Provides folic acid as methylfolate (5-MTHF) which is a stable and methylated form of folate. Methylfolate fulfils all the known uses of folic acid. Many supplements contain folic acid, however, folic acid has to undergo a number of steps within the body in order to be converted to the active form – 5-MTHF. The final step in this conversion is carried out in the body by an enzyme called MTHFR and some people have genetic mutations which means this enzyme has reduced efficiency in converting folic acid to 5-MTHF. Methylfolate does not need to be converted; it is in the active form, ready for use by the body.
- One of the functions of folic acid is contributing to normal homocysteine metabolism. This is important as high homocysteine is a risk factor for chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline
- Folate is used in the methylation cycle – the purpose of this cycle, which occurs in all cells of the body, is to create S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the universal methyl donor. SAM is used in many metabolic processes that require a methyl group
Folate contributes to normal:
- psychological function
- blood formation
- homocysteine metabolism
- maternal tissue growth during pregnancy
- immune system function
- amino acid synthesis
Folate contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
Folate has a role in the process of cell division
Supplemental folic acid intake increases maternal folate status. Low maternal folate status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. NB: we include methylfolate (i.e. folic acid) in our pregnancy multivitamin and mineral called Pregna-Plan at the government’s recommended dose for pregnancy of 400µg of folic acid per day.