OBGYN Dr. Kenosha Gleaton explains how folate supplementation can be beneficial for fertility, fertility treatment outcomes, and pregnancy.
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is an essential vitamin with important implications relating to pregnancy and pregnancy loss. However, a less commonly known fact is that folate also plays a key role in fertility and the health of newborns and infants.
What is methylfolate?
Methylfolate is the form of folate that is active in the body for use. This methylated form of folate is what is required for the body to benefit from folate. Unfortunately, up to 60% of the population carry a gene mutation that does not allow for proper conversion of folic acid to this active form of methylfolate which can lead to folate deficiencies.
Folate inadequacy and deficiency
Due to the high frequency of the MTHFR gene mutation, many women are folate deficient with levels less than recommended. Folate deficiency can also develop as a result of a diet that’s low in folate containing foods including dark green vegetables, citrus juices and foods.
In addition, folate deficiency can be difficult to detect because symptoms are usually nonspecific, but include mouth sores, tongue swelling, fatigue, and gray hair.