Ketontrack Nutritional Series

Folate the one that binds it all

Folate

Folate is the key that unlocks your energy in so many areas. Folate is also known as B9 and is one of those vitamins that our body can’t produce so we need to take it from the food.

 Folate is essential for metabolic pathways involving cell growth, replication, survival of cells in culture. Folic acid is crucial for proper brain functioning and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It helps in the production of DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic material.

Folate also supports a system known as methylation which does many things such as

  • Reduce allergies 
  • Makes your mind more flexible
  • Helps in making creatine, which in turn helps with depression, digestion,eyesight and skin
  • Clears homocysteine
  • Boosts the levels of choline
  • Helps with histamine metabolism
  • Folate also prevents anemia, which keeps us feeling energized

How much do we need?

The official RDA however is 400mg and we can only store a very limited amount in the liver (around 20-70mg)

How to get the folate you need

Folate is abundant in the three “L”

  • Liver
  • Legumes
  • Leafy greens
 
You can also find it in sunflower seeds, seafood and eggs.
 
In specific at the top of the list is
  • Liver but you should only eat it once or twice in a week
  • 2 servings of Leaks, spinash, brocolli
  • 2 servings of Chickpeas

Folate vs. Folic Acid

Folic acid (folate) is the vitamin found naturally in food while folic acid is the synthetic molecule created in the laboratory for the first time in 1943. Folic acid is not naturally present in food but is found in supplements. nutrition and fortified foods.

The natural vitamin is not exactly the same as the synthetic one. Folic acid, when exposed to air and heat, becomes unstable and breaks down, thus becoming useless to the body. But a small amount of the natural vitamin is converted by oxidation (a natural process) to folic acid which is a much more stable form and lasts a long time.

Human cells can not use folic acid per se but convert it (mainly in the liver) into natural forms of the vitamin. This is why folic acid, although not found in foods, is called a vitamin. But as a person gets older, the conversion of folic acid to folic acid in the body becomes more difficult.

Some researchers fear that the presence of folic acid instead of the natural form of the vitamin at abnormal levels in the body may be detrimental to health and suggest taking the vitamin only in a natural way, ie from foods and not from fortified foods or supplements.

Tips
  • Folate is stable-ish during cooking but you will need to eat more when cooking. Vegetables should be fresh!
  • Folate is lost during rinsing of veggies. It’s the cut surfaces that lose folate, so always rinse before you cut not after.
  • Pastured raised chicken eggs have many times more folate.
  • Note that usually flour is enriched with folate, so if you are in the process of reducing wheat you need to be aware of not becoming deficient.
  • Avoid Folic Acid
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking

Key Takeaways

  • Folate is essential for the proper expression of your DNA, energy production and many other processes
  • Get 100% of your folate for natural sources as the body can’t store much of it and supplementation is not effective.
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