Folate vs. Folic Acid and Why it Matters For Fertility and Pregnancy

Here’s Why You Should Opt for MTHF Folate Instead

Beli Vitamins Contain MTHF Folate to better support fertility and healthy pregnancies

Folate, also known as vitamin B-9, is an essential fertility and pregnancy support nutrient for both men and women, and critical for baby's development. The terms “folic acid” and “folate” are often used interchangeably to describe Vitamin B9, but they are not exactly the same. And understanding the difference is critical to ensuring your body is actually absorbing and utilizing what you put into it to ensure optimal fertility and pregnancy health.

Our bodies need folate to facilitate cell division and to make DNA. Hello, egg maturation and sperm production! Once you’re pregnant, folate supports baby’s healthy brain and spine development and helps mama maintain healthy blood volume and energy levels. Folate and fertility health go hand in hand.

  • For future fathers, folate facilitates healthy spermatogenesis (the creation of new sperm) by protecting against DNA damage. This helps ensure dad can pass on the healthiest possible genes to his future child. 
  • For women becoming mothers, folate helps to improve egg quality and increases the odds that conception will occur. During pregnancy, folate helps provide stable mood and energy levels for mama, and builds the increased blood volume needed for a healthy delivery and postpartum recovery. For women with elevated risks of miscarriage, supplementing with methylated folate is associated with improved pregnancy outcomes. 
  • For developing babies, a mother’s intake of adequate folate promotes healthy fetal growth and protects against brain and spine defects.

Most folks don’t get enough folate from diet alone, let alone the additional folate you need when trying to conceive and sustain a healthy pregnancy. That’s why doctors recommend that men and women of childbearing age take a prenatal vitamin with enough folate to support healthy fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum recovery. Folate matters so much that every prenatal on the market includes it. But there’s a catch: the form of folate you choose to consume matters. 

Like many nutrients, vitamin B-9 can be synthesized in slightly different chemical structures. Folic acid is the form you’re most likely to see in big-brand vitamins, for reasons that benefit the vitamin company more than the person taking it. For superior absorption and efficacy, we recommend that people of childbearing age take MTHF folate to ensure the maximum benefit for fertility and family health.

Read on to learn more about folic acid, and why our Beli prenatal formulas use MTHF folate—the highly active form of folate—instead.

Skip Supplements That Include B9 as Folic Acid

Most fertility and prenatal supplements include folate in the form of folic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin B-9. Folic acid is an inexpensive and shelf-stable ingredient enabling it to sit in stores for a long time, but it’s definitely not the best for our bodies and our babies. 

Folic acid is easily absorbed but difficult for your body to use. In order to metabolize folic acid, cells first have to do the extra work of converting it into a usable nutrient. This nutrient conversion process is slow and inefficient, which means that the dose of folic acid you take may not be fully metabolized until the next day, when it’s time to take your vitamin again! 

Unmetabolized folic acid hanging around in your bloodstream doesn’t help you, and some studies show it is associated with an elevated risk for cancer. Even worse, as many as 30-40% of men and women have a MTHFR gene variation that prevents cells from converting folic acid into a usable nutrient, inhibiting the body’s ability to put folic acid to use at all. 

Luckily, there’s a better way to get the folate your body needs.

Beli Has Bioavailable Methylated Folate Instead

When formulating Beli for Women and Beli for Men, we followed the science and included only the most bioavailable ingredient forms for fertility and prenatal support. That’s why you’ll only find active methylated folate in our prenatals.

Beli’s bio-available form of MTHF folate is ready to rock right away, and doesn’t need to be converted by your cells before your body can put it to use. This means even folks with the MTHFR gene variation are able to absorb this active form of folate, ensuring adequate levels of this necessary nutrient. For everyone, the superior B-9 absorption from methylated folate makes sure your body has access to the folate you need for fertility and family, helping you get pregnant, stay pregnant, and deliver a healthy baby.

Getting ready for a baby? Get Beli.