Minimum folic acid for pregnancy

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Track your baby's development Get expert guidance from the world's #1 pregnancy and parenting resource, delivered via email, our apps and website. Get FREE access to my 7 Simple Steps for Healthier Families Guide + my newsletter & special health deals! 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. My husband and I are going to try and conceive soon so I’m looking for the best prenatal vitamin. Neural tube defects occur at a very early stage of development, before many women even know they're pregnant. Find out why good nutrition is extra important if you're pregnant and have gestational diabetes.
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. Just bought some because it was one of the brands listed on another site as containing folate and not folic acid. Please know that the MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. The dual-stage probiotic food culturing process we use creates a whole-food complex form of B9 and biotransforms folic acid to folate. However, if you are unclear about what the best approach would be for your individual needs please consult with your health care provider. 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).
Folic acid is also essential for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA, our genetic map and a basic building block of cells. 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. Again, check the label.Don't take more than 1,000 mcg per day of folic acid unless your healthcare provider advises you to. Vegans are at risk of being deficient in vitamin B12 and taking too much folic acid would make it hard to diagnose that deficiency.
When you might need extra folic acidWomen who are obese appear to be more likely to have a baby with a neural tube defect, although the reason for this is still unclear.
She may advise you to take more than 400 mcg of folic acid a day.If you've previously been pregnant with a baby with a neural tube defect, be sure your current providers are aware of this and schedule a visit before you try to get pregnant. With no intervention, women in this situation have a 2 to 5 percent chance of having another pregnancy complicated by an NTD.The good news is that this risk can be reduced significantly by taking a very large dose of folic acid. Talk to your doctor about how much folic acid you should take if you're in this situation.Women who are diabetic or are taking certain antiseizure medications are also more likely to have a baby with an NTD. If either of these situations applies to you, see your provider at least a month before trying to conceive to find out how much folic acid you should be taking and to monitor your condition in general.

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