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FOLATE may reduce chromosomal defects and increase fertilization rates

by Ivy Eff

Suggested dosage: 800-1000 mcg/day. Take in combination with vitamin B12.

The names folic acid and folate are often used interchangeably. However, it’s important to note that folate is the more active form of folic acid, a B vitamin critical for many pregnancy and pre-prepregnancy functions. Not only does it cut the risk of neural tube defects in early pregnancy, it also plays a large part in fertilization and protecting the eggs from chromosomal defects. Chromosomal defects are often the cause of early miscarriage and are frequently found in the eggs of women over 40.

One study found that the higher the folic acid/folate levels in the follicular fluid of women supplemented with folic acid, the lower the level of homocysteine. High homocysteine is associated with lower rates of fertilization. Higher folic acid/folate levels also increased the diameter the developing egg follicle. Large follicles are associated with healthier eggs.

In another study (of PCOS patients), a similar correlation was found. The higher the vitamin B12 and folic acid/folate found in the follicular fluid, the lower the homocysteine levels.

In yet another study, the relationship between folate and homocysteine was found to affect the risk of Down Syndrome. Referencing multiple studies, it states that an impaired folate/homocysteine metabolism can result in nondisjunction of choromosome 21 (the chromosome responsible for Down Syndrome.) While this study cites that other factors may also contribute to Downs Syndrome, the study does confirm that deficiency in cellular folate results in chromosome breakage, defective chromosome recombination and aneuploidy. In other words, for women who are over 40, concerned with egg quality, or those who’ve had early miscarriage (often caused by aneuploidy / chromosomal defects), ensuring a proper level of folate is crucial.

Your body may not actually be able to absorb folic acid.

In order to use folic acid, your body must first turn it into folate. However, for at least 50% — and possibly as much as 80% — of the population who have the MRTHF gene defect, the ability to convert folic acid is often severely reduced. In such cases, taking folic acid can actually create more problems than it solves by clogging up the system with a substance the body cannot metabolize.

The solution is relatively simple, however. Just choose a supplement that contains folate instead of folic acid. There is no need to convert it as it is already in the most easily absorbed form, ready for the body to use.

It’s important to take folate/folic acid in combination with vitamin B12.

Folate and vitamin B12 work much better together and tend to affect many of the same functions.




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  1. VITAMIN B12 deficiency is linked to early miscarriage | - [...] dosage: 400-1000 mcg twice a day. Take in combination with folic acid or (preferably) [...]
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