In more science-y terms, it is the transfer of methyl groups (i.e., one-carbon and three-hydrogen molecules, aka CH3) to and from various bioactive compounds in the body. Methylation is vital to the production of key neurotransmitters, amino acids, antioxidants, and hormones that directly affect multiple areas of health–and folic acid is supremely important in this process.*
Folic acid directly enables the methylation cycle to run smoothly as a required nutrient for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine.* In its active, methylated form (i.e., 5-MTHF), folic acid regulates homocysteine metabolism (keeping it moving along, and not building up) so we can have healthy homocysteine levels.*
Homocysteine is an amino acid (aka building block of protein) that is very important in the body; however, when levels don’t remain in check and elevate, it can have whole-body implications, from our heart and brain to our immune function.
This is why nourishing our bodies with folic acid each day (preferably in its bioactive methylated form, especially for folks with the MTHFR gene variant) is absolutely pivotal, as it keeps the “wheels” of the methylation cycle turning.* Activated (aka methylated) forms of folate do an excellent job of keeping these levels in check and supporting healthy methylation.*