What is L-methyl folate?

L-Methylfolate, also known as levomefolic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.It is a type of folate, a B vitamin that is essential for numerous bodily functions. In recent years, L-methyl folate has gained popularity due to its potential benefits for mental health, heart health, and pregnancy. In this article, we will delve into the uses and benefits of L-methyl folate and the recommended dosages for various conditions.

1. What is L-methyl folate?

L-methyl folate is the active form of folate, which means that it is readily usable by the body. Unlike folic acid, which needs to be converted into L-methyl folate by the body. L-methyl folate does not require any conversion and can be readily absorbed and used by the body.

2. The Role of Folate in the Body

Folate is essential for a range of bodily functions, including the production of DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. L-methyl folate is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and plays a crucial role in the development of the brain and spinal cord during pregnancy.

3. Why L-methyl folate is Preferred over Folic Acid

Supplements and fortified foods commonly use folic acid, which is a synthetic form of folate While L-methyl folate is the natural form of folate that occurs in foods.  Moreover, L-methyl folate is more bioavailable than folic acid, indicating that the body can absorb and use it more efficiently.

4. The Benefits of L-methyl folate

Mental Health

Improvement in mood and reduction of symptoms of depression have been found to be associated with the effectiveness of L-methyl folate.Especially in individuals who have a genetic mutation called MTHFR. MTHFR affects the body’s ability to convert folic acid into L-methyl folate. Which can lead to folate deficiency and a range of mental health issues.

Heart Health

According to research, L-methyl folate can help lower the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. By reducing homocysteine levels, L-methyl folate may help protect against cardiovascular disease.


During pregnancy, folate is essential for the healthy development of the fetus. Studies have shown that supplementing with L-methyl folate during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects. A type of birth defect that affects the brain and spinal cord.

Cancer Prevention

Studies have shown that L-methyl folate may have potential cancer-fighting properties, especially in preventing colon and breast cancer. By supporting DNA synthesis and repair, L-methyl folate may help prevent the formation of cancer cells.

5. Recommended Dosages of L-methyl folate

Depending on the condition being treated, the recommended dosage of L-methyl folate varies. To treat depression, healthcare providers have used dosages of 7.5 mg to 15 mg of L-methyl folate per day. On the other hand, for heart health, recommended dosages range from 1 mg to 15 mg of L-methyl folate per day. Healthcare providers typically recommend a dosage of 400 to 800 mcg of L-methyl folate per day for pregnant women.

6. Food Sources of L-methyl folate

You can find L-methyl folate in a variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables, legumes, eggs, liver, and citrus fruits. However, the amount of L-methyl folate in foods can vary depending on the preparation and cooking method.

7. L-methyl folate Supplements

L-methyl folate supplements are available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and powders. It is important to choose a reputable brand and follow the recommended dosage guidelines.

8. Precautions and Side Effects of L-methyl folate

L-methyl folate can cause side effects such as nausea, headaches, and digestive issues in some individuals, although it is generally safe and well-tolerated. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking L-methyl folate supplements. Especially if you have a history of medical conditions or are taking any medications.

9. Conclusion

L-methyl folate is associated with numerous potential benefits for mental health, heart health, and pregnancy. Which is a natural and bioavailable form of folate. A variety of foods contain the necessary nutrients, but taking supplements can provide a convenient and effective way to ensure adequate intake. It is important to follow the recommended dosages and speak with a healthcare provider before taking L-methyl folate supplements.

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