by expert on call (297 Posts), Tue Sep 14, 2004 02:33 pm
MTHFR is an enzyme that helps convert homocysteine to methionine (one amino acid to another), and when there is a deficiency of this enzyme homocysteine levels rise. This hyperhomocysteinemia has been associated (called a risk factor) with atherosclerosis, heart disease, and hypertension, later in life, as well as thrombotic events (called thrombophilias), preeclampsia, and host of fetal problems as well. Since folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiencies exacerbate homocysteinemia, Doctors correctly prescribe folate (B12 deficiencies are extremely rare, but we know from other diseases that supplemental folate may be needed in pregnancy. Also some may use low dose heparin when a previous pregnancy was associated with preeclampsia (re potential thrombotic events), but I am unaware of any completed trials regarding this strategy.)
Thus in specific response to the questions;
What is MTHFR? It is an important enzyme in the metabolic path of a specific amino acid.
How should you regulate it? You cannot, your genes do that. You can however correct deficiencies of vitamins that relate to the enzymeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actions.
Does it cause preeclampsia even if supplements taken? Preeclampsia can still occur, and on theoretical grounds alone (I am not aware of trials evaluating the efficacy of the supplemental vitamins (though their theoretical use is valid)
Expert on Call
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