L-Methylfolate, 15 mg
Product Code: 00811 Capsules per Bottle: 90
Each size 3 vegetarian cellulose capsule contains:
Folate (15 mg from 20.5mg L-5-Methylfolate, calcium salt)
25 mg DFE
Folate (vitamin B-9) is an essential vitamin, often added to fortified foods or supplemented in its synthetic form, folic acid. The problem with folic acid is that it must be converted by the body into L-methylfolate before it can provide any benefits. About half of the global population has inherited genetic variations that make this conversion inefficient. The consequences typically manifest as difficulty balancing mood and energy levels, or pathologies related to high homocysteine.
For most people, L-methylfolate supplements are a superior alternative to folic acid. L-Methylfolate is highly bioavailable and delivers the benefits of active folate to everyone. L-Methylfolate is not exclusively for those with an MTHFR mutation, however, it can raise circulating levels of activated folate for those individuals in a way that folic acid cannot.
What is L-Methylfolate?
L-Methylfolate is the active form of folate (vitamin B-9).
Low folate status is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and that statistic increases with age . Lack of dietary folate is the primary reason for this deficiency, but interfering health issues can prevent natural folate absorption, and some people are born without the ability to metabolize folic acid properly.
To combat widespread folate deficiency, food manufacturers began “fortifying” food by adding synthetic folic acid to common foods (white rice, bread, etc.) that don’t contain much folate naturally. Once ingested, folic acid must be converted to L-methylfolate, the active form of folate, before it can be used by the body for many biochemical reactions.
This conversion requires the body to produce an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Unfortunately, about half of the population has genetic variations that significantly reduce the ability of the MTHFR enzyme to make this conversion. This means some people cannot make enough active folate to fulfill their physiological needs, no matter how much folic acid they consume .
Unmetabolized synthetic folic acid can also build up in the bloodstream, causing adverse effects, especially in the elderly . Folic acid is much slower to break down than natural folate, even in individuals with healthy folate metabolism. It also requires the help of the liver and other tissues for activation.
Replacing folic acid supplements with L-methylfolate is a healthy choice for all individuals, regardless of age or genetic predisposition. L-methylfolate completely bypasses the entire folic acid metabolism cycle and has been shown to be more effective than folic acid for increasing circulating active folate in the body .
What does L-Methylfolate do in the body?
L-Methylfolate is critical for biochemical reactions involving methylation. Methylation processes include DNA synthesis, cell division, amino acid metabolism, and neurotransmitter synthesis.
L-Methylfolate is required to convert the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. The body uses methionine to make the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, and epinephrine.
Shortages in these neurotransmitters are often related to major depression and other psychiatric disorders. While SSRI medicines work by blocking the reabsorption of neurotransmitters, L-methylfolate can support healthier production levels of the needed neurotransmitters for balanced mood and energy .
Without sufficient L-methylfolate, homocysteine levels can build up, causing a potentially serious condition known as hyperhomocysteinemia. This is a known, independent risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease .
A decline in folate levels in the cerebrospinal fluid occurs with aging and has been associated with reduced cognitive function . High homocysteine is also associated with an increased risk for both cognitive decline and dementia . It is possible then, that supplementing L-methylfolate, which keeps folate status up and homocysteine levels down, may support cognitive longevity and mental clarity in our later years.
If your nutritional supplement delivers folate in the form of L-methylfolate, your body can use the nutrient for its various purposes immediately upon absorption, rather than relying on the folic acid cycle and all of the other precursors to activate folic acid. L-Methylfolate is highly effective at reducing homocysteine levels (with or without an MTHFR mutation) .
Suggested Uses for L-Methylfolate
- Folate supplement: Adequate folate is necessary for the normal formation of red blood cells and proper nerve function. Folate needs may be increased in those on medications known to decrease folate levels including certain anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives, and certain medications used to regulate blood sugar.
- Universal folate nutritional support: L-methylfolate/L-5-MTHF, is a bioavailable source of folate safe for all segments of the population. As a form of folate that bypasses the MTHFR enzyme, it may be a more readily usable form for the portion of the population with MTHFR polymorphisms.
- Women of childbearing years: Folate is a necessary nutrient for normal fetal development. It is advised that women of childbearing years take extra steps to ensure their folate needs are met. Breastfeeding mothers also have increased folate needs.
- Mood: L-methylfolate supports the formation of neurotransmitters necessary for a balanced mood including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Source Materials: L-5-methylfolate, calcium salt: synthetic. Glycine: synthetic. Cellulose for capsules is derived from softwood tree pulp.
Allergens: According to information provided by our suppliers, these capsules are free of the eight major allergens as identified by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA): Wheat (gluten), eggs, milk, soybeans, shellfish, fish, peanuts, tree nuts.
Recommendations: 1 capsule per day or as directed by a healthcare professional.
Precautions: Pregnant or lactating women and individuals taking prescription medications should consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplement.
- Clarke, Robert, et al. "Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency in later life." Age and ageing 33.1 (2004): 34-41.
- Kaiser Permanente. “Basic Information About the MTHFR Gene.” The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. Copyright 2015, last reviewed 2018.
- Hauser, W. Allen. "Folic acid supplementation: too much of a good thing?." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 80.5 (2009): 468-468.
- Greenberg, James A., et al. "Folic acid supplementation and pregnancy: more than just neural tube defect prevention." Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology 4.2 (2011): 52.
- Papakostas, George I., et al. "L-methylfolate as adjunctive therapy for SSRI-resistant major depression: results of two randomized, double-blind, parallel-sequential trials." American Journal of Psychiatry 169.12 (2012): 1267-1274.
- Lamers, Yvonne, et al. "Supplementation with [6 S]-5-methyltetrahydrofolate or folic acid equally reduces plasma total homocysteine concentrations in healthy women." The American journal of clinical nutrition 79.3 (2004): 473-478.
- McCaddon, Andrew, and Peter R. Hudson. "L-methylfolate, methylcobalamin, and N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease-related cognitive decline." CNS spectrums 15.S1 (2010): 2-5.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.