Understand everything about the MTHFR gene mutation

Understanding everything about the MTHFR gene mutation

If you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, it is necessary to understand the importance of vitamin B9 (commonly known as folic acid). The latter plays multiple roles in the body: during the preconception period, it improves the quality of oocytes, and intervenes in the processes of growth and cell division. It is also key for the production of the embryo and the development of the fetus during pregnancy. Basically, you have to make her your best friend!

Important information: according to the results of the Esteban study , in France, nearly 75% of women of childbearing age have insufficient nutritional intake of vitamin B9. This is why it is strongly recommended that women wishing to conceive take vitamin B9 food supplements from the moment they want to become pregnant, or at least 1 month before conception, at a rate of 400ug per day.

This essential nutrient is in the form of folate (natural form present in food, which contains the 5-MTHF form) or folic acid (synthetic form). But, be careful, it's not white hat, white hat: these two shapes are not the same ! In fact, the proper assimilation of vitamin B9 depends on the form ingested.

We explain why and how to optimize the superpowers of your body as a future mother!

The MTHFR gene mutation

Our body contains a gene, called MTHFR (abbreviation for Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), producing the enzyme MTHFR, which plays a fundamental role in our body by acting on methylation. We can see you getting scared when reading these scientific terms, but hold on, you will understand everything! The methylation process simply helps our body process folate and folic acid, and produce the more active form, called methylfolate, which acts beneficially on the latter.

However, a certain part of the population carries a mutation in this enzyme, which reduces the body's ability to convert folic acid into a usable form. The importance of the alteration depends on the type of mutation observed: there are several variants of the MTHFR gene. Some annihilate the methylation process, while others reduce the production of components, such as phosphatidylcholine (better known as “lecithin”), necessary for the functioning of our cell membranes or for maintaining a healthy liver. .

If carriers of the MTHFR gene mutation supplement with folic acid (synthetic form), it will then accumulate on the vitamin B9 receptors, without them benefiting from its benefits. It will thus be ineffective, or even dangerous, because it could mask, for example, a vitamin B12 deficiency .

In general and especially when you have a mutation in the MTHFR gene, it is therefore preferable to supplement with 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid ) , the already bioavailable form, which does not require going through the methylation box for be efficient.

The diagnosis

To find out if you are part of the population carrying the MTHFR gene mutation, simply discuss it with your doctor, who will prescribe a suitable analysis and a measurement of homocysteine ​​in the blood.

If the result is positive: don't panic! Please note that the diagnosis is common and if a genetic mutation cannot be modified, it is however possible to act on its expression by modifying the signals sent to our cells.

Good practices

You can implement a few reflexes to better assimilate vitamin B9, and increase your chances of conceiving if you are planning a baby.

  • When supplementing, choose food supplements containing an assimilable form of vitamin B9. This is what we used in our Pregnancy multivitamin !

  • Adopt a diet rich in folate of natural origin (dark leafy green vegetables, avocados, lentils, beans).

  • Don't forget the precious choline ! In some countries, it is prescribed to pregnant and breastfeeding women, in the same way as vitamin B9, and for good reason! You can find it in eggs (mainly the yolk), meat (favor calf's liver), or even fish (especially salmon), but also - spoiler: in our pregnancy vitamins !

  • Where possible, a diet composed of organically grown foods helps reduce your overall toxic load.

For more information on food supplements and nutrition during pregnancy, do not hesitate to consult our ebook “Pregnancy and Food Supplements” or write to us on Instagram if you have any questions.

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