How Your Genetics Affect the Way You Process Folic Acid
February 28, 2017
Folic acid is critical for a healthy pregnancy, especially early in pregnancy. But genetic differences can affect the way folic acid is processed in a woman’s body. In fact, some women’s bodies are unable to process the type of folic acid found in many prenatal vitamins.
What is the MTHFR mutation?
Folic acid is a B vitamin that plays a role in a baby’s neural tube closure in the first few weeks after conception.1 An enzyme called methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) helps make folic acid usable by the body. Women who have an MTHFR mutation have a highly reduced ability to convert folic acid to a usable form. It is estimated that MTHFR mutations impair folic acid metabolism in 53 percent of women.2,3 In Italian and Hispanics living in the United States, the MTHFR mutation is 22 percent more prevalent.4,5
How do I know if I am affected by the MTHFR mutation?
Although MTHFR is common, there are no specific symptoms that indicate a MTHFR mutation. A DNA test, either through blood or saliva, can determine if you are affected by the MTHFR mutation. Talk to your health care provider if you are interested in learning more about this testing or have concerns about the MTHFR mutation.
Bioavailable Prenatal Vitamins with Folic Acid
Because of folic acid’s importance in a baby’s development, women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant may have concerns about how much folic acid their bodies are actually able to use. While eating foods high in folic acid is recommended, a daily prenatal vitamin is a quick and easy way to obtain the daily recommended dose of folic acid.
The Prenate® Vitamin Family’s line of prenatal vitamins contains L-methylfoate, which is a form of folate that is bioavailable regardless of a woman’s MTHFR status. Every Prenate® product meets or exceeds recommendations from the CDC for daily consumption of folic acid. They contain 1 mg folate, as a blend of bioavailable L-methylfolate and traditional folic acid. Designed for the needs of both moms and babies, the Prenate® Vitamin Family helps fill nutritional gaps. Talk to your doctor to see which prenatal vitamin with folic acid is right for you.