Methylated Folate (5MTHF)
The end product of folate metabolism is 5-MTHF, an essential precursor for neurotransmitter metabolism and the synthesis of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, as well as immune system support, production of energy and detoxification. It is also necessary for the production of SAMe, which participates in over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. This blood test shows if you have enough 5MTHF.
Folate is the naturally occurring form of folate or B9 and folic acid is the synthetic version. Both convert to 5MTHF in a complex, multi-step process that occurs in every cell in the body. It requires three key enzymes: dihydrofolate reductase (DHF), thylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), and methionine synthase (MTR). A mutation in the MTHFR gene for example it will affect how much 5MTHF you have available.
If folate conversion is compromised when you consume the synthetic form of folate (folic acid) to 5MTHF in enriched foods or supplements functional folic acid deficiencies can emerge that may slow methylation and amino acid metabolism. The body cannot utilise to nutrients, vitamins, mineral or herbs that you take if you don’t methylate well.
Methyl groups turn genes, enzymes and neurotransmitters on and off. They are involved with tissue repair, reduction in inflammation, increase our energy and turn the stress response on and off. They protect telomers and slow the aging process. They detoxify chemicals and importantly help supply the production of glutathione and phase II liver detoxification. Low methyl groups can lead to cognitive decline, altered thyroid function and fatigue.
Possible methylation issues could show High red cell folate, high homocysteine, high inflammatory markers, Low Active B12 levels and the main causes of high homocysteine levels are folate deficiency.