I just wanted to throw out there that MTHFR is a REAL concern and the form of folate is extremely important... how would I know that?
After 4 miscarriages in a row following 3 healthy deliveries - I was sent for testing to determine why. This included a wide variety of tests from physical formation, to hormonal panels, to a thrombophilia panel for clotting issues. The only thing that came back as abnormal in all of this was that I was diagnosed with a compound heterozygous MTHFR polymorphism. I blinked. What on earth was this? My doctor explained it can cause some clotting and miscarriages and wanted me to take Folgard (prescription high doses of folic acid). Stunned, and confused... I didn't know what questions to ask and I did as I was told - and went on to miscarry yet again.
Then I began to do my own research. I discovered that a lot of this information is new and developing.. and that while the mainstream treatment is high high doses of folic acid and it amazingly works for some people - it doesn't work at all for others. It would appear I was in the non working category. This genetic mutation of mine had lain dormant for a while, but once triggered - it had wreaked havoc on my life. All one has to do is read about bio chemistry and what role folate place in the body's metabolic processes to know how important a nutrient this is. I had been battling with extreme fatigue that no one could figure out the cause of for years. I had neurological issues that even a neurologist and an MRI couldn't figure out. I had depression that was untouchable and untreatable by typical medication. I had memory loss.. for a woman in her mid 30's I should not have been missing chunks of my life as in whole people were erased, and whole years of my life were gone... unrecallable. And there were no answers - UNTIL I learned about MTHFR. All of this and so much more can be related to MTHFR.
That's when I discovered that folic acid in the body can lead to higher levels of homocysteine that cannot be fully absorbed because the process of conversion doesn't fully work in someone like me.. and you can develop blood clots... AH HA.. this is why it's on the clotting panel! I knew I had lost two pregnancies to clots, and the others were likely neural tube issues from lack of folate... yes you heard me.. LACK OF FOLATE despite being on HIGH doses of folic acid. If your body cannot convert it efficiently - you cannot get the benefit, and it's worse than if you had none at all. Because this polymorphism is genetic and inherited in a large number of people, but not always triggered - it's hard to say exactly how many carry versus deal with the actual repercussions of a triggered MTHFR - but you cannot hurt your body by eating more natural folate... and you CAN potentially hurt your body (and the baby) by taking folic acid... potentially.
I began taking Methylfolate - the converted form of the nutrient, therefore effectively skipping the broken conversion process - and guess what? My fatigue went away! My depression went away! I felt GREAT! My memory improved. I never got those memories back... but I was no longer losing them or feeling so scatter brained. And then miracle of all miracles - I conceived. Only this time, my 10th pregnancy... 4th child... I didn't miscarry. In fact I have a perfectly healthy child only weeks from birth right now. I've religiously taken methylfolate every single day of this pregnancy. After 5 consecutive miscarriages via clots from homocysteine due to MTHFR and lack of folate causing NTD's that a child could not survive through - here I am with my health drastically improved, and a healthy baby about to be born.
That's a pretty good evident reason for me to believe the research on this. It may be new.. but don't be fooled - it's real. The Methylation cycle is a very well known part of our body's functions, and it HAS to function in order for us to have a decent life. I've been given a whole new lease on life, and all it took was a paradigm shift to eating more whole foods with folate, and supplementing with Methylfolate and NOT folic acid. I don't take a prenatal vitamin.. for the first time ever... and I feel better than I've ever felt!