There are several different compounds that fall under the umbrella term of folate, each with variation in bioavailability and metabolic processes.
Prior to September 2019, our Raspberry Morning Multivitamin contained a non-methylated folate. Going forward, we will be formulating our Morning Multivitamin with Folate as Calcium Folinate (Folinic Acid). A quick overview of Folinic Acid:
Occurs naturally in foods; more metabolically & biologically active
An immediate precursor to 5,10-MTHF, which is rapidly metabolized to produce active folate (5-MTHF).
Supplementation with Folinic acid alleviates the need for the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and bypasses reduction steps that are required with folic acid supplementation
Bioavailability of Folinic acid appears to be high, with human absorption studies showing a bioavailability of 92%.
Folate deficiency has been linked with an increased risk of neural tube defects, cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognitive dysfunction. Not only that, but the human body cannot synthesize folate (vitamin B9), an essential micronutrient. As such, it is necessary to supplement to maintain healthy folate levels, which is why it is so common to find folate-fortified foods (typically folic acid added to flour, breads and breakfast cereals).
Our research leads us to believe that folinic acid is the best alternative to folate, particularly in formulating liquid vitamins (due to stability issues). Since folinic acid is stable in liquid, more easily metabolized and more natural than folic acid, we opted to use it in our 32oz multivitamins.