Thoughts On Folic Acid During Pregnancy? Methylfolate Or Folinic Acid Better?

ddjd

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i searched the forum but couldn't find anything written on this topic.

My girlfriend is in very early stages of pregnancy and I've read that because folic acid is synthetic it can actually cause a functional deficiency, often not convert to active folate and actually cause toxicity.

here's the webpage:
Folic Acid Side Effects - Dr Lynch/

It also mentioned that taking folinic acid, known chemically as 5-formyltetra-hydrofolate (calcium folinate), alongside methylfolate would be a much better combination as opposed to synthetic folic acid.

what is peats opinion on regular folic acid, does he think it can be toxic?

i know he's not a fan of any "methyl" forms in general so maybe the FOLINIC form (not to be confused with folic acid form) would be safest

thanks in advance
 

redsun

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i searched the forum but couldn't find anything written on this topic.

My girlfriend is in very early stages of pregnancy and I've read that because folic acid is synthetic it can actually cause a functional deficiency, often not convert to active folate and actually cause toxicity.

here's the webpage:
Folic Acid Side Effects - Dr Lynch/

It also mentioned that taking folinic acid, known chemically as 5-formyltetra-hydrofolate (calcium folinate), alongside methylfolate would be a much better combination as opposed to synthetic folic acid.

what is peats opinion on regular folic acid, does he think it can be toxic?

i know he's not a fan of any "methyl" forms in general so maybe the FOLINIC form (not to be confused with folic acid form) would be safest

thanks in advance

Pregnant women should be taking a prenatal multivitamin regardless and primarily nutrient dense and calorie dense foods (listening to cravings is also important).

Folic acid is converted to tetrahydrofolate via dihydrofolate reductase which depends on NADPH (which depends on B vitamins, phosphorus). Some argue non activated vitamins are best that way the body only activates them when needed. But of course if you just took folates and nothing else you'll end up lacking the Bs necessary for NADPH and thus mess with any reaction that depends on it. As long as all nutrients are being taken (via prenatal) and food is diverse and non-restrictive, baby should obtain all it needs.

Even if you take an activated folate like methylfolate, the folate cycle still needs other nutrients to convert methylfolate into whatever forms are needed. So basically it all comes down to micronutrient intake in the end and the forms of folate or another nutrient are less important.
 
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Peat talking about methylation refers to methylation of DNA, which shuts down genes.

Methylation in reference to folate refers to the methylation (adding of one carbon) to tons of different biomolecules, like amino acids, neurotransmitters, the creation of choline.

Folate is super important, especially during pregnancy. And all of it's importance is due to the methyl group.

5-methyl folate is the active form. Every other form of folate would be useless if they couldn't be converted into 5-methyl folate by the body.

Your body can do this naturally, which is why folic acid works, but it takes up methyl groups from other molecules. So there'll be more homocysteine vs methionine, less neurotransmitters.

5-methylfolate is super important. You should take it. It's a vitamin after all.

As well, follinic acid (which is different than folic acid) lacks the 5-methyl group, so it needs to be converted (and methylated) to 5-methyl-folate first. However, it appears follinic acid can help support the creation of 10-formyl-folate, a big donator of formyl groups in the body, through methylene-folate. Plus, after donating it can then be converted to 5-methyl-folate relatively easily as it's already a step away. It still requires a methyl group but it's a hell of a lot closer than folic acid.

Methyl groups are especially important during development of the fetus during pregnancy, so you should take some L-methyl-Folate. Most pregnant woman are already given large doses of folic acid so taking this instead would be a lot better.
 
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So, to summarize: Especially because you're pregnant, you should take 75% of your daily dose in L-methyl-Folate, and 25% of your daily dose as Follinic acid. Honestly this would probably be the optimal folate intake for most people.

Again, Follinic acid is different than Folic acid. Folic acid is the kind found in fortified flour and most prenatal vitamins. Follinic acid is a rarer form given in supplements.

You'd probably be fine taking 1 capsule of L-methyl-TetrahydroFolate and 1 capsule of Follinic acid a day. Maybe a 1mg l-methyl-tetrahydrofolate capsule from Swanson and a .4mg Follinic acid capsule from where ever.
 
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ddjd

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So, to summarize: Especially because you're pregnant, you should take 75% of your daily dose in L-methyl-Folate, and 25% of your daily dose as Follinic acid. Honestly this would probably be the optimal folate intake for most people.

Again, Follinic acid is different than Folic acid. Folic acid is the kind found in fortified flour and most prenatal vitamins. Follinic acid is a rarer form given in supplements.

You'd probably be fine taking 1 capsule of L-methyl-TetrahydroFolate and 1 capsule of Follinic acid a day. Maybe a 1mg l-methyl-tetrahydrofolate capsule from Swanson and a .4mg Follinic acid capsule from where ever.
really appreciate the explanations many thanks. i need to find a good multivitamin fast, any recommendations?. my girlfriend is only in 4th week of pregnancy but i know how important it is that she gets optimal nutrition early on, including the methyl groups you mentioned. also any books or other resources you recommend?
 
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really appreciate the explanations many thanks. i need to find a good multivitamin fast, any recommendations?. my girlfriend is only in 4th week of pregnancy but i know how important it is that she gets optimal nutrition early on, including the methyl groups you mentioned. also any books or other resources you recommend?

Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a multivitamin that I thought was optimal. Nearly every multivitamin on the shelves is garbage, with inferior or synthetic forms of vitamins/minerals, and bad purity.

These are some alright ones, better than Centrum but not perfect:

Children's Chewable - Black Cherry

Swanson Premium Multi and Mineral - Daily 100 Caps - Swanson Health Products

Labels like "children's" or "womens" or "mens" don't tend to mean much.

Swanson Premium Multi without Minerals - Daily Formula 30 Veg Caps - Swanson Health Products

This is a multivitamin with no minerals. It's mostly good on the vitamins, though underdosed, which could be remedied by taking two capsules a dya instead of one. If you get the multivitamin though, you should also get some copper (2mg), zinc (10mg), magnesium (400mg), calcium, manganese (1mg-5mg), etc etc.

Overall it's best to buy each vitamin and mineral separately, even if it is annoying and a hassle, OR to get most of the nutrients from the diet. B complexes are available so all those can be group together.

If you can, I'd buy it all separately, and make your girlfriend a shake every morning in a blender. That way she can get extra calories + you can add vitamin/minerals as capsules or in liquid form.

For example, on HealthNatura, you can get a decent B complex, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin K (healthnatura is the best source for vitamin K btw), and vitamin E. You'd make a shake, and use the dropper bottle to dose out a daily dose of each into the shake. Then you could add a capsule/teaspoon scoop of ascorbic acid/vitamin C, a 2mg-4mg capsule of copper, a 10mg-15mg capsule of zinc, a 400mg capsule of magnesium, a 500mg capsule of calcium, a 1gram scoop of iodized salt, a 1mg capsule manganese, 1mg boron, .5mg molybdenum, .2mg chromium. And finally, a source of choline would be especially helpful during pregnancy, lecithin/choline/alpha-gpc are good sources.

Add all of those to a blender filled with 4 cups of milk, 2 cups of dry rolled oats, sugar (idk probably 1/4 of a cup?), and cocoa powder. Soak the 1-2 cups of dry oats the night before with twice that amount of water, and then microwave them for 2.5-3 minutes to cook them. Add them to the milk, as well as the sugar, and then add the vitamins/minerals. Blend until it starts getting smooth, and then add the cocoa powder. Blend again until it's all incorporated. That's an easy way to get calories and nearly all of the daily vitamins/minerals. Add melted coconut oil, melted tallow, or melted butter to the shake to increase creaminess and calories.

It may seem like a lot of vitamins/minerals, but it's not really, and I could send you all the links to good sources of them + directions if you're interested.

As well, eating certain foods means you don't need supplements. Eating an oz of beef liver a day means she doesn't need to supplement any copper or Vitamin A. Eating 2 or more egg yolks a day means there's no need for choline supplementation. Drinking a lot of milk stops any need for calcium.

Is she interested in diet or no? If you changed what you bought for groceries would she start eating what you bought?
 

Recoen

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I second the singles approach but I would go so far to say add them individually. Some seem to get nauseous, agitated, insomnia, etc when first adding different supplements- like Bs for example. There’s a recent thread discussing sipping on water (juice would work too) with Bs in it throughout the day. Some don’t do well with certain forms; others need different absorption routes (topical for example); others need higher doses of one for a while; others have a bad response to B6; etc. Supplementation is a huge experiment.
Have you plugged her diet into cronometer to see her baseline?
 
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