If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, I'm sure you've got the message that folic acid is a big no-no for people with the MTHFR mutation. If you're new here, folic acid is the synthetic form of folate or vitamin B9. Folic acid is often used in supplements as a cheap form of folate, as well as in many processed and enriched foods. After cutting out folic acid from your diet and supplements, it's also very important to supplement with the proper form of vitamin B9. Your body needs folate in order to methylate properly - a process that is hindered by the MTHFR mutation. So which form of folate should you be supplementing with?
You have two primary options - methylfolate and folinic acid, not to be confused with folic acid. Methylfolate is the standard form of vitamin B9 that is recommended to people with the MTHFR mutation. This is the form that I take and it works well with my body. However, that is not the case for everyone. Some people can not tolerate methylfolate or other methylated nutrients. They may experience headaches, sleepiness, mood swings, and a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including other SNPs in combination with MTHFR.
In such a situation, folinic acid is another option that works wonders for many. Despite the name structure being similar to folic acid, not to worry - folinic acid is not synthetic or dangerous to people with the MTHFR mutation. It is a different form of natural folate used in supplements. Many people who experience negative symptoms on methylfolate are able to supplement with folinic acid without a problem. If this sounds like you, consider giving folinic acid a try. Just be sure not to get it confused with its synthetic cousin, folic acid!
Do you take methylfolate or folinic acid? Do methylated nutrients make you sick? Tell us about it!