L-5-MTHF (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate) is the most common biologically active form of the water soluble B vitamin, folate. Folate must be converted to its active forms to be used by the body. This is a multi-step biochemical process that occurs in the intestines and liver. In the presence of intestinal or liver dysfunction this conversion may not occur sufficiently enough to meet the body's needs.
Folate deficiencies are common as many individuals do not consume enough folate-rich foods and dietary folates are readily destroyed by cooking or processing. Although typically included in multivitamins, some individuals do not effectively methylate and convert folic acid, the form of folate commonly found in fortified foods and supplements, into its active form thus are still at risk of deficiency. Metafolin® L-5-MTHF, an active, methylated form of folate, requires no additional metabolic steps to be used by the body, thus it is often the preferred choice for those with absorption or metabolic defects. L-MethylFolate efficiently supports methylation, DNA biosynthesis, homocysteine metabolism, and nervous system function. Supplies 1 mg (1,000 mcg) folate per capsule.
It is estimated that up to 60-percent of the U.S. population may have a genetic enzyme defect that makes it difficult for them to convert folic acid into active 5-MTHF. For these individuals and many others, 5-MTHF supplementation may be a more effective method of folate repletion.