Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Heres another reason NOT to eat processed foods, and you may want to double check any current supplements you take. If you have the MTHFR gene mutation, folic acid can be toxic!!! It's estimated that around 40% of the population has a form of this gene mutation.
In effort to reduce the risk of spinal bifida and other neural tube defects, beginning Jan 1998 the FDA began the requirement for processed grains to be fortified with folic acid. Folic acid is a form of folate, but it is not the same. Many Dr.'s don't know this, and continue to prescribe folic acid supplements for low folate and for nutrition during pregnancy.
Folic acid is synthetic, and it requires methylation in order to make it an active form of folate. Carriers of the MTHFR gene mutation have reduced methylation abilites. If you consume folic acid with this gene, your body cant process it or can't process all of it, and it sits in your blood as a toxin. (Read some of my other posts about the importance of eliminating toxins in our bodies!)
If you have any symptoms of low folate (fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, pale skin, irritability) it would be well worth it to get tested! Vitamin B12 absorption can be affected as well, it also requires methylation to be absorbed properly. Your doctor can order a simple blood test or you can also do a full DNA testing like 23andme. You can also try adding in a supplement with with methylfolate and methylcobalamin to see if it helps. (This one is my favorite: X Factor Plus)
Eating foods high in folate is the best way to get enough natural folate. Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, and beans are all high in natural folate. Again, it is important to avoid foods and supplements with added folic acid. Processed flours and other grains are the most common fortified foods.
My favorite fully methylated multivitamin is XFactor Plus. This vitamin delivers the most bioactive and bioavailable ingredient forms for superior absorption, along with aloe vera for increased absorption. It is complete with 100% or more of the Daily Value of 19 essential vitamins and minerals and delivers over 50 naturally occurring trace minerals.