This vs. That: Folate

All of the nutrients included in our Essential for Women are just that—essential. But, folate? Folate is downright crucial. We need folate for the production of genetic material, like DNA and RNA, which is why you often see its importance stressed for prenatal vitamins. But here’s the thing: we’re constantly regenerating cells in the body for various functions, which means that folate is important for your body all the time. Even when it’s not hard at work making another human.

But this is where folate gets a little more complicated. If you already take a vitamin, you might not be used to seeing “folate” listed as an ingredient. Most supplement companies opt for the more common (and less expensive) synthetically produced folic acid. We’re guessing that one looks a little more familiar. Theoretically, folic acid should do the same thing as folate, but a lot of the time, it doesn’t. Unlike the food-form folate that we use in Ritual’s Essential for Women, folic acid isn’t the active form of folate, so it has to undergo a seriously scrupulous enzymatic breakdown process in order to be absorbed as its useable form, 5-MTHF. Much of the nutrition is lost in the process. As if it couldn’t get any worse, folic acid lets (most of) us down again—because it is estimated that about 40% of the population possesses a genetic mutation that makes them completely unable to absorb synthetic folic acid. Yes, about just shy of half of the population are wasting their time if they’re taking a vitamin containing folic acid.

Did that sound a little bleak? Don’t stress, folate-seekers. We use a patented folate called Quatrefolic®, which is structurally identical to the active (readily-absorbable) form of folate, 5-MTHF. It’s easily absorbed, regardless of whether you happen to have that gene mutation or not. Plus, it doesn’t have to be converted or changed or undergo intense enzymatic break-downs to get into your body and start working. It’s already in its final and completed form of folate, so the body just eats it up and gets to work.

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