Folate VS Folic ... Is it harming you?

Have a sluggish liver? Your liver does about 85% of all methylation reactions so it is one of the first organs to get negatively affected in your body by circulating unmetabolized folic acid. So what about that circulating folic?

Effect of Folic Acid Supplementation on Plasma Concentrations of Unmetabolized Folic Acid
3.3.1. Adherence to Multivitamin Supplementation

Adverse events were reported by  37% of the clinical research group over the course of 30 weeks of multivitamin supplementation, including nausea, constipation, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, and heartburn.

The majority of the women (79%) did not have usual dietary folic acid intakes that exceeded the threshold dose for the appearance of unmetabolized folic acid in plasma; none consumed more than 400 μg/day, which has been shown to produce a sustained appearance of folic acid in plasma. Most prenatals in the US contain 800  μg/day.

There is limited information on the effect of folic acid supplementation on plasma concentrations of unmetabolized folic acid. Their preliminary data from a series of small trials evaluating the effects of 10 to 12 weeks of daily supplementation with 0.4 to 5 mg of folic acid in adults in the United States after fortification included both men and women of varying ages and ethnicities. Plasma concentrations of unmetabolized folic acid at baseline were, on average, 0.5 to 0.7 nmol/L. At the lowest dose tested (i.e., 0.4 mg/day), plasma folic acid increased approximately twofold over 12 weeks of supplementation. With higher doses (i.e., 1 mg/day, 2.5 mg/day, or 5 mg/day), plasma folic acid concentrations increased approximately threefold.

In this study, we found that unmetabolized folic acid is present at low levels in the majority of women who do not consume folic acid supplements but who do consume folic acid-fortified foods. FORTIFIED FOODS and VITAMINS people. Start looking at your labels as this unmetabolized folic acid.

Ben Lynch says, "The Annual Review of Nutrition published an article in 1990 states, “A major class, the high-affinity folate-binding proteins, show a preferential and tight binding of folic acid relative to reduced folates . . . Soluble forms of the high-affinity binders are present in serum and [breast]milk. [Folate binding proteins] serve to accumulate and stabilize reduced-folate compounds in milk and they may also facilitate the absorption of folates by the intestinal mucosa of neonates.”
If high-affinity folate binding proteins are bound to synthetic and inactive folic acid, what benefit is there to the developing baby? In fact, it would make sense that harm would occur as reduced folates are needed for DNA production, balance methylation and support neurological development.
How can reduced folates get into the intestinal mucosa of the baby if they are not bound to the folate binding proteins? Are we setting up our new generation with weakened intestinal linings? Food allergies are definitely on the rise.
Autism is definitely on the rise and we all know those with autism have significant gut issues." 

You may not have the mutation, but your spouse may have given your child the mutation... folic into breast milk, not a great thing for those up to 40% of the population with reduced folic enyzmes.

So what can you do?  (also modified from the above)

1. Throw out all folic acid enriched foods. These are processed foods such as cereals, breads, pastas, energy bars, drinks, snacks. Learn to make healthy meals instead.
2. Throw out all folic acid containing supplements.
3. Eat folate rich foods. Note that when I state folate, I mean naturally-occurring folates first and then those naturally occurring additions such as dihydrofolate, folinic acid and methylfolate - which I prefer as short term healers.
4. Lightly steam or eat uncooked leafy greens (more you cook greens, the more folate gets destroyed and raw greens can be tough when you have digestive issues) are the way to get natural folate. I can share a couple of healthy ways to do this with both low processed whole food supplementation and share some tips on how to retain the nutrients when cooking with a good quality steamer and NO water. Water leaches nutrients. Steaming in the microwave is not what you think. It's not radioactive. There are EMFs in the microwave so getting a few feet away during the microwaving is essential. Do an EMF check on your microwave to make sure it isn't leaking. Get a new one if it is. Your microwave has the same amount of EMFs as your smart phone. Clean your steamers with vinegar and put the food your microwave into a different container after it is done.
5. Also rich in folate are various beans such as lentils, pinto, garbanzo, black, navy, kidney and lima. Make sure you prepare your beans properly to reduce the phytic acid and lectins. I have info on that in my Paleo Vegeo group.
6. Opt for supplements containing whole food folate and active folates, always!
7. You can test your methylation pathway with your physician to see which forms of folate you are low or high in – then work to correct it.
8. Test your own genetics like I did and see where you may have blocks in your folate pathway. Knowing this is useful as you can be proactive in bypassing these blocks with various nutrients, avoiding various medications and increasing certain whole foods.
After you test your genetics via 23andMe there are a number of places you can run the raw data through. (get your test here

If you have this mutation that folic acid will 'float' around  and eventually break down into reduced folates but it takes time and is dependent upon other nutrients being available and the folate reducing enzymes functioning as they should be.

Remember that that above we stated the folic in the liver? At any one time, we have anywhere from 30 to 50 mg of folate stored in our liver. Ensuring that your liver function is good is important and making sure you are moving bile out of your gall bladder is also important. Supporting a sluggish liver will help to move it along, but again it takes time. Digestive bitters, and liver healing foods and cold-pressed juice are all things I have found to be supportive of the liver, as well as both sauna and vibration plates are so helpful. A study was done with whole‐body vibration (WBV) for patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease provided benefit with respect to halting progression of NAFLD via reducing ectopic fat deposition in the liver and intra‐abdominal sites, as well as improvements in muscle morphology and function. In addition, WBV reduced hepatic stiffness and its related inflammatory markers that may contribute to enhanced innate immunity and dysregulation of signaling pathways in NAFLD. In short, these results demonstrate the usefulness of WBV as an exercise option for patients with NAFLD who have difficulty engaging in regular exercise.

According to one paper, “radiolabeled folic acid to a single female subject and observed substantial catabolism and fecal excretion in folate turnover with an apparent half-life (t1/2) of ∼100 days for the primary folate pool.”

So you have at least 200 days for all of that to work it's way out of your system and to be bound to folate binding proteins and folate receptors thereby reducing the binding of active folates. So let's get started now.

I have some openings in my schedule next week if you want to start with your coaching session. Or let me know and I will pop you into a free group for healthy support.




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