The Human Genome Project, a genetic study, was completed in 2003. In this study an important gene for health was discovered called the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, or MTHFR, was defective in many people worldwide. Estimates state that up to 60% of the public are affected by these genetic variations.
This is why our program centers on addressing Glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant. Glutathione levels are significantly reduced with the MTHFR variation and Glutathione is necessary for natural, neurochemical sleep; to ease anxiety; detoxify the body; assist the liver and is critical in neurotransmitter production. When Glutathione levels are low, every system of the body suffers, including your brain and nervous system.
MTHFR variations can cause insomnia, anxiety, depression, inflammation, heavy metal buildup, increased pain, neurological symptoms, chronic fatigue, elevated homocysteine levels, heart disease and many other conditions. Testing and addressing with a qualified professional is strongly recommended.
When the MTHFR gene is working correctly there is a multi-step chemical breakdown process known as Methylation that performs multiple tasks including:
- MTHFR works with the folate vitamins to break them down properly.
- Homocysteine is converted into Glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier. High Glutathione levels prevent the buildup of toxins but also eases stress and assists with natural sleep.
- MTHFR converts the amino acid homocysteine to methionine that the body uses to make proteins, utilize antioxidants and helps the liver to process fats. Methionine eases inflammation and converts estradiol to estriol (Estrogen) while helping with depression. Methionine is converted in the liver to SAMe, an anti-inflammatory agent that also supports your immune system, helps the proper breakdown of brain serotonin, dopamine and melatonin and is involved in growth, repair and maintenance of the cells. This Methylation pathway is critical to eliminate toxins, heavy metals, reduce your risk for cancer and take the stress off the adrenals.
- Those that have under-methylation tend to respond poorly to benzodiazepines and sleeping pills.
- Those with over-methylation already have high levels of Serotonin and risk unsafe Serotonin levels if antidepressants are used.
GENETIC VARIATION OF MTHFR AFFECTS:
- Homocysteine levels increase thus lowering Glutathione, causing a risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, high toxic load, increased anxiety and insomnia.
- This mutation inhibits the body’s ability to methylate, or convert folic acid into Methylfolate, the active and usable form of folic acid. If the body does not get enough usable folate at the cellular level, a dangerous begins, leading to deficiencies and health issues.
- High homocysteine and low Glutathione causes fatty liver disease, anemia, increased inflammation, increased free-radical damage and less SAMe.
- Lowers SAMe levels and causes an increase in depression.
- The inability to eliminate toxic metals causing high iron, copper, lead and mercury. High copper can cause low ferritin, high folate and B12 (the body has problems converting the inactive forms of folate and B12 to active forms used by the body) even if your iron levels appear normal.
- MTHFR defects can increase your risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, depression, IBS, miscarriages, migraines, chemical sensitivities and many other conditions.
The Journal of Molecular Psychiatry states that Schizophrenia-like syndromes, bi-polar, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia have all been associated with one of more mutations of the MTHFR gene.
While we can’t change our genetic profile, there are natural ways to address any variation.
Many find their Folic Acid lab test levels are high since a defect in this gene prevents your body from using the inactive form of Folic Acid or Folate. Folate that appears in nature through foods automatically contain the methylated version of Folate. In addition, there is a Methylfolate supplement that bypasses this variation.
Treatment is based on your test results therefore it is critical to have an MTHFR specialist involved to guide you.
- Anyone with specific MTHFR variations cannot metabolize vitamins that contain Folic Acid or Folate. It MUST state Methylfolate for your body to process it. Inactive forms of folic build to high levels within the body and genetically they are not processed properly, leading to high Histamine levels that increase inflammation. All processed foods, many breads, crackers, multivitamins, individual vitamins, etc. may contain Folic Acid or Folate. Learn to read labels. It it does not specifically state METHYL form of Folate, then do not ingest. This also applies to Vitamin B12 and B6 as the methylated versions are also required to bypass MTHFR.
- For those that over-methylate, adding time-released Niacin can slow down the methylation process.
- Repairing the digestive system and optimizing healthy flora should be addressed to correct methylation deficiencies.
- Building Glutathione levels is critical. At Point of Return we utilize the precursors for Glutathione production in SUPPORT. Direct Glutathione cannot be used by the body and should be avoided. Raising intracellular Glutathione is the only way for the body to replenish the Glutathione reserves. This page explains more about this critical master antioxidant. Read more.
- Changing your diet to eliminate all processed foods while increasing healthy vegetables, meats and fruits is important because they naturally contain methylated B vitamins.
- Increase digestive enzymes to improve enzymatic function.
- Increase Omega 3 and decrease Omega 6’s in the diet. Omega 6 is pro-inflammation while Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory. We formulate our MOOD Omega 3 high in DHA rather than EPA because DHA is the primary fat in the brain, eyes and neurons.
Heterozygous Mutation: Indicates that you have one variation that is normal (from one parent) and one variation that is deficient (from the other parent). This is the most common and less severe of all the mutations. This variation will perform at 55-70% efficiency compared to normal MTHFR enzymes. This mutation will either be on the 677 or 1298 position.
Homozygous Mutation: Indicates that you have one copy from each parent and your MTHFR enzyme will only run at about 7-10% efficiency. This mutation will either be the 677 or 1298 position but have 2 affected genes.
Compound Heterozygous Mutation: With this variation you have 1 mutation on the 677 gene and 1 mutation on the 1298 gene. This combination is more challenging due to the fact that you will have symptoms of both genetic variations. 98% of autistic children have both the 677 and 1298 anomaly.
High Copper/Low Zinc: This can be a common finding with a MTHFR defect, and high copper causes your zinc levels to decline. High Copper can cause hyperactivity, depression, headaches, acne, lowered immune health, sensitive skin and/or bruising, worsening hypothyroid, adrenal stress and more. High Copper can also make it difficult to raise iron levels, including ferritin.
CBS Mutation: The CBS gene should convert homocysteine into cystathionine, a pathway that removes sulfur containing amino acids. When this isn’t functioning properly it creates an excess of sulphur that stresses the kidneys. Avoiding process foods is critical because they can have high amounts of sulphur. This mutation can also cause low Serotonin and Dopamine. It can also cause chemical sensitivity.
Your doctor can order the MTHFR test, however many labs do only the basic testing and not the full profile of MTHFR genes.
A company called 23andme can do genetic testing without a doctor’s prescription. This is a cheek swab and the kit is sent by mail. Their site references ancestry data, but their DNA profile kit does include the MTHFR.
You can purchase from www.23andme.com and call them with questions.
If you choose to do 23andme test, the raw data they collect must be uploaded and interpreted. Any of these options are available to the public after you obtain the 23andme raw data report:
- LiveWello – https://livewello.com provides a large amount of information on MTHFR plus links to learn more about each gene’s potential problems.
- Nutrahacker - https://www.nutrahacker.com will give a list of supplements to take, including what to avoid due to your mutations.
- Genetic Genie – http://geneticgenie.org looks are you methylation genetics by reading the raw data.
- Sterling Hill’s App - https://mthfrsupport.com/sterlings-app/ or you can call her to pay for an interpretation of your genetics.
*While great care has been taken in organizing and presenting the material throughout this website, please note that it is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as Medical Advice. More...