What is the difference between folate, methylfolate and folic acid?
Most women who are TTC or expecting are aware of the need for folate or folic acid during pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects in babies. Both are shown to be beneficial, but what's the difference?
About 50% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned so it is important to take folate before and immediately after conception. To reduce the risk of neural tube defects, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that all women of child-bearing age take 400mcg of folic acid daily from either (or both) fortified foods and supplements, in addition to consuming food folate from a healthful and varied diet.
Folate or vitamin B9 is the broader term that includes natural forms found in dark leafy greens, as well as the synthetic form often found in dietary supplements. Folic acid requires conversion to its active form before it can be used by the body. The methylfolate found in our prenatal is already in its active form.
So why does it matter which form is in your prenatals? There is a certain percentage of the population that has a mutation on the MTHFR gene, which is the gene that breaks down folic acid and turns it into its usable form, methylfolate. If you have this genetic mutation, it makes it very difficult for your body to convert folic acid into its active counterpart. By taking a prenatal that delivers methylfolate instead of folic acid, you’re setting your body up for success by starting out with the ready-to-use form of folate - no converting necessary.
The IOM recommends folate levels during pregnancy at 600mcg, expressed as Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFEs). This translates into approximately 400mcg of folic acid and 200mcg of naturally occurring food folate. UpSpring Prenatal Complete provides the methylated form of folate so that it is already in its active form, and at about 550 mcg of L-Methylfolate calcium, this is equivalent to 800 DFEs.
Yesterday. If that's not possible, it's a good idea to start taking UpSpring Prenatal+ as soon as you learn you're pregnant. In fact, if you are planning to become pregnant in the next few months, it's not too soon to start.
Folate or vitamin B9 is the broader term that includes natural forms found in dark leafy greens, as well as the synthetic form often found in dietary supplements. Folic acid requires conversion to its active form before it can be used by the body. The methylfolate found in our prenatal is already in its active form. Women who are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant) should get at least 800 mcg of folate or folic acid per day from diet and supplementation.
When formulating a best in class prenatal multivitamin our goal was to give mom, and baby, essential nutrients at doctor recommended levels. UpSpring Prenatal Complete provides a number of key essential minerals that other prenatal vitamins do not. These essential minerals include choline (essential for baby’s developing brain), along with selenium, copper, manganese, and chromium. In addition, UpSpring Prenatal Complete is formulated at levels consistent with the most current scientific recommendations for pregnancy, offering higher levels than many other prenatal vitamins including for iodine and vitamin C. All of this together, contributes to the 3 softgels per day.
UpSpring Prenatal Complete gives you a great start on your daily choline requirement with 55 mg choline per serving. Choline is another one of those nutrients like iron that is fairly easy to get in food. If you're eating well and choosing choline-rich foods every day (such as eggs, shrimp, cod, salmon, beef, dairy products, certain legumes, and cruciferous veggies) you should have no trouble getting the recommended adequate intake.
The darker color provides an additional layer of UV protection to reduce UV exposure for the oils inside the softgel.