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Folate vs Folic Acid vs 5-MTHF: What’s the Difference?

Amino Acid

Folic acid is the nutrient found in many leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fortified foods. Pregnant women need to get enough folic acid because it helps prevent specific congenital disabilities in the baby’s brain and spine. 

Meanwhile, 5-MTHF is the active form of folate, which means the body can use it more easily. 5-MTHF supplements can help people who don’t get enough folate in their diet or have certain medical conditions that make it hard for their bodies to absorb folate from food.

Let this article help you understand these ingredients better.

Folate: What Is It?

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin and it is mainly found in leafy green vegetables and fruits. It’s vital for the growth and development of the neural tube. Folate is also crucial for DNA synthesis and cell division.

Folate is important for pregnant women because it helps prevent developing babies’ neural tube defects. It is recommended that all women of childbearing age take a daily supplement of 400 micrograms of folate (or folic acid) to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

Folate vs. Folic Acid: What’s the Difference?

Folate and folic acid are two forms of water-soluble vitamins that are important for many different processes in the body. Folate is found naturally in food. Meanwhile, folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin found in supplements and added to fortified foods. 

What Is 5-MTHF?

If you have heard of folic acid, then you have probably also heard of 5-MTHF. 5-MTHF is the active form of folic acid, vital for many functions in the body.

Most people get enough folic acid from their diet. However, some people have trouble converting folic acid to 5-MTHF. It can lead to a deficiency of 5-MTHF.

5-MTHF is essential for many different functions in the body. It is involved in the production of DNA and other genetic material. At the same time, 5-MTHF is crucial for the nervous system and the production of red blood cells.

How 5-MTHF is Better Than Folic Acid?

5-MTHF is better than folic acid for several reasons:

  1. 5-MTHF is the active form of folate in the body, so it is immediately available for use.
  2. 5-MTHF supplements bypass the body’s need to convert folic acid to 5-MTHF, so they are less likely to be affected by medications or genetic mutations that interfere with that conversion.
  3. 5-MTHF supplements provide a more consistent folate level since the body’s conversion of folic acid to 5-MTHF can vary.

5-MTHF is the best form of folate to take for optimal health. 


There are many reasons to consider taking 5-MTHF instead of other forms of folate. 5-MTHF is the most bioavailable form of folate, meaning that the body more readily absorbs it. It’s also the active form of folate, meaning that it is more likely to be used by the body for various metabolic processes. 5-MTHF is also less likely to cause side effects than other forms of folate. It’s the most stable form of folate, so it’s less likely to be broken down by the body. 5-MTHF is the best form of folate to take if you want to improve your health and prevent disease.

If you are looking for an ingredients supplier, MTC Industries, Inc. is a distributor of innovative and commodity ingredients for the nutritional supplement, food/beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. Contact us through or +1(631)274-4818. 

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