The MTHFR gene mutation is a genetic variation that makes it very difficult to absorb your B vitamins including folic acid.
MTHFR refers to methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase
This can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other health problems including elevated Homocysteine levels in the body. Having the variant can also impact a healthy pregnancy and the risk of neural tube defects in the newborn baby.
Possible symptoms of having this gene variant includes
- Poor memory
- Nerve pain
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Cardiovascular Disease including clots, heart attacks, and strokes
Even though many of these symptoms and risks are caused by a B vitamin deficiency, taking B vitamins can actually make you feel worse. This is likely to be because of the type of B vitamin you choose. Different forms of vitamins can be more easily assimilated.
Role Of Folic Acid In Pregnancy
Folic Acid as a prescription medicine is usually automatically given in pregnancy to reduce the risk of Neural tube defects. It is given to reduce homocysteine levels in the body which carries a number of health risks. However, knowing if you actually have the gene mutation will give you more information as to the best form of folic acid you should take and what other nutrients would be important to take during your pregnancy.
Other nutrients that are involved in neural tube defect risk are Vitamin B12, B6, and betaine. All those nutrients are required to reduce Homocysteine levels in the body. Elevated homocysteine carries with it risks for cardiovascular disease as well. The Health and wellbeing gene profile tests genes associated with the MTHFR and homocysteine metabolism.
Testing For The MTHFR Gene Variant
When Testing the MTHFR gene, the test reveals the actual MTHFR Gene variants. Having one variant is less likely to cause health issues compared to having 2 variants on the gene. Gene testing will clarify how much at risk a person may have, based on their Gene variant.
Gene mutations are inherited. You receive one copy of each of the MTHFR genes from each parent. If you receive a gene mutation from both parents then your risk of having 2 variants on the gene is higher.