MTHF Folate vs. Folic Acid: What’s Better for Prenatal Vitamins?

  • Folate is a B vitamin. It is an umbrella term for a class of chemical compounds found naturally in foods⁠, food folates, and ones made artificially, synthetic folates.
  • Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate made in a laboratory. It’s found in vitamins, and it is also used in fortification of some processed foods.
  • L-methylfolate, abbreviated MTHF folate, is a food folate that can also be found in prenatal vitamins. It’s a bit confusing, but MTHF folate can go by many names, such as levomefolic acid, L-5-MTHF, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, and (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, (6S)-5-MTHF. Theyare all the same kind of folate.

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