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Folate Supplements

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About Folate Supplements

Folate is a natural vitamin and a part of the B Complex group that includes Vitamin B6 and B12. Folate performs a number of crucial functions within the human body that we simply can't live without. It is essential for the "re-cycling" of homocysteine back to an original precursor amino acid called methionine. Homocysteine is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease. Folate is also required in greater amounts during rapid growth and for red blood cell production. Folate is for the prevention of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, and to reduce the risk for premature or low birth weight babies.


There are a few different forms of folate found in supplements, such as activated folate, semi-activated and synthetic forms. For folate to be utilised properly it must first be "activated", or converted to 5-MTHF. This can be compared to a television that is not plugged into a power socket. The TV needs to be active for the system to work. Activating folate in the human body is quite an elongated biohemical process that involves several organs and enzymatic reactions. In supplements, you may see it as 5-methylenetetrahydrafolate (5-MTHF) or folinic acid. The former is a fully activated form, while the latter is semi-activated. Folic acid is a synthetic form of the natural form of this vitamin, which is called folate. Some of the richest food sources for folate are dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli and asparagus.