Why do I care about this MTHFR?

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The MTHFR gene is responsible for making a functional MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme is a key regulatory enzyme in the metabolism of folate, and the gene itself has a very important and complex role. If the MTHFR gene is mutated, the MTHFR enzyme will not function properly.

A MTHFR mutation inhibits the body’s ability to methylate, or convert pharmaceutical folic acid into Methylfolate. Methylfolate is the active and usable form of folate, and if the body is not getting enough of this folate at the cellular level, it leads to deficiencies and a multitude of health issues.

Folic Acid is actually a synthetic form of folate, produced in a lab and not found in nature. The conversion of Folic acid into the usable form of methyl folate requires a complex 4 step process, not properly preformed in individuals with a MTHFR mutation.
The most common MTHFR gene mutations are found at position C677T and/or position A1298C on the MTHFR gene located on chromosome 1, and passed from biological parents. So each individual can have UP to 2 copies of the Mutation:

Homozygous Mutation: 2 affected genes on either the 677t or the 1298c position. MTHFR enzyme will only run at about 10% efficiency (or 90% impaired).
Compound Heterozygous Mutation: 1 affected gene on the 677t gene and 1 mutation of the 1298c gene. This combination can be more severe, due to the fact that both gene defects are present. 98% of autistic children have this mutation.
Heterozygous Mutation: most common and less severe of all the mutations. It means there is 1 normal gene and 1 mutated gene. The mutation will either be on the 677 or the 1298 position. The MTHFR enzyme will run at about 40%-60% efficiency compared to normal MTHFR enzymes.

The Mutations….
677t Mutation – This mutation is most commonly associated with heart disease, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, miscarriages, tongue tie, congenital birth defects, to name a few.
1298c Mutation – This mutation is most commonly associated with chronic illnesses, such as; depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, OCD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, to name a few.

Methylation
The Methylation Cycle is a major biochemical pathway in our bodies that contributes to a wide range of crucial body functions, such as detoxification, immune function, mood balancing, and more. When the MTHFR pathway is impaired by mutations, other pathways are also affected, and the entire body, can suffer the consequences of “oxidative stress” (toxin buildup). Other pathways do exist for these metabolic processes, however they use more energy and create more “cellular waste” than necessary..causing more “oxidative stress”.

Pathways affected by MTHFR
1) Glutathione is the key antioxidant and detoxifier in our body, so when its production is hindered, one is more susceptible to “oxidative stress” and less tolerant to toxins, like heavy metals. With age the accumulation of heavy metals and toxins grows, and may lead to a multitude of symptoms including chronic disease, rashes, premature aging, depression, and anxiety, to name a few…
2) A lack of methylfolate also hinders the multi-step process that converts homocysteine, to methionine. Homocysteine, then builds up in the bloodstream, and reduces the amount of methionine. Methionine is necessary to produce proteins and assist in breaking down histamine, serotonin, and dopamine.

MTHFR and Pregnancy
Elevated homocysteine levels caused by MTHFR mutations can lead to formation of blood clots. This is especially a cause of concern during pregnancy, and can lead to miscarriages, clotting poroblems and fertility challenges. There are various forms of MTHFR mutations, and some are more serious than others during a pregnancy, check with a provider for medical counsel on this topic. Women who experience RPL (repeated pregnancy loss) will be tested for MTHFR.
Elevated homocysteine is also frequently found in pregnant woman who experience preeclampsia, placental abruption, giving birth to low-birth-weight baby (IUGR), and neural tube defects (an abnormality of the fetal spine or brain). So it is extremely important to make sure homocysteine levels are normal during pregnancy, in the presence of MTHFR.

Treatment
Conventional protocol for MTHFR mutations, especially during pregnancy is a mega dose of folic acid, usually around 5mg. As previously mentioned this simply accelerates “oxidative stress” and further complicates the problem. MTHFR mutations are not a “one size fits all”. With a MTHFR mutation, stay away from folic acid. Educate yourself, eat a Clean Diet, Sleep Well, Exercise, get fresh air and release stress. See your favorite MTHFR educated provider for the best advice on supplementing if necessary.

The difference between MethylFolate and Folic acid

But wait! My doctor says Folic acid is important to take!!

Conventional Doctors often use the terms ‘folic acid’ and ‘folate’ interchangeably. However they are not interchangeable. Folic acid refers to the oxidized synthetic pharmaceutical that is added to processed foods and dietary supplements for “food fortification”. Folic acid is synthetic compound manufactured in a laboratory where folate is the naturally occurring, and the body does not utilize them the same.

Human exposure to folic acid was non-existent until its chemical synthesis in 1943. Upon the addition of synthetic folic acid to food by government mandate in 1989, the US has seen a rise in autism, infertility, autoimmune disease and cancers. With a high intake of folic acid in a standard American diet, un-metabolized folic acid could mask a vitamin B12 deficiency which can harm central nervous system function. Taking high doses of synthetic folic acid with a MTHFR mutation blocks the ability to absorb and assimilate natural folate and methylfolate; THIS is a major failing of current widespread medical and prenatal advice.

Science has established that adequate folate intake from the consumption of folate-rich foods is essential for health. Folate aids the complete development of red blood cells, reduces levels of homocysteine in the blood, and supports proper nervous system development and function. Folic acid must undergo initial reduction and methylation in the liver, and then converted to the useable form; this requires a specific enzyme, MTHFR, absent or impaired in up to 60% of the population. The low activity of this enzyme in the human liver, combined with a high intake of folic acid, may result in elevated levels of un-metabolized folic acid entering the systemic circulation; Leading to a whole host of health problems plaguing modern society.

MTHFR, along with other gene mutations and heredity factors, can present special problems in pregnancy and reproduction as well as other serious conditions later in life. This is not to say that these mutations should cause alarm; but if you’re already aware of your genetic status, it would be highly beneficial to take special precautions. A baby can inherit problems in its own DNA, which present symptoms, caused by the nutritional deficiencies present at the time of conception present in the parents. Ensuring proper methylation from the beginning, in a baby, will prevent impaired immunity and virus and heavy metal accumulation from birth. This is an essential component to preventing autism, allergies, asthma and eczema later in life.

Researchers now know that supplementing with the proper forms of Methylated B vitamins can help restore health. However high amounts of folic acid in poor quality supplements AND enriched and fortified foods can be detrimental to health. Another beneficial treatment is to minimize stress in your life and in your cells. Remember to Avoid any and all “oxidative stressors” such as; Smoking, Alcohol, Certain Antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, Nitrous oxide gas (used at the dentist), Foods that cause sensitivities or allergies, Toxins in the environment (pesticides, radiation, EMFs, etc), Heavy metals (like mercury and aluminum) and stress!
‪#‎MTHFR‬ ‪#‎folatevsfolicacid‬ ‪#‎naturalmama‬ ‪#‎naturalpregnancy‬
‪#‎ilovewatchingyouheal‬ ‪#‎drkendrabecker‬

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MTHFR & Male Fertility

Daddy’s Genes Matter!!
So much of the focus on Fertility and MTHFR falls on the mother and her genetic contribution. However 50% of the baby’s genome comes from DAD! We evaluate and scrutinize mom’s diet and yet dad is left alone!

Recently powerful new research on MTHFR mutations and miscarriages implicates the fathers role more than we thought possible. While each parent contributes equal DNA to their offspring, it is women, mothers that come to office visits and comply with recommendations. Next time ladies! Bring your man!

A recent large scale study proved correlation that BOTH the MTHFR C677T and the A1298C contributed from BOTH parents increased risk of miscarriage. Interestingly, babies with 2 copies of the MTHFR A1298c mutation had the highest incidence of miscarriage. 2 copies of a mutation means EACH parent donated one copy! DAD’s Genes matter too!

So here at the FWC our preconception health protocol includes BOTH parents! And the “inception” of the protocol is months before “conception”. A thorough review of lab work, medical conditions, diet, lifestyle and genetics assist in the best possible outcomes.

It is important to note when addressing conception and MTHFR that a good quality diet and proper nutrients including bio-available Folate is included. Folate is what ensures proper functioning DNA and provides the proper signaling for cell differentiation in early pregnancy, as well as protecting sex-cells in BOTH parents from DNA damage. However, Choosing Folate alone will not eliminate poor outcomes.

However we do know Low folate levels are associated with higher incidence of:
• Miscarriage
• Low sperm quality
• Autism
• ADD/ADHD
• Allergies
• Among other conditions
Getting Started!
Begin your road to parenthood months before conceiving. Give the PALEO diet a try. Paleo is a diet chuck full of nutrients and beneficial fat and free of many common allergens and chemicals.
Normalize weight and maintain exercise to help ensure proper function of metabolism, sleep cycles and menstrual cycles (for mama only of course in this instance).
Meet with an educated provider who can run proper lab testing and make recommendations to optimize the best pregnancy outcomes. Remind providers (or find another) that Folic acid is not the optimal form of folate for properly functioning DNA especially in the presence of MTHFR mutation.
Enjoy the journey; becoming a parent is one of the most amazing experiences in a lifetime.

MTHFR..an introduction

Faulty methylation has been linked to heart disease, stroke, reproductive disorders, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders and fertility issues. It has also been linked to chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, colon cancer, reproductive cancers, kidney infarct, cervical dysplasia, faulty detoxification and impaired DNA repair.

Methylation occurs when SAMe (S-adenosine methionine) donates a methyl group, which is then attached to the molecule that is being detoxified. SAMe then becomes homocysteine.
Vitamin B6, B12, and folate are necessary to reduce homocysteine and keep the methylation process occurring smoothly.
Methylation is also used in DNA regulation. If you have poor methylation, your cells will not function correctly leading to decline in health.

• MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) It is first converted to tetrahydrofolate (THF) then to 5,10-methyleneTHF. MTHFR is needed to further convert 5,10-methyleneTHF into active 5-methylTHF, in order to convert methionine from homocysteine.
• MTR – 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase is encoded by the MTR gene. It’s task is to regenerate methionine from homocysteine by using 5-Methyl-THF(levomefolic acid obtained from MTHFR conversion) as a methyl donor. Vitamin B12 is needed.
• MTRR – this gene provides instructions for making methionine synthase reductase. Methionine synthase helps process amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Specifically, it converts the amino acid homocysteine to methionine.
• COMT – catalyzes the transfer of the functional methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) to the desired substrate. COMT snps can cause Impaired neurotransmitter metabolism, Decreased drug metabolism, Decreased detoxification of toxic catecholamine’s from the environment. Correlated with a variety of human disorders, including estrogen-induced cancers, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and hypertension.
• HOMOCYSTEINE- A modified amino acid that is toxic at elevated levels. In high levels can lead to many of the disorders. Homocysteine is not obtained from the diet; For treatment to be effective, levels should be monitored and genetics should be evaluated to properly lower homocysteine.

MTHFR and Chiropractic

 

Recently there has been a lot of talk about MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene that contains the DNA code to produce the MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme, simply stated, helps us convert B vitamins into energy inside the cells) When there are mutations or variations in the MTHFR gene, there is enzymatic malfunction or decreased function, this is implicated in everything from serious genetic disorders to no so serious nuisance type problems.
Because MTHFR is genetic, and appears in 60% of the population, there is little we can do about what passes to us from our parents, but a host of things we can do to support functioning of this enzyme and support the proper energy production.
Many factors related to MTHFR, can cause a person to become deficient in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants; and conversely have higher levels of inflammation. So the standard clean diet, good sleep, exercise and of course chiropractic apply here..however chiropractic can also be a useful tool in detection of a MTHFR problem.
Nutrient deficiency symptoms vary, but are very apparent to a physician educated about MTHFR. Deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, zinc, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), glutathione, iron and vitamins B1, B2, B6, B9 (folate), B12, and Vitamin D very common with MTHFR, and can effect chiropractic care. Many of these deficiencies can affect how we heal, perceive pain and even how an individual holds adjustments.
Science has shown us time and again that low Vitamin D levels affect mood and increase pain, low levels of minerals cause muscle spasms, poor sleep and anxiety, and low levels of B vitamins increase our susceptibility to toxins and oxidative stress…all things patients visit the chiropractor for!
In the meantime don’t start guessing where you’re deficient and taking supplements randomly. Listen to your body:

Is your fatigue unrelenting even after treatment? This could mean that your MTHFR mutation gives you the inability to utilize B vitamins properly, and your cells are “starving” for energy.

Are you holding your chiropractic adjustments? If not it is likely your MTHFR issue is causing low mineral levels in your cells.

Are you constantly getting injured or taking an extra-long time to recover? It is likely your levels of inflammation are higher; this alone can lead to long term damage and should be addressed in a timely fashion.

Of course, the best approach is proper diagnosis and treatment by a skilled provider who can educate and empower your healing. Eat well, Sleep Well and of course TURN YOUR POWER ON!!
‪#‎mthfr‬ ‪#‎chiropractic‬ ‪#‎turnyourpoweron‬ ‪#‎ilovewatchingyouheal‬‪#‎drkendrabecker‬ ‪#‎sportsmedicine‬