Folic acid or folate?

A folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9, widely available in vitamin preparations. In many countries, synthetic folic acid is enriched in bread, pasta and even flour. Unfortunately, people with polymorphism MTHFR are unable to absorb it. In this case, synthetic folic acid accumulates in the body, while taking the place of real folate and preventing it from accessing cells, it can cause many problems. In nature, folic acid occurs in the form of folates and this form is much better absorbed by us. 

The name folic acid comes from the Latin word folium or leaf. As you can guess, the largest amount is found in leafy vegetables, mainly in spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, chard, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and in smaller amounts in tomato, peas, soybeans, beetroot, beans, lentils, nuts, sunflower, brewer’s yeast, liver, egg yolk, wheat, orange, banana and avocado. 

Unfortunately, folic acid is sensitive to light and temperature. Stored food exposed to sunlight for too long can lose up to half of the folic acid it contains. Therefore, the most vitamin B9 will provide us with raw fruits and vegetables, and the least long-cooked, baked or stewed dishes.

The body is unable to store this vitamin for long. Therefore, it should be delivered daily, i.e. eat as many raw vegetables as possible, especially those in which vitamin C is also present (its addition protects folic acid from degradation to some extent).

A good solution is green juices with the addition of spinach leaves, kale, parsley, broccoli, also mixed with citruses, blueberries and raspberries.

Folates interact synergistically with other vitamins from B, so you should also keep in mind vitamin. B12, B6, B2. Vitamin B6 is found in both plant and animal products. In the largest quantities, it is present in brewer’s yeast and whole mill products (wheat bran, buckwheat, brown rice). A good source of vitamin B6 is also walnuts hazelnuts and, pulses and wheat germ. Vitamin B6 is also found in animal products such as milk, eggs and pork meat. B vitamins are broken down during thermal processing – losses reach up to 70%.

If we decide to supplement with B vitamins, it is better if we decide on active or methylated forms. This form of vitamins will ensure much better availability of these substances for our cells. However, if we have polymorphisms on genes COMT, we may feel unwell after such an active form of vitamin B. We will increase the supply of dopamine, which may have a negative effect on our mood. Similarly, if methylation in our body for various reasons does not run properly (inadequate diet, diseases, unhealthy lifestyle, insomnia, etc.) can also cause deterioration of well-being. In this case, it’s worth doing DNA tests and making an appointment with a specialist.

Vitamin B supplementation is not beneficial if we have problems with the intestines, we suffer from food intolerances, i.e. histamine intolerance (intolerance-histamines/more here, food allergies, celiac disease, etc.

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