Folate (Vitamin B9) can deliver the right amount of methylfolate to support energy production (1, 2), improved memory (3), and more. Methylfolate has been shown to be needed for synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (4), which affect sleep and regulation of mood (5, 6).
It's a must-have
Folate is a critical nutrient for methylation, a vital process required for life that occurs in every cell of your body. During pregnancy, folate supports a baby’s healthy neural tube development (7, 8, 9). But, it goes way beyond early development—affecting our physical and emotional health. It can influence mood, sleep, memory, and more.
Folic acid is the form commonly found in multivitamins because it is cheaper and more stable. Those with the MTHFR gene variation (> 60% of people) metabolize folic acid inefficiently or not at all. We only use methylfolate, the active form found in our bodies.
(1) Mitochondrial function and toxicity: Role of the B vitamin family on mitochondrial energy metabolism, Elsevier, Chemico-Biological Interactions, Volume 163, Issues 1-2, 27 October 2006, Pages 94-112.
(2) Vitamin B Supplementation: What's the Right Choice for Your Patients? J Psychosoc Nurse Ment Health Serv, 2017 Jul 1;55(7):7-11, doi: 10.3928/02793695-20170619-02.
(3) Short-Term Folate, Vitamin B-12 or Vitamin B-6 Supplementation Slightly Affects Memory Performance But Not Mood in Women of Various Ages, Janet Bryan, Eva Calvaresi, Donna Hughes, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 132, Issue 6, June 2002, Pages 1345–1356.
(4) The Methylation, Neurotransmitter, and Antioxidant Connections Between Folate and Depression, Alternative Medicine Review. Sep2008, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p216-226. 11p.
(5) Serotonin control of sleep-wake behavior, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 269-281.
(6) Serotonin in Mood and Emotion, Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 21, 2010, Pages 367-378.
(7) Folate and neural tube defects, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 285S–288S.
(8) Folate and epigenetic mechanisms in neural tube development and defects, Sivan Vadakkadath Meethal, Kirk J. Hogan, Chandra S. Mayanil & Bermans J. Iskandar, Child's Nervous System, Volume 29, pages1427–1433(2013).
(9) Folate and Vitamin B12: Function and Importance in Cognitive Development, Bhutta ZA, Hurrell RF, Rosenberg IH (eds): Meeting Micronutrient Requirements for Health and Development. Nestlé Nutr Inst Workshop Ser Nestec Ltd., Vevey/S. Karger AG., Basel, 2012, vol 70, pp 161–171