Our body depends on hundreds of nutritional needs. To function correctly, we must supply our body with the essential vitamins and minerals that it needs. It is undeniable that proper nutrition is essential to lead and maintain a healthy life.
No single food can give you all the essential nutrients that the body needs. A balanced diet is one of the keys to proper nutrition. Food supplements are also an effective way to supply the body’s dietary needs.
With the way diseases are evolving today, we need to educate ourselves with our body’s nutritional requirements. One of the most talked about vitamin is folic acid and methylfolate. What are they? Which is better? Most importantly – how to get enough of these vitamins into your system?
What is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is a synthetic form of active folate (a kind of B vitamin). Its chemical form and state are different from the natural folates in the body. Folic acid is an essential vitamin, especially for pregnant women and babies. It is a vital ingredient in the making and repair of our genetic material, like DNA.
Folate and folic acid help in the production of red blood cells – the one that transports oxygen to every part of the body. It prevents birth defects like neural tube defects and miscarriage during pregnancy. It also maintains the health of an infant’s brain.
The body absorbs folic acid through blood circulation, faster than folates. That is why it is more potent than its original form, which is folate.
Due to its significance, ten years ago, North America mandated the fortification of food with folic acid. Food like bread, cereals, and pasta were fortified with folic acid.
Folate-rich food are as follows: leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and fruits. Folic acid is found on fortified food, but mostly, as over-the-counter vitamins.
What is Methylfolate?
Methylfolate, like folic acid, are also over-the-counter vitamins. However, they are the more natural and active form of folate.
When inside the body, folate and folic acid need an enzyme called methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase or MTFHR to convert them to a usable form in the body called L-methylfolate. Therefore, taking methylfolate vitamins bypass the need to convert folate.
The availability of methylfolate vitamins is helpful to people with MTFHR enzyme deficiency. People with this condition cannot convert folic acid to methyfolate.
L-methyfolate is important in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. It also aids the body’s immunity and detoxification processes. Studies showed that methylfolate reduces the risk of depression, heart attack, and stroke.
We cannot survive on food alone. Luckily, modern science paved the way so that we can supply our body with what it needs. Since the body cannot synthesize its own, vitamin supplements are also an essential part of one’s balanced diet. Adequate nutrition is vital to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Folic acid and methylfolate are both nutritional requirements of the body. One is as important as the other. It is your choice which of them can benefit you the most.
To find out if folate is the right choice for you watch this quick video