MTHFR

If I have your attention, I hope it’s because you’ve heard a bit about MTHFR, and not because you thought I was using a bad bad word. I suppose as long as I have your attention, it doesn’t much matter.  This is a good to know.

I had suspected, and now confirmed, that I have a form of this genetic mutation.  C667T is my mutation. There is also A1298C.  I’m sure there are others, but these are the two mutations that are “popular”, if you will. In fact, many people do have it (approximately 20% to 30% of the population), but do not know it. I suggest determining if you do have it, and if you do, learn what you can do to manage it.

The MTHFR mutation simply means that your body is missing enzymes required to methylate folic acid and some other vitamins, minerals and proteins. You need to avoid food items that have folic acid added to them (read processed food items). It is important to consume folate from natural food sources, and avoid synthetic added folic acid.

Having the MTHFR mutation can also mean that your homocysteine levels may be increased, putting you at risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, etc. There is also evidence of people developing certain diseases; ADHD, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disorders (cancer), autism, cardiovascular disease, etc. Having this mutation can raise your homocysteine levels.

MTHFR is a relatively new area that has been uncovered.

The MTHFR gene instructs the body to make an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. If you have the gene mutation, your body is not fully equipped to metabolize and convert important nutrients in their diet into usable forms of vitamins, minerals, etc. You will not benefit from the availability of those nutrients, leaving your body lacking what it needs to stay healthy.

There is plenty of information available on line in order to educate yourself.  Certainly, if you have a functional medicine doctor, and/or an integrative doctor, they will be able to talk to you intelligently about it. I think it’s worth exploring this conversation and consider the appropriate testing to determine if you have the MTHFR defect. I used 23andme, but since having my testing done, I have learned that they have removed the testing from their program, as well as cancer testing. So if you do decide to purchase testing for this gene, you may wish to confirm with whatever company you choose to work with, that they do test for this gene.

No one ever stops learning, it seems. I discovered the MTHFR deficiency over the course of the last year. I’m sure I will discover something new in 2018!