What is methylfolate?

Vitamin B9 is folate.  Methylfolate is the active form of Vitamin B9.

At times, the terms folic acid, folate and methylfolate are used interchangeably in medical literature and health articles on the Internet even though they are not the same compounds.  This is misleading.

Folic acid is BAD - according to the Internet....

Folic acid can also be considered a form of Vitamin B9. And according to the Internet, "Folic acid is BAD because it is synthetic."  According to Webster's Dictionary, synthetic describes a product "made by a chemical synthesis."  Well, guess what, folic acid is made by a chemical process and so is methylfolate.  So by that definition, then both folic acid and methylfolate are bad.

Why do I need to know about methylfolate?

You need to know about methylfolate because many vitamin and supplement manufacturers are substituting methylfolate for folic acid.  It seems everyone is jumping on the methylfolate band-wagon, and there may not be sufficient evidence that this is wise.

Why do we say this?  Let's turn to an expert, Alan R. Gaby, MD, who is the author of the very impressive textbook Nutritional Medicine.  In Dr. Gaby's article, "Which supplement should we use: folic acid or methylfolate?," Dr. Gaby presents information showing that "...the evidence is not sufficient to justify switching (from folic acid) to methylfolate."  He describes that "the vast majority of the research demonstrating clinical benefits of folates has used folic acid."  And he says that, "... we do not know enough about how methylfolate as a supplement is transported and utilized in our cells and tissues to make assumptions about its comparative clinical efficacy."

The Truth About Methylfolate

  • Many vitamin/supplement manufacturers are using the methylated form of Vitamin B9 (methylfolate) in their products in lieu of folic acid.
  • The terms folic acid, folate and methylfolate are used interchangeable in medical literature even though they are not the same compounds. This is misleading.
  • Methylfolate has 2 side effects that the supplement manufacturers DO NOT want you to know about:
    • #1 - Methylfolate promotes the increased production of adrenaline (also known as epinephrine); AND
    • #2 - Methylfolate increases the breakdown of serotonin

You may ask - how do I know this ? How do I know that methylfolate increases the production of adrenaline while increasing the breakdown of serotonin?  I know this because I am living proof that it does and I have neurotransmitter tests to prove it.  For those of you who do not know, you do not want to experience this horrible combination:  very high adrenaline and non-existent serotonin.  It makes you suicidal, very depressed, and gives you continual anxiety and panic attacks.


Report any side effects you experience

If you have taken any drug or supplement that has given you bad side effects, you should use MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.