Types of methylfolate and their differences

Methylfolate is a productive chemical and plays an imperative role in the human body, significantly in the brain industry. The synthetic methylfolate is available in numerous forms; it’s possible you take that form of methylfolate that does not work effectively. Therefore, it’s mandatory to understand all the forms and which one is suitable or effective for you. 


What is methylfolate?

The human body needs methylfolate to optimize neurologic functions and other more significant purposes. Methylfolate is an active metabolite of folate (vitamin b9) that is an important partner of the B-complex. Methylfolate is the end product of folate and folic acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier. The best time to take methylfolate can depend on many factors such as age, gender, genetic defects, mental illness and more. It is always recommend to consult a doctor before taking any medicine or supplement.  

It is a vital player that helps in forming red blood cells, neurotransmitters, DNA, RNA, fetus cells, lowering high homocysteine levels, etc. Its inadequate levels may impair the formation of several chemicals that is required by your body. 

What are the types of methylfolate and their differences?

Methylfolate synthesize in various forms, and each one has a different way of delivery and absorption in body. To make a difference between forms is pretty muchconfusing. It may be helpful for you to recognize the various forms of methylfolate and which one is best for you. 

If folate supplements contain active biological forms like (6S)-5-MTHF or (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate are suitable and effective. These are also known as monosodium salt of (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, glucosamine salt of L-methyltetrahydrofolate, the calcium salt of (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, and L-methylfolate. 

However, other forms of methylfolate, which do not carry the prefix L or 6Sisomer form of methylfolate (5-MTHF), are not 99% pure methylfolate biological active forms. These forms can be specified as 6RS-MTHF, 5-Methylfolate, DL-5-MTHF, and 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate. Those supplements labeled with D or 6R isomer of methylfolate contain more than 50% biologically inactive form of methylfolate. 

Enantiomers and Diastereoisomers

In chemistry and biochemistry, these terms are important. When two compounds have the same molecular and structural formula, their orientation in the space is different, known as stereoisomers. There’re two types of stereoisomers;

  • Enantiomers: These stereoisomers are mirror images of one another. They have almost the same physical properties but may show different biological properties.
  • Diastereoisomers: These stereoisomers are not mirror images of each other; they show rarely same physical properties and different biological properties. 


Methylfolate forms are diastereoisomers with each other, therefore exhibit different biological effects. And the letters L or 6S and D or RS are used to represent which form of methylfolate is biologically active or not.

The active forms of methylfolate are;

  • L-5-MTHF
  • Levomefolate
  • L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate
  • L-methylfolate
  • (6S)-5-MTHF
  • (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate


Internationally registered types of methylfolate

The internationally registered types of methylfolate are;

Let’s discuss these types of methylfolate that are the product of internationally registered brands. 


It is the amorphous form of glucosamine salt of L-methylfolate. This form has greater bioavailability than calcium salt of L-methylfolate but has limited stability.



It is a crystalline form of calcium salt of L-methylfolate with good stability. It’s prescribed with antipsychotic drugs to boost their efficiency.


Extrafolate S®

It is also an amorphous type of calcium salt of (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate with low stability and loses potency with time.


Magnafolate® PRP

It is almost identical to metafolin, the calcium salt of pure 6S isomer of methylfolate. It has extraordinary stability due to its crystalline structure. Research showed that Magnafolate is the most promising type of methylfolate, among other types. 



Methylfolate is the effective chemical your body requires to accomplish numerous mechanisms. It is available in various distinct forms that rarely have similar physical properties and different biological effects. Those forms which carry L or 6S isomer of methylfolate (L-methylfolate or L-5-MTHF) are biologically active.  




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