The MTHFR gene has become a popular health topic, but what is it and what are its consequences?
Importance of the MTHFR Gene
MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It is quite common to have the MTHFR genetic mutation, particularly for women, which may lead to high levels of homocysteine in the blood and low levels of folate and other vitamins.
More specifically, MTHFR helps convert folate into the active form, methyfolate, which plays a critical role in neurotransmitter synthesis as well as helps regulate over 200 enzymes in the body. 50% of people have polymorphism, a defect, in the MTHFR gene, that lowers methylfolate levels. Thus, when methylfolate levels are low, so are neurotransmitters and enzymes. If this goes unaddressed, it can result in inflammation, a buildup of toxins, and an increased risk of cancer as well as many other health concerns.
How Do You Know if You are Affected and Steps to Take?
Your doctor can run the MTHFR serum (blood) test to determine if you have any defects in the gene. If any defects are found, your doctor will give you specific advice. But here are some general tips that are typically helpful for those with this genetic mutation:
- Stop taking synthetic folic acid supplements as the body cannot convert it to methylfolate
- Eat foods rich in natural folic acid, including: black-eyed peas, lentils, asparagus, avocado, cooked broccoli, mangoes, oranges, seeds, and nuts.
- Use only methylfolate supplements. (The Holtraceuticals Methyl B-12 Methyl Factors supplement is an option)
- Eat whole, organic, non-GMO, free-range, wild foods
- Drink filtered tap water – avoid bottled water in plastic that contains bisphenol A (BPA)
- Avoid gluten and dairy products
- Limit exposure to chemicals in the environment (i.e. formaldehyde in new clothing, carpets, furniture and new home construction, and fire retardants in clothing, bedding, couches, carpets)
Although a MTHFR genetic mutation can result in serious health concerns, it is easily manageable if the proper steps are taken. At Holtorf Medical Group, our team of medical experts can help address your concerns and identify if you do have a MTHFR genetic mutation. Call today to schedule your first appointment at 877-508-1177.