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💊 Folate & Prednisone: What You Need to Know

💊 Folate & Prednisone: What You Need to Know
By: Dr. Megan Milne & Myar Dandash

Prednisone is a medication that can be very helpful in treating various health conditions, but it may also have some side effects. Nutranize Zone is a special product designed to assist people in counteracting those side effects. One of its key ingredients is L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, a form of folate. Let’s explore how L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate works and how it could benefit someone taking prednisone.

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What is L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate?

L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate is a form of folate, which is a B-vitamin, vitamin B9, that our bodies need to stay healthy. Folate can be found in foods like leafy greens, beans, and citrus fruits. Our bodies cannot produce enough folate on their own, so we must get it from the food we eat or through supplements like Nutranize Zone.

How does folate work?

Folate plays a crucial role in many aspects of our health. It helps our bodies make DNA, the genetic material that contains instructions for our cells. Folate also helps our bodies make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of our body. It helps our bodies use serotonin, which is a messenger our bodies use to prevent depression.

What does folate help with in the body?

Folate has numerous roles in the body:

  1. Cardiovascular disease
    Improves endothelial function, blood flow, coagulation, and oxidative stress in patients with high cardiovascular risks.
  2. Cancer
    Folic acid prevents methionine in DNA methylation, which is responsible for cancer. Folate deficiencies could increased chromosomal breaks and incorporation of uracil to DNA.
  3. Depression
    Folate is involved in the serotonin metabolism by methylation of homocysteine that converts s-adenosylmethionine (SAM) Increase the uptake of folate (Cochrane)
  4. Newborns
    Reduces the risk of neurological problems such as neural tube defects in newborn babies. Despite the association between low folate levels and neural tube defects are misunderstood, folic acid plays a vital role in development of the fetus and prevention of pregnancy loss.
  5. Anemia
    Treatment of megaloblastic anemia by creating more red blood cells. Tetrahydrofolate, a common precursor of folic acid, is important in DNA synthesis. Deficiency in folic acid can cause abnormalities in cell cycle and lead to abnormal cell death in megaloblasts, chronic fatigue, and thrombosis.

Types of Folate

The most common form of folate is folic acid. Folic acid is metabolized in the body. Compared to folic acid, methylfolate, or methylated folate is more usable for people with methylation gene mutations (MTHFR). That’s why the type of folate in Nutranize Zone is a methylated type of folate. Folate is derived from natural and synthetic folate.

  1. Dihydrofolate (DHF)
  2. Tetrahydrofolic acid (THF)
  3. 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF)

Prednisone Side Effects Related to Low Folate

Prednisone, when used, could cause side effects, such as megaloblastic anemia, due to the abnormal DNA metabolism resulting from folate deficiency. Other side effects are not limited to anemia, but also blockage of calcium absorption, which affects bones, muscles and immune system.

How can folate help someone on prednisone?

Prednisone can have certain side effects that may affect our bodies. L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate can potentially help mitigate these effects and support overall health. Here’s how:

1. Supporting Red Blood Cell Production

Prednisone can sometimes affect our red blood cell production, leading to anemia or a low number of healthy red blood cells. Folate is important for making red blood cells, so consuming enough folate can help support normal red blood cell production and blood levels.

2. Helping a Healthy Heart

Prednisone causes many heart-related side effects. Folate supports healthy blood flow and reduces stress on the heart system.

3. Promoting a Healthy Nervous System

Prednisone can occasionally impact our nervous system, leading to issues like mood swings or trouble concentrating. Folate is necessary for the proper functioning of our nervous system, which may help promote better mood and cognitive function.

4. Assisting in DNA Production

Prednisone can sometimes affect our body’s ability to make DNA properly. Folate plays a key role in DNA synthesis, so consuming enough folate can help ensure our bodies can make DNA correctly and support overall cell health.

Prednisone lowers folate levels especially if you are taking other medications that can also decrease folate levels in the blood.

Other medications that can deplete folate:
  • Methotrexate
  • Azathioprine
  • Hydroxyurea
  • Cytarabine
  • Zidovudine
  • 6-mercaptopurine
  • Cladribine

Many people taking prednisone also need to take methotrexate. This drug causes major depletion of folate, so the combination of prednisone and methotrexate can cause many of these symptoms of low folate to worsen even more.

Therefore, it’s even more important for people taking both prednisone and methotrexate to supplement with folate.

Azathioprine is another common medication for people also taking prednisone that also causes loss of folate. If you’re taking azathioprine as well, folate supplementation is more important for you.

How can Nutranize Zone help?

Nutranize Zone, containing L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate as one of its ingredients, provides a convenient way to ensure you’re getting enough of this essential nutrient. By taking Nutranize Zone while on prednisone, you can potentially support your red blood cell production, promote a healthy nervous system, and assist in DNA production.


L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate is a type of folate that’s especially helpful for people who have trouble methylating. Some people have a genetic issue with the enzyme our bodies use to make folate active, called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). That’s why Nutranize Zone uses the more useful kind of folate than typical cheaper supplements like folic acid.

How Can I Get More Folate?


Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is a great first step. Foods such as leafy vegetables, asparagus, legumes, grains, strawberries, and beans can help replenish folate. Doctors can also prescribe a larger dose of folate as folic acid from a pharmacy. Most prenatal vitamins contain a form of folate to prevent neural tube defects in pregnancy and could be prescription or over-the-counter without a prescription.


L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate is a fantastic nutrient that can help counteract some of the side effects caused by prednisone. By consuming enough L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate through Nutranize Zone or folate-rich foods, individuals on prednisone can potentially support their red blood cell production, promote a healthy nervous system, and assist in DNA production. Always remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement or making significant changes to your diet.

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  2. NatMed Pro – Fighting False Claims about Folic Acid. Accessed October 22, 2023. lse-claims-about-folic-acid.aspx
  3. McRae MP. J Chiropr Med. 2009 Mar;8(1):15-24. PMID: 19646382; PMCID:PMC2697578; DOI: 10.1016/j.jcm.2008.09.001.
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  5. Taylor MJ, Carney SM, Geddes J, Goodwin G. Folate for depressive disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Published online April 22, 2003. doi:
  6. Shulpekova Y, Nechaev V, Kardasheva S, et al. The Concept of Folic Acid in Health and Disease. Molecules. 2021;26(12):3731. Published 2021 Jun 18. doi:10.3390/molecules26123731
  7. Folic Acid. In: Natural Medicines [database on the Internet]. Somerville (MA): Therapeutic Research Center; 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 17]. Available from: d,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=1017
  8. Greene EM, Hagemann TM. Drug-Induced Hematologic Disorders. In: DiPiro JT, Yee GC, Haines ST, Nolin TD, Ellingrod VL, Posey L. eds. DiPiro’s Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach, 12th Edition. McGraw Hill; 2023. Accessed October 18, 2023. 097&sectionid=267242100
  9. Jeong H, Vacanti NM. Systemic vitamin intake impacting tissue proteomes. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2020;17(1). doi:10.1186/s12986-020-00491-7
  10. Recommendation: Folic Acid for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: Preventive Medication | United States Preventive Services Taskforce. prevention-of-neural-tube-defects-preventive-medication
  11. Folic Acid. In: Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp, Inc. Updated October 12, 2023. Accessed
For further reading:
  1. 75+ Scientific Articles and Nutranize Zone Ingredients
  2. 9+ Nutrients Depleted by Prednisone