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Supplements For Fertility: MTHFR & Folic Acid, Methyl Folate, Folinic Acid

Supplements For Fertility: MTHFR & Folic Acid, Methyl Folate, Folinic Acid

By Aimee Raupp, MS LAc

This article was reviewed by AimeeRaupp.com’s editorial team & is in compliance with our editorial policy.

💊 Is this supplement ingredient wreaking havoc on your health?

Folic Acid vs Methyl Folate vs Folinic Acid What’s the difference? Why one should you take and why? I cover all of this and more during this Facebook Live!

P.S. if you have MTHFR or think you might you definitely want to check this video out!

Here is the Full Transcription of this Video:

… Facebook. How are you guys? Hello. Hello. Hello. I am happy to be with you. I’m going to lower this computer because it’s… I had this book holding up the computer, which is one of my hands down favorite books right now. So informative, so knowledgeable written by a really smart person who did a lot of research. If you want to learn more about nutrition, or know what your nutrition and health expert is reading, this is the book. So anyway. Hi, I’m Aimee Raupp of aimeeraupp.com. Some of you might be new to me, some of you might be old to me, but either way welcome. I had a rough couple of days, but I’m feeling like almost a hundred percent better today. I rested a lot yesterday, and did all the things I tell other people to do to kick a cold. And I did it. And maybe it was a cold maybe it wasn’t. I don’t know what the hell was going on.

But anyway, hello Aimee of aimeeraupp.com. I am just so happy to be able to be with you guys. I come live every week on Instagram, and on Facebook either on Thursday or Friday depending on the week and my work schedule. And I get to talk to you about really cool topics. And we pick them based on the feedback from the audience, or the demands I see in the clinic, or in my e-course group, questions that we get a lot. So we like to offer you guys information, inspiration, insight so you can live your best life possible. Again, if you guys are new to me, welcome. We always have new people joining in. You can find out more about me on my website, aimeeraupp.com. I am the author of a couple of books.

These are two of the most popular ones. Body Belief with a big coffee stain on it. I actually think that’s liver support juice, which is a recipe in my book. Big stain. But these are my copies. You see they’re all banged up because I use them a lot. Maybe I should get prettier ones for social media, but it’s called life people real life. You want to see real life. It’s here. So follow me on my stories, and you’ll see what I do every day to live a real life in a healthy way. And today we’re going to talk about something really important, and something that I am always learning more about. So I want to just start with saying I am by no means an expert in the MTHFR conversation. I am by no means an expert in understanding all the genetic snips or mutations.

But I have learned a lot, and I just want to also give credit to the people I’ve learned from people like Ben Lynch who wrote the book Dirty Genes, who runs a website, mthfr.net. People like Chris Kresser of chriskresser.com. People like Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohn.com he’s a PhD in nutrition, really freaking smart. I pretty much go to him for anything and everything on my level of education on topics like this because my nutrition education, a lot of it’s self taught. I learned a lot about nutrition in graduate school, both in my medical education, in Western nutrition and then in Eastern nutrition. I took nutrition courses in college and in grad school. And then I took nutrition courses on Chinese medicine, nutrition, and then I studied basically ancestral nutrition. Big fan of Weston A. Price and all their teaching. So over the years you write books, if you have any integrity, you basically learn a lot.

You become a student of what you’re preaching, and I very much have done that, but I don’t have any degrees in nutrition. Very open about that. I have a Master’s of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor’s in Biology. So I understand science, I understand nutrition. I did research science for a while, but I still go to these tried and true experts for my level of education, so I can then bring that to you guys. Even when I wrote Body Belief, I talk about autoimmune paleo and I refer you to The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne because she’s a PhD. She’s done a ton of research in this field. She knows what she’s talking about. She’s going to dive deeper than I did in Body Belief. And that’s just because I’m writing a layman book. She wrote a very intense medical book on autoimmune paleo and healing the gut.

So either way, but I still would like to call myself a trusted source of this information as I do read a lot and learn a lot. And then I’ve been in clinical practice for 16 years, so I see what works with my clients. That to me is the most important thing. So when it comes to the topic of folic acid, folinic acid, methylfolate, MTHFR, I want to start by saying I don’t talk about this topic very much in any of my books because it’s not 100% my wheelhouse. My wheelhouse in my books is eating whole foods, because food is medicine. So one thing I always say in my clinical practice to my patients there, or any girls that I’m coaching with, or that are in my fertility groups, or my fertility e-course is the second I introduced liver into my, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant Diet. So this book came out in 2015, but I had been practicing the protocol, if you will, since about 2010 and even before that.

But I think I really formulated a program, if you will, for fertility in about 2010, and I have liver as part of that. And what I always say is when I introduced liver into my patient’s diet, or if they start taking it in pill form, pregnancy rates just went through the roof. Everybody started getting pregnant, miscarriages went down. It was really an eye opener for me. And now that the MTHFR conversation is so popular, which I’m going to break it all down, so if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, give me a second. I have notes for today because that’s how anal I am. But when the MTHFR conversation became so popular, and it was basically this thing of like, “Oh, we can’t take folic acid and make it into methylfolate, if we’re missing this methylation gene, which is the MTHFR mutation.”

And so all of these women are walking around with an abundance of toxic folic acid in their body, and they’re not methylating. So that means they’re basically not detoxifying their body. So then they’re not getting pregnant, and maybe they’re having miscarriages, or maybe they’re having babies with developmental disorders because they don’t have enough folate. What I noticed is then I added in liver, which is one of the most folate rich foods that you don’t need to really it comes from nature. So you don’t need to do that much work to absorb it. It’s not synthetic like folic acid is, women started getting pregnant. So to me it made a lot of sense. My diet has always been a lot of vegetables, good quality animal protein, good quality protein in general, organic and a ton of fat. So I’m a big fan of eggs, and bone broth, and liver, and green vegetables.

And fruits, really good quality organic foods. We have the fertility plate that we post regularly on social media. So if you guys haven’t seen that flip through my Instagram posts and see my fertility plate. But when you eat that way, you’re basically avoiding a lot of foods that are tainted, or contain noxious chemicals that would maybe screw up your methylation processes. And then you’re able to absorb more nutrition, and that is what helps you get pregnant. So I want to get into this conversation. I’m going to pull up my notes because I don’t want to miss a beat because it’s an important conversation. And like I said, I’m not an expert in this, so it’s not like so easy for me to just sit and talk about top of mind. And I really want to hit my marks because I think it’s really important that we all understand what the hell it is I’m talking about.

You can find again, good resources on this, on mthfr.net, chriskresser.com, Chris Masterjohn. I also pulled info from today from metabolichealing.com and abundantlife.com both of them have really good articles on folic acid versus methylfolate, potential problems, hypermethylation, all of these things that I think are really important. Because right now what I’m noticing in the world of supplements is that everyone is saying, “You can’t take folic acid, you need to take methylfolate.” And some people are recommending thousands of milligrams of methylfolate a day, which is reckless and can be really potentially very disruptive to somebody’s body, especially if they’re deficient in B12, or have a hard time methylating let’s go through it real fast. Okay, so I’m going to read some things. So let’s see. So MTHFR, basically, is an enzyme. So what is that enzyme? So the MTHFR turns folate normal run in the mill, synthetic folate or folic acid, vitamin B9 into 5-methyltetrahydrofolic which is the activated form. And that your body can use for methylation. So what do I mean by that? What is methylation? Where did that go?

Sorry, I have these notes and then I’m just realizing I want to just read it to you. So methylation is basically the process where you are going to, I’m sorry, I had this all written down that I lose something. I must have lost something in my process. I’m going to just go here real fast, and pull it up. I have another sheet here, but I want to have all my wording right. Give me one second guys. I made this whole article, and then I think I put it all into the same font and type, and I think I must’ve cut something out. So basically. Where am I? Okay. So basically what methylation does is it helps with any process where cells need to be made, or were chemicals need to be broken down, or neurotransmitters are involved. So basically every single process in the body requires methylation. Okay.

And if you are deficient in this MTHFR enzyme, because folate is what helps with methylation in the body. If you don’t have this MTHFR enzyme, you can’t take folic acid and make it into methylfolate. Which is what your body needs to go through the methylation process. So if you’re deficient in this enzyme and you take folic acid, what starts to happen is. You can’t make healthy cells, your methylation process isn’t working. You can’t detox things through your liver, and your neurotransmitters are going to be, I would say imbalanced is a good way to put it. So methylation is extremely important to I think billions of functions in the body, basically. I think someone said billions at one point, so we’ll just call it that.

So if you are taking some thing like folic acid, and you have an MTHFR mutation, you could be doing more damage to your body then good. And let’s just say the mutations, the methylation issue, and the MTHFR mutation has been linked to many conditions or diseases. Things such as miscarriages and fertility problems, which is where it became really apparent to me. Impaired immune system and allergies, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, joint pain, digestive problems, food intolerances, birth defects, autism, ADHD, migraines, insomnia, anxiety, depression, memory loss. Everything because methylation is involved in almost every single process in our body. So I think all of us should know whether, or not we have the MTHFR gene mutation, but I wouldn’t just do the MTHFR test.

There’s a blood test I think you can do, or there’s just one MTHFR test. I would get a whole genetic breakdown. You can do things like 23andMe, or there’s a couple other ones out there now. 23andMe is open about the fact that they’re selling our data, so I don’t know if that’s the best place to do it. Some have recommended using an alias an alias email, and then do it that way so nobody can really trace it back to you. You do it however you want to do it because if you have MTHFR in conjunction with another, these are called snips, so they’re basically genetic mutations, so we’re missing enzymes. If you have MTHFR and something called COMT, you then need folinic acid more than methylfolate. Because COMT almost, it’s part of the detox pathways and so folinic acid is one step behind methylfolate.

This is all getting too confusing. I don’t want to confuse you guys, but basically if you have COMT and MTHFR and you take methylfolate, you might get hypermethylation symptoms. So you basically need more B12, and you need folinic acid instead. So let me go back to my notes because I got a little sidetrack there when I didn’t have everything I wanted. So the folic acid that you take in supplements, and the folate in your leafy green vegetables, and in liver are completely useless unless MTHFR activates it. So if you have a dysfunctional MTHFR enzyme, you can be left with a folate deficiency all the time. What’s interesting though is your blood work will show your folate levels are normal. But what that actually is telling us is you’re just not absorbing and utilizing. A lot of times when serum, serum means blood, when blood level B12, or methylfolate, or B6 are taken and they’re really high. What it usually indicates is you’re actually not absorbing, not that you’re taking too much, and so we need help absorbing, so need help basically breaking these stuff down so your body and your cells can use it.

The body makes methylfolate fully to perform a function called methylation. Methylation is a critical process, like I said, that detoxifies steroid hormones, heavy metals, environmental toxins. It also makes neuro-transmitters and breaks them down. Basically, any process where cells need to be made like pregnancy, new blood cells, immune cells, gut lining cells, or were chemicals need to be broken down. Methylation is involved. Okay, so if we have this MTHFR deficiency or genetic mutation, we need to properly supplement. And so what I think is the most important takeaway for everyone are two things. I have this MTHFR guide that really breaks it down for you guys, which I’m giving you for free today. If you go to aimeeraupp.com/mthfr is that correct, Beth? MTHFR? I hope so. Let me just see over here.

Okay, so people are very excited over here on Facebook. “My husband and I are both heterozygous. I’m working with Marc Sklar. We love Marc my kids are MTHFR positive.” Yes. My husband and I are both have MTHFR one copy, so I’m assuming my son might but I’ll have to get him tested. But aimeeraupp.com/mthfr is where you can find the guide that I created. And again I created this based off of information from Chris Kresser, Chris MasterJohn and Ben Lynch just so you know. And Kate, Donovan love Marc. I love Marc too. So if you guys want this broken down even more for you, get the guide. And I basically run through the best ways to support your MTHFR mutation. Today, I really just want to educate you, so if you want the extra support on exactly what you should be doing because you need things like [colyte 00:16:52], you need the right amount of choline, the right amount of B12 and then MTHFR from really good quality foods.

And then you also, the most important thing is understanding that upwards of 50 to 80% of the population have at least one deficiency in the MTHFR gene. And so there’s I think 30 or so copies of the MTHFR. There’s two very common snips. Most of us have one or two of them, and then we’re compromised in basically taking folic acid and making it into the utilizable form of methylfolate. And we need the methylfolate to help with methylation, which then helps with detoxing the body neurotransmitters, and making babies, healthy hearts all really, really, really important things. So the first thing you need to do if you don’t know whether, or not you have the MTHFR is I would get tested. I would do something like 23andMe, or another genetic test that’s out there. Maybe someone who isn’t selling your information, or I would just also eat a really clean diet because a clean diet will avoid all the processed packaged foods that have folic acid added to it. Look at things like your supplements.

Look at things like protein powders, breads and cereals are all fortified with folic acid. If you have an MTHFR genetic mutation, which again upwards of 50 to 80% of the population depending on which studies you look at, have at least one copy of this enzyme missing. You are causing more harm to yourself than good, so folic acid is building up in your system. It actually sits on the receptors, so then even if you are taking a folic acid, say that’s in a prenatal vitamin, or that’s in a protein powder. And then you’re eating really good quality food like spinach, and kale, and liver, and folate rich foods, your body can’t utilize that methylfolate the folate rich foods because the folic acid is blocking its absorption. I’m sorry, one of the articles I read in prep for this, I’m assuming it’s a woman, but I don’t know if it really is.

“Think about it this way. Imagine that methylation is a pipe, but because…” I got this from anabundantlife.com. “Imagine that methylation is a pipe, but because of your MTHFR mutation, not much methylfolate has been made.” So there’s a blockage in your methylation pipe. “It’s important to have all other nutrients in place that are required to break down toxins and neurotransmitters and work with methylfolate. These include zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, iron and others.” So what I realized is my diet has been full of all of the recommended diet that I have, and the things I tell you to avoid. Has been so full of all these nutrients that I’ve always been treating the MTHFR mutation, even before I knew it existed or it was so popular. So really just following a really good quality whole foods based diet, and then avoiding processed packaged foods that give you the folic acid. You should be treating your MTHFR regardless if you have it or not. So these include zinc. So these are all the cofactors that help with methylfolate, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, iron.

So it doesn’t mean you need to be supplement with all these, but you need some or all of them if you don’t have enough body stores. So inadequate B12 is the most common reason why we see people have a hypermethylation symptoms. But basically if you’re just continuously adding in folic acid, and so your body isn’t methylating, this pipe just gets fuller and fuller of toxins and junk. And then you basically need to help the body clear it out. So you have to improve methylation. So you’ve got to remove the folic acid from the outside world, and then help your body start to methylate. So what happens with some people is if they are very backed up, or maybe very low in the cofactors that help with methylation. When you introduce a methylfolate supplement, they get what are called hypermethylation symptoms. So things like headaches, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, heart palpitations.

And what Ben Lynch always says is low and slow. So when you first put someone on a methylfolate, you have got to start with a very low dose and a very slow introduction. I’ll see people taking upwards of 2000, 3000 mg of methylfolate and it is way too much. I just had a girl she just tried… I usually recommend one of the Thorne Methyl Guard-Plus and she tried it and it was too much for her. So it’s like, okay, first things I think of, she doesn’t have the cofactors to help her break it down, or to do the job, and we need to take a third of the dose. So she needed to take one pill every three days probably, increase her B12, and probably increased her niacin. All of this is in my MTHFR guide by the way. I see there’s lots of questions and stuff.

I want you guys to go and download that guide. It’s aimeeraupp.com/mthfr and there’s food recommendations in there. There’s how much supplements you need to take in there. And I really break down the different mutations and what they mean. So again, this is meant to be an overview. But I see questions. Let me just look on Instagram. “I’ll be sending patients to look at it too. So important. Thanks for this.” Of course. “I have the C677T do I also need to B12 methylfolate.” Typically we do. So anytime for methylation we need B12, we need good amounts of B12, so absolutely. But in my guide I break down exactly what, and how much. And you guys are making fun of the MTHFR gene. Let me see what’s going on on Facebook because I’m looking at my notes here.

Okay. “Myself and my kids are all MTHFR positive. Yes. aimeeraupp.com/mthfr, Dr. Ben Lynch, great talk on…” And he also has a really good article on MTHFR conception and pregnancy, where he talks about like the different micronutrients that you need to support MTHFR for fertility and for pregnancy. Which is basically he covers it all mainly in his Seeking Health prenatal. But then he also tells you to take certain probiotics and things of that nature. So how to remove folic acid. So basically you just have to stop getting it from outside sources. And then you need to low and slowly introduce a methylfolate into your system. Again though, if you know that you have the COMT gene, you’re better off with folinic acid rather than methylfolate to avoid hypermethylation symptoms. The hypermethylation symptoms are things like anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations. So it’s basically everything I talk about in my books is how you get rid of folic acid.

You got to really clean up the diet. You should just be eating vegetables, protein, fat, some fruit, that’s it. Detox your household products, your bath, your beauty, all of those things. And only take whole food based supplements. Supplements that are coming from food sources rather than synthetic supplements. I want to just make sure I’m not missing anything. So folic acid is a synthetic form of B9, which is not found in nature, nor is it naturally found in the human body. In order for folic acid to be metabolized, it must go undergo metabolism in the liver, but that’s really hard on the body. Because folate, natural folate, food folate goes through metabolism in the intestine, so very different. Liver’s not used to metabolizing folic acid. So with folic acid the major problem here is the liver, and other human tissues lack significant amounts of enzymes to metabolize the folic acid. Synthetic oxidized folic acid is poorly metabolizes, and has a high propensity towards accumulating in the body.

They’ve found correlations with cancer with high levels of folic acid. You got to get off it, and then you got to support your body with things like the methylfolates and B12s, and other things to support liver detoxification. Again, I talk about this in the guide, so I want you to go get the guide. So when it comes to the richest naturally occurring sources of methylfolate, B9, animal liver, dark leafy vegetables, and some beans. Okay, I would only recommend eating sprouted beans. And if you have a lot autoimmunity, you want to make sure that you can tolerate beans. So folinic acid is a metabolically active form of folate. It’s a downstream metabolite and a precursor to methylfolate, methyltetrahydrofolate, which is the 5-MTHF that is in many of the supplements.

So folinic acid is basically a precursor, so it’s like one step behind methylfolate, so it’s a little easier on those people that have the COMT mutation. So it doesn’t rush through the subsystem too fast. Basically, that pipe I was talking about, it opens the pipe too quick. And then Oh my God, they get these hypermethylation symptoms, and then they think they can’t ever take methylfolate, and that’s not true at all. You just took too much and too fast. You got to low and slow, low and slow. The best book about this information is Dirty Genes by Ben Lynch. It is just such a good book. It talks about all the different snips and how you can best support them. MTHFR of course, is one of them. COMT is one of them.

So methylfolate, also known as methyltetrahydrofolate is the most popular form known today. Individuals with the MTHFR gene mutations are often recommended to supplement with form of folate because in certain cases these individuals may not be able to generate this important methylated form of folate. But you must remember that B12 and folate are intrinsically connected. A B12 deficiency can cause a folate deficiency because B12 is necessary to metabolize methylfolate. I’ve heard Ben Lynch say it should be a two to one ratio. I’m sorry two methylfolate to one B12 basically, so 500 to a 1000. Something like that. That’s what I’ve heard Ben Lynch say.

Again, I’m not an expert in this, but that’s the stuff I’ve heard, and that’s what I see clinically. What seems to work the best and it also prevents the hypermethylation symptoms. If people get the hypermethylation symptoms, they are not on enough B12, basically. I jump around. I was taking the Thorne Methyl-Guard Plus one a day. Now, right now I’m taking Ben Lynch’s or sorry, Seeking Health’s B12 Methylfolate Lozenge one a day. And then I also am in dabbling with the Seeking Health Prenatal, right now. I change up my regimen all the time because I’m always trying new things. But so that’s my basic takeaway. So the big thing is upwards of 50 to 80% of the people in the population have at least one of these genetic mutations, and they can’t take folic acid and make it into methylfolate.

Methylfolate is imperative for methylation, which basically helps detoxify the body. It helps your body make new cells, it helps your body, regulate it’s neurotransmitters. It is imperative in tons of functions in the body, so you need to make sure you are properly supporting your methylation. If you want to be healthy, plain and simple so you can get tested and I would recommend doing the entire genetic panel. Run it through something like PureGenomics, or Ben Lynch has one called StrateGene. Get a feedback on how to best support your body. It’s really interesting information. It’s not that expensive by any means. If you did the 23andMe for the cheaper one, you don’t need to do the health one. And then you ran it through a StrateGene for 50 bucks. It’s like $150 investment, maybe $200 investment.

You learn a ton on how you can best support your genetics and your individual genetic mutations, which we all have genetic mutations. And it’s not about that there that we have to learn how to live in support of these genetic mutations, so we can optimize our health. Then the difference between folinic acid and methylfolate or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate is, basically, folinic acid is almost one step before the 5-MTHF. And you want to take that if you have the COMT gene mutation as well or snip. I should say SNP, they call it single nuclear polymorphisms, single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

So folinic acid is a little easier on people that have MTHFR and COMT, so that you don’t get the hypermethylation symptoms. When taking methylfolate. You need to make sure you’re taking enough B12 as well. And again, all of this is broken down in my guide, which I spent a lot of time creating because I get so many questions. And again, like I said, I am not an expert. I am always still learning, and I give a lot of credit to my teachers. And to all the people out there that have done the research for me. I thank you very much. But if you eat a really good quality diet like I have mapped out in Yes, You Can Get Pregnant and in Body Belief. And you avoid the toxins in your environment, you are doing so much good for your body already. Then you want to just double check.

Nothing has actual folic acid in it. And you want to make sure you’re taking either methylfolate, or folinic acid and enough B12. And you got it going on guys. Okay. And then you’re methylating, and when you’re methylating your body is freaking happy. So that is the key. And so again, go over to aimeeraupp.com/mthfr and learn more. And I’m going to hop because I got to get to an appointment. But I love you guys, I love you guys. And if you have questions, I want you to first go check out the guide, make sure the guy doesn’t answer the questions because it probably does. If it doesn’t come back to either Instagram or Facebook private messages on Instagram or leave a comment next to this video on Facebook, and I will answer those questions later. Okay guys. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Have a great day.

End of Transcription

Aimee Raupp is a licensed herbalist, natural fertility expert and acupuncturist in NYC, offering natural fertility treatment, care & coaching solutions to women who want to get pregnant! Get pregnant fast with natural fertility care, Aimee’s online fertility shop & coaching solutions. Aimee Raupp has helped hundreds of women to get pregnant naturally! Aimee and her team are experts in Chinese Medicine, Massage & Eastern Nutrition! Get pregnant naturally, achieve optimal health & vitality, take control of your health! Aimee is excited to work with you at one of the Aimee Raupp Wellness Centers NYC. Aimee’s Fertility Coaching Program is a personal guidance along your fertility journey. If you are trying to get pregnant naturally, this program is for you! Aimee Raupp offers holistic, wellness and natural fertility books. Learn how to enhance your fertility and get pregnant naturally with Aimee’s cookbooks and diet guides!

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