Why is 5-metilTHF replaced folic acid?

Women need to folate grow during pregnancy, optimal folate status should be achieved before conception, respectively, in the first quarter, when is neural tube locked.While low folic acid status is connected with defects of the neural tube (DNC),  the same can also be deprived of an increased intake of folic acid before conception.

So, in the journal of Perinatal Medicine published a review of scientific article , which have been studied various forms of folic acid, and the goal was to determine whether 5-metiltetrahidrofolat to substitute folic acid to prevent neural tube defects.

Folat is taking with  food, and has a protective effect, but at the population level recommendations to increase consumption are ineffective.The reason for this is failure to comply with the recommendations or the variable bioavailability of folate.Folic acid (FA)  is a synthetic compound ,which is  most commonly found in food supplements.This form has no biological function before he  reduces  to dihidrofolate (DHF) and tetrahidrofolate (THF), and the ability for reducion FA differs between individuals.

Women who have a polymorphism in genes associated with metabolism or absorption of folic, significantly greater benefits are from taking 5-metiltetrahidrofolata (5-metilTHF) than FA.

5-metilTHF is the dominant natural form, which has several advantages compared to the FA: don’t hide a deficiency of vitamin B12, immediately available for transportation and metabolism, does not create (nemetaboliziranu)of FA in the blood, and absorbs and uses the same as FA.

The authors come to the conclusion, how is taking 5-metilTHF in the form of a Supplement,  better replace for FA, especially  in countries that do not conduct a program of food fortification. 5-metilTHF in the form of supplements is effective in improving the biomarcer folat in young women before conception and in early pregnancy (4-12 weeks), to prevent the DNC.

Prenatas a new innovative product from PharmaS, which contains the active forms of folic acid – 5-metilTHF and  coated iron, and it is recommended to take for women planning pregnancy, pregnant women  and nursing mothers.

Sources: Obeid R, Holzgreve W, Pietrzik K (2013) Is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate an alternative to folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects? J Perinat Med 41(5), 469-483.