Ready to talk about folate?
A Common Question: What is the best form of folate for MTHFR?
This question is a common one in amongst people looking for more information and a better understanding of MTHFR.
So, I’m going to address this question today and talk about folate.
Even though MTHFR mutation is a common occurrence, the best form of folate for MTHFR is largely unclear to most people.
I admit it can be confusing at first…
When you start modifying your diet, to avoid problems linked with MTHFR mutation, it may seem complicated.
You can feel like it’s impossible to understand everything.
Trust me… you’ll see how simple it can be once you learn what to look for in food and other products.
Today, I’m going to talk about…the best form of folate for people who have MTHFR mutation since this micronutrient is incredibly important.
MTHFR And Folate Supplementation
Let’s start with the basics first, shall we?
Folate is a B-vitamin (vitamin B9, to be more precise) necessary for the production of DNA and other genetic material.
This micronutrient is also important for other functions such as the division of cells and healthy pregnancy.
The MTHFR gene sends signals to the body to produce MTHFR protein in order to process folate.
In people with MTHFR gene mutations, this process is impaired.
Without MTHFR protein (or an enzyme), there is no proper conversion of this micronutrient into the form the body can use.
Your body may not process folic acid, the most prevalent type of folate i.e., its synthetic form, that easily.
For many people, supplementation is the solution to avoid deficiency and all complications it could cause.
What type of folate for MTHFR?
It can be confusing to make a distinction between MTHFR folic acid or folate because, to most people, they’re the same thing.
As I’ve mentioned above, folic acid is a synthetic form of folate.
When you eat foods that contain folic acid, the body converts it into methyl-folate i.e., the active form of folate.
This process is important because methyl-folate plays a role in a wide range of functions in the body.
Now, if you have MTHFR mutation, the processing of folic acid weakens.
What does this mean for you?
It means that the whole conversion to methyl-folate is missing out, and the body can get into a state of deficiency.
Remember, the body needs methyl-folate for various processes, but can’t convert it due to MTHFR mutation and absence of the enzyme.
That explains why you (if you’re someone with MTHFR gene variation of course) you strive to avoid folic acid.
The best form of folate for MTHFR is methylated folate.
You see, a methylated folate is a bioavailable form of this micronutrient.
The body absorbs it properly and can use it for a number of functions.
After all, the body can use methylated folate immediately.
There is no need for conversion.
This way, the whole chain of processes is eliminated.
Methylated folate works faster and gives the body exactly what it needs to work like a Swiss watch.
How much folate for MTHFR?
This is where things get tricky…
Research on MTHFR gene mutation is scarce, and, at this point, there are no official guidelines as to how much folate to consume.
General guidelines include 400mcg of folate for adults older than 19.
While pregnant women need 600mcg and breastfeeding women would need 500mcg of folate.
How much folate, or in this case, methylated folate, you consume may depend entirely on you, your health status, and other factors.
To be on the safe side, you may want to consult a doctor who will tell you how much folate you need if you have an MTHFR mutation.
Is activated folate MTHFR safe?
You’ve probably come across the term activated folate, and it’s also a great option to consider if you want to avoid folate deficiency.
The proper term is 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF for short; it is the most active form of this micronutrient.
Basically, 5-MTHF acts as a methyl group donor in a wide range of nervous and metabolic processes.
It also plays a crucial role in the process of methylation as it enables the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, among other things.
This micronutrient is also crucial for the synthesis of DNA.
You see, 5-MTHF is the strongest form of dietary folate.
You may want to consider buying activated folate supplements if you’re looking for something that’s not folic acid.
Folate Sources: Here Are Some Of The Best Sources For People With MTHFR
Even though supplementation is the most viable option for many people with MTHFR, it’s also useful to enrich the diet with folate-rich foods.
Some of the best sources of folate include;
- leafy greens,
- brussels sprouts,
- nuts and seeds,
- eggs and
- beef liver
Whether you’re a vegan or not, there are plenty of folate-abundant foods to eat.
On that note, strive to avoid fortified products as they may contain folic acid.
Also, when buying supplements (for health support or management of some health problem), you need to check the label and ensure it doesn’t contain folic acid, but a different form of folate.
So In Summary, What Is The Best Form Of Folate For MTHFR Diet Choices?
Diet is an important aspect of a person’s health and wellbeing.
We’re well aware of that, but modifying food intake can be easier said than done.
This is especially the case if you have MTHFR mutation and try to work your way around all the nutrients the body deems as problematic.
As you’re already aware, one of those problematic nutrients is folic acid.
For that reason, it’s crucial to enrich your diet and whole lifestyle with proper forms of folate.
Options for a useful form of folate for MTHFR mutation include methylated folate and activated folate, both of which the body absorbs quickly and uses for a wide range of functions.
Now that you know what the best form of folate for MTHFR is, you know what to look for in products and supplements.