Folate is a vitamin that humans cannot synthesize or store well because of its water soluble nature. Folates are normally found in a wide variety of foods and are commonly consumed through a diet of green leafy vegetables, sprouts, fruits, and animal products such as milk and dairy products, egg yolk and liver, however, storage and heat during cooking may decrease the bioavailability by almost 95%. Folic acid and food containing folate are not biologically active in the human body. To convert these forms to the biologically active 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) requires a key enzyme, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), which is considered one of the most important enzymes in human physiology. There is a large percentage of the population with a genetic mutation that limits the conversion of folate to its reduced active form, MTHF. The general healthy adult population daily recommendation for folate intake is 400 mcg of folic acid, however a greater amount may be required if MTHFR enzyme is not present. Women planning pregnancy or who are pregnant require higher intakes of folate to support neural tube development. Quatrefolic® is a highly soluble glucosamine salt of 5-MTHF which has been shown to have more rapid absorption than folic acid.
Cardiovascular Health Folate is essential to homocysteine metabolism which is created during the methylation of the essential amino acid methionine. Homocysteine levels have also been linked to nitric oxide bioavailability, which in turn helps to support healthy vascular and endothelial function as well as blood flow. Research has shown that supplementation with 5-MTHF provides greater support for healthy homocysteine levels than folic acid. Mood Support 5-MTHF also plays a role in the production of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) which is needed for, among other things, production and metabolism of several neurotransmitters including serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.ƒ Therefore, supplementation with 5-MTHF may aid in supporting healthy neurotransmitter levels in the brain and may be useful for some individuals desiring mood support.