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now with Metafolin®

Natural folate form as found in human milk

Folate is indispensable for pregnant women and infants

The B vitamin is involved in the synthesis of purine and pyrimidine and thus in RNA and DNA synthesis. In the body, it plays a crucial role in cellular di¬fferentiation, regeneration and formation, and are therefore indispensable for growth, blood formation and brain development1,2. For this reason, an adequate folate supply is not only essential for women before and during pregnancy, but also for infants and young children to aid in their growth and development2,3.

Fig.1 Folate for cell division and tissue growth during pregnancy & breastfeeding


Natural folate form (5-MTHF) as found in human milk: immediately available and safe

5-MTHF is the predominant form of naturally occurring folate in the blood5. Unlike folic acid, it does not need to be converted or activated and exerts its effects immediately. Some people cannot convert sufficient amounts of the synthetic form of this B vitamin into its metabolically active form. The reason for this is a restricted or limited activity of individual enzymes6,7. Up to now, synthetic folic acid has been prescribed by law as the standard for formulae. With breast milk, the infant receives 5-MTHF, the metabolically active form of folate. The logical next step is to also add a folate source to formulae that resembles that in breast milk: HiPP COMBIOTIC® with Metafolin® – one step closer to nature’s example.

Fig.2 Conversion of folic acid in the body to the biologically active form 5-MTHF

*Metafolin® is a registered trademark of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Metafolin® – the safety choice for formulae

A controlled study has been carried out to determine the safety of Metafolin® fortified formula. The results show that children who received this bioactive folate form showed adequate growth and development. The folate levels in these infants (intervention group) were comparable to that of the breastfed infants in the control group8. This means that every baby can benefit from a formula that already contains the bioactive folate form. Metafolin® (the calcium salt of 5-MTHF) has received a positive evaluation from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for use in formulae and has recently also been included in the respective legal regulations9.


Safety is our most important ingredient
Product information

Suitable HiPP info material

HiPP Metafolin® Infoarticle (AL40538)

Importance of folate for pregnant women and babies

HiPP Metafolin® Study Report (AL40406)

Clinical study proves safety and suitability of Metafolin® in infant formulae.

1 German Nutrition Society (DGE, ed.). D-A-CH Reference Values for Nutrient Intake. Neuer Umschau Buchverlag, 2017.
2 German Nutrition Society (DGE, ed.). Ausgewählte Fragen zu Folat. (accessed 16 June 2021)
3 Biesalski, HK et al. Ernährungsmedizin. Thieme-Verlag Stuttgart 2018.
4 Bailey LB et al. J Nutr. 2015; 145: 1636–1680.
5 Pietrzik et al. Folic acid and L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate: comparison of clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Clin Pharmacokinet 2010; 49 (8): 535-548.
6 Hiraoka M & Kagawa Y: Genetic polymorphisms and folate status. Congenital Anomalies 2017; 57, 142-149.
7 Bailey WB & Ayling JE. The pharmacokinetic advantage of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate for minimization of the risk for birth defects. Scientific Reports 2018; 8:4096.
8 Troesch B et al. Suitability and safety of L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate as a folate source in infant formula: A randomized-controlled-trial. PLOS ONE 2019;14(8): e0216790.
9 COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2021/571 of 20 January 2021 amending the Annex to Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the list of substances that may be added to infant and follow-on formula, baby food and processed cereal-based food. Https:// (accessed 16 June 2021)