L-Methylfolate: What, When, Why and How
L-methylfolate is like a round wheel. Folic acid is like a square ‘wheel’. We’ve evolved. It’s time for folic acid to go away.
An Evolved Caveman
While this is indeed funny, it’s tragic.
Folic acid is basically a square wheel to your body. It has to be processed by many different enzymes so your body can turn it into a round wheel – L-methylfolate.
Why would you use a square ‘wheel’ when a round wheel is invented and readily available?
Learn about L-Methylfolate
Here is a great summary video
I will soon have this video transcribed as well for you. It is being worked on.
L-Methylfolate: What It Does
The job of L-Methylfolate is supporting methylation. (Learn more about methylation here.)
Without L-methylfolate available, your methylation cycle struggles. As a result, your homocysteine levels may climb up above 7. If your homocysteine is above 7, then you should be working on your methylation. (If your homocysteine is lower than 7, that’s a different story but it’s not ideal.)
Lowering your homocysteine with just L-methylfolate may work but unlikely. One needs to have adequate:
- Methylcobalamin (vitamin B12)
- TMG (Betaine)
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
These nutrients typically suffice to help support healthy levels of homocysteine.
L-Methylfolate: How it is Made
Making this is not easy.
There are many genes involved here and, yes, many of these genes can be problematic for people.
Look at this individual’s folate pathway genes. They are highly susceptible to low levels of L-methylfolate:
- Folic acid starts at the top and has to go through each one of those genes
- MTHFD1 gene is red so it is really reduced in function so it cannot easily convert folate into L-methylfolate
- MTHFR gene is red so it is also very reduced in function so it cannot easily convert folate into L-methylfolate
- Result? This individual could be quite low in L-methylfolate if not eating leafy green vegetables
- Low l-methylfolate levels contribute to poorly functioning methylation and homocysteine levels increase
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L-Methylfolate: I have MTHFR. Do I Need it?
So many people get their MTHFR test results back and find they have some form of MTHFR SNP.
This leads to the practitioner recommending high amounts of L-methylfolate.
One should never recommend a high amount of a supplement based on the MTHFR genetic test result alone. That’s not enough information.
What happens is commonly side effects and that’s not good.
L-methylfolate is a fantastic nutrient and it’s getting a bad rap because it’s not used properly.
It all depends on the person how much of any nutrient they need – not which SNP they have.
Now no one should take folic acid….
L-Methylfolate: How Much to Use?
This is a tricky question. It all depends on the person.
- If not eating sufficient leafy green vegetables, you’ll need to take some.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding? You’ll need it.
- Growing child? Needs it
- Elevated homocysteine? You’ll need it.
L-Methylfolate: Who Does Not Need It?
We all need some – all of us.
Those who do not that much more:
- Eating sufficient green vegetables – with lunch and dinner AND
- Healthy homocysteine level (between 6.5 and 8)
If this is you, you do not need that much more and maybe you don’t need any on some days. Some days I skip it completely and other days I need a few milligrams (when presenting at a conference for hours).
L-Methylfolate: Where to Get It?
You can find it in a number of different supplements currently. This is a great thing.
L-Methylfolate and You
How is it helping you? Share your experiences.