Folate is a generic name for both natural and synthetic forms of the B9 vitamin, such as folic acid, folinic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. It is important in cell growth and function, metabolism of nucleic and amino acid precursors and red blood cell formation. During pregnancy folate has an important role in the development of the brain and spine. It is an essential vitamin and has to be supplied by diet, as humans cannot synthesize folate. (1);(2)

Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme coded by the MTHFR gene. It is the key enzyme in folate metabolism and converts folate to a form that is necessary in another reaction – synthesis of methionine from homocysteine. Therefore MTHFR is important not only in folate metabolism but also in maintaining the homeostasis of homocysteine. Mutations in the MTHFR gene can lead to higher than normal levels of homocysteine, a condition called hyperhomocysteinemia.(3);(4)

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December 2, 2018

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