Is Folic Acid Good or Bad for Pregnant Women?

It is likely that the first thing you did after leaving your OBGYN’s office the day your pregnancy was confirmed was to stop by and pick up your prescription for a prenatal vitamin with the crucial ingredient folic acid. It is a widespread belief in the medical community that folic acid is necessary in reducing neural tube defects and is therefore crucial for your pregnancy. 

There Is an Alternative

We agree that your diet and supplementation is important in reducing neural tube defects. However, we respectfully disagree with the idea that folic acid is what you need to accomplish a healthy pregnancy. Instead, we believe folate is actually what you need for you and your baby to achieve optimal health. 

What Is the Difference Between Folate and Folic Acid?

Folate (vitamin B9) takes two forms in nature: L-methylfolate or folinic acid. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate and was first created in a lab in 1943. The natural forms of folate mentioned above, reduce the odds of your baby having a neural tube defect like folic acid but unlike folic acid they do not increase the odds your child will develop asthma and allergies. Here are a few excerpts from studies that speak to this fact:  

“. . . scientists found that higher levels of unmetabolized folic acid measured at birth was associated with the development of food allergy.”

“Interestingly, while the mean total folate levels at birth were lower among the children that developed a food allergy, mean levels of the synthetic folic acid derivative, unmetabolized folic acid, were higher.”

– Emily McGowan, M.D
Folic Acid

“. . .women with MTHFR C677T polymorphism have higher chances of kids with asthma if exposed to synthetic folic acid.”

“. . . folic acid has been found to modify gene expression, linked to the development of allergic disease in offspring. These actions of folic acid, coupled with results from several human population studies, provide some foundation to bring into question the role of folic acid exposure in late pregnancy in the development of allergic disease in children, after the critical period of time for protection against neural tube defects.”

“. . . we have shown that folic acid supplementation in late pregnancy significantly increases the risk of asthma in the child at 3.5 years and of persistent asthma at 3.5 and 5.5 years . . .”

Do Your Research and Help Your Child

As you seek to give your child the best start possible, take some time to read more about the need for bioavailable nutrients as well as how Bump DHA is filled with the very ingredients designed to give you and your baby the best health possible.

Visit our website to learn more about folic acid.