Folic acid levels pregnancy

I’ve gotten several questions lately about folate and folic acid, especially during pregnancy. The form of folate that can enter the main folate metabolic cycle is tetrahydrofolate (THF).
Several studies have reported the presence of unmetabolized folic acid in the blood following the consumption of folic acid supplements or fortified foods. I’d recommend reading his full article, but research is supporting the idea that too much synthetic folic acid can increase risk of some types of cancers (source) and it may not even be as effective in preventing neural tube defects. Unfortunately, even high quality prenatal vitamins often contain folic acid instead of folate.
One thing’s for sure, any pharmaceutical fertility support offered by doctor will stand a much greater chance of success following this advise. Remember that there is a difference between folic acid and activated (or methylated) folic acid.
I will try to post the whole list soon, but typically: a whole food multi, folate, fermented cod liver oil, omega-3s, tons of probiotics, liver pills, magnesium, and gelatin with some others added at different times in the pregnancy.
Another Canadian brand, Trophic, has several multis that contain folate instead of folic acid, and they seem less expensive too. Here’s what New Chapter wrote back to me after I expressed concern about the folic acid in their Perfect Energy vitamins.

While New Chapter does use folic acid as the base catalysts for B9, it is not the form found in the final product. Lastly, please know that New Chapter is unaware of any contraindication for individuals with the MTHFR gene mutation using New Chapter folate.
Folic acid and folate are often used interchangeably and even many doctors will not be able to tell you the difference if you ask. You’ll often hear that folic acid is simply the supplemental form of folate, but there are some key differences.
I’ve had to create my own supplement regimen for pregnancy to find the natural forms of all the needed nutrients including folate. It is also possible to find a natural supplemental form of folate that can be taken in place of folic acid.
When using folate instead of folic acid (thus removing the added risks to mom with the synthetic form), it is often advisable to take more than the minimum.
I have used Pure Encapsulations Folate (slightly higher quality) and Solgar Folate (less expensive) with good results.
I had Thorne Research’s 5-MTHF on my wish list since it is therapeutic level and clean.
Just bought some because it was one of the brands listed on another site as containing folate and not folic acid.

The dual-stage probiotic food culturing process we use creates a whole-food complex form of B9 and biotransforms folic acid to folate. The low activity of this enzyme in the human liver, combined with a high intake of folic acid, may result in unnatural levels of unmetabolized folic acid entering the systemic circulation. As always, check with a doctor or midwife before taking or changing anything, especially during pregnancy, but do your research on this one!
The one downside to folate is that it isn’t as easily absorbed, so it is often necessary to take more and to get it from real food sources.
I also suspect I have a MTHFR defect, so folic acid is number one on my supplement list this week! This enzyme plays a role in processing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and is important for a chemical reaction involving forms of vitamin B9 (folate). For now I am going to take these and buy an additional folate supplement (one of the ones Katie suggested), but I’m still mad. This reaction is required for the multistep process that converts the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine.

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