Dr MB’s 5MTHF (Vitamin B9)



Vitamin B9 is one of the 13 essential vitamins.

Folic acid is only one type of folate and it must be converted to tetrahydrafolate before it can be used in the body. This activity requires a methyl group to be added to the molecule before the body can utilize it. This process requires several cofactors to make the conversion, these include:

  1. a diet high in uncooked leafy greens
  2. a body with functioning enzymes
  3. available receptors in the body
  4. the ability of the body to transport the molecules, and
  5. vitamin cofactors of B2, B6 and B12 in an acidic environment to provide absorption.

When folate that is already methylated (methyltetrahydrafolate – MTHF), its ingested provides the body with a more readily available source and requires few cofactors for the body to be able to use this product.

Folate is responsible for many functions in the body including: DNA production and repair, methylation, conversion of amino acids to neurotransmitters, and the maturation of RBC, WBC and platelets. Folate-deficient women have lower oocyte (egg) quality, lower pregnancy rates, and impaired ovarian function. Folate helps to convert homocysteine to methathione. Women with lower homocysteine levels have better quality oocytes and higher degree of mature oocytes then women who did not receive the supplementation.

If there are low levels of folate in a mother’s diet it can result in birth defects, pregnancy loss, and miscarriage.

Folate conversion affects glutathione production in the body. Glutathione helps the body to detoxify environmental stresses (chemicals, food additives, bacteria, medications, etc). If the body has low (or limited amounts) of glutathione, the stressors cause increased damage to the cells especially the mitochondria. Mitochondria are important for producing energy in the body.

Many people are heterozygous or homozygous for the gene mutation that impairs folate conversion in the body. Meaning that in addition to having the cofactors and environment discussed above, the mechanism in the body that converts can only work at 30 – 50% of its optimal level to convert folic acid to useable methyl folate in the body. In these cases, patients should consume methyl folate (MTHF).

To determine the right amount of folate to take, consult your naturopathic doctor, who can determine other sources of folate in your diet as well as lifestyle and environmental influences that may require you to take higher or lower dose of methylfolate.

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Methyl folate (5 MTHF, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate) Is a bio Active form of the important vitamin, folic acid. With normal folic acid, conversion must take place via biochemical processes in the intestines and liver to convert into 5 MTHF, a process which some individuals are unable to achieve due to intestinal or liver dysfunction. Due to its bio active form, 5 MTHF is superior to other forms of folic acid supplementation, guaranteeing absorption and overcoming the ineffectiveness some individuals may have with folic acid.

Due to its methylation, 5 MTHF can function as a methyl donor, converting the amino acid homocysteine to methionine. Homocysteine is a bio marker for risk of cardiovascular disease which both methyl folate and methyl B12 have shown to reduce.

Methyl folate is recommended for both men and woman looking to conceive to increase the cellular health of both sperm and egg. Use during pregnancy is also recommended to reduce incidence of low birth weight and neural tube defects.

– Folate contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy
– Folate contributes to normal amino acid synthesis
– Folate contributes to normal blood formation
– Folate contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism
– Folate contributes to normal psychological function
– Folate contributes to the normal function of the immune system
– Folate contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
– Folate has a role in the process of cell division



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