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FOLATES BENEFITS

KEY BENEFITS OF FOLATES

    • Supports production and maintenance of new cells
    • Supports genetic stability
    • Supports cardiovascular function

ABOUT FOLATES

The folate group consists of all forms of vitamin B9 (the ninth of the B vitamins). Among them are folic acid (used in food fortification, most supplements, and calcium foliate), folinic acid, and L-5'-methyltetrahydrofolate.

 

Leafy green vegetables (spinach, lettuce) are one of the best sources of folates, so their name is derived from the Latin word for leaf (folium). Other good sources include seeds, nuts, lentils, and beans.

 

Folates play a key role in DNA repair and expression and are essential for the production of new cells.

 

A process is known as methylation, or methyl donation is largely dependent on folates.

Metabolic function is widely influenced by this process. One of the main ways in which genes are expressed according to our diet, lifestyle, and environment is through methylation.


FOLATE FULL BENEFITS

Cellular function

 

  • Folate coenzymes mediate the transfer of one-carbon units (one-carbon metabolism) [6, 7]
  • Folate coenzymes act as cofactors for several enzymes involved in key metabolic pathways, specifically in nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) and amino acid metabolism [6, 7]
  • Methyltetrahydrofolate is used by the cytosolic enzyme methionine synthase to generate methionine and tetrahydrofolate from homocysteine [6, 7]
  • Methionine is required for the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a methyl group donor used in many biological methylation reactions [6, 7]
  • Methionine synthase is essential for the methylation of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and proteins [6, 7]
  • Adequate folate status is needed to maintain NAD+ levels [8–10]

 

Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function

 

  • Downregulates homocysteine levels (protects cardiovascular function); complementary to vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 [11–13]

 

Complementary ingredients

 

  • Vitamin B12 - The main safety concern associated with high doses of folic acid supplementation is that it might mask a vitamin B12 deficiency. Because of this, vitamin B12 is often given in combination with folic acid, especially if higher amounts of folic acid or other folates are used.
  • Methyl Donors - Key methyl donor nutrients include trimethylglycine (betaine), folates, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and S-adenosylmethionine: One or more of these nutrients are often given together.

FOLATES CAN BE FOUND IN:

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REFERENCES

[1] P. Kelly, J. McPartlin, M. Goggins, D. G. Weir, J. M. Scott, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 65, 1790–1795 (1997).

[2] M. R. Sweeney, J. McPartlin, J. Scott, BMC Public Health. 7, 41 (2007).

[3] M. S. Morris, P. F. Jacques, I. H. Rosenberg, J. Selhub, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 91, 1733–1744 (2010).

[4] K. E. Christensen et al., Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 101, 646–658 (2015).

[5] A. M. Troen et al., J. Nutr. 136, 189–194 (2006).

[6] J. M. Berg, J. L. Tymoczko, G. J. Gatto, L. Stryer, Eds., Biochemistry (W.H. Freeman and Company, 8th ed., 2015).

[7] O. Stanger, Curr. Drug Metab. 3, 211–223 (2002).

[8] I. G. Beraia, Vopr. Pitan., 36–38 (1984).

[9] S. J. James, L. Yin, M. E. Swendseid, J. Nutr. 119, 661–664 (1989).

[10] S. M. Henning, M. E. Swendseid, W. F. Coulson. J. Nutr. 127, 30–36 (1997).

[11] J. Selhub, Annu. Rev. Nutr. 19, 217–246 (1999).

[12] E. Lonn et al., N. Engl. J. Med. 354, 1567–1577 (2006).

[13] D. Serapinas et al., Reprod. Toxicol. 72, 159–163 (2017).