Folate – Essential to Methylation

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You’ve been told your whole life to eat your vegetables, especially those green leafy ones everybody seems to turn their nose at, and if you’re lucky you’ve been listening and chowing down on those nutrient dense greens. Dark leafy greens contain folate, which is the main vitamin that drives your whole methylation cycle. Folate plays an essential role in recycling homocysteine to methionine which produces SAMe (s-adenylmethionine), the primary methyl group donor responsible for most of your biological chemical reactions that sustain life. Every reaction from thinking and breathing to hormone balance and emotional well-being.

When you eat folate in foods or take a supplement, your body has to convert it into a usable form – a methylated form. This process requires an enzyme called MTHFR (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase which converts folate into 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate. This methylated form of folate assists in processes such as:

  • Provides a methyl group to homocysteine to make SAMe which is the brain’s major methyl donor responsible for making glutathione, Coenzyme Q10, Creatine, etc… IMPORTANT things for your body to work properly.
  • Recycles homocysteine. An amino acid that promotes inflammation if not kept in balance.
  • Makes BH4, a major cofactor for producing neurotransmitters.

Natural Sources of Folate

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Beet Greens
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Avocados
  • Lentils
  • Liver

Now that you know how important folate is, eat up and give your methylation cycles the chance to function at a more optimal level!

 


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