When it comes to Folate vs. Folic acid we are talking about how a nutrient is metabolized as well as your genetics and many other complex effects.
Mthfr is a gene that we all have. It is involved in methylation this is a chemical process that is involved in over 250 different reactions in your body.
When you have a mutation, which up to 70% of the population may have at least partial mutation you can not methylate as well
Folate is very important for methylation, for this process.
Issue comes up with having a MTHFR mutation is when paired w the enviro we live in today. Stress, toxins, chemicals, diet, medications, such as metformin and birth control etc. can all make your ability to methylate even further impaired and one of those unnatural things that does this is folic acid.
Folate comes from plants- it is a nutrient that is able to donate a methyl group for methylation— all of those processes w spoke about
When we started processing food we took away the natural vitamins and minerals to make more shelf stable, cheaper processing. This resulted in effects we saw such as birth defects
So instead of going back to using the plant as it should be we came up with a synthetic way to put nutrients back in. That is Folic Acid.
Unfortunately we are not God, nutrition is such a new field we cant replace things in the lab like that, it has consequences.
Folic acid does not have that methyl group to donate.
To make folic acid usable in your body it has to go through a bunch of transformations.. and you have to have a clean, stress-free environment in your cells- i mean that on many levels… and the right genetics, majority of people have genetics that make it very very difficult
This means you can have high amounts of folic acid not going into cells , that are not being used
Other issues that can arise are:
Taking folic acid can make it harder for you to absorb natural folate, it can block the receptors so that the folate you do eat is not being used as well.
It can cover up B12 deficiencies, so a blood test could actually high B12 when really your cells are deficient
And you can Have all the health issues that can come along w poor methylation process…
Which can be lower fertility, issues with your cycle, ovulation and higher risk of pregnancy complications, higher risk of miscarriages and recurrent miscarriages and a possible link and contributor to things like tongue ties in babies.
This is important for both the man and the women trying to conceive. MTHFr can affect the sperm and the egg, and for one example such as reoccur ant miscarriages it may be that the man has an MTHFr mutation that is not being supported correctly that is affecting the DNA in his sperm..
It is very complicated to go into all of that. So if you want another live video talking about MTHFr specifically just let me know.
Despite all of these it is not being discussed or talked about in the conventional medical system hardly at all. And unfortunately because there is almost zero actual nutrition taught doctors dont know any better and do not know how to advise
So a couple questions I have received:
How do you know u have an issue?
Health issues, symptoms can vary widely but struggle w a chronic condition, if you struggle with fertility it should be tested
A couple typical markers to look at that can give us insight are:
-genetic test (ideally it will contain around 5 or so markers, there are 2 main ones but if you can get a more comprehensive genetic panel that is best, there are other genes involved in the methylation process that are contributors
-B12 level test
-homocysteine level test- which is a inflammatory marker
-How much processed food do you eat
-Have you been supplementing folic acid- more likely to be struggling now with your methylation
I also got asked about how to look for the right supplements, here are a few things to keep in mind:
-Switch to the right supplements you’re looking for
folinic acid and l-methylfolate, methyltetrahydrofolate, quatrefolic
Always avoid folic acid whether you have the gene or not- remember environment can affect your methylation as well
Eat whole foods- leafy, veggies, healthy meats/organ meat, avoid processed foods, anything “fortified”
Why you can’t take folic acid with MTHFr?
I hope I answered that. But it is because you genetically struggle with methylation and do not that an ability to make folic acid usable in the body.. when you add folic acid you can have those other side effects as well, such as blocking natural folate absorption.
What if methylated vitamins give me anxiety?
You may have other nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed first. B3 is a common one, or there are other supplements you can use to help build up your body to react better to the methylated vitamins. You may be struggling quite a bit with methylation, so finding those causes is important.
You can go slow and add them in over time.
You can also opt for a Whole Foods vitamin while you are working on the other factors so that you are getting nutrients but not folic acid.
SO if you or your husband have had any fertility, reproductive health issues, or are struggling with any sort of chronic health condition I do encourage you to get a test, it is so easy and isn’t very expensive, especially considering you do it once in your life. If you have had a miscarriage or a previous baby with an issue such as a tongue tie I encourage you to test
Or just be proactive and test before you run into any issues to know what kind of genetics you have.
What else can you do?
Tell your doctors educate others, spread the awareness
— if you guys have any other questions, please comment below and we can also continue this conversation over in the natural fertility support facebook group were we have tons of information, free resources and awesome conversation
Send me a message if you would like to learn more about testing and how that could work for you and your family