Kirkman® has been adding 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate) as the vitamin B-9 alternative to folic acid in its products. The latest addition is in our popular children’s multi-vitamin and mineral formula, Children’s Multi-Vitamin/Mineral w/5-MTHF- Hypoallergenic(#0464-120).
Research indicates that 5-MTHF may work better for some individuals than folic acid. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 33% of Americans have a genetic mutation, which affects their ability to absorb and properly utilize folic acid.
Folic acid is one of the few nutritional supplements that physicians condone. It is routinely prescribed, particularly to patients who are pregnant, elderly or have certain mental issues.
In fact, folic acid, a synthetic compound, has become so ingrained in the medical landscape that doctors may not be familiar with its natural alternative, 5-MTHF and its benefits. 5-MTHF has recently become commercially available for use in nutritional supplements and foods.
5-MTHF can enter the main folate metabolic cycle directly, while folic acid must be cleaved from protein carriers to be absorbed. This process is inefficient in some individuals. If absorbed, folic acid still must go through several other conversions in the body to become active and assume it’s important role in methylation, the transfer of methyl groups (one carbon bound to three hydrogen atoms) that is essential for health.
Individuals can submit to a simple laboratory test to find out if they have the MTHR gene mutation that could affect their ability to absorb folic acid. However, even individuals with impaired ability to utilize regular folic acid can readily benefit from 5-MTHF.
Kirkman’s products that contain 5-MTHF include: