Folate

I tested positive for the most common form of the MTHFR mutation. Therefore, for awhile now I have taken folate. I am taking 1 pill of folate (800 mcg) and then take the rest of my 4 mg requirement with just regular folic acid. My thinking was that I was still taking the recommended amount of folic acid but also taking the folate if that is what my body needed. However, I read recently that by taking the folic acid, I could be preventing my body from absorbing the folate.

So, I am wondering if I should stop taking the additional reg. folic acid and only take the 800 mcg of folate? However, I am really hesitant to go against what I have been told by doctors/what is encouraged.

What do you all take?

6 comments

  • It is my understanding that the whole reason that those with the MTHFR defect need to take folate instead of folic acid is because their bodies cannot convert folic acid (which is synthetic and not found in food) into folate. And here is where it gets important. Because the body cannot convert the folic acid, it has nowhere to go and builds up to toxic levels in your body.

    The authoritative website on MTHFR is run by Dr. Ben Lynch and is mthfr.net. The site has a wealth of information.

    I only spent 30 seconds searching because I’m in a hurry, but here is an excerpt I found:

    “Those with C677T MHTFR mutations do not process folic acid into 5-MTHF….

    If folic acid does not turn into 5-MTHF, folic acid levels build up. Elevated folic acid has potential to stimulate pre-existing cancer cells.

    That said, it is unwise to provide supplemental folic acid to anyone with MTHFR C677T mutations.”

    http://mthfr.net/absolutely-no-folic-acid-question/2011/10/04/

    Hope this helps!

  • P.S. The recommended mega dose of methylfolate is NOT 4mg. I know you didn’t say that. But I just wanted to clarify. I just did a quick search and couldn’t find what Dr. Lynch recommends for those trying to get pregnant. But I know that Chris Kressler, whom I respect, recommends 800-1200mg of folate for those trying to get pregnant.

    Here is his article on the subject. The recommendation is in the very last paragraph.

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

  • Thanks so much; that is very helpful! I will read up on all those sources.

  • Ok, read the article by Chris Kesser but the recommendation he gives for the amount of folate was not for women who had previously had a child with a NTD. So, I am thinking that we do need to take additional. I’ll do more research on it but I would rather take too much than too little.

  • Hmmmm, with folate I would assume the dosage would be the same either way. But that’s just me. I have my theories about folic acid.

    You should email Dr. Ben Lynch about it. I would be VERY interested to hear his response. I think it would be very informative, for sure.

  • I want to throw in a fun little something here- After Lauren was born, we went to our mid-wife and told her we would like to try for another child. She, of course, put me on high dosage of folic acid. I got pregnant right away with identical twin boys. After the boys were born, I received one of my Twin Magazines and in it was a medical article stating that high dosages of folic acid increased the chance of having multiples. Haha! That was a fun bit of info. I wouldn’t change a thing:)

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