smoothieIf you’ve been using the elemental diet shake I formulated – Absorb Plus – for any length of time, you’ll know that I am always on the lookout for ways to improve the product.

Sometimes people are not too happy with me, because certain changes – like when I switched the maltodextrin to a non-GMO cassava maltodextrin – affect the taste or texture. But when they try it, and I explain the reasons why the changes will benefit their health, they’re pretty happy I’m looking out for them.

So switching from folic acid to folate – although it does not affect the taste at all – is also better for your health.

Vitamin B9: Folic Acid vs. Folate

As you know, we need the entire B-complex of vitamins for our immune system. And Vitamin B9 (traditionally available as Folic Acid) is really important since most people with IBD tend towards anemia. And your body can’t produce hemoglobin without an adequate Vitamin B9 supply.

Although I have seen some folate supplements state ‘folic acid’ on their label (and vice-versa) according to the Mayo Clinic the correct differentiation is that folic acid is the synthetic form of Vitamin B9 and folate is the natural form that occurs in food.

I chose to re-formulate Absorb Plus to contain a good, natural form of folate commonly known as: 5-methyltetrahydrofolate – which is:

“folic acid is converted into a naturally occurring folate, namely 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, which is the major circulating form of folate in the human body”

But keep in mind that this natural folate has only recently become available in a commercially viable form – so many supplement companies are not even aware of it, or are not able to switch their formulation yet. Common forms of 5MTHF are derived from calcium salts, or glucosamine salts, and will appear on the supplement label in one of these ways:

L-MTHF, or L-Methylfolate, or L-5-MTHF, or (6S)-5-Methylfolate

You will see it on the Absorb Plus Supplement Facts table as:

6s-5-methylfolate, glucosamine salt (
because it’s derived from glucosamine, not calcium)

I also chose this form because it is well-tolerated and can actually be utilized by people with the MTHFR gene defect.

Vitamin B6

And while we’re on the topic of B vitamins… you will also see Vitamin B6 in the Absorb Plus supplement facts table, listed as:


This is the active form of vitamin B6, and a number of people (with the MTHFR gene mutation, Celiac disease, the elderly, autistic children, people with liver disease, etc.) have a reduced capacity to convert the more commonly available forms of pyridoxine hydrochloride, pyridoxal, or pyridoxamine into the active form of B6.

The pyridoxal-5-phosphate form of Vitamin B6 bypasses the need for conversion, has anti-glycation benefits, and is more appropriate for people of different health and genetic backgrounds — especially those with impaired liver function.

Please know that as nutrition information increases and as new technologies and raw materials become available, I will always be seeking to formulate the highest quality natural products I can for my readers and my family. And I never stop experimenting and seeking to make things better!