Folate, or vitamin B9, is an incredibly important, and versatile micronutrient that plays a vital role in our physical and emotional well-being. BUT did you know the best form of folate is methyl folate, not folic acid?
Before purchasing a nutritional health supplement containing folate it’s important to check which form of folate it supplies.
Let me explain more.
Methyl Folate vs Folic Acid
So what exactly is the difference between folate and folic acid?
Sure, the terms folate, and folic acid are used interchangeably but they are NOT the same. They are in fact very different as folate is available in both natural, and synthetic forms.
Folic acid is the name given to the synthetic version of folate. Folic acid is not biologically active until it’s been converted to the methyl form. This is the active, natural form the body uses.
The Best Form of Folate in Nutritional Supplements
Folate supplements have evolved…and methyl folate is the best folate to take. It’s the most effective at increasing circulating folate levels.
The good news is more and more health companies are opting to use the superior form in nutritional supplements.
Here’s what you need to know to help you choose the right folate supplement.
The ingredient list on the side of the supplement label should clearly state what form of folate is used, plus the amount per serving. Ideally, you will see that the supplement supplies methyl folate, not folic acid.
What does Metafolin® and Quatrefolic® mean?
You may see methyl folate listed as Metafolin® or Quatrefolic®. These are trade names for specially developed methyl folate ingredients that are backed by scientific research.
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Folate and MTHFR Genetic Issues
For those diagnosed with the MTHFR gene defect it’s vital to AVOID synthetic folic acid supplements. Folic acid is commonly found in nutritional supplements, and fortified foods such as boxed breakfast cereals.
MTHFR = methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.
This specific genetic defect is very common, and it inhibits an individual’s ability to effectively utilise folic acid.
Those diagnosed with a faulty MTHFR gene quickly learn that methyl folate is the best folate to take. It is the bioactive form that can bypass the MTHFR block.
Not only that, there’s increasing awareness that folic acid poses another problem. Un-metabolized folic acid can easily build up in the body leading to un-metabolized folic acid (UMFA) syndrome.
Like to learn more?
This post looks at the MTHFR gene and WHY it matters to thyroid health: The MTHFR Gene and Why It Matters To Thyroid Health
Folate is an important B-vitamin that supports overall health. In recent years nutritional supplements that supply methyl folate form have become extremely popular as there’s increasing awareness that taking this advanced form of folate offers significant advantages over synthetic folic acid.
Please note: This information should not be used as a substitute for treatment, or advice from your qualified healthcare practitioner. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner before beginning any new nutritional product, diet, exercise, or health program as they are best suited to make recommendations to support your overall health. This is especially important if you have a diagnosed medical condition, are taking prescription medication, or you have a diagnosed MTHFR genetic issue. Some natural health supplements are not recommended during pregnancy, or breast feeding due to a lack of scientific investigations.