At Tespo, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers. In the case of folic acid versus methylfolate, we heard you loud and clear.
Many of you asked if we could offer a formula with methylfolate in place of folic acid. Now, we are happy to introduce methylfolate in our new tespo-complete formulas. So what is methylfolate and why are we making the change? Here’s why.
Folate or folic acid is in fact Vitamin B9. Methylfolate is the more active and natural form of folate. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. For decades, we have used folic acid to fortify foods. The body cannot produce folate. Instead, we get it through foods, fortification or supplementation.
The MTHFR enzyme is found throughout the body and it converts folic acid or folate into its active form L-methylfolate. Methylfolate plays a key role in producing red blood cells, DNA biosynthesis and the methylation cycle, a biochemical pathway that contributes to detoxification (think removing heavy metals from our body), maintaining DNA, supporting immune function, energy production and more.
Methylfolate also aids in the production of neurotransmitters in your brain, such as serotonin, dopamine and epinephrine.
We need to take folate regularly to avoid deficiency, because it is water soluble and therefore not stored in the body. A deficiency in folic acid can have serious health consequences. It can lead to anemia. During pregnancy, it can lead to birth defects. It can also play a role in depression. On a more intricate level, a deficiency could lead to a malfunction in the methylation cycle, which can lead to autism, Lyme's disease and other autoimmune diseases.
Although a poor diet can cause a folate deficiency, diseases that affect our digestive system and how we absorb nutrients such as Crohn’s or celiac disease can also lead to a deficiency.
Similarly, some people have a gene mutation affecting the MTHFR enzyme. For these people, their bodies are unable to convert folic acid to methylfolate. Therefore, they should not take folic acid, but methylfolate instead, so as to bypass the need to convert the folate. If you have the gene mutation and you are taking folic acid, you will end up with unmetabolized folic acid and methylfolate competing for attention in your body. Unmetabolized folic acid in the blood stream is thought to cause poor immune function. It may also mask vitamin B-12 deficiency. This is not the case with methylfolate.
If you do not have a gene mutation then you can take folic acid. Yet, some people still find methylfolate to be the most effective form of folate to take.
Methylfolate will now be used in the tespo-complete formula at no extra cost to you. This multivitamin formula also is enhanced with CoQ10, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin.