Mind Body Health Hypnotherapy

Decoding the MTHFR Gene: Importance and Impact

Beyond the Tongue-Twister

MTHFR gene health coach

Okay, let’s break this down. When you hear “MTHFR”, do you automatically think Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase? No? Well, let’s hope by the end of this chat, you’ll think more than just a fancy word.

For those who’ve experienced ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, mood swings, depression, OCD, heart ailments, PANDAS, postnatal depression, or even miscarriages, sit tight. Because the MTHFR gene might be more important to you than you realize.

1. MTHFR: More Than Just a Fancy Abbreviation

Picture this: Our genes are like light switches, turning on and off various processes in our body. The MTHFR gene is a crucial switch. It transforms folate or folic acid (a synthetic version of the B vitamin folate) into something called methylfolate. Sounds like something straight out of a science textbook, right? But stick with me.

2. Why is Everyone Talking About Methylation?

If you’re in health circles, you’ve probably heard about methylation. But what is it? Think of methylation as your body’s metabolism. Imagine the insides of a clock with various cogs, each controlling specific reactions. One crucial cog? Yep, you guessed it, MTHFR.

In this case, MTHFR takes folate (vitamin B9) and methylates (converts) it into methylfolate (5-methylTHF). Hardly seems like a big deal, does it? Yet, if you belong to an autism, Pandas, Lyme or chronic fatigue group, you’ve probably noticed a big buzz around this thing called methylation. While the past decade has seen MTHFR studied in terms of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it turns out it might also be a very big deal for those with developmental, neurological or behavioral symptoms and for those fighting chronic infections.

So, what happens if this cog isn’t working right? It messes up the other cogs. Think of a dimmed light instead of a bright one. A glitch in the MTHFR gene affects how our body’s cells get energy and function.

3. The Domino Effect

Now, with a faulty MTHFR, it can muck up other processes. For instance, it can increase homocysteine levels, which is a big no-no for heart health and can up your risks for various health issues like dementia and certain cancers. Plus, it affects the production of an antioxidant called glutathione, vital for those dealing with conditions like autism and Lyme disease.

But there’s more. MTHFR might be linked to increased miscarriages. Insufficient levels of methylfolate are linked to neural tube defects, which is why pregnant women are told to take supplements of folic acid. But if your body has a faulty MTHFR gene and can’t properly convert folate into methylfolate, then this advice may not be having the intended benefits.

4. The Unsung Role of MTHFR

Importantly, MTHFR plays a role in the BH4 cycle, which is linked to our mood-regulating neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine. This has potential implications for mental health and treatment approaches, especially for those looking for alternatives to certain medications.

While the name might be a mouthful, understanding the MTHFR gene is essential. It’s like uncovering a secret code to how our body works, especially for those dealing with specific health challenges. So the next time someone mentions MTHFR, you’ll know it’s way more than just a fancy abbreviation.

MTHFR Testing: Why, How, and What to Do with the Results

Alright, we’ve been diving deep into the MTHFR gene. Sounds intense, right? But here’s the thing: understanding this gene and what it does (or doesn’t do) could make a world of difference for many people, especially when dealing with mood and behavioral issues. Let’s discuss it in simpler terms.

Getting Tested: It’s Easier Than You Think

Worried about getting tested? Don’t be. Many labs can help. Hop onto your local lab’s website, navigate to the test menu (typically under the doctors’ section), and search using keywords like “mthfr” or “methylfolate”. Note the test code and ask your doctor to order it or you can order it yourself here in New Zealand. https://www.i-screen.co.nz/tests/


If you are interested in getting state of the art genetic testing for all disease and health issues use my code ‘MINDBODYHEALTHINFO’ & get a special discount up to 50% OFF on CircleDNA’s Premium Test https://circledna.com/premium


Interpreting the Results

There are at least 24 known mutations of this gene, but two are predominantly studied: C677T and A1298T.

Interestingly, it’s believed that about 45% of the U.S. population might have at least one mutation. Depending on your specific mutation, it might affect how efficiently your body processes folate into methylfolate.

What to Do with Your Results?

Got the results? Now the real challenge begins: understanding and deciding what to do. If you can’t convert folate efficiently, there’s a workaround. Consider taking a supplement containing methylfolate. Think of it as the ready-made version that skips the tricky process your body struggles with.

But there’s a hitch: as this is a relatively new research area, there’s little guidance on dosages. It’s essential to consult with a physician or health practitioner, but bear in mind, it’s so new that few doctors might have vast experience. Dosages seem to vary widely, so work with a physician to find the right amount. It can be a bit of trial and error.

Overcoming MTHFR Mutations: A Summary

MTHFR mutations can compromise the body’s methylation and detoxification processes. However, with certain lifestyle and dietary changes, one can overcome the challenges posed by these mutations.

1. Utilize Pre-Methylated B Vitamins:

  • Opt for 5MTHF instead of regular folate.
  • Consume active forms of B6 and B12.

2. Sidestep Synthetic B Vitamins:

  • Avoid folic acid, which is synthetic and can hinder the absorption of natural folate by binding to its receptors.
  • If you have the MTHFR gene mutation, your body is not able to convert folic acid. Folic acid is synthetic and can be found in fortified and processed foods.
  • Taking folic acid is harmful if it stays in your body unconverted. The unconverted folic acid attaches itself to the same receptors used to absorb folate and “clogs them up,” so to speak.

3. Adopt a B Vitamin-Rich Diet:

  • Folate: asparagus, romaine lettuce, broccoli, avocado, spinach, kale.
  • B6: poultry, seafood, bananas, leafy greens.
  • B12: fish, poultry, meat.
  • Keep in mind that for those with two MTHFR mutations, dietary intake might be insufficient.

4. Minimize Toxic Exposure:

  • Air: Use HEPA filters to combat air-based mercury from coal plants.
  • Water: Install filters on taps and showerheads to prevent mercury exposure from polluted water.
  • Dental: Safely remove amalgam fillings that contain mercury.
  • Diet: Opt for fish low in mercury and refer to guidelines from organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund.

5. Promote Safe Detox:

  • Diet: Eat cruciferous vegetables like arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens.
  • Fluid Intake: Drink ample water to support detoxification.
  • Sweating: Engage in activities that induce sweating like exercise or infrared saunas.

6. Use Supplements to Offset MTHFR Mutation Effects:

  • Glutathione: An essential detoxifying agent that is particularly crucial for those with compromised methylation. This antioxidant can help reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases.
  • Liver Support Supplements: N-acetyl-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, milk thistle, and selenium can be beneficial. They support the liver, promote antioxidant activity, and aid in glutathione production.
  • Magnesium: Supports detoxification by aiding in ATP production, which is essential for cellular energy and flushing out toxins.

By adhering to these guidelines and regularly consulting with a healthcare professional, individuals with MTHFR mutations can lead healthier lives and better manage the effects of their genetic predisposition.

MTHFR Mutation and Detoxification: An Overview

The MTHFR mutation, particularly at the C677T location, can significantly impact the body’s ability to detoxify, primarily through the methylation pathway. This process is pivotal in transforming harmful substances and toxins into benign or excretable products.

Detoxification & MTHFR Mutation:

Mercury & MTHFR: Taking the example of consuming tuna fish laden with mercury:

  • No MTHFR Mutations: If one doesn’t possess any MTHFR mutations, their body should theoretically detoxify 100% of the mercury ingested.
  • One MTHFR C677T Mutation: Detox capacity is reduced by half. Hence, 50% of the mercury is stored in the body.
  • Two MTHFR C677T Mutations: 90% detox impairment is observed. This means almost the entire mercury content from the tuna, besides other exposure sources, accumulates in the body over time.

Gene Expression:

While genetic makeup remains fixed, how these genes are expressed can be influenced by diet, lifestyle, environment, and more. This means that even with an MTHFR mutation, one can adopt measures to better their health.

Supporting Methylation & Detox in MTHFR Mutation Carriers:

  1. Supplementation: High-quality methylation supplements can be beneficial. They usually contain vital cofactors and vitamins required for optimal methylation, including folate, B12, and B6.
  2. Monitor Homocysteine Levels: As a byproduct of methylation, homocysteine can serve as an indirect marker. Elevated levels hint towards impaired methylation, and thus, the possible presence of MTHFR mutations.
  3. Optimal Homocysteine Ranges:
  • Ideal Range: 6-9 umol/L
  • Elevated Levels: Above 10 umol/L suggest the presence of an MTHFR mutation.
  • Beyond 18 umol/L likely indicates two mutations.
  • Low Levels: Below the optimal range may signify under or overmethylation. Both scenarios can pose health issues.

If you are interested in getting state of the art genetic testing for all disease and health issues use my code ‘MINDBODYHEALTHINFO’ & get a special discount up to 50% OFF on CircleDNA’s Premium Test https://circledna.com/premium

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