Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 found in leafy green vegetables. Folate can also come from vitamins (food based). Methyl-folate is folate with a methyl group attached to it; this is the active form of folate that your body uses/needs.
Folic acid is not a real vitamin from nature; it’s actually a synthetic chemical. Sure your body can and does use it but it may not be the best source of folate for and may come with side-effects you don’t want. Excess levels of unmetabolized folic acid (UMFA) may lead to decreased immune function (1), mask a B12 deficiency, and decrease the availability of active folate (the form your body uses).
- Fifty Countries worldwide mandate folic acid supplementation to prevent neural tube defects. 5-methyltetrahydrofolate more effectively raises plasma folate levels.. (2)
- Ireland has removed supplementation, due to high levels of UMFA found in the elderly population.
- UMFA has a half-life of weeks
- Researchers from the National Institute of Health Recommend Monitoring (UMFA)
- Methyl-folate raises folate levels instantly vs the delayed increase in plasma folate levels with folic acid.
Multivitamins and folate during pregnancy?
Yes of course!