Folates, Methylation and Reproductive Health

Folates, Methylation and Reproductive Health

Posted 20 Jul '22

If you are planning for pregnancy or already pregnant, you have most likely heard of the importance of taking folic acid or eating more folate rich foods.

Folates ideally should be kept at optimal levels for at least 3-6 months before conception to minimise the chance of Neural Tube Defects or other congenital malformations. There is also some emerging evidence to suggest that folate has links with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) due to the function folate has with cellular methylation.

Folate also has a role in preventing other conditions from trimester one to birth. Evidence shows links with deficiency of folate and some childhood cancers, post natal depression and cognitive performance for both mother and child.

The Science of Folate and Folic Acid

There are some conflicting evidence around the use of different types of folate supplements and the use of them in patients with genetic mutations in the methylation process. Although in an ideal world "food is medicine" and the most natural food form of nutrition should be consumed, risks must be avoided and pregnancy health is the most important desired outcome. 

Folic acid is a synthetically, man-made nutrient based on the naturally found nutrient called folate. Although nature does make elements perfect for absorption and dosage, research has shown folic acid to be more bioavailable and stable when compared to methyl-folate.

As more bioavailable and active forms of folate are made, sensitivity to environmental factors become more important to control to maintain best clinical outcomes for patients.

For this reason forms of activated vitamin B9 such as Methytetrahydrafolate or Calcium folinate should be stored in optimal temperatures, climates and packaged to minimise oxidation.

Each specific patient case must be considered to minimise risks of Neural Tube defects or other complications in pregnancy and optimal outcome for the patient and baby.

For your personalised healthcare plan, get in touch and take control of your health, naturally.


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