Folate is one of the most important nutrients you can take during the preconception period and during pregnancy for its many benefits.1-4 Folate is important in DNA/RNA synthesis, red blood cell synthesis, and most notably neural tube closure.4-7 In addition, healthy levels of folate correlate to healthier, fuller term pregnancies.8 Quatrefolic®, found in PrimaCare™, provides the main folate form in blood and cord serum and can directly enter the folate cycle.8,9
Humans cannot naturally make folate, so it must be obtained from the diet. Folate is the generic term for both naturally occurring food/dietary folate and synthetic folic acid.4 Dietary folate is naturally occurring and is found in many foods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, egg yolk, liver, and citrus fruit.3 Folic acid is a synthetic more stable form of naturally occurring folate that is present in artificially enriched foods and pharmaceutical vitamins.3 Folic acid and folate both must undergo a series of chemical reactions in the body to be converted to the usable, bioavailable form of folate 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate.3,4 PrimaCare™ contains a blend of both folic acid and Quatrefolic®. Quatrefolic® provides a bioavailable form of folate.
Quatrefolic® is the bioavailable, highly soluble form of folate ((6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate glucosamine salt) and can be directly absorbed and used without further metabolic reactions.8,9 Since no further metabolism is required to absorb Quatrefolic®, even women who may have a genetic predisposition, such as the MTHFR polymorphism, which impairs proper metabolism, are able to properly absorb folate.1,3 It is estimated more than half of the population are affected by the MTHFR polymorphism in the United States.3,13 Supplementing with a bioavailable folate may have positive implications not only for neural tube closure in early pregnancy, but other bodily functions such as red cell development and DNA and RNA synthesis.3,4 Folate and vitamin B12 are both required for normal red blood cell development, which is important while pregnant as blood volume can as much as double.4,10-12 When looking for a prenatal vitamin, remember folate! You won’t regret it!