Methylfolate: 4 Surprising Benefits and How to Check Your Deficiency

With the rise of personalized medicine, many people are taking health into their own hands. One of the most common ways of doing this is through genetic testing and specifically 23andme, which provides data on our physical and mental performance, which can be optimized with supplementation and lifestyle.

Millions have found methylfolate to be a powerful cognitive (and physical) enhancer after using genetic data to determine weaknesses. This article will not only cover what methylfolate can do for healthy adults, but how you can use specific tests to determine the best dosage and needs for your specific body.

What is Methylfolate?

Methylfolate is a supplement form of the essential nutrient called folate (vitamin B9). It is one of the essential nutrients that many people are deficient in for dietary and genetic reasons.

L-methylfolate is used for DNA synthesis (a process we all must go through all the time). It also helps with detoxification. Because we cannot synthesize our own folate, we need to consume it through food or supplementation.

Although some people believe that they can consume a folic acid supplement to get enough folate, this could not be further from the truth. A folic acid supplement will increase the risk of prostate cancer and lower cognitive performance [1][2].

The primary use for methylfolate is within our methylation cycles. The methylation cycle is one of the most important and millions of people have genetic variations that make them “poor methylators”. This is where a methylfolate supplement becomes useful.

How to Know if You Need Methylfolate

The great thing about personalized medicine tools (such as 23andme) is that they can provide a lot of crucial data on our body and brain, which we can use to optimize ourselves at a relatively low cost.

If you follow these step-by-step instructions, you will easily determine if you are a poor methylator and in need of supplementation or not. Of course, there are benefits of methylfolate whether you are deficient for genetic reasons or not, but this guide will provide some quantitative data on the subject:

  1. Buy 23andme genetic test (Health + Ancestry). Cost: $169 – 199
  2. Put your results into Genetic Genie methylation analysis
  3. BONUS: Go through Nutrahacker (pay $37) and get even better recommendations
  4. From your results, decide whether methylfolate is right for you

Many people end up with a homozygous MTHFR, for example. If this is the case, this is one of the many specific genetic predispositions that you found in your data, time to take action!

Methylfolate Benefits Based on Genetics

It’s important to note here that because our methylation cycle is so crucial for peak performance, having a deficiency or inability to utilize dietary folate properly can have huge consequences for cognitive health.

Many people take a simple methylfolate supplement and consider the results “life changing” [3] with plenty of anecdotes across the internet. Starting with our personal data and results can allow us to make bigger changes simply than we could with high-powered stimulants like modafinil, armodafinil, or phenylpiracetam.

The greatest aspect of using methylfolate when there is a genetic reason for it, is that the effects are solving a root problem within your body, which is always better than a stimulant band-aid.

Benefits of Methylfolate for Healthy Adults

People who either do not know their genetic data or do not have poor methylation can still benefit from a methylfolate supplement. Those who suffer from symptoms of depression can often find a benefit of methylfolate. In one study, 123 depression patients were found to have deficiencies in folate [4].

When they followed up with 68 patients who did not respond to traditional pharmaceutical antidepressants, they found that 61 (89.7%) saw either full recovery or reduction in the severity of their depression symptoms [5].

Another benefit of methylfolate is for those who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2016 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers concluded that methylfolate could reduce the deterioration of certain regions of the brain (namely the hippocampus and cortical regions) [6].

Due to methylfolate’s role in the immune system, there are positive effects on our immune system as well. Increasing folate (through diet or supplementation) is associated with increased (and optimal) T-cell levels [7].

Finally, there are benefits for pregnancy (reducing the risk of disorders with the fetus and mom) [8].

Side Effects of Methylfolate and Drug Interactions

There are some risks associated with taking methylfolate as with any external supplement. For instance, methylfolate can invoke an allergic response in some individuals. There is also evidence to suggest methylfolate enhances the effects of antidepressants (specifically SSRI drugs)[9]. This is mostly a positive side effect, however.

Otherwise, there are few risks associated with methylfolate supplementation. There are some people who have bad reactions (largely unexplained) with methylfolate, but generally it is well tolerated and is very well studied in humans.

Methylfolate Reviews

Because methylfolate is so impactful for certain people, it is important to note that reading methylfolate reviews online can be a bit misleading. While many of the extremely positive reports are great to see, there is a chance the same experience will not happen to you. That being said, here are some methylfolate reviews online from people in the Reddit community:

“For years I've suffered from low energy, depression, anxiety, couldn't fall asleep at night and couldn't get up in the morning, I was always extremely fatigued after exercise and didn't bounce back as quickly as people my age. A few years ago I even developed arrhythmia. Doctors were puzzled and just handed me antidepressants like candy….

…Depression, anxiety, brain fog gone. Heartbeat is regular again. I fall asleep easily (though I still use 3mg of melatonin on an as-needed basis) and am ready to jump out of bed every morning on a normal 8 hours of sleep when I needed 10 to feel semi normal. If you are suffering from a cluster of symptoms like fatigue or depression that doctors can't do anything about, DNA testing is worth looking into.” – full_metal_crypto [10]

After a week trial of dextroamphetamine, and a week of shitty recovery, I'm back on methylfolate. Nothing even compares if you have MTHFR. More energy than amphetamines without the side effects. If you haven't tried it, do yourself a $10 favor and buy a bottle.” – bigmillz [11]

Where to Buy Methylfolate

It is pretty easy to buy methylfolate considering it is such an important supplement. If you go to a health food or grocery store with many methylfolate options, that should be a great source. Otherwise (for cost, ease, and safety purposes) it might be a good idea to pick up some methylfolate from Amazon.

Our recommended vendor to purchase methylfolate online is Life Extension, which has a strong reputation and generally creates good products. This methylfolate product is simple, affordable, and in the right dosage.


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