Breast milk is an important dietary source of folate (vitamin B9) during the first year of life.
Folate concentrations in breast milk and maternal blood may decrease during lactation. Intake of folate from breast milk or folate-enriched infant formula is essential to ensure adequate folate status in infants. Indeed, folate is particularly important during the period of rapid growth and development in the first years of life.
Folate plays a direct role in the production of DNA in our body.
Folate is also needed in the formation of red blood cells and is vital for cells in our body to grow and divide.
However, like many other essential nutrients, humans cannot produce folate and must therefore consume it through the diet. It is also added to food and sold as a supplement, often in the form of folic acid, a synthetic form of the vitamin that is not biologically active and must be converted to the metabolically active 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) through a multi-step process.
As a new-generation solution that bypasses the need for bioconversion of folic acid in the body, 5-MTHF serves as a nutrient in all applications where folic acid and active folate supplementation is recommended. Quatrefolic® is the glucosamine salt of (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) and is structurally identical to the reduced, active form of folate present in the body.
Developed by Gnosis by Lesaffre, Quatrefolic® is the fourth-generation folate, offering enhanced solubility and bioavailability.
Gnosis Substantiation Team Commitment
Gnosis Substantiation Team is continuously searching for scientific evidence to prove the benefits of Quatrefolic for human health.
Different studies have shown that: “Folic Acid (FA) supplementation of lactating women is associated with the increase of Unmetabolized Folic Acid (UMFA) in maternal blood, in breast milk and consequently in infant blood. The same observation was made with the infant’s formula enriched with FA. UMFA is associated with many deleterious health effects for the mother and the offspring” states Elodie Dehay, Clinical Study Manager.
The advantages of 5-MTHF supplementation in lactation
Some evidence confirms that: “supplementing lactating women with 5-MTHF, such as Quatrefolic, is not associated with an increase in UMFA. In addition, active folate supplementation increases the blood folate in the mother and the infants as well as the total folate concentrations in breast milk” continues Elodie. Quatrefolic®, the active folate, can be considered an interesting source of folate for mothers and children.
Mackey AD, Picciano MF. Maternal folate status during extended lactation and the effect of supplemental folic acid. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Feb; Obeid R, Warnke I, Bendik I, Troesch B, Schoop R, Chenal E, Koletzko B; MEFOLIN Study Group. Infants’ Folate Markers and Postnatal Growth in the First 4 Months of Life in Relation to Breastmilk and Maternal Plasma Folate. Nutrients. 2023 Mar; West AA, Yan J, Perry CA, Jiang X, Malysheva OV, Caudill MA. Folate-status response to a controlled folate intake in nonpregnant, pregnant, and lactating women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct; Houghton LA, Yang J, O’Connor DL. Unmetabolized folic acid and total folate concentrations in breast milk are unaffected by low-dose folate supplements. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan