The MTHFR gene you should give a F*%$ about. | Integrative functional medicine blog

The MTHFR gene you should give a F*%$ about.

MTHFR
When I first read about this gene I thought someone was trying to be silly because this gene mutation is such a bad mother "you know what".
There is a lot of talk about the MTHFR gene lately, and for good reason. Patients are getting tested for this gene mutation left and right. Some are waranted tests, others, not so much. Learn what this bad MTHFR gene means, when you should be tested, and what you can do about it.




MTHFR
When I first read about this gene I thought someone was trying to be silly because this gene mutation is such a bad mother "you know what".
There is a lot of talk about the MTHFR gene lately, and for good reason. Patients are getting tested for this gene mutation left and right. Some are waranted tests, others, not so much. Learn what this bad MTHFR gene means, when you should be tested, and what you can do about it.
When it comes to health I like to KISS. "Keep It Simple Stupid". That acronym could apply more in this case. I could get into all the nitty gritty details, but most likely anything over 500 words, and you gone. So this, as with most of my posts I'll keep it simple.
This is the short of sweet of what this gene is, what it can do, and what you can do about it.
So what is this MTHFR gene? This gene is involved in triggering an enzyme in the body called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. Mouthful! This enzyme helps the body convert vitamin B9 into a usable form that is essential for overall health and well being.
The reason this gene is getting such huge attention these days is because of the effects this enzyme, or lack of, can have on the body. I won't bore you with all the technical details, here is the short and sweet of it.
This MTHFR gene is estimated to be present in about one half of the population. Thats a lot of people!
With about 7 billion people in the world today. Half of that is 3.5 billion. To put that into context that is about the same amount of people on the ENTIRE continent of ASIA.
asia_map
When this gene or SNP is present it will prevent or slow the conversion of homocysteine into methionine. Elevated levels of homocysteine are related to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, ischemic stroke, atherosclerosis, etc. Methionine is used in the liver and is converted into SAM-e which is important for dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin levels. Which can have a huge effect on brain health, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
The other thing that this MTHFR gene will do is inhibit or limit the amount of methylation that will occur in the body. We often call these patient under methylators. For those of you that aren't familiar with what methylation is, it is basically the main way in which your body will detoxify and get rid of all the bad stuff we are exposed to every day all day long. If we can get rid of all that junk its going to build up and before you know it, you have all kinds of weird "unexplainable" symptoms that came out of know where. Toxic build up.
Most common side effects, or issues that can occur with
under methylators from this MTHFR gene. (I actually think thats a good name!)
  1. Homocystinuria
  2. Anencephaly (related to fertility and reproduction)
  3. spina bifida (related to fertility and reproduction)
  4. anxiuosness
  5. mood disorders
  6. adrenal fatigue
  7. brain fog
  8. cervical dysplasia
  9. increased risk of cervical cancer
  10. Low thyroid
  11. Leaky Gut
  12. Increased blood pressure
  13. Increased risk of Heart Attack
  14. Increased risk of stroke
  15. Alzheimers
  16. Diabetes
  17. Miscarriages
I could go on and on. This genetic variance is far reaching. It can have effects on almost every aspect of our bodies and life.

How to get tested.
23andme
The nice thing about todays technology is that it is becoming very cheap and easy to stay on top of your health. Genetic testing in the past was often very time consuming and expensive. Not so much anymore. For the low, low price of only $99 you too can get tested. No, seriously. It's only $99, and super easy to get tested. It doesn't test every SNP for methylation but it is a start, and it will tell you if you even have this gene present or not. My favorite place to get this test is www.23andme.com
As far as I know, no one does it cheaper. Its fast and easy. If you are at all concerned or just curious, get it done. It could make a world of difference.

So now that I have given you just enough information to be dangerous.
What do you do now to treat this MTHFR gene mutation?

Many doctors and patients think, "I'm not using folic acid correctly, Ill just take more of it."
Not the right approach at all. First, your body isn't even using it. Loading up your body with something it can't use is not a good idea. It has to be in the active form for the body to actually use it. This is in the form of folate. DO NOT TAKE FOLIC ACID IF YOU HAVE THIS SNP. Period.
Lifestyle Guidelines

  1. Avoid toxins
  2. increase GI (Intestinal health)
  3. Do NOT take folic acid (must be L-MTHF)
  4. Eat lots of leafy greens
  5. no processed foods
  6. Avoid folate blockers - Hormonal contraceptives, proton pump inhibitors (prilosec, prevacid) and TUMS
  7. Eat hormone free, grass fed, organic meats only
  8. Eat organic only. Period.
  9. Daily detoxing routine - sweating, dry brushing, saunas, lot of water, etc.
Supplement guidelines
Keep in mind that this list is not all inclusive nor is it individualized. I always recommend seeking help from an experienced individual. That being said. if you are bound and determined to tackle this by yourself, here are some general guidelines.
As you can see from the simple diagram of the methylation pathways, supplementing with just folate won't do the trick either. This process can get bound up, or backed up in many different areas. We have to support the entire process to help push things through as efficiently as possible.
  1. Methyl B12
  2. Methyl folate
  3. TMG - trimethylglycine
  4. N - acetylcystein
  5. Riboflavin
  6. Curcumin
  7. Fish oil
  8. Vit C,D,E
  9. Lots of GOOD quality probiotics.

There you have it, the short and sweet of what that MTHFR gene is all about, what it affects it can have on your body and health, and what you can do about it.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,

Dr. Craig Mortensen

P.S. - Join our online dispensary and get discounted quality supplements for great prices plus access to my personal recommendations.

Purchase products through our Fullscript virtual dispensary.


If you enjoy this page, subscribe for updates.

* indicates required


blog comments powered by Disqus

Now accepting limited new patients in person and online. Call for an appointment.