Folic Acid, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Strokes

Genetic Defect May Cause Vitamin Deficiency Leading To Strokes, Alzheimer’s, And Heart Attacks.

About one in 7 people have a genetic deficiency that keeps them from converting folic acid to its final usable form 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). This gives them a folate deficiency even though they have plenty in their diet or supplements.

Other causes for folate deficiencies are excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, celiac disease, kidney dialysis, diabetes, MS, age, other nutritional deficiencies. Drugs such as aspirin/ibuprofin/NAIDs, antacids, antibiotics, barbiturates, birth control pills, anticonvulsive/epileptic/bipolar medications, diuretics, H2 blockers (Tagamet, Pepsid, Zantak), and proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec).

Folic acid/folate is a B-vitamin (B-9) that is needed to make healthy new cells, protein synthesis, as well as stimulate antioxidant activity. It is found in peas, beans, citrus fruits, and leafy green vegetables. Deficiencies during pregnancy can lead to major birth defects like spina bifida (an incomplete closure spinal column that leaves the spinal cord less protected), encephalocele (an incomplete closure of the skull allowing brain tissue to protrudes out through the skull to to the skin), and anencephaly (an absence of parts of the brain, skull, and scalp). New evidence shows that it also cause premature birth and heart defects.

Folate is needed to convert the amino acid homocysteine into methionine. Methionine is converted to SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) which is a key for the production of neurotransmitters like seratonin and dopamine. When there is insufficient folate in it’s usable form, homocysteine levels will rise

Homocysteine is inflammatory and plays a role in the hardening of arteries as well as increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. Some say that it is an even larger risk factor than high cholesterol and that statin drugs reduce heart disease by reducing inflammation rather than lowering cholesterol. Other nutritional deficiencies that can increase homocysteine levels are B-6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate is the active form) and B-12 (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are the active forms).

There are many types of folate supplements. For those with the genetic deficiency for folate conversion, I recommend the final form of 5-MTHF. Again one in seven people have this deficiency (I am one of them). Utilizing applied kinesiology, we are able to check to see if you would benefit from the different forms of folic acid, as well as homocysteine issues along with other nutritional needs.


Thermolabile variant of 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductaseassociated with low red-cell folates: implications for folate intake recommendations, The Lancet, Volume 349, Issue 9065, Pages 1591 – 1593, 31 May 1997

Folic acid offers more protection than thought, By Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press, June 2, 2009

The Heart Revolution: The Extraordinary Discovery That Finally Laid the Cholesterol Myth to Rest by Kilmer McCully MD and Martha McCully

The Homocysteine Revolution by Kilmer McCully MD

Folic Acid: A Shield Against Alzheimer’s? By Michelle Andrews

Ballerinas And Female Athletes Share Quadruple Health Threats

Homocysteine by Siamak Nabili, MD, MPH


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About Dr. Michael Polsinelli, DC

I really enjoy my work. It is a combination of listening, analyzing, and the skill of performing my craft. I love the expression on my patients faces when I puzzle out a long standing problem of theirs, or when their pain leaves after gently adjusting them. Read more about me

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