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.