MTHFR Is Not A Dirty Word

MTHFR

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Do you suffer from one of these: depression, fatigue, heart disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, cancer, miscarriages, or high homocysteine levels?

You may possibly have a genetic mutation of the MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate) enzyme. This enzyme helps our body convert vitamin B9 (folate), into a usable form called methylfolate. If you do have this genetic mutation, guess what, your folic acid supplement may actually be causing you harm. This unconverted folic acid accumulates and blocks your body’s ability to get enough folate. Folate is crucial for DNA synthesis and repair, neurotransmitter production, detoxification and immune function. Whoa, that’s like THE most important responsibilities your body can perform!

So the first step is testing, which can be done via a blood test at your local lab or through 23 and me , which also gives a multitude of other genetic markers.

Results: The 2 most common of the MTHFR mutations are C677T and A1298C. If you have 2 copies of C677T (homozygous), it gives you a 70% methylation loss. 1 copy of C677T gives you 40% loss. And a combination of C677T + A1298C is a 50% loss. Also, check B12 and methylmalonic acid in the blood test. B12 of 300 pg/ml or less is deficiency in my book (preferably 800-1000 pg/ml is optimal) and anything over 250 mmol/L for methylmalonic acid is also showing B12 deficiency.

Supplementation: Basically, you need to take a methylated folate and methyl B12 since your body does not have the ability to do this. But this gets tricky. If you over methylate, It can cause depression, anxiety, ADD, food sensitivities, frustration, paranoia, restless legs, and insomnia. So let’s not jump into supplementing so fast nor at high doses! You will want to seek the help from your doctor before jumping into high dose supplements. Also, you don’t want to start supplementing with methylfolate if you have a B12 deficiency. It’s important to correct any other existing vitamin and mineral deficiencies first.

  • B6 is another important cofactor, 50-100mg orally once a day.
  • Methylfolate 800mcg to start after you have corrected other deficiencies.
  • Methyl B12-1000-5000mcg under the tongue daily

Please understand that is this a super simplified version of genetic mutations. If you are interested in learning more, check this out http://mthfr.net.

Have you had this test done? The majority of my patients test positive and I have one mutation as well. So it’s definitely not uncommon. The next blood draw you get done, ask for this test, it’s so critical. Happy methylating!