dr. Sali Rafik – Gynecologist
Folic acid (Vitamin B9 or folate) is one of the most popular vitamins, especially when it comes to attempts at pregnancy, healthy pregnancy and women’s health. Its name comes from the Latin word “folium”, which means leaf. All leafy vegetables are among the best dietary sources of folate. The terms folic acid and folate are often used interchangeably, but in practice they are different chemical compounds with potentially different effects on health. Folate is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B9. Folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9 and occurs naturally in food, but in very small concentrations.
Synthetic folic acid is widely used in food supplements and as an enrichment of processed foods such as flour and cereals. For many years, folic acid was thought to be absorbed much better than naturally occurring folate. The study proves that the intake of folic acid in the form of a dietary supplement is not superior to a complete diet and is not a sufficiently reliable means of combating vitamin B9 deficiency. Unlike more folate, much of the folic acid entering the digestive system is not converted to the active form of vitamin B9, which is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Instead, it must be converted to the liver or other tissues. However, this process is slow and inefficient. After taking folic acid, it takes time for the body to convert the whole amount to bioactive 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Even a relatively small dose, such as 200-400 mcg per day, may not be fully metabolized until the dose should be taken.
Folate is a major response to the easy conversion of carbohydrates to glucose in our body and is essential for red blood cell formation, cell division, detoxification and the production of certain neurotransmitters. Methylation is the basis of the biochemical mechanism that is responsible for the transmission of life and the regulation of gametogenesis and continues the development of the embryo. The development of the brain and its maturation are also due to the proper methylation of lipids, and long-term neuronal function depends on biogenic amines, which require methylation for their synthesis. Tips for this reason folic acid is a supplement that is often prescribed to pregnant women to prevent the detection of birth defects.
Although folic acid is needed by the body and is widely used as a supplement, recent research has found that up to 50% of the population is unable to convert folic acid – the synthetic form of B9 – into absorbable folate. This genetic difference can mask vitamin B12 deficiency and lead to many other health problems, including birth defects. Those like humans have become more aware of the body’s need for folic acid and the likelihood that folic acid is not an effective form of supplementation, methylated folate is growing in popularity.
All methylation processes are performed by the enzyme methyltransferase and a known unique co-factor S-adenosylmethionine. This in turn leads to the selection of homocysteine, which is toxic and inhibits methylation. Folic acid deficiency causes an increase in homocysteine levels in the blood. During early pregnancy, the deficiency prevents neural tube closure in the fourth week of gestation, and dietary supplements are routinely prescribed to prevent neural tube defects, mainly including B vitamins, Zn, and folate. Neural tube defects are common, complex congenital malformations resulting from failure to close the neural tube during embryogenesis. The addition of folic acid has been found to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects, which has led to national public health policies for folic acid.
The additional data from animal studies do not provide the necessary information to establish the metabolic or genomic factor that corresponds to the response of human folic acid to neural tube defects. However, several lines of evidence suggest that not only folate but also choline, B12, and methylation metabolism are involved in the mechanism of neural tube defects. Decreased vitamin B12 and increased total choline or homocysteine in the mother’s blood have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of these defects. The methylated form of folic acid is the active form of the acid that it reaches in the body after complex organic transformations. In some women, such transformations are impossible due to a hereditary enzyme defect. This means that the disease will require doses of folic acid, you will not absorb it and the risk of pregnancy, and there may be hospitals in the fetus.
AroFolicacid Meta is a methylated form of folic acid that is directly absorbed by the body. Arolife’s nutritional supplement provides the right doses of methylated folic acid to cover the daily needs of a pregnant woman and her fetus. Read more about AroFolicacid Meta by AroFolicacid Meta – Arolife (arolife.bg)