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Breakthrough in Folate Supplementation
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Breakthrough in Folate Supplementation

Breakthrough in Folate Supplementation

Valerie Hall, CNHP

Folate deficiency is the top nutrient deficiency in the world.  Besides its potentially crippling effects on the brain and on cell and tissue growth regulation, folate deficiency is linked to depressed mood, failing memory, anemias, intestinal dysfunction, male fertility problems, pollen hypersensitivities, and bone thinning.   Folate deficiency is also linked to blood buildup of homocysteine, which itself is linked to a plethora of other health problems.  New findings are again showing how important folate is for the brain, from its formation during pregnancy throughout our entire life. Folate is a key nutrient that determines how our genes express themselves; operating like a toggle switch to tell genes to turn off and on.  Clearly folate is a nutrient renowned for many health benefits.  Since we cannot make it within the body, it is beneficial and necessary for everyone.

Also known as Vitamin B9, in supplements it is commonly in the form of synthetic folic acid.  Synthetic folic acid is poorly absorbed and utilized by the body, and many people have a deficiency in the enzyme that converts folic acid into natural folate (MTHF).  As many as one third of older Americans have unconverted folic acid in their blood, and this can pose several health problems.  We need a better form of this critical nutrient!

There is an alternative to synthetic folic acid in supplements, one that is more stable and better absorbed. It is called  Quatrefolic ® (6S)-5-MethylTetraHydroFolate (MTHF). This human identical MTHF is more compatible with our biochemistry than any other form of MTHF. One of the companies providing this superior form of folic acid is Doctor’s Best. Fully Active Folate is important for our brain health, heart health, immune health, and the health of our genetic structure.

Sometimes referred to as Methyl Folate, MTHF is a cornerstone of human metabolism.  Methyl groups from MTHF are involved in diverse life processes such as synthesis of DNA and RNA, higher-level gene regulation, along with the production of melatonin, and the brain transmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenalin; it can influence mood and anxiety.  It helps to balance homocysteine levels, an important marker for heart health. MTHF is also involved with wrapping of nerve cells with myelin protein to optimize their electrical conductivity. In essence, MTHF supplies fuel to drive many metabolic reactions.

In recognition of the importance of folic acid supplementation, and the benefits afforded by the MTHF form of folic acid, Better Nutrition magazine recently awarded their “Best of Supplements” award to Doctor’s Best “Best Fully Active Folate” supplement.