Reed Mangels on Folic Acid vs. Food Folate in Pregnancy

Folic Acid in Pregnancy


“Bottom line (my opinion): We don’t have enough information to recommend food folate in place of folic acid to reduce risk of neural tube defects. Based on what we know now, the benefits of folic acid supplements prior to conception and during pregnancy outweigh the risks.”

2 Responses to “Reed Mangels on Folic Acid vs. Food Folate in Pregnancy”

  1. Derek Says:

    Jack, what do you think of this, posted in a review of B12 that also contains Folic Acid:

    “My understanding is that If you have the MTHFR genetic polymorphism, folic acid is contraindicated. You need the active form of folate (5methyltetrohydrofolate) in order to boost methylation pathways. Folic acid is a synthetic formulation and requires another step in the metabolic process to be useable. Folic acid, although available to other parts of the body, blocks the absorption of folate into the Blood Brain Barrier with MTHFR. I think 40-50% of the population have the MTHFR mutation. ”

    Does any of that make sense? He points to a typical looking internet-doctor (ie possible crackpot) web site ( which champions the cause of folate over folic acid.

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Check out what Linus Pauling Institute has to say:

    It hasn’t been updated in awhile. I don’t follow the folic acid research closely enough to know if the paragraph you quoted is correct, but I’d be skeptical. I did a quick search to see if I could find anything more recent than LPI from a reliable source, but wasn’t able to.

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