The Hidden Dangers of Folic Acid vs. Folate

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Blog | Mar, 26 2018

The Hidden Dangers of Folic Acid vs. Folate


The words “folate” and “folic acid” are sometimes used interchangeably and this can be a costly mistake when it comes to your health. These two substances are technically different forms of “vitamin B9.” However, one is a substance your body cannot live without. The other may stimulate cancer tumors to grow.

Folate Deficiency

Folic acid is a synthetic form of B9 that is obtained mostly through supplementation. It can be difficult to assimilate, but more on that in a minute. Folate, on the other hand, is found in fresh, whole foods and is easily absorbed and utilized in the body, according to many experts.

Folate deficiency may lead to the following conditions:

-Higher risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke caused by higher homocysteine levels, according to a 2007 study at St Thomas’ Hospital in the U.K and others.

Birth defects, such as heart defects and “neural tubal” defects which can effect brain and spine in fetuses and newborns when pregnant moms do not get enough folate.

-Higher risk of cancer. A 2002 study by researchers at Tufts University found that folate controlled cancer cell proliferation in colorectal cancer cultures.

Folate deficiency may also lower red blood cell counts and lead to fatigue, poor immunity, mouth sores, poor digestion, mood changes and pale skin.

Folate for Methylation

Green leafy vegetables, brocolli and Brussell sprouts are two natural sources of folate.

In addition, one of the most important functions of naturally-produced folate is methylation. This is a complex but necessary biochemical process that converts one substance, such as serotonin, into another (melatonin). Methylation is crucial for healthy DNA expression and for supporting the liver. 

Proper methylation or metabolic breakdown of estrogen can have a big influence on your risk for developing and healing breast cancer. 

Folate is very important for cancer prevention and cancer healing since it supports healthy methylation. Studies show that cancer cells create mutated methylation.  Folate is a key substance in making sure that methylation works properly in the body.

What is the RDA for Folic Acid?

Many people who feel the effects of low folate levels turn to folic acid supplements and foods with added “folic acid.” Since 1998, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required that enriched grain product manufacturers include folic acid in their products. This includes cereals, pastas, breads, cornmeal, pastas, rice and many other packaged foods.  

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that all women of child-bearing age must get a minimum of 400 folate/folic acid (they use the terms interchangeably) in their diet every day. They encourage women to take a folic acid vitamin or eat a bowl of enriched breakfast cereal daily. Eating foods that contain folate is unfortunately the last option on their list.

The Problem with Folic Acid

Folic acid requires the help of an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase to break down in the body. This wouldn’t be a problem except that dihydrofolate reductase is a rare enzyme. Because of this, many individuals may have unmetabolized folic acid in their bloodstream. Too much undigested folic acid in the body can also lead to deficiencies in other nutrients, such as vitamin B12.  It also comes with its own side effects, including changes in hormone levels, cognitive issues and trouble sleeping.

Does Folic Acid Supplementation Cause Cancer?

Too much folic acid in the bloodstream has also been linked to cancer. A 2011 report published in the journal Biofactors found that unmetabolized folic acid encourages the development of already existing cancerous tumors.

Some studies also point to a higher Breast Cancer risk with folic acid supplementation. A recent in vivo study at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada found that at 2.5 times the daily requirement, folic acid supplementation promoted the growth of cancerous and pre-cancerous cells in mammary glands.

This amount of folic acid may seem extreme. It is not for some individuals. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that women who plan on becoming pregnant consume 4,000 mcg of folic acid daily and continue this amount throughout their pregnancy.

High folic acid intake is also a concern for another segment of the population. According to Dr. Young-In Kim, lead author of the St. Michael’s study, cancer patients as a whole tend to take significantly more supplements, including folic acid, than the general population.

If You Are Going to Supplement Folate, Make Sure It Is Bioavailable and Nature-Derived!

methylsupport_breastcancerThe Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to claim that synthetic folic acid is more bioavailable than folate found in food. It is hard to imagine, however, that a synthetic supplement would do the body more good than foods such as like leafy greens lentils, broccoli and avocados. These foods also come packed with dozens of other healthy elements essential to living a Healthy Breast life!

Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults supplement with folic acid. If you are one of them, be sure to switch to a folate supplement. The 7 Essentials System™ Methyl Support contains naturally-occurring 100% non-GMO folates, which also help in the metabolism of homocysteine. Healthy methylation pathways boost the immune system, support the brain, the cardiovascular system and support liver detoxification as well. Understanding the hidden dangers of folic acid may have a big impact on your health. 

Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr V”) is the founder of Breast Cancer and The 7 Essentials System ™. This step-by-step guide empowers you with knowledge so you Never Have to Fear Breast Cancer Again! To watch a FREE webinar about the 7 steps for beating breast cancer naturally, Click Here.

  • Thank you so much for this infomation as my daughter had a break down and the doctor gave her folic acid pills, she is 22 also they gave her olanzapine to take. What i would like to know is there anything that can be taken that is natural for her depression.

      • Marcia, I pray your daughter is doing well. I suffered depression and anxiety twice so far, in 2005 recovered in 2006 and in 2013 recovered in 2018. I was taking vitamin B complex supplements before each episode. Instead of reducing stress and helping and healing my mind, I feel that synthetic vitamin B complex supplements unbalance my brain chemistry and drove me into depression or metal breakdown. If your daughter need to take synthetic folic acid, eat natural food for her natural folate requirement. After all she has to eat. Do not take folic acid. It does not have all the functions of natural folate. In fact, folic acid can interfere with the brain’s functions if taken at high doses.
        This is how I get well. I believe when the body has all the nutrients it needs, it will heal. Also do not take food that contain toxins and also detox because toxins stop important body functions.
        1. Build health: Eat lots of organic green vegetables, fruits, seeds and beans. Eliminate sugar, meat, dairy, junk cooking oil and alcohol. Use palm oil or coconut oil for cooking. Take at least 5000 iu of vitamin D3 a day. Have lots of greens (includes juicing), garlic, ginger, turmeric, berries, oranges, papaya, pineapple; pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds (lightly roasted) and flaxseeds (blended), probiotics or sauerkraut or kimchi (every meal), mushrooms, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflowers, etc. Exercise lightly if can and work up slowly. If you suffers indigestion or bloating, take raw apple cidar vinegar with the mother (Braggs).
        2. Build immunity: Improve liver, pancreas, gallbladder and kidneys with milk thistle. Remove GMO food and glyphosate from your diet and your body. Stopped taking any meat from animals fed with GMO feed and contaminated with glyphosate or any pesticides, antibiotics, toxins and hormones.
        Detox glyphosate from body by taking activated charcoal, bentonite clay and sauerkraut juice.
        Remove toxins, fluoride, bromide and heavy metals from body. Detox with iodine, selenium, cilantro and spirullina. To support iodine and selenium (buy online), you must have sufficient magnesium, zinc, natural Vitamins B complex, C, E and traces minerals from Himalayan salt (1/2 to 1 tsp). These you can get from the food specified in #1.
        When you are doing detox, start low and go slow. Too fast detox will cause healing and Herxheimer die-off reactions. To minimise detox symptoms, lower your dosage to the last dose until the symptoms subside, then increase slowly. Or stop for a few days. You can also take chlorella to lessen the detox symptoms. Iodine protocol:
        3. Build collagen, the most abundant protein in the body by taking/supplementing with boron(buy online). After 8 months on a plant based nutritious diet and detox, my depression lifted after taking 3mg of boron for about 2 weeks and I was on the road to recovery.
        4. Have faith. Your daughter must make a commitment to get well. And keep reminding herself that she can get well. Pray if she has religion.
        5. Taper your daughter olanzapine off slowly. It is very addictive. Never go cold turkey or do too rapid taper. Recommended taper speed is 10% reduction per week. Always follow how she feels. If she feels fine, continue 10% reduction per week. If she has bad withdrawal symptoms, reduce to 5% per week. If she feels really bad and have suicidal thoughts, she may even have to up her olanzapine dosage slowly to original does to stabilize. After she stabilizes, she can resume taper again. Never give up hope. If her health improves tremendously by taking the nutritious plant based diet, and the body begins to reject olanzapine, then she can do a rapid taper of 25% reduction per week or faster. Never stop taking olanzapine or any psychiatric drug abruptly.
        Wishing your daughter speedy recovery.

      • Dear Veronique
        I read one of the answers that you received. In answer of ms Chia Siew Syn. in row 16, she/he urge you to use palm oil for cooking. DO NOT USE PALM OIL for cooking or eating. It causes the defense system to malfunction. Many seed oils do this. The best oil to use, is OLIVE OIL, and for cooking and for eating. It has a low analogy Ω6/Ω3* fat acids, and containes much monounsaturated fatty acids.

        *high analogy of Ω6/Ω3* fat acids, are suspicious for inflamations

  • Hi Arun,

    You can reach out to the Salicinium Company, Perfect Balance, for more information about the protocol. You can also considering the RGCC natural extracts sensitivity testing to determine what might be the best course of action for your wife. Connect with an integrative practitioner in your area to help you navigate what the best treatment options might be. Our coaches would also be happy to work with you and your wife as well. I’ll have one of my coaches reach out to you and share some information on our programs.