Problems with Bread or Pasta?

bread on a board being pushed away

Problems with Bread and Pasta?

Have you taken yourself off gluten products, especially bread, because they make you feel bloated and unwell?

If you are not a coeliac but do feel that gluten is an issue for you then you may need to consider folic acid as the culprit and not necessarily the gluten.

Any wheat based gluten product (in Australia) has been fortified with folic acid, and for some people this may be causing gut issues and not the gluten.

As we know folate is essential for a healthy pregnancy, but folate is also needed for a healthy methylation cycle.What is methylation I hear you ask?

Methylation is a transfer of atoms from one substance to another, it is part of a complex system that is essential for your body, especially your DNA.

If you do not methylate well, then you may experience an alteration with your DNA/RNA expression, neurotransmitter imbalances along with impaired detoxification pathways. So what conditions would you experience?

Well, you may experience some of the following issues:

  • Can’t tolerate the Oral Contraceptive Pill
  • Feels unable to tolerate B vitamin supplements
  • Not able to lose weight
  • Have unexplained elevated Cholesterol
  • Has a poor memory and can’t remember where they put the car keys or what they had for lunch today?
  • Has Chronic allergies
  • Had Multiple miscarriages
  • Addictions
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Mood disorders

It is quite a varied list but not exhaustive either. But how does this have anything to do with eating bread or pasta?

If you carry the MTHFR genetic snp, then you have a higher risk of having problems metabolising folic acid. This means that your body might have reduced absorption of folate, and reduced absorption of vitamin B12. B12 and folate need to work together for the folate cycle to function optimally. These also rely on a healthy functioning digestive system.

Folic Acid, Folinic Acid or Folate? Are they all the same thing?

Yes and No. They all have the same purpose, that is to break down into by-product to help the folate cycle, but they are not all equal. Folate is the activated form, Folic acid is the synthetic form and Folinic acid is also a synthetic form but has undergone metabolism, so it can be a better utilised by those with a MTHFR snp.

Those with a MTHFR snp can have issues breaking folic acid down into folate, which is needed to enter the methylation cycle. And this is where eating bread and pasta comes in as it is fortified with folic acid.

In Australia all wheat flour is fortified with Folic Acid (this has mandatory since 2009). This was done to decrease the amount of neural tube defects in pregnant women. While this may seem like a good solution it is not always beneficial to those that cannot metabolize folic acid properly.

Your DNA methylation is reliant on your gut microbiome, and this along with having folate receptors in the gut, can upset the digestive system when consuming folic acid. So, your bloating and feeling of blah after eating gluten maybe driven by folic acid consumption rather than gluten.

So what does all this mean?

If you are suffering with gut issues, are not coeliac, and eating gluten makes you feel pretty crappy, then removing folic acid might be the solution. This is not to say you remove all folic acid or folate as it is essential. But understanding if you do carry the gene snp, then it is about getting the right form of folate that improves your absorption and hence your DNA methylation.

If this is something you would like to discover more about then check in for a free 15 minute discovery call with me


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