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Confused about folates?

How are folates different?

Folic Acid is a relatively cheap, synthetic form of folate that has often been the primary choice of folate for many clinical studies over the last century. In conditions where folate is required, the potentially superior benefits of Folinic Acid supplementation as a safe, well tolerated and affordable form of folate, may often be overlooked…


Folate functions as a cofactor for enzymes involved in one-carbon metabolism. Folate provides one-carbon units for the formation of nucleotides necessary for the synthesis of RNA and DNA.

Folate is also fundamental for the normal functioning of the methionine cycle, including the conversion of homocysteine to methionine and the production of the universal methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM).

Due to folate’s vital role in health and wellbeing it is required at every life stage. The RDI for Folate is at its highest during pregnancy, at 600 mcg/day – with folate-dependent processes requiring sufficient folate to facilitate increases in red cell mass, enlargement of the uterus, and growth of the placenta and foetus.

For adults 400—600 mcg/day is recommended.(2) Therapeutically however, the prescribed dosage may go well beyond the RDI, depending on the individual.

There are three primary forms of supplemental Folate (B9) including Folic Acid, Folinic Acid and 5-MTHF, each with their own unique considerations.  It is recommended to always consult a qualified naturopath who can –

  1.  assess your individual needs
  2.  prescribe the best form of folate for you

This is particularly important during pre-conception preparation, throughout pregnancy and breast feeding.  The most prescribed brand contains only the synthetic version.

If you are considering starting a family, arrange a consultation at True Medicine for yourself and your partner.  Good preparation will significantly improve your chances of conception, sustained pregnancy and a healthy baby.  Call today on 07 5530 1863