REAL folate is much better than folic acid - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dr. Fuhrman warns:
DO NOT take multivitamins
that contain folic acid.
and
If you are pregnant,
DO NOT take prenatal vitamins!


Basically about 50% of the population doesn't process folic acid (which is synthetic B9) effectively. We require 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) the natural form, or else we have a lot of diseases and disorders, such as

Downs syndrome, blood clots, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, IBS, anxiety, fibromyalgia, depression, migraines, strokes, homocysteine, dementia, schizophrenia, nerve pain, Parkinson, miscarriage, infertility, Alzheimers, non-Hodkins lymphoma, gastric cancer, kidney failure, addiction, alcoholicsm, obesity, heavy metals, diabetes, Leiden Factor V, OCD, bipolar, aggression, liver dsyfunction, renal dysfunction, pulmorary fibrosis, autism, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, adenoma, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, spina bifida, neural tube defects, preeclampsia, placental abruption, hypothyroid, psoriasis, etc.

[there are nuances to the different types of folate, but bottom line, we must have sources of bio-available folate. ]

What foods provide folate?
Romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, liver, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, lentils, squash, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, papaya, string beans..

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...trient&dbid=63


Also, many medications interfere with the utilization of folate:
Medications that can help deplete the body's supply of folate include: anticancer drugs like methotrexate; cholesterol-lowering drugs; anti-inflammatory drugs like sulfasalazine; biguanide drugs like buformin, phenformin, or metformin used in the treatment of diabetes; birth control pills (oral contraceptives); diuretics like triamterene; and antibiotics. While the anti-convulsant drug phenytoin (sold under the brand name of Dilantin or Phenytek) remains somewhat controversial in terms of its impact on folate.


Birth defects often occur due to the absence of adequate food folate, generally not the absence of synthetic B9 (folic acid), which is in prenatals and added to foods such as cereal and bread.


More specifically, there are issues with the methylation detox pathway.

Here are some threads discussing these issues:

what causes midline defects?

Butt Dimples (aka mid line issues - spun off from tongue-tie thread)

Tongue Tie Question

mthfr?

Folate and IgE allergies




Pat
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#2 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that can't possibly be true, or they would've noticed it in all the studies showing that folic acid supplementation reduced the risk of neural tube defects. It's not like that's such a small percentage of the population that it wouldn't be obvious in studies. That's a huge proportion of people for whom it wouldn't work and they would have noticed it in the studies. Besides which, some studies have shown that synthetic folic acid is more biovailable, since it doesn't need to be converted from one form to another. (You'd have to google that, since I don't remember the names of the forms, but it should be easy to find.) I still take a food based prenatal, so there aren't any synthetic vitamins in it, because that's my preference. Oh, and it's still called folic acid, even though it's not synthetic (I don't know why).
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Regarding the epilepsy drugs (dilantin, et al) affecting neural tube defects/folic acid, I have a childhood friend with epilepsy who had a lot of difficulties with pregnancy. She miscarried several times and did have a pregnancy with a baby with anencephaly (severe fatal neural tube defect). Her drs put her on really large doses of folic acid after that and she went on to have a healthy baby girl, but based on her anecdotal experience I wouldn't take a chance one not taking folic acid if I were on those kinds of meds.

I agree that food sources are excellent, but what would the problem be with supplementing? If it's not absorbed and you're still eating a diet high in folic acid you haven't affected anything and if the folic acid supps are absorbed you've helped.

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#4 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Thanks for spreading the word, Pat.

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#5 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Folic acid has only been supplemented in foods in the US, since January 1, 1998. The recent research evaluating that practice, as compared to countries who do not supplement synthetic folate is identifying significant concerns.

The MTHFR gene polymorphism has only been identified since 1999, maybe 1998. And another version of it only since 2003, iirc. The reproductive endocrinologists and some OBs seem to be aware of it due to a "seeming" association with repeated miscarriages. (here is a bunch more info, plus the links on the next page: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...n#post14539524 )

The concern regarding synthetic folic acid supplementation during pregnancy has only been found since the most recent 2009 research.

References:
1. Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ et al. Folate intake, alcohol use, and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):895-904.
2. Kim YI. Does a high folate intake increase the risk of breast cancer? Nut Rev; 2006; 64(10PT1) 468-75.
3. Figueiredo JC et al. Folic acid and risk of prostate cancer: results from a randomized clinical trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Mar 18;101(6):432-5. Epub 2009 Mar 10.
4. Fife, J et al. Folic Acid Supplementation and Colorectal Cancer Risk; A Meta-analysis. Colorectal Dis. 2009 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]
5. Whitrow MJ. Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print]
6. Haberg SE, London SJ, Stigum H, Nafstad P, Nystad W. Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and early childhood respiratory health. Arch Dis Child. 2009 Mar;94(3):180-4. Epub 2008 Dec 3.
7. Ebbing M et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality After Treatment With Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. JAMA. 2009;302(19):2119-2126.
8. Charles D et al. Taking folate in pregnancy and risk of maternal breast cancer. BMJ 2004;329:1375–6
9. Harvard School of Public Health; The Nutrition Source: Keep the Multi, Skip the Heavily Fortified Foods; www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/folicacid/ Date accessed: 8/29/08.
10. Hirsch S et al. Colon cancer in Chile before and after the start of the flour fortification program with folic acid. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr;21(4):436-9.
11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111
12. Kwan ML et al. Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124(4):503-14.
Tower RL et al. The epidemiology of childhood leukemia with a focus on birth weight and diet. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2007;44(3):203-42.
Petridou E et al. Maternal diet and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in young children.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug;14(8):1935-9.
Jensen CD et al. Maternal dietary risk factors in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (United States).Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Aug;15(6):559-70.
13. Huncharek M et al. A meta-analysis of maternal cured meat consumption during pregnancy and the risk of childhood brain tumors. Neuroepidemiology. 2004 Jan-Apr;23(1-2):78-84.
Pogoda JM et al. An international case-control study of maternal diet during pregnancy and childhood brain tumor risk: a histology-specific analysis by food group. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Mar;19(3):148-60.
14. Sellers TA et al. Dietary folate intake, alcohol, and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Epidemiology. 2001 Jul;12(4):420-8.
15. Kim YI. Folic acid fortification and supplementation--good for some but not so good for others. Nutr Rev. 2007 Nov;65(11):504-11.
16. http://www.nutritiondata.com/tools/nutrient-search
17. Bjelakovic G, Nikolava D, Gluud LL, et al. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patient with various diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;16(2):CD00776.
18. Mayne ST. Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. FASEB. 1996;10(7):690-701.
19. Goodman GE. Prevention of lung cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology 1998;10(2):122-126.
20. Kolata G. Studies Find Beta Carotene, Taken by Millions, Can't Forestall Cancer or Heart Disease. New York Times, Jan 19, 1996.
source: http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/fol..._vitamins.aspx



New research is focused on
adverse effects of our greatly increased folic acid intakes.

Here is an excellent explanation about MTHFR and pregnancy: http://lifebalanceinfertilitycoach.w...f-miscarriage/

ETA: I've been researching the MTHFR relation to cancer since March 2009, when my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...&postcount=289

It all goes back to food folate, rather than synthetic folic acid supplementation. The food supplementation with synthetic folic acid is a large public health experiment without prior safety studies related to pregnancy and cancer. Retrospective studies are indicating the danger of this current practice, which only started 10 years ago, in the US due to FDA regulations.


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#6 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Pat, I would guess (since I'm not sure anyone knows for certain) that people with only one non-typical MTHFR gene would probably convert the folic acid pretty well. And the percentage with two copies of the non-typical MTHFR genes are a much smaller proportion of the population.

I'm torn on this--I _really_ wish that all prenatals had actual folate. I'm guessing that the folic acid in my prenatal helped with DS--he has a very slight sacral dimple, and given my overall health issues (which weren't obvious when we were TTC), I was surely low in folate, so I think it was actively good for him (best guess, looking back). But based on our health (mine and my family history), I don't think the MTHFR polymorphisms are an issue for us.

The problem, IMO, is that folic acid is seen as an absolute good, when in fact, for a proportion of the population, it may be harmful, and that discussion isn't happening. I guess the fact that the process to make the 5-mthf type of folate is patented is part of the issue, plus folic acid is already in the food supply. Bummer to have to go back and change that decision (though I don't think folate is as stable, so I don't think it _can_ be added).
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I will always take folic acid in pregnancy AND eat a good diet. I'm so pleased we live in a day and age where we're able to do both.
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#8 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Folic acid has only been supplemented in foods in the US, since January 1, 1998. The recent research evaluating that practice, as compared to countries who do not supplement synthetic folate is identifying significant concerns.

The MTHFR gene polymorphism has only been identified since 1999, maybe 1998. And another version of it only since 2003, iirc. The reproductive endocrinologists and some OBs seem to be aware of it due to a "seeming" association with repeated miscarriages. (here is a bunch more info, plus the links on the next page: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...n#post14539524 )

The concern regarding synthetic folic acid supplementation during pregnancy has only been found since the most recent 2009 research.

References:
1. Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ et al. Folate intake, alcohol use, and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):895-904.
2. Kim YI. Does a high folate intake increase the risk of breast cancer? Nut Rev; 2006; 64(10PT1) 468-75.
3. Figueiredo JC et al. Folic acid and risk of prostate cancer: results from a randomized clinical trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Mar 18;101(6):432-5. Epub 2009 Mar 10.
4. Fife, J et al. Folic Acid Supplementation and Colorectal Cancer Risk; A Meta-analysis. Colorectal Dis. 2009 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]
5. Whitrow MJ. Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print]
6. Haberg SE, London SJ, Stigum H, Nafstad P, Nystad W. Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and early childhood respiratory health. Arch Dis Child. 2009 Mar;94(3):180-4. Epub 2008 Dec 3.
7. Ebbing M et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality After Treatment With Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. JAMA. 2009;302(19):2119-2126.
8. Charles D et al. Taking folate in pregnancy and risk of maternal breast cancer. BMJ 2004;329:1375–6
9. Harvard School of Public Health; The Nutrition Source: Keep the Multi, Skip the Heavily Fortified Foods; www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/folicacid/ Date accessed: 8/29/08.
10. Hirsch S et al. Colon cancer in Chile before and after the start of the flour fortification program with folic acid. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr;21(4):436-9.
11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111
12. Kwan ML et al. Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124(4):503-14.
Tower RL et al. The epidemiology of childhood leukemia with a focus on birth weight and diet. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2007;44(3):203-42.
Petridou E et al. Maternal diet and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in young children.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug;14(8):1935-9.
Jensen CD et al. Maternal dietary risk factors in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (United States).Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Aug;15(6):559-70.
13. Huncharek M et al. A meta-analysis of maternal cured meat consumption during pregnancy and the risk of childhood brain tumors. Neuroepidemiology. 2004 Jan-Apr;23(1-2):78-84.
Pogoda JM et al. An international case-control study of maternal diet during pregnancy and childhood brain tumor risk: a histology-specific analysis by food group. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Mar;19(3):148-60.
14. Sellers TA et al. Dietary folate intake, alcohol, and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Epidemiology. 2001 Jul;12(4):420-8.
15. Kim YI. Folic acid fortification and supplementation--good for some but not so good for others. Nutr Rev. 2007 Nov;65(11):504-11.
16. http://www.nutritiondata.com/tools/nutrient-search
17. Bjelakovic G, Nikolava D, Gluud LL, et al. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patient with various diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;16(2):CD00776.
18. Mayne ST. Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. FASEB. 1996;10(7):690-701.
19. Goodman GE. Prevention of lung cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology 1998;10(2):122-126.
20. Kolata G. Studies Find Beta Carotene, Taken by Millions, Can't Forestall Cancer or Heart Disease. New York Times, Jan 19, 1996.
source: http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/fol..._vitamins.aspx



New research is focused on
adverse effects of our greatly increased folic acid intakes.

Here is an excellent explanation about MTHFR and pregnancy: http://lifebalanceinfertilitycoach.w...f-miscarriage/

ETA: I've been researching the MTHFR relation to cancer since March 2009, when my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...&postcount=289

It all goes back to food folate, rather than synthetic folic acid supplementation. The food supplementation with synthetic folic acid is a large public health experiment without prior safety studies related to pregnancy and cancer. Retrospective studies are indicating the danger of this current practice, which only started 10 years ago, in the US due to FDA regulations.


Pat
So, if you're worried about something that's only being reported in research published this year, why would you cite a bunch of references from earlier years when I'm guessing you haven't read the majority of them? Scientific research shouldn't be cherry-picked, especially by people who don't understand what it says...unless you care to summarize each of those articles you're using as evidence for your claims?
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Who the hell is Dr. Fuhrman?

This is very bad advice. I hope that no posters take this seriously. Posting drivel like this is irresponsible and dangerous to the gullible readers who latch on to it.

Apparently a former ice skater. Click on his about me section and you can watch videos.

I really can't take a doctor seriously when they list their ice skating accomplishments on the same level with their medical accomplishments.

I agree that it is best to try and eat a lot of food with folic acid, but I hardly think it will hurt to take a supplement along with it.

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OP, are you affiliated with this doctor?
How convenient that if you click your provided links to his "research", you can browse his site and see all the products he has for sale, including his very own super special multivitamin!

Obstruct livery vehicles!

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I completely concur, Pat. Increasing folate containing foods and being certain that your folate supplementation comes in the MTHF form of the vitamin, rather than the synthetic folic acid, is essential if you're uncertain of which MTHFR genes you carry. The fact that the synthetic form is being promoted as equivalent to the food form is irresponsible and dangerous, imo.
As for the PP who said "It's still called folic acid for some reason"- that's because the two forms are being presented as equivalent (which they're NOT) and that's sort of the point. And, actually, it DOES have to be converted from one form to another at the expense of other vitamins (sleep deprived so can't recall exactly which atm).

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111
12. Kwan ML et al. Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124(4):503-14.
I just looked at one study that you had highlighted:
Quote:
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that it may be prudent for women to consume a diet rich in vegetables and adequate in protein prior to and during pregnancy as a possible means of reducing childhood ALL risk in their offspring.
How does this relate to folic acid supplementation being dangerous??

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
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#16 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP, are you affiliated with this doctor?
How convenient that if you click your provided links to his "research", you can browse his site and see all the products he has for sale, including his very own super special multivitamin!
No, I am not an advocate for vitamin supplementation. I advocate whole foods for nutrition.

Not affiliated with any products or the doctor in any manner whatsoever.


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I don't have enough computer time lately to have good links for everything, but here's the basic biochem:

If you look up the folic acid cycle, you'll see that folic acid (synthetic, in supplements) needs to be converted to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF, aka methyl folate) in order to be used in the methyl cycle (a primary use of folate in humans). This conversion involves a number of enzymes, including MTHFR. In a significant portion of the population (ballpark of 40-50%), the MTHFR enzyme isn't as efficient as in the rest of the population, and as a result, their methyl folate levels tend to be lower. That means their methylation may be impaired, and they're at risk for the list of diseases Pat is posting.

Folic acid is absorbed better in the digestive tract than food folate (5-MTHF and folinic acid are the food forms). As a result, taking folic acid can mean you're not absorbing as much food folate. There's a limit (diminishing returns) to how much folic acid your body can metabolize. It drops off around 260 mcg, and pretty much plateaus at 400mcg. I *think* those numbers are general population numbers not taking into account MTHFR. As you start supping more than you can process, you get unmetabolized, unusable folic acid floating around in your body and it competes for transport with the good stuff. Nobody really knows what effect the unmetabolized stuff has, but based on Pat's links, it doesn't look great.

I don't think anybody is saying anything good about being deficient in folate. What the latest research is starting to show is that the form of folate that you get really does matter. I think we'd all agree that food sources of nutrients are best whenever possible, and this is providing an explanation of *why* that's true for this vitamin in particular.

If you really want a reference for any of this and aren't having luck on your own, I'll see what I can dig up. Like I said, I'm not getting so much computer time these days.

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Well I don't know nuthin bout no dr fuhrman.


But that's so funny to see a list of foods...b/c in my previous pregancy I craved and ate spinach leaves like potato chips out of the bag. And this pregnancy I am craving collard greens.

I slice the collard greens into strips, zest them with lime and a bit of balsamic vinegar then put them in a pan over heat for just a moment. Yum yum yum.


So who has a good source of supplemental folic acid? I've just been taking the bottle my mom passed to me...Bronson's labs?

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#19 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pat, I would guess (since I'm not sure anyone knows for certain) that people with only one non-typical MTHFR gene would probably convert the folic acid pretty well. And the percentage with two copies of the non-typical MTHFR genes are a much smaller proportion of the population.
I do appreciate the concern regarding the "some people" can utilize folic acid. However, the issue regarding the cancers, asthma and other diseases linked to folic acid supplementation is concerning. And most pregnant women do not know if they are carrying the MTHFR gene and a large portion of the population has some polymorphism variant.




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#20 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 06:03 PM
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I think that there is no sound evidence to prove any of this, and thinking of it logically, most babies would not be healthy if this were true.

My head is spinning, honestly.
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#21 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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However, the issue regarding the cancers, asthma and other diseases linked to folic acid supplementation is concerning.
Which study you linked above shows this data, please. I clicked on one and it showed no such thing. Thank you.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
So who has a good source of supplemental folic acid? I've just been taking the bottle my mom passed to me...Bronson's labs?
Thorne supplements (multivits, B complexes, prenatal, other products as well, I think) have real folate (look for 5-mthf on the label), Metagenics has a 5-mthf only supp (if you want only folate and no other B vitamins or anything else), I _think_ there are a few other companies that make multis, I'm just not sure of the names. Anyone know the others?

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Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
I do appreciate the concern regarding the "some people" can utilize folic acid. However, the issue regarding the cancers, asthma and other diseases linked to folic acid supplementation is concerning. And most pregnant women do not know if they are carrying the MTHFR gene and a large portion of the population has some polymorphism variant.

Pat
And to me, that's the reason I would really like prenatals, and really, all vitamin supplements, but especially prenatals, to have actual folate, the same kind found in food. Between so-so diets and long-term, pre-existing health issues, plus all the weird chemicals in our environment that our bodies are trying to attach methyl groups to to excrete, I think many of us would be better off supplementing real folate. You know I'm a firm believer in supplements.
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#23 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Talula Fairie View Post
I think that there is no sound evidence to prove any of this, and thinking of it logically, most babies would not be healthy if this were true.

My head is spinning, honestly.

This is what i'm thinking too...

OK- IDEALLY everyone would be eating whole foods, or at least food based natural supplements. But... that's not going to happen. At best, there will be a portion of the population that does this, and more and more people all the time hopefully making an effort to do this.

What about everyone else? Fear mongering about vitamins so they are afraid to take a prenatal and yet aren't able/don't know how to eat well enough to provide for the baby they are growing? Folic acid, for the majority, is better than nothing.

IN my life personally i've known 2 young girls that had to terminate their pregnancies because of sever neural tube defects... moms that had poor nutritional and only starting supplementing vitamins once finding out they were pregnant, and it wasn't enough. Devastating

Mom to Lizzy born May 2007 & expecting Baby#2 June/July 2010
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#24 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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a couple of things have popped out lately:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0817201946.htm -- folic acid additives to food are resulting in excess folic acid floating around the body leading to Pat's list of diseases.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1104111735.htm -- supplemental folic acid in late pregnancy may predispose the child to asthma later in life.

the science is not murky - folate is important for growing fetuses BUT ingest 5-MTHF or eat food folate. avoid folic acid.

Jennifer, Naturopath and mom

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#25 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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But it really is not an all or nothing here.

I don't have to only slave over my stove (or juicer) to get food folate and I don't only have to have babies with severe neural tube defects to see the effects of not enough appropriate folate in my body (along with other essential nutrients).

I anticipate getting pregnant soon, so I am supplementing with metagenics 5-mthf supplement, and using a Thorne multi vite. On top of that I am doing normal healthy eating, juicing and adding lentils and liver a couple times a week which contains food folate. And I am doing the lentils and liver now, just in case I can't stand them in the early formative months of my pregnancy.

My boys do not have glaring signs of neural defects, but they do have midline issues (tongue ties, sacral dimple and one spit up to a level that made me suspicious it was a midline defect). Taking appropriate folate will help with these issues. These issues became an important part of them developing their non-ige food allergies. It was definitely a piece of their health puzzle.

Maybe this wouldn't be as much of an issue, except that folic acid is in our food supply, and we are encouraged to supplement it in large quantities. It also wouldn't be as much as an issue if not only lay people, but also doctors were aware of the difference between forms. I have found many doctors (and supplement companies and hfs advisors) either not understand or bother to explain the difference between folate (folinic acid) and folic acid. Often those two words are used interchangabley.

One problem I see is that folic acid is not necessarily better than nothing. It can be worse than nothing in the body, which WhoMe touched upon.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#26 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megviolet View Post
Folic acid, for the majority, is better than nothing.
About HALF of the folate-related neural defects are explained by the most common genetic mutation at the MTHFR locus. (http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/328/7455/1535)

Seems to me that genetic screening for MTHFR mutations prior to conception (or at least in early pregnancy) should become a de facto standard.

Jennifer, Naturopath and mom

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#27 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Which study you linked above shows this data, please. I clicked on one and it showed no such thing. Thank you.
1. Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ et al. Folate intake, alcohol use, and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):895-904.
Conclusions: Our results do not support the hypothesis that high folate intake reduces breast cancer risk; instead, they suggest that a high intake, generally attributable to supplemental folic acid, may increase the risk in postmenopausal women.
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/83/4/895

2. Kim YI. Does a high folate intake increase the risk of breast cancer? Nut Rev; 2006; 64(10PT1) 468-75.
Furthermore, although food folate intake was not significantly related to breast cancer risk, total folate intake, mainly from folic acid supplementation, significantly increased breast cancer risk by 32%.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17063929

3. Figueiredo JC et al. Folic acid and risk of prostate cancer: results from a randomized clinical trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Mar 18;101(6):432-5. Epub 2009 Mar 10.
Folic acid supplementation was associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. By contrast, baseline dietary folate was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk.
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/c...hort/101/6/432

4. Fife, J et al. Folic Acid Supplementation and Colorectal Cancer Risk; A Meta-analysis. Colorectal Dis. 2009 Oct 27.
In fact, a 2009 meta-analysis of studies of folic acid supplementation showed that those receiving supplements for over three years had an increased risk of pre-cancerous bowel adenomas and bowel cancer.
http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/can...r-risk-factors

5. Whitrow MJ. Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 30.
Asthma was reported in 11.6% of children at 3.5 years (n = 57) and in 11.8% of children at 5.5 years (n = 50). Folic acid taken in supplement form in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma at 3.5 years (relative risk (RR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.43) and with persistent asthma (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.69).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19880541

6. Haberg SE, London SJ, Stigum H, Nafstad P, Nystad W. Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and early childhood respiratory health. Arch Dis Child. 2009 Mar;94(3):180-4.
CONCLUSIONS: Folic acid supplements in pregnancy were associated with a slightly increased risk of wheeze and lower respiratory tract infections up to 18 months of age. The results suggest that methyl donors in the maternal diet during pregnancy may influence respiratory health in children consistent with epigenetic mechanisms.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19052032

7. Ebbing M et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality After Treatment With Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. JAMA. 2009;302(19):2119-2126.
Conclusion Treatment with folic acid plus vitamin B12 was associated with increased cancer outcomes and all-cause mortality in patients with ischemic heart disease in Norway, where there is no folic acid fortification of foods.
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/302/19/2119

8. Charles D et al. Taking folate in pregnancy and risk of maternal breast cancer. BMJ 2004;329:1375–6
In women randomised to high doses of supplemental folate, all cause mortality was about a fifth greater, and the risk of deaths attributable to breast cancer was twice as great.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535452/

9. Harvard School of Public Health; The Nutrition Source: Keep the Multi, Skip the Heavily Fortified Foods; www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/folicacid/ Date accessed: 8/29/08.
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritio...cid/index.html

10. Hirsch S et al. Colon cancer in Chile before and after the start of the flour fortification program with folic acid. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr;21(4):436-9.
Conclusion: Our data provide new evidence that a folate fortification program could be associated with an additional risk of colon cancer.
http://journals.lww.com/eurojgh/Abst...e_start.7.aspx

11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111
In an interview with Medscape Oncology, Dr. Mason said that the new data from Chile "contribute to this concern that the total amount of folic acid present in the food stream can potentially contribute to an increase in certain types of cancer."

It is not just a question of folic-acid fortification of food, however; there is also the issue of folic-acid supplementation, such as in multivitamin pills. Dr. Mason noted that recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control suggest that 70% to 80% of the general adult population has detectable levels of folic acid in the blood, but "under more natural conditions, folic acid would not even be present in the blood."

12. Kwan ML et al. Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124(4):503-14.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that it may be prudent for women to consume a diet rich in vegetables and adequate in protein prior to and during pregnancy as a possible means of reducing childhood ALL risk in their offspring.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19618787

Tower RL et al. The epidemiology of childhood leukemia with a focus on birth weight and diet. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2007;44(3):203-42.
Increased intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with decreased leukemia risk and, relatedly, lack of maternal folate supplementation has been associated with increased childhood leukemia risk, possibly by causing DNA hypomethylation and increased DNA strand breaks. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphisms modify this risk.
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs...ournalCode=lab

Petridou E et al. Maternal diet and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in young children.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug;14(8):1935-9.
Thompson et al. (45) reported that offspring of women who during their pregnancies received supplements with folate (naturally found in several leafy vegetables) had lower risk of ALL. Additionally, Jensen et al. (46) have found that increased maternal intake immediately before the index pregnancy (and inferentially, during that pregnancy) of vegetables and fruits was associated with decreased risk of ALL.
http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/14/8/1935.full

Pogoda JM et al. An international case-control study of maternal diet during pregnancy and childhood brain tumor risk: a histology-specific analysis by food group. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Mar;19(3):148-60.
http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/15/9/1660.full

14. Sellers TA et al. Dietary folate intake, alcohol, and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Epidemiology. 2001 Jul;12(4):420-8.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/3703376

15. Kim YI. Folic acid fortification and supplementation--good for some but not so good for others. Nutr Rev. 2007 Nov;65(11):504-11.
However, recent human studies have suggested that FA supplementation and fortification may promote the progression of already existing, undiagnosed, preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions, thereby corroborating earlier observations from animal and in vitro studies.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18038943

17. Bjelakovic G, Nikolava D, Gluud LL, et al. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patient with various diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;16(2):CD00776.
MAIN RESULTS: Sixty-seven randomised trials with 232,550 participants were included.
CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin E may increase mortality.

18. Mayne ST. Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. FASEB. 1996;10(7):690-701.
The finding that lung carcinogenesis and cardiovascular disease can be enhanced by supplemental beta-carotene may ultimately lead to a clearer understanding of the role of diet in the etiology and prevention of these diseases.
http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstract/10/7/690

19. Goodman GE. Prevention of lung cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology 1998;10(2):122-126.
CONCLUSIONS. After an average of four years of supplementation, the combination of beta carotene and vitamin A had no benefit and may have had an adverse effect on the incidence of lung cancer and on the risk of death from lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and any cause in smokers and workers exposed to asbestos.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8602180
CONCLUSIONS: CARET participants receiving the combination of beta-carotene and vitamin A had no chemopreventive benefit and had excess lung cancer incidence and mortality.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8901853

20. Kolata G. Studies Find Beta Carotene, Taken by Millions, Can't Forestall Cancer or Heart Disease. New York Times, Jan 19, 1996.People who took dietary supplements of the nutrient beta-carotene while enrolled in a large cancer prevention trial continued to have increased rates of lung cancer six years after the trial was stopped early and the supplements discontinued, long-term follow-up of trial participants has shown.
http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials...inal-CARET1204


These are excerpts, conclusions and summaries from the above linked medical studies discouraging multi-vitamin supplementation, with links to the actual source documents.

PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION AND THE LINKS WITH YOUR OB/GYN.



Pat

I have a blog.
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#28 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megviolet View Post
IN my life personally i've known 2 young girls that had to terminate their pregnancies because of sever neural tube defects... moms that had poor nutritional and only starting supplementing vitamins once finding out they were pregnant, and it wasn't enough. Devastating
I don't think it's fair to say that the two pregnancies you know of that ended with severe neural tube defects ended that way because the moms had poor nutrition and started prenatal vitamins too late. I also know someone who was very conscientious with nutrition who lost a baby to a severe neural tube defect. It is not fair to always blame the mom.

4 kids under 10
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#29 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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thank you!

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#30 of 126 Old 01-17-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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Study or not, it is best to get your nutrient from food. You cannot go wrong that way. I like Garden of Life products since they are from whole foods.
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