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olic cid s Danrous ut olats ound in oods r Halth

by: Robert Thiel, Ph.D., Nutrition Scientist and Clinician


For many years, public health ocials hae adocated the consumption o olic acid. Folic acid is a synthetic substance that as deeloped in the 20th century. Folic acid is chemically knon as pteroyllutamic acid and is a crystalline substance. Folates ere once also knon as itamin B9. Folates exist in oods, yet crystalline olic acid does not. Research suests that olic acid consumption may orsen, or een cause, some types o cancer and contribute to the orsenin o certain neuroloical conditions. Folates in ood, hoeer, hae not been shon to be danerous. nstead olates ound in oods are belieed to help build and maintain health. umans should rely primarily on natural hole oods or their olate needs, and i more is needed, take nutritional supplements that supply olates, not synthetic olic acid.

Vitamin B9, Folate

n the 1930s, it as discoered that there as a substance in lier that reersed meablastic anemia that as independent o cobalamin (sometimes called itamin B12).1

reerred to as olate (thouh there are multiple olates) or olacin. Early on, ood olate as ien or people ith a prenancy-related anemia in the orm o autolyed yeast later the synthetic orm, olic acid, as deeloped.2

o olate ound in human plasma.1

Folate unctions as a co-enyme. Dierent olate orms are important or the synthesis o thymidine or DNA and purines or RNA.1

best ood supplement source by some. Furthermore, olates are ubiuitous in nature, bein present in nearly all natural oods50 to 95 o olate in ood may be destroyed by protracted cookin or other processin.2 east, dark reen leay eetables, and oranes hae the hihest olate content.2,5

by caloric density include breers’ yeast, spinach, Romaine lettuce, turnip reens, parsley, asparaus, collards, cabbae, broccoli, lima beans, and bee lier.6

A AMA study concluded that studies hae suested that olate intake decreases risk o cardioascular dis-

58 Those ith the hihest amount

SDA reports sho that broccoli and alala sprouts contain ood olate3,4

MethylTF is the predominant orm and they are considered to be the

because studies usin olate (the natural orm) sho it orks, yet olic acid (the synthetic orm) does not. Food olate is clearly superior.

Folic Acid is Synthetic and Unnatural Folic acid accumulations may be problematic.8

ood olate is natural and is absorbed throuh a dierent pathay than olic acid,2

does not result in an accumulation o a orein substance in the body, but instead has many benets.

o olate may impair conitie unction.9 homocysteine.10-11 Since lon-term consumption o olate

Folate is an important nutrient or healthy blood the absence o any o it can trier arious orms o anemia (especially pernicious anemia).2,6

is the most important determinant in hih homocysteine leels,8

in ascular diseases such as cardioascular and other ascular disorders. The maor orms o olates ound in ood are methylTF and ormylTF.12

and supplemental olate is eectie in reducin omocysteine is hihly implicated

For many years, public health ocials hae adocated the consumption o olic acid. There are many reports that olic acid should be taken by prenant omen and may preent birth deects. Folic acid has also been claimed to help preent cardio- and cerebral-ascular diseases. et e reports hae mentioned that olic acid is unnatural, olic acid is synthetic, and that the body cannot properly conert much olic acid into a usable olate orm. Furthermore, concerns about olic acid eedin cancer are no a real concern in the 21st century, too much olic acid may kill you.

Once called itamin B9, it is more commonly

knon as pteroyllutamic acid (PA) and is a crystalline substance (no ood itamins are naturally crystalline in structure).2,13

exists in oods, yet crystalline olic acid does not.2,5,8,13 Folates also dier rom olic acid in the extent o the reduction state o the pteroyl roup, the nature o the substituents on the pteridine rin and the number o lutamyl residues attached to the pteroyl roup.5

Folate, once also knon as itamin B9,

o more than 266 mc o synthetic olic acid (PA) results in absorption o unreduced PA, hich may interere ith olate metabolism or a period o years2 A 2004 paper rom the British Medical ournal conrmed hat many natural health proessional hae knon all alon: since olic acid is unnatural and the body cannot ully conert lare amounts o it into usable olate, this articial substance can be absorbed and may hae unknon neatie conseuences in the human body.8

One o the biest scientic concerns about olic acid is that een in amounts close to ocial daily recommendations, some o it is absorbed in unreduced orm into the bloodstream ith potentially danerous

(Continued on next page) THE ORIGINAL INTERNIST NE 2016

An rish study ound that the body has trouble conertin more than 266 mc o olic acid per day.2


Folic acid is a synthetic olate orm5 deeloped until the 20th century.2

Folic acid is chemically and as not

Subclinical deciencies Folate deciency

eases. oeerolic acid supplementation has not been shon to reduce risk o cardioascular diseases.7

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