The body's primary sources of folate include dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, egg yolk, liver, fortified breakfast cereal, yeast, beans, and legumes.
Folate is mainly absorbed in the duodenum and jejunum. The colon can also absorb folate, however the absorption gradient decreases from the jejunum to the colon.
The body contains a small reserve pool of folate in the liver and kidneys.
Dihydrofolate Reductase (DHFR) is the key enzyme for the metabolism of folate. It converts dihydrofolate (DHF) to tetrahydrofolate (THF).
Tetrahydrofolate (THF) is the active form of folate needed for various one-carbon transfer reactions in nucleotide synthesis.
Methionine synthase is an important enzyme in the remethylation pathway. It promotes methyl group transfer from methylated folate to homocysteine in order to generate methionine. Methionine is used to synthesize proteins and is a precursor of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), which is a methyl group donor for more than 100 enzymatic reactions.
Folate acts as a coenzyme in many biological processes. It is essential in the synthesis of nucleotides for DNA and RNA and methylation. Nitrogenous bases including adenosine, guanine, and thymine are synthesized with the help of folate.
Folate supplementation is thought to improve endothelial function through the production of Nitric Oxide (NO) and reducing oxidative stress.
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