FOLATE vs FOLIC ACID: Which is better?

FOLATE vs FOLIC ACID: Which is better?

Not all folate is made the same! Folic acid has a molecular structure that is nearly identical to folate (the essential vitamin B9), however, it is synthetic and your body processes it VERY differently than natural folate. In fact, for some, the ingestion of “folic acid” can be potentially dangerous if it exceeds their body’s ability to process it. Here’s why…

In order to metabolize folic acid your body has to go through three conversion steps:


  1. Dihydrofolate
  2. Tetrahydrofolate
  3. L-Methylfolate



On top of all this work the body has to do, there’s actually a key enzyme that regulates this process. It’s called Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) - how about that for a tongue twister? Without this essential enzyme, folic acid will build up in the bloodstream and overburden the liver, resulting in potentially serious side effects. And guess what? It’s estimated that over 60% of the population has a genetic variation that impairs their ability to utilize this enzyme!! There are several studies that suggest various harmful effects in taking folic acid (1,2,3,4) as opposed to folate. Even more, the overall extent of the effects of having unmetabolized folic acid float around the body aren’t even fully known - ahem, we shouldn’t be the guinea pigs. 

That being said, there is a MUCH better way to get your folate and that is from both high quality food sources like raw spinach as well as the metabolized form of folate —> methylfolate or, “quatrefolic”. By utilizing the reduced form of folate, more than half of the population can now adequately absorb this essential nutrient. There is a growing body of research that reveals not only the superiority of folate vs folic acid, but also the potential detriment to taking the latter. So to us, this is a complete no-brainer. We refuse to skimp on quality. 



HAIRtamin Advanced + MOM uses the natural, absorbable form of this nutrient - making its far more superior to any folic acid alternative. Since folate is such a valuable vitamin for hair growth (and baby growth, for all the pregnant moms using HAIRtamin MOM!), we pride ourselves on giving your body the folate it deserves. 



1. Patanwala I et al. Folic acid handling by the human gut: implications for food fortification and supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014


2. Scaglione F, Panzavolta G. Folate, folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate are not the same thing. Xenobiotica. 2014


3. Ulrich CM, Potter JD. Folate supplementation: too much of a good thing? Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006


4. Jamil K. Clinical Implications of MTHFR Gene Polymorphism in Various Diseases. Biol Med. 2014

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