What forms of vitamin B9 are there?
In supplements, vitamin B9 generally comes in the following forms:
- Folic acid
- Methyl folate
People often think that vitamin B9 and folic acid are synonymous, but in reality, methyl folate is more similar to the natural vitamin B9 that’s present in your body. Your body converts vitamin B9 supplements into l-methylfolate, and methyl folate in supplements is identical to this natural B9 form. For this reason, methyl folate is sometimes called the “bioavailable form” of vitamin B9.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9, and it was first synthesised in a pure, crystalline form in 1943. However, your body is not equipped to process this type of vitamin B9, which means that oxidative stress and other symptoms of digestion inefficiency occur when you consume folic acid. Methyl folate, however, exactly mirrors the form that vitamin B9 takes in your body, which means it is digested with incredible bioavailability.
Up until recently, it was not possible to create a synthetic form of methyl folate that could be included in supplements. Recently, however, supplement formula breakthroughs have made methyl folate fully reliable. Since this form of vitamin B9 is stable and highly bioavailable, there are no ways in which methyl folate is inferior to folic acid.
- Folic acid is synthetic, and it has bioavailability issues
- Methyl folate is identical to natural vitamin B9 in your body, and it is highly bioavailable
Why is vitamin B9 in methyl folate form better?
One of the traditional problems of vitamin B9 supplementation is the digestive difficulties that some individuals display with folic acid. This form of vitamin B9 inherently suffers from bioavailability issues, but there are some instances in which people might not be able to digest folic acid at all.
To transform folic acid into usable l-methylfolate, it’s necessary to activate the gene methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Otherwise, this form of vitamin B9 has no bioavailability whatsoever and is useless. Some people, however, have a genetic disorder that leads to a total lack of MTHFR production in the body, and if a person with this condition is vegetarian or vegan, vitamin B9 deficiency is practically inevitable.
Methyl folate is not reliant on MTHFR, and it is highly bioavailable. One of the functions of vitamin B9 is the prevention of anemia, and a study of pregnant women found that women who supplemented with methyl folate instead of folic acid showed drastically reduced instances of anemia. These results indicate that your body uses methyl folate better than it uses folic acid, which is great news for people who are pregnant or who have genetic disorders.
Perhaps due to its low bioavailability, folic acid is known to cause a number of side effects when taken daily for a long period of time. Methyl folate, however, does not appear to cause any serious side effects. While there are currently no data to support this hypothesis, this lack of side effects may be due to the fact that methyl folate exactly resembles natural l-methylfolate in your body.
- Some people can’t process folic acid at all
- Since it’s identical to natural vitamin B9, methyl folate is easy for everyone to process
Why do we use vitamin B9 methyl folate instead of other forms?
It isn’t enough to simply throw nutrients at your body and hope they’ll stick. A hundred years from now, we’ll think that our current supplement practices are barbaric, and here at WeAreFeel, we welcome each revolutionary change in the supplement industry. Every time a new form of an essential nutrient has been proven to be more effective, we’ll make the switch.
Our new Feel Multivitamin™ is proof; in total, we’ve upgraded over a dozen essential nutrient forms, and we’ve added tons of new beneficial ingredients to defend your health and well-being. Part of this process of evolution has been our choice to ditch folic acid and go with methyl folate instead. Enjoy your daily Feel Multivitamin™, now with the most bioavailable form of vitamin B9 on the market.