Importance of Folate Before and During Pregnancy

Folate is the natural form of Vitamin B9. Folate is shown to prevent neural tubular defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly which can occur 3-4 weeks after conception. Research also suggests that folate may help lower your baby’s risk of other birth defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate and certain types of heart defects. As well, folate may also reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a serious blood pressure disorder that affects many women during pregnancy. Folate is extremely important for the mother and her developing baby.

Importance of L-Methylfolate vs. Folic Acid

Folic acid is the “synthetic” form of folate. Folic acid must be metabolized by the body to achieve the active form of folate which is needed for a healthy pregnancy. Over 50% of women have a gene mutation known as MTHER C677T Polymorphism. This gene defect – MTHER prevents folic acid from being converted to the active form of folate. L-Methylfolate is the active form of folate and is 7 times more bioavailable. DHA ONE® with Folate uses L-Methylfolate to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Considering the important role of active folate in fetal growth and development, ensuring adequate L-Methyfolate intake should be a priority for all pregnant women.


Prenatal Vitamin
with Folic Acid
with Folate
with L-Methylfolate
Effective for Women with Genetic Disorder *MTHFR C677T Polymorphism1 NO YES
More Effectively Increases Red Blood Cell Folate3 NO YES
More Efficient Homocysteine Metabolism4 NO YES
7x More Bioavailable5 NO YES

*(Over 50% of women of childbearing age have this genetic disorder)2

References in Chart:

1 Molloy Anne M, Daly Sean, Mills James L, Kirke Peader N, Whitehead Alexander S, Ramsbottom Dorothy, Conley Mary R, Weir Donald G, and Scott John M: Thermalobile variant of 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase associated with low red-cell folates: implications for folate intake recommendations. The Lancet 1997;Vol 349:1591-93
2 Botto Lorenzo D, and Yang Quanhe: 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene Variants and Congenital Anomalies: A HuGE Review. American Journal of Epidemiology 2000;Vol 151, No.9:862-77.
3 Lamers, Yvonne, Prinz-Langenohl, Bramswig Susanne, and Pietrzik Klaus: Red blood cell folate concentrations increase more after supplementation with [6S]-5-methyltetrahydrofolate than folic acid in women of childbearing age. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:156-61
4 Akoglu, M Schrott, H Bolouri, A Jaffari, E Kutschera, WF Capsary and D Faust: The Folic Acid Metabolite L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate Effectively Reduces Total Serum Homocysteine Level in Orthotopic Liver Transplant Recipients: A Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2007), 1-6
5 Willems FF, Boers GH, Blom HJ, et al. Pharmacokinetic Study on the Utilization of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and Folic Acid in Patients with Coronary Artery disease. Br. J Pharmacol 2004;141:825-830