What is the MTHFR gene and how does it affect pregnancy?


The MTHFR gene produces the MTHFR enzyme which is responsible for methylation in the body.

The methylation cycle is a process that provides methyl to at least 200 functions in the body.

Of these functions, an important requirement for pregnancy is the regulation and regeneration of cells and imprinting genes and epigenetics.

It is estimated that up to 60% of people have a variation of this gene mutation.

An important role of methylation is to activate B vitamins so your body can properly use them.

B9 -folic acid (synthetic form of folate) needs to be converted to the active form of folate after being consumed.

It is folate from food that your body needs as it bypasses any mutated or dirty MTHFR genes so it can still be absorbed and utilised.

Folate is an important nutrient in early pregnancy.

Benefits for Baby

  • Promotes healthy neural tube formation
  • Reduces the risk of midline defects, cleft palate, cleft lip, and potential tongue and lip tie.
  • Important for the development of the baby’s face and heart.
  • Required in the production of new DNA, cells, amino acid synthesis, and vitamin metabolism.
  • Supports adequate birth weight.

Benefits for Mum

  • Reduces the risk of anemia and pre-eclampsia.
  • Reduces the risk of placental abruption.

5MTHFR is the form that is essential in the first trimester which is in Be Pure Womens One multivitamin and their Folate Restore supplement.

Some dietary folate sources are chicken, liver, beans, lentils, strawberries, and broccoli.

For more information on nutrition email me at laurenbchiropractic@gmail.com

Testing/naturopathy- Testing for MTHFR gene mutations Megan at https://www.sacredhealing.co.nz


  • De-Regil et al (2015) Folic acid supplements before conception and in early pregnancy (up to 12 weeks) for the prevention of birth defects. Cochrane
  • Greenburg et al (2011) Folic Acid Supplementation and Pregnancy: More Than Just Neural Tube Defect Prevention.
    Rev Obstet Gynecol.
  • Lynch B Dirty Genes 2020 Harper One
  • Tafuri et al (2018) The hazards of excessive folic acid intake in MTHFR
    gene mutation carriers: An obstetric and gynecological perspective. Clinical Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine