I have an interesting and confusing issue I'm trying to untangle. I'm in the process of qualifying the Garden of Life products to be included in our Buyer's Club. Here is my dilemma with their description of their "whole food form as The nutrient that we begin with is usually isolated from a proprietary food source.. I've communicated with their product specialist seeking clarification.

There is a significant difference in the body whether their vitamin is in the chemical form of folic acid (as indicated on the product) or if it is actually food folate 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). They have indicated that they are going to alter the label to conform with their belief that it is actually "folate", not folic acid.

I'm told: "the Vitamin Code Supplements contain folate and not folic acid. We have absolutely varified this with our manufacturer and as a result we are currently in the process of changing all of our labels to reflect this information. We do not have any information to claim that it is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. It would be the same as what is in food."

However here is the processing to create their "food-created nutrients":

< At the same time the yeast is growing, in a separate cultivation tank, the isolated selenium has a specific peptide complexed to it. A peptide is a chain of amino acids and they play an important role in the absorption of selenium by the yeast during the growing and metabolization process.

At the proper time in the growing process, the peptide complexed selenium is added to the growing S. cerevisiae. The peptide allows the selenium to pass through the cell wall of the S. cerevisiae.

Without the peptide, the selenium could not penetrate the cell wall of the yeast. The selenium would remain an inorganic salt, a lifeless material. However, the peptide allows the selenium access to the S. cerevisiae where it displaces sulfur and then imbeds itself to specific amino acids in the natural protein backbone of S. cerevisiae.

The selenium becomes a part of the S. cerevisiae. Since S. cerevisiae already contains some selenium, it also contains all of the co-factors you would normally associate with selenium. The end result then is S. cerevisiae that is rich in selenium and selenium co-factors.

In order to halt the growing process of the S. cerevisiae and make the nutrients created more available, enzymes called papain (from papaya) are then added to break down the cell wall of the S. cerevisiae. Once this is accomplished the enzymes are deactivated. >>


To ME, this sounds like an engineering process modifying the cell wall of the yeast with isolated selenium, a chemical isolate. Further, it displaces the natural chemical components (sulfur) and this process is manipulated to break the cell wall even. This seems a very unnatural modification of the yeast.

My precise inquiry was if the "folic acid" is folic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.

Does this sound like "food folate" to you all? How does Thorne make the "5-MTHF", I wonder? Or is this just an assumption that folic acid = food folate??

What are your thoughts? I only want to host products which include natural folate.



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I would say that the distributor should be able to ask the manufacturer for the exact chemical composition of the product. That sort of info should be on the Certificate of Analysis of any of their batches. If they can't provide that info, then better safe than sorry.

Yes, this was my last email to them,

"I'm conferring with my "Nutrition Biochemistry" team of moms.  I'd really love to hear from your chemist.  We're passionate about this folic acid vs. folate issue.  And we want to know the precise chemical definition of the "folate".  At the moment, I'm inclined to avoid proprietary "nutrients" and instead recommend whole food sources for nutrients."


The "proprietary nutrients" means not-natural in my book.




I would love to know too :)
There is so much I just can't wrap my head around when it comes to supplements......and at time me or my family need to supplement. I was just thinking about this same issue and I just assumed that since it said "folic acid" on the bottle it was not folate......
Now, what and how do thornes and metagenics use/formulate for their supplements.
I have used some of the garden of life products and I actually like them. When my dd had to have steroids to reduce swelling after her craniotomy ( she is 14 and has a meningioma) she had bad reflux (not surprising) instead of the antacids etc; that the dr. offered I gave her digestive enzymes and homemade kefir :) the garden of life enzymes worked the best. I would definately be interested in a coop.
thanks for researching Pat:)



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