50 years of
Folate is an essential B-vitamin required for DNA and RNA synthesis of cells for replication and general function. Naturally occurring folate should comprise 80% of folate in circulation, folic acid (synthetic) should comprise 0%. Folic acid entered the American diet in the 1960’s when folate deficiency was found to play a significant role in neural tube defects of the developing fetus, a serious and significant finding. This pioneered a movement to add synthetic folic acid to foods, labeling them “enriched” or “fortified”.
It has been postulated that 40% of the population has at least 1 copy of an altered MTHFR gene. Being a carrier of the polymorphism (altered gene) could mean that the folic acid consumed in your diet or in some supplements is binding to your folate receptor, preventing you from absorbing natural folate that you can utilize from food (leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes). The result is a deficiency in folate. In more recent years, research has found significant correlations between folate deficiency and recurrent miscarriages, ADHD, addiction, allergies, cardiovascular disease, Down’s syndrome, diabetes, mental health conditions (anxiety, depression, bipolar, Alzheimers, etc.), autoimmunity, and thyroid disease.
The good news is, folate deficiency and MTHFR gene SNPs are easily treatable with proper guidance by a trained professional. Acknowledging genetic SNPs or genes that are functioning suboptimally is, in our eyes, a large foundation of preventative medicine.