Learn More About Methylfolate
Methylfolate is the abbreviation of L-5-Methylfolate which also known as L-Methylfolate, L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate, L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic acid, L-5-MTHF, Levomefolic Acid, (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, (6S)-5-MTHF etc. Methylfolate is the primary biologically active form of folate used at the cellular level for DNA reproduction, the cysteine cycle and the regulation of homocysteine. L-Methylfolate is also the form found in circulation and transported across membranes into tissues and across the blood–brain barrier. In the cell, Methylfolate is used in the methylation of homocysteine to form methionine and tetrahydrofolate (THF). THF is the immediate acceptor of one carbon unit for the synthesis of thymidine-DNA, purines (RNA and DNA) and methionine. The un-methylated form, folic acid (vitamin B9), is a synthetic form of folate, and must undergo enzymatic reduction by dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) to become biologically active.(from wikipedia)
L-methylfolate for Pregnancy
We all know that folate is important for pregnant women. Because women with low folate levels are at increased risk of having a child with a neural tube defects (NTDs) and other types of malformations, the U. S. Public Health Service and CDC recommend that all women of childbearing age consume 0.4 mg (400 mcg) of folic acid daily. (Most prenatal vitamins contain 0.8 mg or 800 mcg of folic acid.) (from women’s mental health org)
Calcium L-methylfolate (L-5-MTHF-Ca; CAS#151533-22-1) is a source of folate and an alternative to folic acid for use in human food and food supplements. As the name shows, there is extra Calcium being added inside L-methylfolate. Ingested L-5-MTHF-Ca dissociates readily and completely in the aqueous environment into Ca2+ and L-5-MTHF ions which pass through the intestinal mucosal cells.
During pregnancy, the baby growing in its mother’s womb needs plenty of calcium to develop its skeleton. This need is especially great during the last 3 months of pregnancy. If the mother doesn’t get enough calcium, her baby will draw what it needs from the mother’s bones.
Therefore, Calcium L-methylfolate plays a significant role during pregnancy as Calcium L-methylfolate prevents mother away from calcium deficiency and ensures baby grows healthily at the same time.
L-methylfolate for Depression
Methylfolate is essential for the brain to make the neurotransmitters that prevent depression (norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine). In other words, a low level of depression can cause or worsen depression because it leads to lower levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Many people with depression may not be aware that they lack the gene that allows their brain to use folate and folic acid from their diet and from typical vitamin supplements, and may not be aware that taking the active form of folate (L methyl folate) may be essential to getting a good response to common antidepressants like Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil.
A number of studies have shown that people with the lower activity gene for MTHFR have a greater risk of developing depression. In addition, several randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that methylfolate supplements can be effective in boosting the response of people with depression to antidepressants. Methylfolate is available both as an over-the-counter supplement, and as a medical food requiring a prescription. 
Other Benefits of Methylfolate
Our body counts on methylfolate to produce red blood cells. A deficiency can lead to anemia or a low red blood cell count.
L-methylfolate also plays many other roles in our body. These include repairing DNA, aiding and supporting immune function, the body’s detoxification system, energy production, and more.
Who Need Methyfolate?
Folate is typically taken in its synthetic form (as in vitamin supplements) or as naturally occurring dihydrofolate in foods. For those of you interested in the nitty gritty details of folate metabolism, these folates are converted to the active form of L-methylfolate by 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Importantly the MTHFR gene has various polymorphisms that affect this conversion. About half of all Caucasians have a less efficient form of the MTHFR gene, and the prevalence may be even higher in certain groups (e.g., Californian Hispanics, African Americans). Those individuals with these less efficient forms of the MTHFR gene may be more prone to folate deficiency; however, taking L-methylfolate bypasses the MTHFR enzyme and leads to higher levels of the biologically active L-methylfolate.
If you have the gene mutation, or a digestive condition, and you are taking folic acid, you could end up with unmetabolized folic acid. It’d be competing for attention in your body, which has been linked to poor immune function, and a host of other health conditions. That’s why it’s critical for those people to take methylfolate directly instead of folate or folic acid.
- If not eating sufficient leafy green vegetables, you’ll need to take some methylfolate.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding? You’ll need methyfolate.
- Growing child? Needs methylfolate.
- Elevated homocysteine? No doubt You need methylfolate.
Hence the answer is We All Need methylfolate and the difference is just some of us might do not need that much more especially for those:
- Eating sufficient green vegetables – with lunch and dinner AND
- Healthy homocysteine level (between 6.5 and 8)
Conclusion For Methylfolate
L-methylfolate is like a round wheel. Folic acid or folate is like a square ‘wheel’. We’ve evolved. It’s time for folic acid / Folate to go away. Folic acid / Folate is basically a square wheel to your body. It has to be processed by many different enzymes so your body can turn it into a round wheel – L-methylfolate. Why would you use a square ‘wheel’ when a round wheel is invented and readily available?