Mamahood & Me

The problem with folic acid

The Problem with Folic acid

Folic acid is the artificial form of B9, the natural form is folate and the active form, the form that is immediately used by the body is methylfolate. The artificial form is everywhere, as the food industry has used it to fortify foods, in cheap supplements and ante natal formulas, it is unnatural and it has NO use to your body in this form; in short folic acid is toxic.


Folic acid has a negative impact on the expression of the 'MTHFR' gene. The testing on this one gene SNP has exploded in recent years and it is the environmental impact on this gene that is causing so many problems. Miscarriages, birth defects and infertility to name a few. The trouble is we are bombarded by folic acid in certain foods, breads and cereals which are all fortified with it, and in this form folic acid is harming us.

We cannot process folic acid, and unmetabolised folic acid causes imbalances in the body. It blocks the receptor site where natural folate needs to get into your cell. In this way folic acid blocks methylation (a process critical for countless functions in your body such as: thinking, repairing DNA, turning on and off genes, fighting infections and getting rid of environmental toxins to name a few).

If you are currently taking supplements it's a good idea to check now on the label - does it say folic acid, folate or methylfolate? Only the latter two should be taken. 

Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in the natural form of folate, methylfolate -  the form the body knows how to use which aids methylation pathways and supports our innate detoxification.

Why should we have folate instead of folic acid? 

Plant based, active folate donates a methyl group that folic acid cannot. In the rise of processed foods, longevity of foods, extending shelf life and the outer nutritious part of the grain being milled out, steel ground flour no longer stone ground, the active folate removed and instead replaced by adding the toxic form folic acid, no methyl group, no use to the body.

How do I know if I have had too much folic acid?

Signs you may have a compromised methylation:

• Pre-eclampsiaanxietybrain fogirritability, poor tolerance of alcohol. Low white blood cell count, IVF interventions, one or more child on autism spectrum, birth defects, hypo thyroid, menstrual cramping and clots, folate and B12 elevated in blood tests, miscarriages, post partum depression, male infertility, high blood pressure, asthma to name a few.

DITCH the processed grains, corn, enriched cereals choose clean healthy whole grains instead, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, organic oats and traditional stone ground flour not enriched with folic acid.

How can we improve it? 

• Eat a diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables

• Eat a diet rich in wholegrains

• Avoid all supplements with folic acid

• Switch to ante natal formulas that use natural methyl folate

• Further support with supplements you may wish to have a consultation with Susieto address your unique needs

• Running a homocysteine blood test is a good way to ensure that your methyl-folate pathways are working correctly.

• Reduce exposure to harmful chemicals

• Ensure you get adequate sleep away from EMF and mobile phones

• Support healthy gut flora

• Eat a diet rich in anti oxidants

• Reduce stress

• Reduce caffeine and alcohol

• Switch to green tea and herbal teas

 Rest and exercise in balance

Susie Rucker is our in house nutritional therapist. She has a background of paediatric nursing and working in the field of Functional Medicine, which gives her a unique perspective on your health. Giving you a chance to reach your full health potential and more importantly a safe and happy pregnancy without a toxic load impacting you and your baby. You can contact Susie here