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X Fact
October 25, 2020
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Is Folic Acid Metabolized Differently in Women at Different Stages in the Child Bearing Years?

In a study of non-pregnant, pregnant and lactating women who were on a diet containing 400 mcg folate and given 750 mcg of folic acid as a supplement, 84% of all the participants had un-metabolized folic acid in their blood. In other words, the vast majority of the folic acid given over and above the diet natural folate, was not converted to the active form. 24-hour urine excretion is an effective way to assess the immediate bioavailability and utilization of an ingested folic acid or folate dose (compared with serum or red blood cell folate levels) and this study showed some surprising results.

100% of un-metabolized folic acid was excreted by non-pregnant women at the end of the study (10-12 weeks) compared to 77% un-metabolized folic acid excreted by pregnant women (in their 3rd trimester) an 89% of lactating women. This indicates that pregnant women convert more folic acid to the active form than lactating women who convert more than non-pregnant women.

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Who Wrote This X Fact
Jonathan Bortz MD
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Jonathan’s background as a practicing diabetes specialist for 15 years and 17-year career developing nutritional prescriptive products for the pharmaceutical industry has contributed to his ability to understand nutrients, how they work and why they are important.

Over the years he has acquired broad and in-depth knowledge in minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients, but has special expertise in Vitamin B12 and choline metabolism. He is often asked to speak at national and international venues to articulate why B12, folate and choline are so important to gene function, brain development, liver and cardiovascular health. He applies pharmaceutical standards to nutrient science and has developed a unique ability to translate complicated concepts into simple promotional messages that resonate with practitioners and consumers. He has developed dozens of innovative nutritional products, of which many are category leaders in the US. Jonathan obtained his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa and did his fellowship in Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

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