Con­cep­tion up­date

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-being -

af­fects the con­ver­sion of folic acid to fo­late. Dif­fer­ent vari­ants of this gene af­fect how much fo­late you are able to metabolise from folic acid. Those with cer­tain vari­ants are un­able to prop­erly metabolise folic acid into fo­late, which can leave them at risk of birth de­fects and mis­car­riage.

Sup­ple­men­tal fo­late in the form of Cal­cium foli­nate (folinic acid) is a more ac­tive form of fo­late, which can help over­come this meta­bolic is­sue. Some sup­ple­ments now also pro­vide methyl­fo­late. Whilst methyl­fo­late can be very ben­e­fi­cial for those with a prop­erly di­ag­nosed vari­ant of the MTHFR gene, it can have se­ri­ous side ef­fects in­clud­ing depression, ir­ri­tabil­ity, se­vere anx­i­ety, in­som­nia, achy joints, pal­pi­ta­tions and mi­graines if wrongly pre­scribed.

So un­less you are un­der the guid­ance of a health­care pro­fes­sional with a clear un­der­stand­ing of your MTHFR path­ways, I rec­om­mend look­ing for a sup­ple­ment which pro­vides folinic acid com­bined with folic acid to help op­ti­mize fo­late ab­sorp­tion, along­side a healthy di­etary in­take.

The rec­om­mended daily in­take for fo­late prior to con­cep­tion is 400mcg in­creas­ing to 600 mcg dur­ing preg­nancy. Most pre­na­tal sup­ple­ments will pro­vide 500 mcg of sup­ple­men­tal fo­late in line with Aus­tralian sup­ple­men­tal guide­lines.

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