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Vitamin B9, usually called folic acid, has long been known to reduce the risk of spinal birth defects. It is also necessary for healthy red blood cells. Now, in what is believed to be the first study of its kind in humans, scientists at Johns Hopkins Children's Center have found it may also be an effective way to suppress allergic reactions. The vitamin appears to lessen the severity of asthma symptoms, too. The findings were just published in the online edition of the <i>Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology</i>.<br><br>
The Johns Hopkins researchers looked at the connection between blood levels of folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) and allergies. They reviewed the medical records of more than 8,000 people between the ages of 2 and 85 and tracked the effect of folate levels on respiratory and allergic symptoms. The research team also examined levels of IgE antibodies (immune system markers that rise in response to an allergen) in the research subjects' blood.<br><br>
The results? <b>Those who had higher blood levels of folate had fewer IgE antibodies.</b> What's more, they had fewer reported allergies, less wheezing and were less likely to have asthma.<br><br><a href="http://www.naturalnews.com/026225_folate_folic_acid_allergies.html" target="_blank">http://www.naturalnews.com/026225_fo...allergies.html</a><br><br><br>
Pat, the Folate Fan Club <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Gah.<br>
Folate! You are the bane of my existence. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> Pat<br>
Thanks for keeping us so well informed.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:
 

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Hot damn.<br><br>
THere is a TON of collective knowledge and researching in this forum. I wish I could bottle it somehow...<br><br>
(The findings bug me, though, because I thought I was pretty good with folate in my pregnancy and breastfeeding. Maybe I have the genetic defect? But we don't seem to have any midline issues...)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ASusan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14192158"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hot damn.<br><br>
THere is a TON of collective knowledge and researching in this forum. I wish I could bottle it somehow...<br><br>
(The findings bug me, though, because I thought I was pretty good with folate in my pregnancy and breastfeeding. Maybe I have the genetic defect? But we don't seem to have any midline issues...)</div>
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Just because there are no obvious midline issues doesn't mean a MTHFR mutation isn't present... My opinion anyway.
 

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People with a backload of things to methylate would need more folate than most, right now I'm taking 1200mcg and I don't have the MTHFR gene. So if they only consumed as much as typical people (how much do most people consume? I think it's less than 400mcg, which is why refined grain products are usually fortified with folic acid, not folate), then they'd have less circulating in their blood because it was being used up more quickly. So personal health history fits in too, though of course that can be hard to piece together precisely.<br><br>
In terms of family history, we need to make a good list of the types of health problems that are sometimes associated. Early strokes was one thing, high homocysteine too, I think I've read of breast cancer and migraines also being associated. I'll try to find links during naptime.<br><br>
And of course Shannon's page is helpful....<br><a href="http://www.detoxpuzzle.com/folate.php" target="_blank">http://www.detoxpuzzle.com/folate.php</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ASusan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14192158"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">(The findings bug me, though, because I thought I was pretty good with folate in my pregnancy and breastfeeding. Maybe I have the genetic defect? But we don't seem to have any midline issues...)</div>
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I've read that 44-51% (not sure how those numbers were derived) of North Americans have at least one of the MTHFR gene variations. That means about 25% of all children are homogeneous (receive the polymorphism gene from both parents) with the MTHFR gene. <a href="http://genetics.emory.edu/ask/question.php/5877/Recurrent_Pregnancy_Loss/1/Miscellaneous/Unclear_Diagnosis" target="_blank">http://genetics.emory.edu/ask/questi...lear_Diagnosis</a><br><br>
Folic acid isn't enough, for those with the MTHFR gene, unless high levels are supplemented. Food folate is more bio-available than the multi-vitamin version. FIVE servings of folate a day. <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=63" target="_blank">http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...trient&dbid=63</a><br><br>
Here is an excellent explanation about MTHFR and pregnancy: <a href="http://lifebalanceinfertilitycoach.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/the-mthfr-tutorial-genetic-mutation-and-cause-of-miscarriage/" target="_blank">http://lifebalanceinfertilitycoach.w...f-miscarriage/</a><br><br>
There are many issues associated with the MTHFR genetic variation: breast, lung, esophagus, pancreatic, liver, colon, ovarian cancers. In addition to psychiatric issues such as bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression, due to neurotransmitter disruption, from my reading. And heart disease, strokes, blood-clotting and repeated miscarriages. Autism and OCD seem to be not related, from most studies I've seen.<br><br>
ETA: we have about all of those in our family!<br><br>
P.S.<br>
Drug-Nutrient Interactions<br><b>What medications affect folate?</b><br>
Medications that can help deplete the body's supply of folate include: anticancer drugs like methotrexate; <i>cholesterol-lowering drugs</i> like cholestyramine; anti-inflammatory drugs like sulfasalazine; biguanide drugs like buformin, phenformin, or metformin used in the treatment of diabetes; <b>birth control pills (oral contraceptives)</b>; potassium-sparing diuretics like triamterene; and <i>antibiotics</i> like trimethoprim or pyrimethamine. 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, several animal studies have shown a lowering of the liver's ability to make polyglutamyl forms of this vitamin following adminstration of phenytoin.<br><br><br>
Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Btw, I forgot, also early dementia. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Folate may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:<br><ul><li>Alcoholism</li>
<li>Anemias (especially macrocytic anemia)</li>
<li><a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=disease&dbid=4" target="_blank">Atherosclerosis</a></li>
<li>Cervical dysplasia</li>
<li>Cervical tumors</li>
<li>Cleft palate or cleft lip</li>
<li>Crohn's disease</li>
<li>Depression</li>
<li>Diarrhea</li>
<li>Gingivitis</li>
<li>Glossitis</li>
<li>Glycogen storage disease type I</li>
<li>Hyperhomocysteinemia</li>
<li>Inflammatory bowel disease</li>
<li>Insomnia</li>
<li>Myelopathy</li>
<li>Neural tube defects</li>
<li>Non-senile dementia</li>
<li>Ovarian tumors</li>
<li>Periodontal disease</li>
<li>Restless leg syndrome</li>
<li>Schizophrenia</li>
<li>Seborrheic dermatitis</li>
<li>Tropical sprue</li>
<li>Uterine tumors</li>
</ul><br><b>What foods provide folate?</b><br>
Excellent sources of folate include <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=61" target="_blank">romaine lettuce</a>, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43" target="_blank">spinach</a>, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=12" target="_blank">asparagus</a>, turnip greens, mustard greens, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=129" target="_blank">calf's liver</a>, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100" target="_blank">parsley</a>, collard greens, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9" target="_blank">broccoli</a>, cauliflower, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49" target="_blank">beets</a>, and <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52" target="_blank">lentils</a>.<br><br>
Very good sources include <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63" target="_blank">squash</a>, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=2" target="_blank">black beans</a>, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=89" target="_blank">pinto beans</a>, <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58" target="_blank">garbanzo beans</a>, papaya and string beans.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=63" target="_blank">http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...trient&dbid=63</a><br><br><br><br><br>
Pat
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WuWei</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14192945"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Autism and OCD seem to be not related, from most studies I've seen.</div>
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I haven't seen any evidence linking autism and MTHFR variations, but I do know often autistic kids have methylation issues. As Tanya says above, folate decreases the pressure on methylation, freeing it up to do other things. And I think DS has benefitted from me switching from folic acid to folate (and eating tons of greens the last few months, it's CSA season!). Is there any reason NOT to take folate instead of folic acid? Obviously matters more for some people than others, but is there any downside? It seems to me that anyone with any kinds of health issues might just as well take folate "just in case" it matters for them. For example, I think *I* do fine with folic acid, but I think DS does better with folate, and I wonder if that might have made a difference for him in utero (not guilting myself here, just wondering if this is good preventative stuff for pg mamas).
 

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I'm bringing these comments over from Chat since they're more on-topic here.<br><br>
It started by whoMe asking exactly what type of folate is in the Perque LifeGuard, and it's folinate.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>whoMe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14193352"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Cool, thanks! Folinate bypasses a bunch of the enzymes folic acid uses, but not MTHFR. So slightly better, but not much different than folic acid for someone like me.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TanyaLopez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14193475"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've been wondering for a while, is the folate vs folinate/folic acid issue only a problem for the 677C->T people? I've been reading the descriptions of the 1298A->C people as needing more, but at a later step--they can turn folic acid into active folate, can't they, but they just need a lot more incoming so their slow A->C conversion has enough to grab to recycle BH4? Am I reading the whole thing wrong?<br><br>
And on another note, I've never really paid enough attention to this, but presumably different health problems are more associated with the double C->T gene vs the double A->C gene? Since the slowdown is in different parts of the cycle? Low methyl groups and the like are more an issue with the 677C->T genes, aren't they?<br><br>
Sorry to throw this into the middle of chat, it's been churning around in the back of my mind for a while, but hasn't really percolated up to the top til I realized that DH's grandfather and aunt both had early strokes. And someone posted the Thorne article about the prevalence of MTHFR gene mutations in the Mexican-American community. And the funniest thing is, I just re-read it, and the study isn't saying that this gene is more common in the Mexican-American community, that's just who they happened to look at. But it caught my eye anyway. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></div>
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And as for the autism-MTHFR issue, I don't think they're completely overlapping, but for people with ASD issues that are detoxification related (whether metals or whatever Lyme and other chronic infections do to people or other health causes), if those people also happen to have a couple of the MTHFR gene mutations, then their methylation will struggle more than otherwise. Plenty of people can have some of the MTHFR gene mutations but can detoxify other stuff well, and so not have issues like me, or have general detoxification issues like my family but not be doubly-slow by also having the MTHFR slow methylation genes.<br><br>
I think folate is fine for everyone, it's a matter of how much. Someone dug up a study a while back, and I wish I remembered dosages, that they over-supplemented several of the methylation nutrients in some animal (pregnant mice?) and it was detrimental, health-wise, to the babies. But I don't know if the dosages were at all reasonable.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TanyaLopez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14193811"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It started by whoMe asking exactly what type of folate is in the Perque LifeGuard, and it's folinate.</div>
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Seriously ???? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
My bottle says folate, that's what I thought I was getting!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ASusan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14192158"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">(The findings bug me, though, because I thought I was pretty good with folate in my pregnancy and breastfeeding. Maybe I have the genetic defect? But we don't seem to have any midline issues...)</div>
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We don't have *any* obvious midline stuff. On VERY close inspection, dd and I each have a mild tongue tie, but we both nursed 2+ years without issue. My mom complained of painful nipples for the first month, me for the first week. <a href="http://heal-thyself.ning.com/video/bottom-teeth-and-tongue-tie" target="_blank">Dd has the V shaped teeth</a>.<br><br>
eta: but obviously, we've got the MTHFR polymorphisms (everyone has the gene, roughly half the population will have trouble with the conversion, and having the polymorphisms is protective against some things like cancer, *if* you're good on folate. just to clear that up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">). In my family, I think it's showing up more in mood stuff (depression/anxiety/shyness, and intense focus/low dopamine) than physical stuff. Dh supposedly has the same polymorphisms as me. In his family, it's more seasonal allergies, and a different breed of anxiety. Still no structural stuff though.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamafish9</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14193673"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I haven't seen any evidence linking autism and MTHFR variations, but I do know often autistic kids have methylation issues. As Tanya says above, folate decreases the pressure on methylation, freeing it up to do other things. And I think DS has benefitted from me switching from folic acid to folate (and eating tons of greens the last few months, it's CSA season!). Is there any reason NOT to take folate instead of folic acid? Obviously matters more for some people than others, but is there any downside? It seems to me that anyone with any kinds of health issues might just as well take folate "just in case" it matters for them. For example, I think *I* do fine with folic acid, but I think DS does better with folate, and I wonder if that might have made a difference for him in utero (not guilting myself here, just wondering if this is good preventative stuff for pg mamas).</div>
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Yasko is the one to look at first there, but I'm not sure if she's actually done a study or published anything.<br><br>
Methyl folate might be strong stuff, so some might want to take it slow, and it requires B12 for absorption - so if you're low on B12/stomach acid, then folic acid might be better until you get that corrected.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TanyaLopez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14193811"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think folate is fine for everyone, it's a matter of how much. Someone dug up a study a while back, and I wish I remembered dosages, that they over-supplemented several of the methylation nutrients in some animal (pregnant mice?) and it was detrimental, health-wise, to the babies. But I don't know if the dosages were at all reasonable.</div>
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There's a study somewhere about overmethylation due to too much folate causing asthma and associated issues. It had something to do with turning off the gene that turns off asthma, I think. And I *thought* it was humans...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamafish9</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14193673"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is there any reason NOT to take folate instead of folic acid? Obviously matters more for some people than others, but is there any downside? It seems to me that anyone with any kinds of health issues might just as well take folate "just in case" it matters for them. For example, I think *I* do fine with folic acid, but I think DS does better with folate, and I wonder if that might have made a difference for him in utero (not guilting myself here, just wondering if this is good preventative stuff for pg mamas).</div>
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I'm a card carrying member of the Folate Fan Club. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
There is an 'upper limit' for folic acid supplementation, I read 1000mcg. Except for dh's high homocysteine they prescribed 4mg, iirc.<br><br><br>
Pat
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamafish9</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14193873"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Seriously ???? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
My bottle says folate, that's what I thought I was getting!</div>
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whoMe says it's a kind of folate (back in Chat), even a kind that's in food.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TanyaLopez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14194682"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">whoMe says it's a kind of folate (back in Chat), even a kind that's in food.</div>
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Yeah. Iirc, naturally occurring folate comes as either methyl folate, or folinic acid. They can be converted between each other, but that process uses the MTHFR enzyme. Folic acid can be converted to both, but the process requires a whole different list of enzymes, some of which may have another set of issues I know nothing about. So yeah, if you're trying to bypass MTHFR, it's all about food and 5-MTHF, and folinic doesn't really make a difference.<br><br>
Now I'm curious about the different ratios of folate/folinic in different foods. There's a trail I was meaning to chase, but never did - that 'animal forms' of folate are more heat stable than 'plant forms.' I wonder now if that has to do with folate and folinic. And which has more of which. But I'm not going to go look it up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Someone else can!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>whoMe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14194387"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We don't have *any* obvious midline stuff. On VERY close inspection, dd and I each have a mild tongue tie, but we both nursed 2+ years without issue. My mom complained of painful nipples for the first month, me for the first week. <a href="http://heal-thyself.ning.com/video/bottom-teeth-and-tongue-tie" target="_blank">Dd has the V shaped teeth</a>.<br></div>
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I FORGOT about DS's V-teeth on the bottom. Exactly like your daughter's. And the first 2 weeks of nursing was very painful.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">eta: but obviously, we've got the MTHFR polymorphisms (everyone has the gene, roughly half the population will have trouble with the conversion, and having the polymorphisms is protective against some things like cancer, *if* you're good on folate. just to clear that up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">). In my family, I think it's showing up more in mood stuff (depression/anxiety/shyness, and intense focus/low dopamine) than physical stuff. Dh supposedly has the same polymorphisms as me. In his family, it's more seasonal allergies, and a different breed of anxiety. Still no structural stuff though.</td>
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mild-moderate depression and some shyness/anxiety in me. (varies a lot though, so I wouldn't think it was a sign of anything) Seasonal allergies in DH, but he's not from North America.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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There's a study somewhere about overmethylation due to too much folate causing asthma and associated issues. It had something to do with turning off the gene that turns off asthma, I think. And I *thought* it was humans...</td>
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So much to research and think about.<br><br>
DS has gone 2 nights without needing his nebulizer. We've been using it nightly for almost 2 months. I started myself on Bioallers last week. I think I"ll post that to the chat thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, look at this explanation and product related to topical Folinic Acid. This is such a comprehensive and well articulated description of the folate issue.<br><a href="http://www.healingedge.net/store/product1820.html" target="_blank">http://www.healingedge.net/store/product1820.html</a><br><br><br>
Pat
 

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<i>Everything</i> you ever wanted to know about Folate...<b>and more</b>. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><a href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Folic_acid" target="_blank">http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Folic_acid</a><br><br><br>
Pat
 

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More info about folate and genetic variations, <span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-size:small;">exploring the link between micronutrients and health,</span></span> <span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-size:small;">investigating how enzyme cofactors like vitamins and minerals fix defective enzymes</span></span>: <a href="http://curezone.us/forums/fm.asp?i=1186709#i" target="_blank">http://curezone.us/forums/fm.asp?i=1186709#i</a><br><br>
Pat
 
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