Folates are water-soluble B-vitamins that offer a number of health benefits, which are supported by EFSA approved health claims. These include Article 13.1 health claims relating to the role folates play in contributing to normal blood formation, cell division, maternal tissue growth during pregnancy, psychological functions, metabolism of the immune system, amino acid synthesis and can contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
While natural folates are found in various food products, they can be unstable and easily damaged during processing. Folic acid has therefore been used in supplements and to fortify foods as it is more stable compared to natural folates. However, ingested folic acid must go through a series of enzymatic processes before it becomes a biologically active and useful form for human health. These processes can be hindered by genetic variations, resulting in difficulties converting folic acid into the active folate form.
Metafolin (L-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, calcium salt) is the pure, stable crystalline form of the naturally-occurring predominant form of folate manufactured by Merck and brought to market by DSM. A readily bioavailable folate vitamer, Metafolin is easily absorbed by the human body to ensure adequate uptake of the vital vitamin. Suitable for use in supplements, beverages and fortified foods, Metafolin can help to improve the efficacy of folate uptake in all consumers.
Dr. Rudolf Moser, managing director at Merck & Cie, Switzerland, commented: “Merck actively seeks strategic partnerships to complement and enhance our portfolio. Working with DSM to distribute our innovative L-MTHF product allows us to widen our target markets and bring this innovative product to a larger number of people than ever before.”
Jacob Bauly, global marketing manager, DSM, added, “We’re delighted to be working with Merck to bring Metafolin to the market. Folates are often associated with maternal health, however this vitamin plays a number of vital roles in the body. Metafolin directly enters the metabolic process and could be an effective and safe alternative to folic acid supplementation. Metafolin allows these people to consume folates and take advantage of the many health benefits they can bring without having to change their lifestyle.”