Choline, Folate Vs Folic Acid

Discussion in 'Macros & Micros' started by catan, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. catan

    catan Member

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    From the Perfect Health Diet, chapter 35: Choline and Folic Acid

    - Both choline and folic acid are important for brain and neurological function, lipid metabolism, DNA health.
    - Choline is deficient in most people, and folic acid (which doesn't occur in nature) has reached extremely high dosages from enriched flour and cereals.
    - Recommends maximum 400mcg folate/day from natural foods not enriched with folic acid
    - Choline can perform many of the functions of folate, and relives folate deficiency
    - Choline is better than folic acid for preventing neural tube defects
    - PHD recommends everyone to eat 3 eggs yolks daily and 1/4 lb liver weekly. Pregnant or women trying to conceive should eat 5-7 egg yolks daily to supplement choline.

    Egg yolks contain PUFA, and 3-7 a day would increase PUFA in the diet. Other sources of choline are beef liver, nuts, grass-fed dairy, legumes, cruciferous veggies. I don't eat nuts, hardly any legumes and veggies, and no access grass-fed dairy.

    I don't have access to pastured/organic eggs where I'm at. The best I can get are local eggs, and their feed contains soy/grains.

    What do you think of the PHD recommendations on choline and egg yolks, and the best way to get all the nutrients needed?
     
  2. j.

    j. Guest

    Isn't Perfect Health Diet a book of jokes?
     
  3. OP
    catan

    catan Member

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    I am not sure, and that's why I'm posting. Even if the Perfect Health Diet is a joke, I still would be interested to hear about the importance of choline and folic acid for pregnant women and women trying to conceive from the perspective of members of this forum. Or, if they are not important, why.
     
  4. jyb

    jyb Member

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  5. himsahimsa

    himsahimsa Member

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    There is some evidence that folic acid is harmful over time but folate is not. I check supplements for freedom from folic acid and supplement folate independently. It's hard to find B vitamins without folic acid. I'll post links to the research as I find them.
     
  6. Dan Wich

    Dan Wich Member

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  7. HDD

    HDD Member

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    "Folic Acid is not Folate - ‘Folic Acid’ is commonly recommended before conception and during early pregnancy due to evidence of Folate’s protective role in minimising the risk of neural tube defects in newborns. But the supplemental form ‘folic acid’ is not the same as natural Folate found in foods, and is poorly absorbed. Further more, there are many studies showing a link between folic acid and increased cancer risk. See studies here and here, and for further reading, Chris Kresser wrote a good summary here. Obviously obtaining folate through the consumption of folate-rich foods is the best and healthiest way. The best food source being liver (from duck / chicken / lamb / beef). If your dietary intake is inadequate, then supplement wisely with naturally occurring forms of folate. ’Folinic Acid’ is the “active” folate found in foods. However for those with impaired methyl pathways (for folate conversion) we still may not assimilate it efficiently. ’5-methyltetrahydrofolate’ (or 5-MTHF) may be even more metabolically active, bypassing the need for conjugation. Thorne and Metagenics are two brands that contain both methyl folate and folinic acid. When supplementing any B Vitamin, take in conjunction with the rest of the B group (or B rich foods) to maintain balance and increase effectiveness, and as with choosing any supplement, always seek personalised advice and guidance from your doctor, fertility specialist, obstetrician or other health professional."
    http://www.thenutritioncoach.com.au/rea ... #more-1563

    I wasn't sure if you saw this link I posted from your other thread. She follows Peat principles.
     
  8. Atalanta

    Atalanta Member

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    Here is a commentary about folic acid by someone who really understands chemistry:

    (OMNS, May 6, 2010) Science is a great servant but a poor master. Not infrequently, it can exemplify what Harvard math professor Tom Lehrer satirized as where "the important thing is to understand what you're doing, rather than to get the right answer." Just because a published study suggests something does not make it true.

    I never liked math very much, and I still don't. But I am indebted to dedicated math teachers who taught me in spite of myself. Decades ago, one such teacher gave me wise advice that spans all disciplines: "Look at your answer. Does your answer make sense?"

    So when research suggests that the vitamin folic acid somehow causes lung or colon cancer, it is time to hit the books. It may even occasionally be necessary to hit them right out of the way, and use common sense instead.

    If you look at the research suggesting a human cancer connection (1,2), it does not say that folate in food causes cancer. The research only points to folic acid, as specifically as found in supplements, as the bogey man.

    But there is virtually no difference whatsoever between the two forms of this nutrient. Folate and folic acid are different only in whether the carboxylic acid groups have dissociated or not. Folic acid's molecular formula is C19, H19, N7, O6. Folate is C19, H18, N7, O6. The difference? Folate has one less hydrogen cation (H+). A hydrogen cation is a proton. A single proton. I have never seen evidence that protons cause cancer.


    http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n17.shtml
     
  9. jaa

    jaa Member

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    Thanks for that Atalanta. Could you explain how that is different from saying since CO2 is beneficial, CO should be harmless? My chemistry education pretty much ended at balancing reaction equations.

    Cheers.
     
  10. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    The author of PDH has PhD in astrophysics. He has at least some training in science
    compared to other online health gurus. I would look for more reliable source .
    I do not think anyone can understand complex world of nutrition without
    in depth training in biological science and good understanding of physiology.
    RP mentioned that some B vitamins are very allergenic, particularly B5.
    RP thinks regular Niacinamide and occasional use of B6 and B1 are safe.
    I think i have heard him in one of the recent interviews talking about
    possible problem with synthetic B vitamins after 50s. I think he was talking
    adverse effect of synthetic folic acid supplement. I am not sure .
    I hope someone else remember about that interview.
    In Chris Masterjohn's article on Choline he cites a study that showed
    20 percent casein diet protects against fatty liver disease when choline is deficient.
    http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/ ... yolks.html
    I think eating liver once a week at least solves lots of nutritional deficiency.
    Have you tried chicken liver?
     
  11. OP
    catan

    catan Member

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    Mittir, thanks for that article by Masterjohn. Sheds light on the importance of choline.. my question-- how can you know whether or not you are consuming enough choline? Seems like egg yolks and liver are the only good sources. My intake is around 8oz/week of liver, and average 1 egg/day. Is that enough for a woman trying to conceive/pregnant?

    Haagendazdiane, that article is very informative, thank you. There are not many pregnant women like her following Peat's principles (that write about it). I did some research on what foods have folate. Folate is found in foods like lentils, cruciferous veggies, avocados, tropical fruits, and oranges. Out of those, I only eat the last 2 now, and wondering whether or not large quantities of fruit can meet the DV of folate.
     
  12. OP
    catan

    catan Member

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    I've been eating only beef liver so far. I'll try chicken livers as well.
     
  13. kiran

    kiran Member

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    Atalanta, that seems to be incomplete understanding of chemistry unfortunately. In this case there are different kinds of "folate" in food.
    "In the small intestine, folate polyglutamate is deconjugated to the monoglutamate form before absorption takes place. This enzymatic deconjugation might limit the bioavailability of polyglutamate folate. ... polyglutamates, derived mainly from vegetables (approximately 25% [of dietary folic acid]).

    "The intake of monoglutamate folate was about one third of total folate intake, derived mainly from bread (approximately 20%) and meat (approximately 18%), "

    The folate from meat is mostly methylfolate, but not much folic acid, it's in the monoglutamate form.
    http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/9086593

    So we're getting derivatives of folic acid from animal products in the monoglutamate form.
    We're getting folic acid in polyglutamate form from vegetables which needs to be converted to monoglutamate to be absorbed. This might be a rate limiting step.
    On the other hand supplemental folic acid is in the form of folate monoglutamate which is not a natural form, it's an inferior form of folate which is absorbed easily.

    So you have to be careful about making "logical inferences" from terms which might themselves be illogical.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12042451
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/y2809e/y2809e0a.htm
     
  14. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    Here is a quote from Chris Masterjohn's article

    80 grams of protein from dairy and meat can supply a lot of methionine. 100 grams of protein represent 20 percent of 2000 calorie diet. If your protein intake is high and you are getting choline from liver, egg yolk, milk, meat etc then you do need to worry about getting exact 450 mg of choline.Linus Pauling institute recommends 450 mg for pregnant female.
    There are choline in other foods too. You can use cronometer or nutritiondata.self.com to figure out exact intake from all the foods you are eating.
    1 quart of whole milk has 140 mg choline
    1 quart of 2 percent vitamin A added milk has 160 mg
    1 oz of raw beef liver 93 mg
    100 grams of raw chicken breast 75 mg
    1 cup cottage cheese 1 percent fat has 40 mg
     
  15. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    Doctor Peat has said things against choline, not sure I remember where though. Choline bitartarate makes me sick (not sure about its purity).

    edit

    <<Methionine and choline are the main dietary sources of methyl donors. Restriction of methionine has many protective effects, including increased average (42%) and maximum (44%) longevity in rats (Richie, et al., 1994). Restriction of methyl donors causes demethylation of DNA (Epner, 2001). The age accelerating effect of methionine might be related to disturbing the methylation balance, inappropriately suppressing cellular activity. Besides its effect on the methyl pool, methionine inhibits thyroid function and damages mitochondria.>>

    <<The unsaturated fat causes edema of the brain, inhibits choline uptake, blocking acetylcholine production.>>

    Also, some talk about MTHFR mutation treatments which he had dismissed.
     
  16. Kasper

    Kasper Member

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    I don't think Ray Peat thinks limiting choline is a good idea,
    otherwise he would probably have said that more explicitely,
    but I find it strange that he never really talks about choline in his articles.

    Many nootropics works because of their cholin activity,
    I think that limiting cholin in your diet would have bad effects on your brains.
     
  17. mas

    mas Member

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    The little known difference between folate and folic acid

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

    From what I understand, folic acid is synthetic and added to fortified foods per order of the government health regulations. From reading Peat, I don't think he approves of synthetic vitamins and considers them toxic.

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

    Folic acid fortification is a process where folic acid is added to flour with the intention of promoting public health through increasing blood folate levels in the populace. In the USA, food is fortified with folic acid, only one of the many NATURALLY-occurring forms of folate, and a substance contributing only a minor amount to the folates in natural foods.[63]

    RP has stated that just because something is "natural" it may not be the the best option and may indeed be toxic, especially in the amounts found in fortified food such as cereal and grain products, which have many other health problems in addition to the addition of synthetic supplements.
     
  18. Kasper

    Kasper Member

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    Ray Peat talks about choline here:

    The crucial mitochondrial respiratory enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, declines with aging (Paradies, et al., 1997), as the lipid cardiolipin declines, and the enzyme's activity can be restored to the level of young animals by adding cardiolipin. The composition of cardiolipin changes with aging, "specifically an increase in highly unsaturated fatty acids" (Lee, et al., 2006). Other lipids, such as phosphatidylcholine containing two myristic acid groups, can support the enzyme's activity (Hoch, 1992). Even supplementing old animals with hydrogenated peanut oil restores mitochondrial respiration to about 80% of normal (Bronnikov, et al., 2010).
     
  19. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I think he would only recommend the phosphatidyl form, and only from food. From personal experience extra choline has nothing to do with nootropic effects nor side-effects.
     
  20. Kasper

    Kasper Member

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    What do you mean with this ? Did you experimentate with extra choline ? As supplement or from food ?
     
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