Folate is an essential B vitamin, and a term that includes both folate found naturally in foods or supplements, or fortified foods. Folate is necessary for healthy blood cell production, and healthy cell growth and function, which is why it is crucial in early pregnancy.
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, which is often added to foods such as bread or cereals, however our body needs to convert it into a form called L- methyl tetrahydrofolate to be able to use it. 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate, or 5-MTHF, is a naturally occurring form of folate which is well-absorbed by the body. By taking folate in this highly bioavailable form, our body has to do less work when it comes to converting it in to a usable form, which is especially useful for those who have the MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene, a genetic mutation which can lead to high levels of homocysteine in the blood, and low levels of folate. 5-MTHF helps to ensure our body’s supply of folic acid, helps to support homocysteine metabolism, and can provide support for brain function and mood.