Folate is important for the normal production of the mood balancing neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Folic acid is the most common form of folate in supplements and fortified foods but it needs to be converted to methylfolate to be used by the body for neurotransmitter communication and many other important biochemical reactions. This process is done by the enzyme, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Unfortunately, about half the population have genetic variations that reduce the ability of the MTHFR enzyme to convert folic acid to its usable form, methylfolate. Because supplementing with L-methylfolate removes the need for this conversion, it is far more effective than its inactivated counterparts.
Based on scientific research, our L-methylfolate is a more active and bioavailable form of folate and is the only form of folate to cross the blood-brain barrier. L-methylfolate is important for normal production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, and is essential for converting homocysteine to methionine. Almost half of all people have genetic variations that reduce their ability to convert folate to its usable form. For this population, L-methylfolate supplementation is far more effective in providing this form of folate. Use it to help support healthy mood, cardio, and nerve function.
L-methylfolate is critical for biochemical reactions involving one-carbon transfer (methylation). These include: DNA synthesis, cell division, amino acid metabolism and neurotransmitter synthesis. Studies suggest low folate levels can contribute to depressed mood and that supplementation may be useful for maintenance of healthy moods. A decline in folate levels in the cerebral spinal fluid occurs with aging, and has been associated with reduced cognitive function. L-methylfolate is essential for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, supporting vascular and cardio health by lowering homocysteine levels.
If your doctor has told you that you need the activated form of folate, then MethylPro® is for you. Folate is a B vitamin that is necessary for healthy mood, cardiovascular function, and reproduction. It is essential for life and development, which is why pregnant women need to take it every day. Lately, there is more evidence showing that folate promotes brain health. But even if you eat folate every day, your body may desperately need this B vitamin.
Up to 50% of people don’t have the enzyme that “turns on” (or activates) folate to the body’s most useful form, L-methylfolate.1 This means that even if you take folic acid each day, your body may be unable to use it. This may mean you have the MTHFR gene mutation.
People who have this genetic variation may have a nutritional deficiency of folate even though they are eating fortified foods, folate-rich foods, and taking over-the-counter vitamins. For nutritional support, doctors recommend that their patients take the active form of the vitamin known as L-methylfolate.
If you have the MTHFR gene mutation, you could benefit from MethylPro®.
Folate : refers to the water-soluble B vitamins that we find naturally in whole and organic foods.
Folic acid : refers to the synthetic (or man-made) B vitamin that you find in dietary supplements and fortified foods.
Folate is involved in countless biochemical steps in each cell of the body.
What folate does in your body :
Makes neurotransmitters (mood chemicals) found in the brain
Lowers homocysteine, an amino acid that increases your risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease
Makes the building blocks of DNA
Helps remove toxins from the body
Why it may be recommended :
Low mood or low levels of neurotransmitters
Uric acid excess
Neural tube defects
Poor pregnancy outcomes
Low Mood Chemicals and Brain Health :
Your brain needs healthy levels of chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, in order to work well. L-Methylfolate supports brain health by balancing mood-elevating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. L-Methylfolate is involved in the production of melatonin, which is important for normal sleep patterns. Finally, L-methylfolate helps to make epinephrine and norepinephrine. Also called adrenaline and noradrenaline, these neurotransmitters help you respond to stressful situations.
Healthy levels of brain neurotransmitters are necessary for :
Motivation and desire
Low folate levels have been associated with mood disorders. Your doctor might recommend that you take supplemental L-methylfolate as first line therapy or as an adjunct to your current treatment.
Homocysteine and Cardiovascular Health :
Homocysteine is an amino acid that, at high levels, has been linked to cardiovascular disease. L-Methylfolate helps to regulate homocysteine levels. It recycles homocysteine to its parent molecule (methionine), so that it does not build up in the body. If L-Methylfolate levels are too low, homocysteine can build up in the blood. High homocysteine increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and blood clots. It also can increase the risk of arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. People with high homocysteine are at higher risk of having cardiovascular problems, pregnancy complications, and are more likely to have a child with a neural tube defect like spina bifida. People with the MTHFR gene mutation are more likely to have high homocysteine, but do not always have high homocysteine.
L-Methylfolate addresses high homocysteine levels in blood by optimizing homocysteine metabolism. It helps to prevent the buildup of homocysteine in the blood. Even if you have normal homocysteine, your doctor may recommend L-methylfolate to maintain moderate levels of homocysteine. L-Methylfolate can also support heart health by enhancing blood flow and increasing nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide is a beneficial chemical made by your body that relaxes blood vessels so that blood can flow more smoothly. Other vitamin and mineral cofactors are needed to regulate homocysteine and, when combined with L-methylfolate, can help you achieve healthy homocysteine levels.
Peripheral Neuropathy :
Peripheral neuropathy means that a nerve in your peripheral nervous system is damaged or not working properly. Your peripheral nervous system sends signals from your arms, hands, feet, and legs back to your brain and spinal cord. Peripheral neuropathy usually affects the feet and legs with symptoms of tingling, numbness, burning, and pain. Somewhere between 10 and 22% of people in the United States complain of neuropathy. Neuropathies can be caused by many different things, including vitamin deficiency, diabetes, or even toxic metals. Poorly controlled blood sugar in diabetics is one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy.
L-Methylfolate supplements can promote healthy nerve function by supporting normal homocysteine levels and increasing nitric oxide production.
Scientists believe one possible cause of peripheral neuropathy is poor blood flow to the nerves. L-Methylfolate can improve blood flow by promoting healthy levels of nitric oxide.4 Nitric oxide is a natural and healthy chemical messenger in blood that opens blood vessels so that blood flows more quickly. Homocysteine is higher in people with peripheral neuropathy and in diabetics with neuropathy. L-Methylfolate helps to recycle homocysteine so that it doesn’t build up in blood and this could promote nerve health. Some preliminary studies show that healthy levels of folate can protect against diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Uric Acid :
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It causes sudden attacks of painful, red, swollen joints, usually at the base of the big toe. It also can affect the ankle, knee, or other joints. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. High uric acid can form crystals and deposit in the joints, causing attacks of pain and tenderness. Foods rich in folate6 or folic acid supplements can reduce uric acid7 and support joint health.
Megaloblastic Anemia :
In megaloblastic anemia, there are low levels of immature circulating blood cells. The bone marrow releases red blood cells and they deliver oxygen throughout the body. When the body doesn’t have enough healthy, mature red blood cells, it causes fatigue, lightheadedness, and pale skin (or pallor). The most common causes of megaloblastic anemia are folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies. These vitamins are critical in the development and maturation of red blood cells. Certain medications can also cause megaloblastic anemia.
Neural Tube Defects :
Neural tube defects are serious birth defects that affect the brain or spine. Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect and can paralyze the baby from the waist down. A baby’s neural tube normally develops into the brain and spine. If the neural tube does not close completely, the brain or spine can be seriously damaged.
Folate is essential for normal development of the neural tube, brain, and spinal cord. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that all women of childbearing age take folic acid every day to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Women who consume healthful diets with adequate folate throughout their childbearing years may reduce their risk of having a child with a birth defect of the brain or spinal cord. Sources of folate include fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, fortified cereals, and dietary supplements. Even when eating fortified products, some women do not get enough folate. L-Methylfolate may be a perfect addition to a prenatal health plan because it is the most useful form of folate for the human body.
Poor Pregnancy Outcomes :
Low folate levels together with high homocysteine may lead to multiple unexplained miscarriages. Eating a diet low in folate can cause low folate and high homocysteine levels. Also, genetic mutations in the enzymes involved in folate metabolism can lead to low folate and high homocysteine blood levels.8 While still controversial, some studies have suggested an association between the MTHFR C677T gene mutation and unexplained pregnancy loss.8 Your doctor may recommend the activated form of folate if you have a MTHFR gene mutation, high homocysteine, low folate, or a history of pregnancy loss.
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Octavia Y, Kararigas G, de Boer M, et al. Folic acid reduces doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy by modulating endothelial nitric oxide synthase. J Cell Mol Med. 2017.
Yilmaz M, Aktug H, Oltulu F, Erbas O. Neuroprotective effects of folic acid on experimental diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Toxicology and industrial health. 2016;32(5):832-840.
Lyu LC, Hsu CY, Yeh CY, Lee MS, Huang SH, Chen CL. A case-control study of the association of diet and obesity with gout in Taiwan. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(4):690-701.
Qin X, Li Y, He M, et al. Folic acid therapy reduces serum uric acid in hypertensive patients: a substudy of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT). Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(4):882-889.
Luo L, Chen Y, Wang L, et al. Polymorphisms of Genes Involved in the Folate Metabolic Pathway Impact the Occurrence of Unexplained Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. Reproductive sciences. 2015;22(7):845-851.