Do Your Vitamins Contain Folate or Folic Acid? And Why Does it Matter?

Do Your Vitamins Contain Folate or Folic Acid? And Why Does it Matter?

The one “vitamin” thing I remember most, way back in my pregnancy days, was that there was a great deal of fervor over making sure you were taking plenty of folic acid. Folic acid is essential to warding off birth defects and maintaining you baby’s brain and spinal cord health. Well, in the last decade or so, there is now new fervor saying that too much folic acid in the diet could be causing autism in babies.

If I have learned one thing over the last 30 years in regards to health and wellness trends is that reasonable truth lies somewhere between extremes.

I was completely clueless in my first years of pregnancy and “child rearing,” and I do mean clueless. Proof of this is that I was feeding my 7-week-old, second born son, raspberry sherbet right from the carton with my finger, in the grocery check out line because he was crying…and I wondered why the people all around me were staring at us…couldn’t they see I just wanted to do something to keep him from crying???

And I may have forgotten to take my pre-natal vitamins during my third pregnancy, but I didn’t forget to get Taco Bell and then pick up a chocolate cake from the grocery store.

Here are those sons today:

I am so thankful our bodies can handle our stupidity and ignorance for at least a season.tongue-out

You can do a quick google search and have millions of articles at your fingertips on the subject of folic acid and MTFHR (No, not a swear word), so I am not going to go into great depth here. My goal is just to bring this into your sphere of awareness so as you can make an informed decision on your health needs. If you are in your child-bearing years, this is an issue you will particularly want to take note of – and an aging adult.

So here is what I would consider the basics of the folic acid/folate matter:

Folate is one of the B-vitamins and is needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA. Its name is derived from the Latin word “folium,” which means leaf. In fact, leafy vegetables are among the best dietary sources of folate.

Adequate folate intake is extremely important during periods of rapid growth such as pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. It is also beneficial in treating mood disorders. It has also shown to be effective to improve cognitive function, memory and help alleiviate depression in aging adults.

Folic acid, is a synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as pteroylmonoglutamic acid. It is what is used in most vitamins, and many processed foods. The problem is that many of us (estimated 1 in 4) have a MTHFR variant which causes us NOT to be able convert folic acid to methylfolate. MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It is an enzyme that activates and regulates folate metabolism in the body. This genetic variant can lead to a possible folate deficiency in the body. In addition, unmetabolized folic acid has also been linked to poor immune function and a variety of other health conditions.

So yes, folate/B9 is important to have in your diet! BUT you want to consider the source of where you are getting it from.

So for optimal health the best recommendation, as always, is to try to eat adequate (note: NOT excessive) amounts of foods that contain naturally occurring folate.

Folate is naturally present in:

  • Beef liver
  • Vegetables (especially asparagus, brussels sprouts, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and mustard greens)
  • Fruits and fruit juices (especially oranges and orange juice)
  • Nuts, beans, and peas (such as peanuts, black-eyed peas, and kidney beans
Because most of us don’t know if we have a MTHFR mutation variant, it may be best to avoid vitamin supplements that contain folic acid and look for ones that contain Folate or L-Methylfolate/L-5MTHF.
Here is the mulitivitamin I use. When purchasing any muli-vitamin, or stand alone supplement,  look for folate as L-5-MTHF.
Killer Bread with a Prison History

Killer Bread with a Prison History

Although I don’t have any problems with gluten or gut issues, I generally do not eat much bread. However, when I do eat it, it is generally of the low-carb, whole grain variety.

When visiting my family in Madison, WI, I would stop by the local Trader Joe’s and pick up a half a dozen loaves of their low carb bread and stick them in my freezer – and that would last me a long time! However, Trader Joe’s no longer makes that low carb bread, thus I’ve been looking for something to replace it.

A few weeks ago, I was in Fresh Thyme Market picking up a package of absolutely decadent gluten-free mini brownie muffins (see review of those, here) for one of my gluten-free friends. While there, I saw a display of “Dave’s Killer Bread”, and thought I’d give it a try. In an effort to keep the calorie and carbs down low, I bought the thin sliced loaves. I am so glad I did. I love this bread! Oh my, it has so much flavor – especially the Good Seed variety.

I don’t eat much bread, so I am not familiar with many different brands, but I am sharing this here because I thought the conception of this product was so intriguing.

One day, I happened to actually read the whole package and found out why it’s called Dave’s Killer bread. Here is what is printed on the side of the bag:

If you go to their website , or click on the pictures below, you can read the stories of many of their employess, and how their lives have been changed by the fact that they were given a second chance.

They also sell a bagels in a varitey of flavors:

I have found this bread at Fresh Thyme Market on Coldwater Road, Walmart, Meijer and Kroger. So if you are looking for a great tasting bread, and would like to help people get a second chance, consider adding Dave’s Killer bread products to your shopping cart!

Fudgy Grain-Free Yum!

Fudgy Grain-Free Yum!

I know there are lots of recipes out there for grain-free and sugar-free muffins that would be “healthier” than these muffins. These would definitely not fit into a “low-carb” category food! BUT, if you, or your kids, have issues with grains, and carbs are not a problem, or in my case, buying a gift for a gluten-free friend on her birthday, these are a REALLY scrumptious treat! They are so incredibly fudgy!
I actually put these right in the freezer after purshasing. For whatever reason, I think they are the absolute best after you pull one out and after a minute or so, you bite in to what taste like a massive piece of fudge!
You can check out all the Flax 4 Life products here. They are cheaper to buy on line, however then you have shipping charges.  I have only found these at Fresh Thyme Market and Earth Fare. However, they are often sold out, so I always call ahead! And I just picked up a stash before posting this to make sure I had plenty in the freezer! smile
Area Homeschool Co-ops

Area Homeschool Co-ops

Depending on where you are in your homeschooling journey, you may be very familiar with homeschool co-ops, or like me, waited 20 years before trying one!  Today, I am starting a series on the homeschool co-ops and classes offered in the Fort Wayne and surrounding areas.

Northeast Homeschool Family Co-op