Everybody knows that prenatal vitamins are important to take during pregnancy, but what about before pregnancy, during pre-conception care? Most doctors will encourage women to take the prenatal vitamin for sometimes up to a year before a desired pregnancy. But what if you had a genetic mutation that kept you from processing the folic acid in prenatal vitamins?
This genetic defect can lead to unexplained infertility, elevated homocysteine levels, miscarriages, a child with Down Syndrome or development of Autism, preeclampsia, postpartum depression, or even the development of chronic depression. The defect is known as MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), the gene MTHFR C677T. This gene resides in every cell in the body, and is responsible for utilizing folic acid & producing the most active form of folate (called methylfolate). People with the variant MTHFR C667T have a 40 – 60% decreased ability to produce methylfolate.