More and more companies are offering the bio-active form of folate (L 5-methyltetrahydrafolate) -this is often three to four times the price of regular folic acid. Why chose one over the other? The past couple of years, 5MTHF has been in the spotlight -both of the recent conventions I attended (European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism -Spain and the International Society of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics -Quebec City) gave plenty of space to openly discuss the importance of the latest research coming out on this topic.
Understanding the C677T SNP can serve as an informative basis in learning about what works best for your body. As your body produces energy, this creates by-products from metabolizing amino-acids (homocysteine from methionine) as they pass through the cycle of methylation. This by-product can usually be recycled back into a beneficial amino acid (methionine) with the presence of certain B-vitamins. When one essential B-vitamin is deficient, the process is stunted and the potential for elevated levels of homocysteine can occur. It can be worthwhile to request your doctor to check your homocysteine levels.
Healthy pregnancy, heart health, inflammation modulation, long term cognitive health and mental health are all connected by the metabolic needs that folate supports. Unmetabolized folic acid may prove detrimental in certain individuals and testing can be a fantastic tool for self-knowledge.
For those who know they carry this mutation, here are simple dietary suggestions:
To provide the best dietary support possible start by checking labels. Refraining from processed foods fortified with folic acid can be helpful. Choosing whole grains makes easy work of avoiding folic acid added to foods; soaking and cooking grains like quinoa, buckwheat, millet and rice are excellent and tasty choices. Breads that are more suitable are sourdough breads made from whole grain flours; there are many local companies that produce excellent loafs (ie: Inewa). Refraining from overconsumption of meats (wild game, pork, deli meats, sausage and turkey) to reduce intake of methionine is a voluntary action for dietary change. Daily consumption of dark leafy greens (kale, swiss chard, brussel sprouts and spinach are important sources of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins (including folate ) and phytochemicals along with providing high sources of fiber.
Interested in knowing whether you or your children carry this gene? Contact Nicole Reilkoff ND and set up an appointment for your test.