Folic Acid Increases Homocysteine 4.63/5 (38)

That’s right.

Folic acid increases homocysteine.

This goes contrary to what you’ve read or heard your doctor say.

You read or hear how awesome folic acid is at:

  • lowering homocysteine
  • supporting women experiencing recurring miscarriages
  • reducing neural tube defects

How can I sit here and tell you folic acid increases homocysteine?

Well, because it does.

Folic acid increases homocysteine because:

  • folic acid is not the body’s primary form of folate – l-methylfolate is.
  • folic acid isn’t active at all in the human body until it is transformed by a gene called DHFR
  • the folic acid transforming gene, DHFR, is really, really, r e a l l y slow
  • since this DHFR gene is so slow, folic acid just sits in your blood getting in the way
  • folic acid gets in the way of l-methylfolate so l-methylfolate cannot do its job
  • if l-methylfolate cannot do its job, homocysteine goes up

Don’t take my word for it.

Here are two case studies – just published – demonstrating how two pregnant women had high homocysteine because of folic acid.

Case Study #1

41 year-old female with infertility. A MTHFR genetic test discovers she has a typical MTHFR gene – no variants.

Due to her infertility and starting another egg donation cycle, her doctor prescribes 5 mg of folic acid/day.

She did as recommended.

Luckily, upon routine exams at another clinic, her homocysteine levels were monitored.

  • initial level of 12.2 umol/L on October 26
  • follow up of 17.2 umol/L on February 13

The 5 mg of folic acid was stopped by this clinic’s recommendation on February 17.

They replaced the 5 mg of folic acid with 500 mcg of l-methylfolate.

Just 4 days later, her homocysteine level dropped to 8.2 umol/L


  • Folic acid blocked folate transport and folate receptors
  • The ratio of folic acid:l-methylfolate was very imbalanced towards folic acid. There is a huge amount of folic acid compared to l-methylfolate.
  • L-Methylfolate could not get into the cell and lower homocysteine because folic acid was blocking the folate receptors and folate transporters.
  • Once the folic acid was stopped, the slow DHFR gene could finally turn the folic acid into active l-methylfolate – albeit at a snail’s pace.
  • The ratio of folic acid:l-methylfolate shifts in favor of l-methylfolate. There is less folic acid compared to l-methylfolate.
  • The blocking of transport proteins and folate receptors by folic acid was reduced because less folic acid was available and more l-methylfolate was available.
  • Since more l-methylfolate was available, homocysteine lowered.
  • The l-methylfolate supplement sped the process of lowering homocysteine. It did this by further increasing the ratio of l-methylfolate to folic acid.

Diagram of the Folate Pathway

This StrateGene Genetic Report clearly demonstrates the problem of folic acid.

Note the highlighted yellow ‘folic acid’. These are areas where folic acid is known to interfere with genetic expression.

Regardless of genetic variants or genetic mutations, folic acid is slowing these genes down!

It’s time to stop saying it’s ok to use folic acid because someone doesn’t have MTHFR genetic variants.


  • FOLR1 = folate receptor gene
  • SLC = folate transport gene
  • DHFR = gene which processes folic acid into a more active folate forms
  • MTHFR = gene which makes l-methylfolate – the body’s main form of folate

Folic Acid has to go through ALL of these genes in order to become L-Methylfolate.

Thus, folic acid bogs the entire Folate Pathway down in a big way.

By stopping the use of folic acid – AND – adding l-methylfolate, one can immediately support their Folate Pathway without burdening it to do a bunch of work. In fact, no work is needed as L-Methylfolate bypasses all Folate genes. Now the FOLR1 and SLC genes can use the L-Methylfolate as needed to help reduce homocysteine instead of being blocked by Folic Acid.

Case Study #2

Very similar to case #1

A woman experiencing infertility is taking folic acid. Her homocysteine level is 15.2 umol/L. Upon stopping folic acid and taking 500 mcg of l-methylfolate, her homocysteine level returns to a healthy level within days.

Powerful Takeaways:

  • Folic acid interferes with fertility and homocysteine even in those who do not have MTHFR genetic variants! These are normal MTHFR’s who get messed up from folic acid.
  • Folic acid is actually not helpful. Instead, folic acid interferes with the body’s natural folate
  • Once stopping folic acid, it takes only days to see improvements. Improvements accelerate when supplementing with l-methylfolate.
  • It does not take much l-methylfolate to lower homocysteine – only 500 mcg was used in these two patients. This is contrary to the high dose l-methylfolate recommendations. (sometimes higher amounts are needed but try lower amounts first.)

Action Steps:

  1. Do not use folic acid.
  2. Use l-methylfolate instead – and try first just a little bit – such as 400 mcg
  3. Find a prenatal vitamin with l-methylfolate and no folic acid.

Share your folate story:

  • What have you experienced with folic acid? Comment below.


Source of case studies:

High doses of folic acid induce a pseudo-methyltetrahydrofolate syndrome




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