Different Types of Methylfolate
A Detailed Comparison
Frenzied marketing campaigns are probably most to blame for ‘customer confusion’ when it comes to finding the best methylfolate on the market. Because of course, everyone wants you to ‘buy their BEST brand’, so they try talk about it in new and different terms (selling you something shiny new and A M A Z I N G ! ! !). They’re betting you won’t be able to properly compare apples to apples. The marketing magic trick is all in the label and its presentation, is it a stick, a rod, a pole, a bar, a staff, a cane or a ‘magic wand’? Who wants the first boring options when you can have latter with a shiny picture and a promise of dreams coming true?
Often these companies are trying to appeal to you in the unique terms they have chosen and believe will most compel you to ‘buy’. So they educate you on their special terms and hope you won’t dig deep enough to compare and discern where their offerings fall short of their competitors. Instead they are hoping they gained enough credibility by educating you on their new-fangled name and its benefits that you won’t want to legitimately compare apples to apples.
Changing FDA labeling regulations and the various interpretations of these changes by manufacturers across the country also cause consumer confusion. Some manufacturers are early adopters. This means when a labeling change is first discussed by the FDA, they’re already implementing it (even before the change ever gets approved or sanctioned – IF it ever gets approved). Other manufacturers lag way behind and wait until all of the other players in the market have already changed their labeling before they make changes that finally become “required”. And to add further confusion, some recommendations made by the FDA are vague or suggestive, so some manufacturers believe they need to implement these changes and others do not (and no one is really ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in these cases).
So the reality is you could buy 3 different bottles of a methylfolate dietary supplement product, read the labels and think they all have the exact same amount of methylfolate in them. But if you had them professionally tested, you might discover all three to be showing VASTLY different amounts of the active nutrient.
So how then do you know what’s best for your health?!
At Methyl-Life™, we believe that we have the best methylfolate that money can buy and we build our products with this specialized, ultra-pure nutrient. But if that’s true, then we also believe it’s part of our job to help you understand all the competing ingredients, so you can compare them correctly (as apples to apples), and then purchase what is best for your health needs.
We’re passionate about methylfolate and proud to bring you all the information you need to make informed choices about treating your MTHFR deficiency. So, for the more science-y folks among us who like to dig deep, we’ve created this detailed resource for understanding and comparing the industry-leading methylfolate nutrients competing on the market today.
Comparing Methylfolate Ingredients: The Basics
The biggest things that set the different types of methylfolate apart are:
- Which isomers are present in the nutrient? Is L or (6S) best? What about (6S)+(6R) or DL?
- What kind of salt molecule is the active L or (6S) isomer bound to?
- How many related ‘other’ compounds are polluting the nutrient’s “purity” level?
- How stable and therefore potent and maybe more importantly, how ‘safe’ is the methylfolate type you’re taking?
- And believe it or not, is your methylfolate patented?
1. Which Isomers are present in your methylfolate? Is L-Methylfolate better than other types of methylfolate? What about 6S-5-Methylfolate, is that okay?
2. What kind of salt molecule is the active L or (6S) isomer bound to?
3. How many “related other compounds” are polluting your methylfolate’s purity level?
4. How stable and therefore potent is your methylfolate?
- The shelf life of your product is a moving target (meaning, if you’ve purchased it 1.5 years out from when it was manufactured, it’s still not technically “expired” and it’s being sold to you as ‘good’, but there could be as much potency loss as 24%. And without a test, how will you know exactly how much more you would need to take?)
- Even more concerning is the fact that when some products degrade, they can turn into harmful compounds. Compounds that are actually NOT GOOD for the body and can cause health problems. And who wants to pay to take a methylfolate that could potentially cause more health problems?
- The Amorphous Glucosamine Salt L-5-MTHF nutrient had turned black in its dish whereas the Magnafolate® had remained its original light color
- The Amorphous Glucosamine Salt L-5-MTHF had generated an impure compound which measured 19.9% at the end of the 60-day comparison. A compound known to affect T-Cells and weaken the immune system. This same ‘unhealthy’ compound was found in the Magnafolate® to be at only 0.27%. This compound is: 4-(2-amino-10-methyl-4-oxo-6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-4a,7- cycloimino-pyrimido[4,5-b][1,4]diazepine-5(4H)-yl)benzoyl]-glutamate
5. Lastly, is your methylfolate nutrient internationally patented? Does it really need to be?
Generic / Racemic Mixtures
But how important is this, really?
So what if it’s a little unstable, do we really care?
- The potency you thought you were getting is disintegrating – because the chemical form of the ingredient is changing
- The integrity of the nutrient you thought you were getting is being compromised – unhealthy compounds can get generated when instability takes over
- Surprisingly the Quatrefolic® turned brownish/black in color whereas the calcium salt varieties kept their original white/cream based color.
- The Quatrefolic® generated a significant amount of a compound known to be harmful to the immune system (4a-Hydroxy-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid) – this compound was shown to have increased by 19.9% over just 60 days.