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The Connection Between Methylfolate and Depression

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There may be many reasons as to why someone experiences depression. In recent years, however, several studies have attempted to shed some light on the connection between reduced serum levels of folate, an essential B-vitamin that helps the body make DNA and divide cells, and depression.

But merely popping a folic acid pill or eating more folate-rich foods may not be the answer to improving your depression symptoms. That’s because there’s a more bioavailable form of folate, known as methylfolate, which may hold the key to correcting folate imbalances – helping you take the next steps to improve your mental well-being.

  • One study showed that patients who used methylfolate to assist with depression symptoms self-reported improvements in work, home, and social functioning.
  • Research also demonstrates that using methylfolate, in conjunction with prescription antidepressants, can increase the effectiveness of medications.
  • Research suggests methylfolate exerts antidepressant effects, though its role as a stand-alone therapy requires further evaluation.

Based on clinical research, supplementation with methylfolate may help control, manage, and keep depression symptoms at bay. Read on to learn how Quatrefolic, a leading brand of methylfolate, may ensure you absorb and get the supply of methylfolate you need to feel your best.

An Overview of Methylfolate

Most people have heard of folic acid – in fact, conventional bread, pasta, and cereal are fortified with it. Folic acid is a poorly-metabolized, synthetic form of the B-vitamin. In order for the body to utilize folic acid, the body has to break it down into a bioactive, chemical compound known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). That’s a mouthful, to say the least!

For this conversion to take place, the body requires an enzyme, called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). MTHFR aids in a multi-step process of providing you with a form of folate your body can put to use for a range of functions, including DNA production, neurotransmitter creation, cardiovascular health, hormone development, maintaining the health of the cells and liver, and supporting mother and child during pregnancy.

But a portion of the population has genetic variants, which may inhibit their ability to sufficiently produce MTHFR, and therein lies the problem. If your body can’t produce MTHFR, it can’t break down folic acid. Certain bodily functions may suffer, and conditions like depression can develop.

Furthermore, studies show that folate deficiency has also been linked to certain types of cancer, heart disease, strokes, preterm births, congenital heart defects, and other birth defects, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Signs of Folate Deficiency

Several things can lead to a deficiency in folate. In addition to the genetic component that may make getting adequate amounts of folate difficult, other factors, including a diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, bowel diseases like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, certain medications, heavy alcohol use, and more can contribute to insufficient levels of folate. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with a folate deficiency are as follows:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Lack of folate while pregnant can lead to neural tube defects like spina bifida
  • Depression

What is Quatrefolic?

Quatrefolic is a brand of methylfolate that is easy for the body to assimilate and metabolize when compared to its ill-absorbed, human-synthesized counterpart, folic acid. Additionally, Quatrefolic passes through the gut, wheres it’s absorbed by the small intestine to maximize the uptake of the essential vitamin. Quatrefolic has enhanced stability, bioavailability, solubility, and delivery over previous generations of folate supplements.

Why Choose Quatrefolic?

  • The Quatrefolic brand of methylfolate is available without a prescription.
  • It comes in professional strength dosages (5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg) at a fraction of the cost of a hefty, prescription price tag.
  • Quatrefolic has undergone rigorous testing to ensure safety and consistency of the product.
  • It’s manufactured following strict quality control procedures.
  • The chemical stability of the product remains intact at both room and refrigerated temperatures.
  • It has received the distinction of being “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) and can be added as a naturally-occurring source of folate in both conventional and medical food.
  • It’s available in easy-to-swallow capsules; you can also open the capsule and use a portion of it.
  • Quatrefolic is a superb option for vegetarians because it’s animal and shellfish-free.

What Dosages are Available for Purchase?

Quatrefolic is available in doses that are comparable to those of prescription brands – minus the high price. It comes in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg capsules.

Other Considerations

Promising studies are on the horizon for the ways in which methylfolate may help people with depression. Overall, the current body of research associated with methylfolate indicates it may play a key role in reducing depression symptoms, as well as preventing strokes, and reducing the risks of some forms of cancer. (remove from email version)

When purchasing methylfolate, you’ll find no shortage of companies making big claims. But few products come close to the quality and potency of Quatrefolic. If you’re looking for a natural way to boost your intake of bioavailable folate, consider Quatrefolic for superior results.

ProHealth Editor and Content Manager Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and certified Pilates instructor whose life was transformed by Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. She is creator of the DVD, A New Dawn Pilates: pilates-inspired exercises adapted for people with pelvic pain. Jenny is a health journalist who writes about her journey on The Lyme Road as she continues to pursue her personal healing with the support of her husband and two rescue pups. You can find her on Instagram: @jenny_buttaccio or Twitter: @jennybuttaccio.



Folate. National Institutes of Health website. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-Consumer/

Martone G. Enhancement of recovery from mental illness with l-methylfolate supplementation. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. 2018 Apr; 54(2): 331-334. DOI: 10.1111/ppc.12227

Shelton RC, Sloan Manning J, Barrentine LW, Tipa EV. Assessing Effects of l-Methylfolate in Depression Management: Results of a Real-World Patient Experience Trial. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders. 2013;15(4). DOI: 10.4088/PCC.13m01520

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