As with many other topics that can become sensationalized in the health world, the subject of MTHFR gene mutations has been obscured by misinformation. Many people who don’t feel well and are searching for answers are sometimes diagnosed with and treated for MTHFR gene mutations, but not all doctors have the training and expertise to safely and effectively treat this mutation. While MTHFR gene mutations are a real and surprisingly common occurrence that can impact health, they should be treated with extreme care by medical professionals to avoid problems such as over-methylation.
At Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY, we work hard to demystify the topic of MTHFR gene mutations by helping patients understand the science behind the mutation, and how it may affect crucial processes such as folate absorption and methylation. During any treatment, we don’t stay hyper-focused on one diagnosis. Instead, we take a look at the bigger picture and make sure that you have all of the puzzle pieces that you need for good health. We have also developed specialized supplements in our Regenavita line that are specifically designed to help individuals with this mutation, as well as provide IV Nutrient Infusions that are compatible with people who have these mutations. Here is everything you need to know about MTHFR gene mutations and our treatment process.
A Short Glossary of Helpful Terms
Folate: Folate is a naturally-derived form of vitamin B9 that helps with DNA production, among other things.
Folic Acid: Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 that is cheap and often added to food such as bread and pasta.
Homocysteine: A chemical that is produced as part of your body’s process of breaking down dietary folate.
Methylfolate: A biologically active form of folate that your body can use to duplicate DNA or grow new cells.
MTHFR: Also known as “methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase”, MTHFR is an enzyme in your body that helps turn folate into something that your body can use. It does this by recycling homocysteine or by producing methylfolate.
MTHFR Gene: The gene that gives your body the information needed for MTHFR to function properly.
What You Need to Know About MTHFR Gene Mutations
If you have an MTHFR gene mutation, this means that your MTHFR enzyme isn’t getting all of the information it needs to do an effective job. While your MTHFR will still function to some level, it will be like a highway that is congested with traffic. In the same way that only a few cars at a time can make it through a construction zone, only a little methylfolate can be produced at a time. The MTHFR enzyme also won’t be able to recycle homocysteine as quickly. The result in patients can be higher levels of homocysteine in the blood and lower levels of methylfolate for the body to use. MTHFR gene mutations obstruct the methylation process and make it much harder for your body to turn folate into its active form.
What Is Methylation and Why Is It Important?
Methylation is the process that your body goes through to convert material from a non-usable form to a usable form. An example is the folate cycle which takes dietary folate found in leafy green vegetables and turns it into the usable form, methylfolate.
This process is incredibly important because it can have an effect on everything from the quality of your sleep to how much anxiety and depression you feel throughout the day. It can also affect your gut health, your body’s response to exercise, and your libido. MTHFR gene mutations and methylation are connected because the first can disrupt the second, leading to a negative impact on your quality of life.
Should You Get Tested for MTHFR Gene Mutations?
MTHFR mutations are common, affecting a good portion of the world’s population. That is why we test all of our patients for this gene mutation. With this information, we can develop a personalized supplementation protocol that will work with your body instead of against it.
In addition to gene mutation testing, we will look at many of the other factors that could be contributing to your poor health including environmental factors, diet, GI health, habits, genetics, family history, and more.
Are Folic Acid Supplements the Answer?
At first glance, it may seem like a deficiency in usable folate in your body should be treated by using a folic acid supplement to help your body get more vitamin B9. The argument is that since folic acid is absorbed better by the body, it helps the body to produce more methylfolate by giving your body more to work with. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth for people who have an MTHFR gene mutation.
If you have this gene mutation, your MTHFR enzyme is already having a hard time producing methylfolate. With a folic acid supplement, any natural folate that is trying to make it through the process is pushed out of the way by the more easily-absorbed folic acid. Once it bullies its way into the cycle, folic acid stops another crucial enzyme, the DHFR enzyme, from working properly. As a result, an even smaller amount of methylfolate is produced, no matter how many nutritious salads you eat.
Since synthetic folic acid is required by law to be added to enriched grain products such as pasta and bread in the US, many people have enzymes that are overburdened and unable to work at peak capacity.
Proper Supplementation for Individuals with MTHFR Gene Mutations
Once you find out that you have an MTHFR gene mutation, we will help you get the proper supplementation to ensure that you are receiving the right amounts of methylfolate. It is incredibly important for this to be done carefully by an expert in gene mutations and methylfolate supplementation to avoid negative side effects and over-methylation.
We have developed a way for our patients to get the nutrients they need in the most bioavailable form whether through oral supplementation or IV solutions. Our revolutionary new line, Regenavita, has supplements that are specifically designed to help patients with MTHFR gene mutations. These supplements can help regulate methylfolate levels, lower homocysteine levels, and more. When starting these supplements, we employ careful monitoring and adjust supplementation based on how you respond to the treatment.
What Is the Conclusion?
It is important to not try to solve health problems on your own. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet and every individual case is different. You should never jump to conclusions about your health based on something that you read. The best thing you can do for your body is to schedule a consultation with a doctor who specializes in comprehensive and personalized health strategies.
At Medical Transformation Center, we look at everything that could be causing your health problems from the nutrients that your body is missing to how your lifestyle and genetics are impacting your overall health. Whether you have the much-discussed MTHFR gene mutation or not, we can find solutions to help you feel your best. Contact us today to get tested for this gene mutation or to find out more about our supplementation strategies and personalized cellular and regenerative medicine in Louisville, KY.