Folate is a naturally occurring nutrient and it helps the human body to perform some of its essential functions. It activates, repairs and synthesizes DNA in the. Folate assists in cell division as well as red blood cell production. It is also needed for the proper development of the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy. (2)
But what is methylated folate?
The active form of folate that your body uses directly is referred to as methylated folate. The human body cannot produce folate on its own, so it must be ingested in order for it to be present in the body. Dietary folate has to be broken down by the body to make it active and absorbable so that the cells can make use of it. This process of folate breakdown, in the body, creates methylated folate through MTHFR’s genetic work. (1)
Here are some health benefits of methylated folate:
Many health-related problems have been supported with methylated folate supplements, some of which are: (1) (2)
Mood disorders – Individuals with mood disorders have a better chance of snapping out of their negative symptoms with methylated folate because of its serotonin generation, relative lack of side effects, superior bioavailability.
Prenatal supplementation – Taking l methyl folate supplements can help ensure you get the right amount of folate needed for proper fetal neural development. In addition, if you consume a healthy diet that contains adequate folate during your childbearing years, your risk of having children with a birth defect is highly reduced.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy – Studies have shown that patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy experienced significant improvements in their quality of life with methylated folate.
Skin disorders – By orally taking a good amount of methylated folate, skin can improve symptoms of vitiligo.
Gout – Early research suggests that methylfolate supplements might help normalize the metabolism and reduce the risk of gout.
Why methylated folate supplementation?
Many people have specific genetic variations like MTHFR (approximately 70% of the population), and as such, their bodies are not able to convert folate to its active form, methylated folate. Supplementation is key for these people because it bypasses the need for folic acid conversion, thereby directly providing your body the methylated folate it needs for essential health functions.