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Ask Dr. D’Adamo: Folate and Folic Acid

Question:  Why does Dr. D’Adamo use plain folic acid in his supplements? There is evidence that the active form (folate) should be preferred.  Also, I understand that it could be detrimental to prostate health.

Answer:  We used to have the active form of folate in the Methyl B12 years ago.. long before anyone was interested. In fact we used a superlative folate from Italy. The amounts in most products were too little to make much any difference and, for what I needed doing; it just jacked up the raw material price of the products too much; which of course made the products more expensive to purchase.  In the case of Methyl B12 the methylcobalamin (which, by the way, we were the first supplement company to popularize) and adenosylcobalamin enhance methylation and/or provide more than adequate methyl donors.

The study most quoted as questioning the role of folate in prostate cancer was based largely on a literature review. Other, more reliable studies, actually did the work, and observed no evidence of an association between intake of total folate, dietary folate, or dietary folate equivalents, and prostate cancer recurrence. The negative metabolic consequences of high folic acid dosage don’t even begin occur until you hit around 5mg a day for some period of time, and by then most people would have figured out that this dose causes extreme flatulence and stopped anyway.  If this was correct, we’d expect to see skyrocketing cancer rates in pregnant women since prenatal formulas have commonly included 1200-2000mcg daily for some time now.  Canada has allowed  folic acid supplements to be sold at the 5mg dosage for decades, but nobody is noticing that Canadians get more cancer than anybody else.

It may be worth reinvestigating as the increased interest may have dropped the raw material price down, but I’d probably only make a formula for people who have the methylation polymorphism defect.  For everyone else, it’s like hiring a taxi to drive you out to your mailbox.

Categories: Peter D'Adamo, Spotlight: Products

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