MTHFR - or as we like to call it - the gateway gene:
There are groups on social media, websites, and blogs dedicated to this one particular gene. If you wade through the information you will probably find one of three reactions: 1. This gene is responsible for all things that are wrong with my health. 2. This gene is no big deal. 3. What did you just call me?
Well, this gene is a big deal, but we want to make sure you have the right information. We could talk about this gene all day long and go into great detail, but let's break down the basics.
1. What is MTHFR?
- MTHFR is a gene that creates the enzyme of the same name.
- The MTHFR enzyme's purpose it to metabolize dietary folate from veggies and turn it into usable cellular folate (methylfolate).
- Folate is also known as Vitamin B9.
- Folate is needed for over 200 processes in the body, everything from brain health to detoxification. This is an important nutrient all around, which is why so many people are concerned with the function of the MTHFR gene.
- When you have a variation of the MTHFR gene, you are less likely to break down dietary folate into methylfolate, and you are more likely to become deficient in the nutrient.
- Symptoms of folate deficiency include: anxiety, miscarriages, fatigue, brain fog, depression, ADHD, Autism, midline defects, blood clots, and so much more...
- Since folate is needed for so many functions in the body, it is important to know your MTHFR gene status.
2. Do I need to supplement with anything?
- One misconception out there is that you automatically need to supplement with methylfolate in high doses if you have a MTHFR gene variation. That is not the case.
- You should start with a great fruit and veggie blend if you don't already consume more than 5 servings of fresh produce a day.
- If you know you're deficient in folate, or you have symptoms associated with folate deficiency, you could use a great multivitamin that contains the right forms of folate (i.e., methylfolate, 5-MTHF, or folinic acid). We don't recommend taking it by itself, as it works synergistically with other B vitamins and minerals.
- If you truly want to know whether or not you are deficient, talk to your healthcare provider and order an intracellular micronutrient or organic acid test.
3. How do I change my lifestyle because of MTHFR variants?
- Eat more veggies, especially green leafy veg.
- Move more. Make sure you sweat to remove toxins.
- Avoid Folic Acid. This is the synthetic form of Vitamin B9, and it actually blocks folate receptors on the cell.
- Drink clean, filtered water.
It's important to know your MTHFR status, but it should be understood in connection with a variety of genes. If you don't know your genetic blueprint, check out our genetic test today!