Your Goldilocks Solution
for Maternal Health and Child Development
by Gay BenTré
If you have a personal or family history of infertility, recurrent miscarriage, preeclampsia, prolonged labor or induced labor, or if there are defects in the brain, spine or spinal cord (called neural tube defects) and/or certain developmental or neurological delays, including autism and downs syndrome, in your own child or a close relative, one or more relatively common mutations in your methylation genes may be to blame.
Basic Facts: Mutations (SNPs) in the MTHFR gene, in particular, present an especially high risk factor for mother and baby because this gene is present in the individual cells, helping to produce a nutrient called methylfolate. Methylfolate is the nutrient that starts a series of critical enzymatic reactions that figure into the complex sequence of events involved in healthy reproduction and fetal development as well as proper brain development of the growing child. It has been estimated that between 20 and 50 percent of Americans have this genetic mutation which interferes with the signaling of genes (epigenetics) to turn on and off.
Good news: In the 1990s, after research studies showed a significant decrease in neural tube defects in infants born to women who were taking a synthetic methylfolate supplement called folic acid, the U.S. government authorized the addition of folic acid to all commercially processed bread and cereal products. Physicians were also at that time mandated to encourage the use of prenatal supplements containing folic acid by their female patients. This supplementation proved to offer a remarkable gain against birth defects, decreasing the occurrence of neural tube defects by 50 percent
Bad news: However, it turns out that folic acid cannot be properly broken down for use in the bodies of people with the MTHFR mutation. Now, some researchers are focusing attention on what may actually be the toxic effects of supplementing women and babies with folic acid, as well as too much vitamin B12, who have the MTHFR or other methylation gene mutations. The toxic effects may actually increase the occurrence of hormonal and neurological problems. It appears that a “Goldilocks” solution is needed.
Gay BenTré, D.Ac., R.N., as part of her Nutrigenomic Coaching service, is pleased to offer Your Goldilocks Solution, a personalized supplement prescription, tailored to each individual’s unique genetic and lifestyle needs. Not too much, not too little…just right. For more information, email [email protected] or visit DrGayBenTre.com. Se ad, page ??.