*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Ingredient information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Material Name(s): L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate, Calcium L-5-MTHF, Folate, Folic acid, Vitamin B9
Folate is synonymous with folic acid, known as vitamin B9, a water-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in DNA and RNA synthesis, red blood cell production, the metabolism of proteins and healthy genetic expression. The body needs folic acid but can’t synthesize it on its own and as such must be consumed from foods or dietary supplements.
Folic acid is inactive in the human body and must be converted by the liver into the active molecule 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). Issues can arise during metabolism for those with an enzyme issue, such as an MTHFR mutation; where they are unable to process folate to its bioavailable form. L-Methylfolate calcium (refers to the calcium salt molecule it is attached to). L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF) is the biologically active form of folate that is used in the body.
Natural folates are found in dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens) as well as oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, liver and brewer’s yeast. The absorption efficiency of natural folates is approximately 50% that of supplemental folic acid. This is because natural food folates are pteroylpolyglutamate derivatives. These require cleavage (by an enzyme called folate conjugase) to pteroylmonoglutamate forms prior to absorption from the small intestine.
Folic acid (in supplemental form) is already a pteroylmonoglutamate and therefore does not require this process, making it much more efficiently absorbed as a result. When most health practitioners and astute observers of preventative health and nutrition think of folic acid, they refer to the overwhelming amount of research supporting folic acid’s ability to prevent neural tube defects. U.S. Food & Drug Administration began enforcing a regulation in 1998 that required all uncooked flour, grain and cereal products to be fortified with folic acid.
5-MTHF is preferred over folic acid for the following reasons:
- It is well absorbed even when gastrointestinal pH is altered and its bioavailability is not affected by metabolic defects
- Reduced risk of masking vitamin B12 deficiency
- Fewer interactions with drugs that inhibit dihydrofolate reductase and overcomes metabolic defects caused by methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism
- Prevents the potential negative effects of unconverted folic acid in the peripheral circulation
- Country of origin: China
- Starting material: Pharmaceutical synthesis
- Solvent for extraction: Methanol
- Stored form: Yellow or orange crystalline powder