregnant, officially, yes it is absolutely recommended to supplement. That said, I drank a litre of dark leafy green juice daily prior to and during the first 4 months of pregnancy and rarely took my pre-natal because they made me sick - my midwife was blown away by my awesome blood work. I think eating a lot of grains will interfere with mineral absorption and uptake though, and you might not be eating enough leafy greens to cover your needs...

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3 Answers

7
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on November 19, 2012
at 03:25 PM

You want folate, not folic acid

http://chriskresser.com/folate-vs-folic-acid

edit: and yes, per Matt's comment, tetrahydrofolate/tetrahydrofolic acid are more proper

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on November 19, 2012
at 03:42 PM

Yes! Up to 40% of the population may not be able to process folic acid to folate very well. (http://hsfighters.bioactivhealth.com/folate_not_folicacid.htm) Then folic acid could compete with uptake of folate from foods, lowering your effective folate intake.

Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on November 19, 2012
at 04:15 PM

I did not know about the difference between folate and frolic acid. Glad I asked.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 19, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Agreed. Liver is a great food source of folate, but if you can't stomach liver, then a folate supplement is good.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on November 19, 2012
at 04:17 PM

Jeff beat me. But I reiteratite because this really is super important. You want to take FOLATE not FOLIC ACID

http://chriskresser.com/folate-vs-folic-acid

This is one of those things where they (the policy makers) saw that folate solved one problem and then ignored all of the other problems and made a blanket recommendation that everyone should have some.

My wife did no pre-natal supplementation when she was pregnant. She was super strict with eating paleo with no cheats. We are strongly in the camp that eating the right foods is both necessary and sufficient for health and that there's no need to supplement. (Though it was easier to just lie to the midwives so we didn't have to get into that argument.)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 19, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I hate the inexactness of scientific language here. Folate and folic acid are the same thing, but the difference is the most useful compound is tetrahydrofolate/tetrahydrofolic acid.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on November 19, 2012
at 04:53 PM

I'd just like to add that folate helps prevent neural tube defects. Since that is one of the first things that develops in the embryo it is important that you start supplementing (through diet or tablets) early when you are planning to become pregnant. Also, make sure you get your blood work done before supplementing. Folate can mask pernicious anemia.

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