Why Is L-Methylfolate Beneficial?Folate has several important roles in the body. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, which is found in a variety of food products, including green, leafy vegetables. Both folic acid and folate are broken down in the body to L-methylfolate, which is the active form of the vitamin.
L-methylfolate is important for the body to create DNA, the genetic material in cells. It helps prevent errors when DNA is copied during cell division and prevents DNA damage. These actions are especially important during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. In addition, suboptimal folate levels can cause anemia by interfering with the normal division and maturation of red blood cells.
L-methylfolate also helps the body make certain neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, specifically serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Antidepressant medications work by increasing one or more of these neurotransmitters. If folate levels are low, the antidepressant may not be able to work as well. L-methylfolate may, therefore, improve the effectiveness of antidepressants.
Finally, L-methylfolate helps the body break down homocysteine, an amino acid produced by the body. High homocysteine levels may contribute to cardiovascular disease, blood clots, and some persistent symptoms of schizophrenia.
Can Children Use It?
L-methylfolate is probably safe for use in children in amounts that do not exceed folic acid doses found in children's vitamins. Keep in mind, however, that these products may contain large doses of L-methylfolate.
Therefore, it is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before giving your child any product that contains L-methylfolate. In fact, it is best to check with your child's healthcare provider before giving your child any medication or dietary supplement.