No. I’m not cussing. Although if you had my genetic makeup, you might want to cuss too.
MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, but it’s really just a gene mutation that makes it hard for people to convert B vitamins. Enzymes don’t work properly and so they (we) have methylation problems.
In this day and age of toxic overload, more and more people seem to be discovering a version of this genetic dysfunction in their gene pool. It leads to all sorts of fun things: coronary heart disease, inflammatory diseases, joint pain, auto immune diseases, inability to detoxify (especially metals), and inability to make neurotransmitters. This last one has become quite the problem. Without enough serotonin, we experience depression and anxiety. A lack of dopamine leaves people searching for drugs and other addictive behavior to fill the void. Low melatonin leads to sleep issues and sometimes cancer.
We sees signs of MTHFR all over the place. Because of methylation issues, many children are born incomplete or changed in someway. Chances are, somewhere in your family the genetic mutation lies dormant, or very much alive. We can see the effects easily in a few of the following: Autism, Chiari Malformation, Cleft Palate, a Tied Tongue, Down Syndrome, Spinal Bifida, Scoliosis, and multiple miscarriages. Even unequal limb lengths and a heavy epicanthal fold above the eye can be an indicator. Often, MTHFR babies look similar to those with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The facial changes are due to an inability to get enough B-9 folate while pregnant (alcohol also lowers B-9). And last but certainly not least, is poor gut function and leaky gut. There are some doctors who say this gene shouldn’t effect you too much! Shame on them.
We aren’t doomed, however. There are many things we can do to help our bodies process better.
1. If any of these things run in your family, get a DNA test to find out if you have the mutation and what variant you have. You can find a test on mthfr.com.
2. Avoid folic acid, especially in processed food (unfortunately we’re talking cheeze-its and fishies, people).
3. Get your methylfolate from a good source of B vitamins (I use active B complex from Integrative Therapeutics, but there’s lots of good ones out there).
4. Avoid gluten, wheat, and sugar. Sorry. That’s just how it is. Instead eat a lot of leafy greens that are full of natural methylfolates. And start going organic in the vegetable department. Sadly, most toxins in our foods come from vegetables!
5. Last but not least, employ a good detox system. I don’t like the 10 day ones because we are constantly bombarded by a never ending supply of toxins, and a few anti-oxidant supplements aren’t going to do a thing for you. Personally, I use a cellular activator, that actually wakes up the mitochondria to do it’s job, activates the Nrf1 and Nrf2 proteins, and makes your body it’s own toxin destroying machine (try the vitality stack at allyfife.lifevantage.com).
I may be born deficient, but we have to fight what we can, and stop these #!*%#!*@#MTHFR#@!*&%# from destroying our lives.