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If I had to pick one topic that comes up most on the MTHFR Kids Facebook Group it’s multivitamins. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to find the right supplements for these MTHFR kiddos, and manufacturers and the FDA don’t make it easy on us.
Finding an MTHFR Kids Multivitamin
Many products contain synthetic forms of vitamins, which can be problematic for those with an MTHFR mutation. One of the most well known is folic acid, the synthetic form of folate (B9). Avoiding foods and supplements that contain folic acid is often the first thing people address because it’s an easy thing to identify. Usually.
What complicates matters is when supplement labels use the term “folate.” We love folate. We want folate. Folate is great! Except that is, when the folate is in fact folic acid. Boo!
The FDA currently allows companies to label synthetic folic acid as folate without any disclosure required to indicate that the source is actually folic acid. However, recently updated FDA regulations on food labeling have indicated that foods and supplements will all be labeled folate, and if folic acid is in the product it must appear in parenthesis alongside. This will make it much easier for those of us trying to avoid synthetic folic acid. (Manufacturers will have until July 26, 2018 to comply, and manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have until July 26, 2019 to make the changes.)
Folate and Methylfolate
As I said above, folate is great. However! It’s not enough for those with this mutation to only consume folate. Remember, with an MTHFR mutation, the body’s ability to convert folate into a form it can use is reduced. Methylfolate is the form of folate that has already been converted and can be used by the body immediately. When looking for a vitamin, it’s important to look for one with an active form of folate/methylfolate.
A note on California Prop 65 Warnings
On the Facebook Group and through internet research, the subject of California Prop 65 Warning labels on these vitamin bottles occasionally comes up. California Prop 65 is a safe water and drinking act that is in place to notify consumers when harmful toxins or chemicals are in products or if they are released in an environment. (For example, the gym I go to has a warning notice posted on the wall.) The concern with these vitamins is that there may be heavy metals in them, specifically lead. I’ve included some resources at the bottom of the page for you to learn more. If you have questions about any of the products listed, contact the manufacturer directly; I’ve provided their contact numbers for you as well.
List of Kids Multivitamins without Folic Acid
Note: Products regularly change and the information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. These products are listed in no particular order.
Dr. Mercola Children’s Multivitamin
Dose: Ages 4+, two tablets daily
Other Ingredients: Xylitol, Mannitol, Cellulose, Natural Flavors, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Organic Rice Hull Concentrate, Organic Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana [Bertoni]) (Leaf) Extract
Notes: Allergen free. A review on Amazon states this bottle contains a California Prop 65 warning due to lead content. Please call the manufacturer to confirm if you have concerns.
Customer Service: (877) 985-2695
Pixie Vites by Dr. Furhman
Type: Chewable, Powder
Dose: Ages 1-4, one tablet daily; Ages 4+, two tablets daily
Other Ingredients: Xylitol, Natural Flavors, Hydroxypropyl, Cellulose, Beet Juice (color), Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate, and Silica
Notes: Vegan, allergen free. The powder can be added to smoothies, apple sauce, etc. This is the vitamin we use in our home and we use the chewable. My little one loved it from the start, my older one needed time to get used to it. I have tried it myself and it does have a bit of a funny taste at the end. There were reports of a Prop 65 warning due to lead on this vitamin as well, but it does not appear on my bottle (and I’m in California).
Customer Service: (800) 474-9355
Michael’s Naturopathic Children’s Chewables
Dose: Ages 1-3 1 tablet with breakfast; Ages 4-8, two tablets with breakfast
Other Ingredients: Xylitol, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Natural Fruit Punch Flavor, Curcumin, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate, Stevia, Dicalcium Phosphate, Silica, Natural Carrot Powder, Natural Orange Flavor, Natural Orange Powder, Natural Strawberry Powder, Potassium Amino Acid Chelate and Pure Vanilla Flavor.
Notes: Vegetarian. This may be the next chewable we try in our house. An Amazon review mentions this tablet seems harder than other chewables. This company switched to methylfolate in their products over a year ago per my recent customer service inquiry.
Customer Service: (800) 845-2730
Update 9/4/16: My son really likes taking these chewables – says they taste like strawberries. Or bananas. (Kids.)
Thorne Children’s Basic Nutrients
Dose: Ages 4+ two to six capsules per day
Other Ingredients: Hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Calcium Laurate, Silicon Dioxide
Notes: Sugar free, allergen free. Manufacturer suggests that capsules can be opened and mixed with food. I bought these for my older child, but talked myself out of giving him the capsules, so I’ve been taking them myself. They are very small capsules, and he expressed interest in trying them when he last watched me take them. We’ll see…
Customer Service: (800) 228-1966
Seeking Health Kid’s Optimal Multivitamin
Dose: Ages 4+ six capsules per day; 4 and under, as directed by physician
Other Ingredients: HPMC (capsule), Ascorbyl Palmitate, Medium-Chain Triglycerides Oil, and Silica
Notes: Free of common allergens, vegetarian. Also states that capsules may be opened and mixed with food or drink.
Customer Service: (800) 547-9812
Dose: Children can take 1/2 the adult dose (1 Tablespoon)
Other Ingredients: Noni juice, Aloe Vera juice, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Natural Organic Raspberry Extracts, Xantan Gum, Vegetable Glycerine, Potassium Sorbate (from berries)
Notes: Vegan, soy free, gluten free, nut free, no nightshades. Currently using folate from oranges, looking into adding methylfolate in the future. So, while this one won’t necessarily do any harm, it’s not doing anyone any favors either since it’s not an activated form of folate getting into the body. I imagine this might be good choice if you give a separate methylfolate or B-complex to your kids.
Customer Service: (646) 430-2965
SmartyPants Kids Complete and Fiber
Dose: Ages 3+ 2 gummies/day the first week, 4 gummies/day thereafter
Other Ingredients: Inulin (Chicory Root Fiber), Gelatin, Pectin, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors (Orange, Lemon, Strawberry-Banana), Colors Added (Organic Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Annatto, Organic Turmeric), Fractionated Coconut Oil, Carnauba Wax, Lo Han Fruit Concentrate, and Calcium D-Pantothenate.
Notes: Gluten free, dairy free, tree nut free, peanut free. No synthetic colors, sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup. Not suitable for vegetarians (though they are working on one per a recent customer service inquiry). The regular multi without fiber will also have methylfolate in the near future.
Customer Service: (888) 751-2291