Folate (5MTHF) is the active form of folic acid (vitamin B9). It is most significantly known to help prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy and help prevent miscarriage. However, this important B vitamin is important is many biochemical pathways in our body including the creation of hormones and neurotransmitters such as melatonin, serotonin, epinephrine, and many more. Folate works along with other cofactors especially B12 and B6 to reduce inflammation, protect the cardiovascular and nervous systems, support mood, involved in the formation of red blood cells, and so many other important processes. It is predicted that 60% of the North American population cannot convert folic acid to the active form – folate due to a mutation in their DNA. This can lead to a host of chronic issues from anxiety and depression to miscarriage and cardiovascular disease.
I always recommend a multivitamin where the B vitamins are in their active form. Since we obtain the majority of B9 from whole grains and foliage, it’s a good reminder to eat more of your leafy green vegetables!
For benefits of other vitamins, click here.