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What’s the difference between Folic Acid and Folate?

Folic Acid is synthetically produced, and used in fortified foods and supplements because it can be converted into Folate in the body. To be used, it must be converted to tetrahydrofolate (tetrahydrofolic acid). Increasing evidence suggests that this process may be slow in humans, especially people with a particular genetic mutation (more on that shortly). Conversely, folates occur naturally in many foods and are especially plentiful in dark green leafy vegetables, and they work directly in the body. Our Quatrefolic® is already in a biologically active form, so it can be efficiently utilized even by people who have the gene mutation.*

It’s estimated that roughly one-third of people have the gene mutation that makes it difficult to efficiently utilize folic acid. Can you tells us more about it?

Some people have a genetic mutation, or polymorphism, that hinders their body from efficiently converting dietary or supplemental Folate to its usable form, methylfolate. If you test positive for MTFHR, the solution is for your Folate supplement to be in the active form so your body does not have to convert it – called L-methylfolate.*

For the general population, why is Folate so important?

The human body needs Folate to methylate DNA as well as to act as a cofactor in certain biological reactions. It is especially important in supporting cell division and supporting normal energy-yielding metabolism.*

Why do we find Folic Acid in so many government recommendations and supplement ingredient lists?

Folic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin. It dissolves in water and is not stored in your fat cells. This means that you need to keep taking Folate as your body cannot develop a reserve. And unfortunately, there are a lot of ways people can fall short.*

What makes Quatrefolic® different from other Folate?

There are big variations in how efficiently Folic Acid and Folate is converted to the bioactive form in different people due to the MTHFR call-out I mentioned. Quatrefolic® bypasses the MTHFR conversion step and delivers a "finished" Folate the body can efficiently use at the cellular level.*

Meet Our Expert

WhoWeAre-Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, VP of Scientific Affairs at Ritual

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

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WhoWeAre-Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, VP of Scientific Affairs at Ritual

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

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Meet the Author

This article was written by our content specialist.

vhoff

Victoria Hoff, Writer

Victoria Hoff is an accomplished writer, journalist, and former wellness editor who has covered a wide variety of health, nutrition, and wellness topics during her tenure. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, and after writing for Vogue, Elle, Byrdie, The/Thirty, and more, channeled her editorial skills into a marketing career.

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vhoff

Victoria Hoff, Writer

Victoria Hoff is an accomplished writer, journalist, and former wellness editor who has covered a wide variety of health, nutrition, and wellness topics during her tenure. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, and after writing for Vogue, Elle, Byrdie, The/Thirty, and more, channeled her editorial skills into a marketing career.

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