Folate Benefits for Pregnancy ~ What You Should Know Beforehand
Folate is a crucial nutrient for all of us: women, pregnant or not, and men as well. However, unless you’re a health-care professional, a nutritionist or a scientist, you might think folate is just a nutrient that pregnant women need. Indeed, adequate folate intake is important for expectant mothers. Supplement 400-800 mcg of folate daily could meet the needs for healthy growth and development of the baby and also for the needs of the mother herself. As for the upper intake level, it is generally recommended not to exceed 1 mg (1000 micrograms) per day. Folate is like a master switch in a physical process called the methylation cycle. This is the mechanism that allows our bodies to function by turning on and off the individual biological switches for a host of body systems. When folate is working optimally, it has a significant positive impact on the formation of red blood cells, the formation of nucleic acids and nucleoproteins, and helps the normal development and growth of fetus.
Folate cannot be synthesized by human body and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. The folate we obtain from the diet must be converted into its active form – called 5-MTHF before it can help power the methylation cycle and be used by human body. However, studies have found that 15-30% of people are lacking of ability to metabolize folate into the active form by themselves. As a result, a person could be eating all of the richest food sources of folate – liver, wheat germ, legumes, lentils, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, etc. – and still lack of 5-MTHF.
That’s the reason that simply supplementing with just any general form of folate supplement may not be good enough. If your body is incapable of metabolizing folate into active form, eating vegetables or taking nutritional supplements is useless. What you need is the most active and bioavailable form of folate. Folate in foods can be easily destroyed during improper storage and excessive cooking and heat. Boiling in water can cause a 95 percent loss of folate. The folic acid provided by general dietary supplements is the second generation folate, which is synthetic, does not occur in nature but can be utilized by the human body as a precursor. However, it needs to be converted to active 5-MTHF with key enzyme. The second generation folate is cheap but has limited effects, and it is again not useful for people who cannot metabolize folate into the active form. 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate Calcium Salt is the third generation folate, which is the only folic acid derivative available on the market, and able to penetrate the body cells without the need of further metabolism process. However, this form is not recognized in Taiwan. The fourth generation patented folate – Quatrefolic®, is a natural reduced folate. Quatrefolic® has been shown higher bioavailability compared to 5-MTHF calcium salt and synthetic folic acid. Meanwhile, Quatrefolic® is 100 times more soluble in water than 5-MTHF calcium salt, and its absorption rate is 10 times higher than the general synthetic folic acid.
ActivFolate uses Quatrefolic®, the fourth generation folate, which has proven to have long lasting stability, super high water solubility, enhanced bioavailability as well as good safety. If you’re pregnant or of childbearing age, or you think you might be deficient in 5-MTHF, then supplementing ActivFolate could be your answer. You’ll get the best support for your body and enjoy many healthy benefits. ActivFolate also chose French-imported micro capsules and patented water-soluble fiber; it’s easy to swallow. Each batch of products have been tested by high standard third-party laboratories, and is the optimal source of folate supplementation for pregnant women.