Folate (B9)- Is a water-soluble B vitamin which is needed for development and cellular growth.

Folate aids in- DNA repair and protein metabolism.

Sufficient amounts of folate in your diet is essential for- production of neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) regulate mood.

Folate absorption- varies with each, even if consuming equal amounts as some do not metabolize dietary folate as well, causing a deficiency; the MTHFR gene plays a part.

Folate and Pregnancy- It is important to consume folate in early pregnancy to reduce the risk of some birth defects. If planning on becoming pregnant, it is recommended to consume 600 mcg of folate daily.

Low Folate Levels- Low levels in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Folate Supplementation- Folate supplementation may be used if low dietary sources cannot be achieved.

Folic acid- The synthetic form of folate, should be avoided. Is common in packaged foods and supplements as it can fortify foods by increasing stability and oxidation resistance. Excess amounts of this form can increase the risk of certain cancers. Accumulation can occur if you have MTHFR as you cant process this form as well, leading to health problems.

Active Forms of Folate- Folinic acid, L-5-MTHF.

5-MTHF- Is the active circulating form of folate which is naturally found in food. Can bypass the MTHFR C677T block with 5-methyl folate supplementation.

Folinic acid (5-formyl tetrahydrofolate)- This is often the safest and best-tolerated version of B9.

Folate and Riboflavin Deficiency- Can often be balanced by increasing vitamin B6 and B12.

MTHF (methyltetrahydrofolate)- Some Carriers can have side effects when taking Methylfolate (especially with CBS variants) which include: Anxiety; Depression; Headache; Herxheimer Reaction; Hypokalemia; Insomnia; Irritability; Joint Pain; Muscle Pain; Nausea; Palpitations; Rash; Seizures; Stomach Pain; Sweating; Vomiting. If you have these problems, you can neutralize them with: 50 to 100 mg of Niacin every 30 minutes to 1 hour which can cause flushing due to histamine release; for increased inflammation 250 mg of liposomal curcumin.

Diet- Avoid synthetic folic acid, which is typically found in supplements and packaged food. Consume locally grown foods. Maintaining proper folate levels is key.

Consume- Liberal consumption of most vegetables and fruits (locally grown), especially cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, watercress, and cabbage), garlic, onions, soy, grapes, and berries.

Foods High in Folate- Lentils, Romano beans, black beans, white beans, okra, peas, asparagus, bok choy, chard, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens. Fruits, fruit juices, dairy products, eggs, meat, and nuts. Enriched ready-to-eat cereals, bread, and bread products are also good sources of folate (ensure that it is not synthetic folic acid).