MTHFR and PREGNANCY
MTHFR – How 1 in 4 pregnancies may be affected
Beautiful, healthy babies are born every day bringing with them great joy and happiness. However, sadly for a few women, pregnancy is not straightforward or even possible. Fortunately medical science is coming up with answers and thanks to genetic screening, more and more women are able to conceive and progress to a healthy full term baby.
If you have, or have had: Elevated homocysteine, Recurrent pregnancy loss, Infertility, Pre eclampsia, a child with Downs Syndrome or autism, Postpartum depression, Chronic depression or a family history of any of the above … then a MTHFR genetic test is highly recommended. Ask your doctor to order a MTHFR genetic test and blood homocysteine level. The great thing is if you do test positive for the MTHFR C677T variant, help and advice is available to enable you to have that beautiful baby you long for.
One of the most interesting recent discoveries is the MTHFR genetic defect. It is still not common knowledge but it is estimated that it affects approximately 1 in 4 seriously and 1 in 2 mildly. Those with the variant of MTHFR called C667T have a 40% to 60% decreased ability to produce the body’s most active form of folate called methylfolate.
MTHFR stands for methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase.Methylfolate is a critical nutrient affecting neurotransmitter production, DNA regulation, immunity and the cardiovascular system. Indirectly, methylfolate affects hormone levels and detoxification. This gene resides in each and every cell of your body producing the end product, methylfolate and this is the nutrient which starts a series of countless critical enzymatic reactions.
In the absence of sufficient methylfolate, homocysteine levels may rise to a harmful level and the MTHFR C677T gene defect significantly contributes to this. Elevated homocysteine is a commonly known risk factor contributing to recurrent pregnancy loss, pre eclampsia, infertility, Down’s Syndrome and other serious concerns surrounding pregnancy.
What can be done ? Lots !
- Ask your Doctor to organise the test.
3. Take protective measures on a daily basis such as :-
4. Eat organic, unprocessed and non-GMO foods.
5. Eliminate your intake of synthetic folic acid. The MTHFR enzyme does not convert it well to active methylfolate and there are concerns about the synthetic version.
6. Increase natural food folates found in uncooked leafy greens.
7. Get professional advice about supplements with active forms of folate such as methylfolate and folinic acid and additional nutrients such as carnitine, CoQ10, DHA, krill oil. Probiotics, vitamin C, and phosphatidylcholine.
8. Eat well-balanced meals with animal protein.
9. If vegan, talk with your Doctor or Nutritionist about supplementing with methylcobalamin, an active form of vitamin B12, along with soy lecithin.
Another factor to note is that 1 in 5 women are deficient in choline, which is a critical nutrient for brain development.
Preparing for pregnancy makes sense.
For more advice please contact Marilyn Minter-Newson D N Th. Dip N. (FNTP)
www.nutrition-devon.net tel: 07917 804834