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The Benefits of Nature Identical

The Body’s Preferred Form of Folate

Metafolin® ((6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, calcium salt or L-methylfolate) and Arcofolin® ((6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, monosodium salt or L-methylfolate) are both pure stable crystalline forms of the naturally-occurring predominant form of folate. This type of water-soluble B-vitamin plays a key role in central metabolic pathways, e.g., cell division and repair.

Developed and produced by the world leader in the field of high-quality, “nature identical” folates for nutritional and pharmaceutical applications, our proprietary ingredients are directly usable by the human organism, involved in lowering homocysteine blood levels, and the only forms of folate able to cross the blood-brain barrier. In addition, they do not mask a vitamin B12-deficiency and present no risk of an accumulation of unmodified folic acid in the body.  

Directly bioavailable, independent of genetic variants of folate
dependent enzymes
L-methylfolate (such as Metafolin® and Arcofolin®) is the active form of folate which is directly bioavailable and naturally occurring in foods. In contrast, folic acid, which is part of other conventional dietary supplements, must be activated before use by the body. The efficacy of this metabolic process differs from person to person, meaning that folic acid may not be adequately converted into metabolically active folate by some individuals.

L-methylfolate is identical to the main circulating form of folate in the body. It can be directly used by the body, independent of the underlying genotype of specific folate dependent enzymes. Individuals with polymorphisms in the enzymes involved, such as MTHFR, may not benefit sufficiently from folic acid supplements.

Directly involved in lowering blood homocysteine levels
L-methylfolate is directly involved in lowering homocysteine blood levels, which are associated with various forms of cardiovascular diseases.

The only form of folate able to cross the blood-brain barrier
Experiments with labeled folate forms suggest that the transport into the central nervous system (CNS) is specific for L-methylfolate (such as Metafolin® and Arcofolin®). Other folate forms need to be transformed into the active form L-methylfolate, before they can be transported into the CNS.

No masking of B12-deficiency

Elderly people are at an increased risk for vitamin B12-deficiency. A fast diagnosis is critical to prevent irreparable neurological damages caused by this disease.

The symptoms of vitamin B12-deficiency include both hematological and neurological effects. While the hematological effects are reversible, the associated neurological effects may be irreversible depending on how far they have progressed before detection and treatment. High intakes of folic acid are said to mask the anemia associated with a vitamin B12-deficiency. This may delay diagnosis and prompt treatment while neurological damage progresses.

It has been suggested that L-methylfolate (such as Metafolin® and Arcofolin®) lacks the ability of masking symptoms of B12 deficiency. The rational explanation behind this is called the “methyl-trap hypothesis”: The reaction from L-methylfolate to tetrahydrofolate is B12 dependent. This means that in the case of B12 deficiency, L-methylfolate becomes “trapped” as it cannot be further biochemically processed.

No risk of accumulating unmodified folate in the body
Today, folic acid is added to a wide variety of foods including fruit juice, cereals and chocolate milk. In some countries there is a mandatory folic acid food-fortification of specific foods (e.g., grain products in the U.S., Canada and Chile). In addition, some parts of the population take folic acid-containing multivitamins. Consequently, the individual amount of folic acid intake differs considerably.

Given that some individuals cannot sufficiently metabolize folic acid into L-methylfolate due to an enzyme polymorphism, this may lead to unmetabolized folic acid circulating in the human organism. Although folic acid has been consumed for decades, it does not occur in nature and our body is not used to handle it.