Planning a baby’s arrival is undoubtedly one of the happiest, most troubled and confusing moments in a woman’s life. That’s because, while a whirlwind of changes occurs in your body, even changing your emotional state, you also need to be ready for all other issues like your health and the baby’s health. And with so many things in mind, it is very easy to end up falling into superstitions or incorrect information about what is and is not best for pregnancy. To help you on this point, today we are going to talk about the differences between folic acid and methylfolate , showing what they are, what they are for and in what situations they can help a pregnant woman. Want to know more? Read to the end and check it out!
What is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is an extremely important type of vitamin for our body . It is responsible for the production of certain proteins, red blood cells, the repair of our DNA, the maintenance of the nervous and cardiovascular system and, mainly, of cell division and production. And that is one of the reasons why folic acid is indicated for pregnant women, after all, when we talk about the growth of a fetus, we are also talking about cell production and growth.
It is recommended that a woman start taking a folic acid-based supplement about a month before becoming pregnant. This makes your body already prepared to take greater care in the production of cells and helps to make the fetus have a good formation, especially with regard to the nervous system and the neural tube of the fetus.
Still, it is always important to talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement. This is because you need to make sure that your body will not react in a strange way or that you will have an overdose of vitamin, which can be bad even for the baby. So pay attention to those details as well.
One of its main advantages is that folate can be found naturally in several foods , such as:
- Whole grains
It is clear that each food has more or less folate and that each organism can ingest them in a different way. However, in general, eating all of the foods listed above can help women with folate, in addition to all the other benefits they also have.
Although they are not directly linked to pregnancy, we think it is important to list other benefits that folic acid can bring. This is because everyone we list here also ends up helping in the formation of the baby during pregnancy, even if indirectly. These benefits are:
- Increases immunity
- Good for hair and nails
- Strengthens bones
- Good for the heart
- It is important for the nervous system
Let’s talk about each one in more depth so that you can better understand how a pregnant woman and her baby can benefit.
When you are pregnant, the body undergoes gigantic transformations, which can cause a woman’s immunity to fall. This is bad in several ways, but mainly because a more serious illness can also affect the baby. Folic acid, or folate, is essential for a person’s immunity to be strengthened . For this reason, its use is very beneficial in this regard. Of course, in addition to it, several components of the B complex, in addition to others, are also essential to boost immunity.
Good for hair and nails
Intake of folic acid also helps to keep your skin, hair and nails healthy. This means that it helps to reduce problems such as acne, dry skin, brittle hair and fragile nails, among many others. When you are pregnant, your health and beauty are very important to maintain your self-esteem, so folic acid is also a great help in this regard.
Folic acid is one of the main allies when it comes to preventing bone problems . It is for this reason that he is one of the main allies when it comes to the proper formation of a baby.
Good for the heart
This is another great benefit of folic acid. Recent studies have shown that it helps to reduce homocysteine , a type of amino acid that, in excess, can cause problems such as clots, for example. This is good for both mother and baby.
It is important for the nervous system
One of the most important elements for the development of the nervous system and, therefore, of the baby’s brain, is exactly folic acid. In addition, it is also essential in the baby’s cognitive and emotional development , which makes the intake of this vitamin even more important.
What is Methylfolate?
Now that you have a better understanding of what folic acid is, we can finally talk about what methylfolate is. Many people believe that it is the same thing. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to explain the difference between the two.
Methylfolate, unlike folic acid, does not need to be metabolized by our body , that is, it is a vitamin that is fully utilized by our body. Although the vast majority of vitamin supplements contain folic acid in its most common version, it is increasingly easy to find it in the methylfolate version, that is, this synthetic version created so that our body absorbs 100% of its nutrients.
Which one to use?
Once you understand exactly what folic acid is, what methylfolate is and what are the differences between them, it is common for you to have doubts about which one to use and which is the best for you. In general, the recommendation is to use folic acid to meet all your body’s requirements during pregnancy. This is because this is the natural way and proves to be very effective. However, there are some cases in which the use of methylfolate is the most recommended.
Studies show that about 10% of women are unable to properly absorb folic acid found in food. In such cases, therefore, the indication is to use methylfolate, since it is a product that does not require our body to metabolize the vitamin.
Therefore, if you are one of the 90% who manage to convert this vitamin well into metabolism, your source of folic acid may be through food or simple supplements. The use of methylfolate is indicated for a minority that has this problem.
Understanding exactly what folic acid or methylfolate is also means taking better care of your pregnancy. As we said earlier, many women believe that these are vitamins that help with fertility or that it is a hormone stimulant. When you research and understand the function of each vitamin that can help in your pregnancy , you not only guarantee better health for you and the baby, but also more calm and tranquility to think about these issues. And at times when emotions are all high, this is essential.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.