The key to supporting your body when you have mthfr is to take the appropriate supplements and to support your body’s ability to use folate through supporting the methylation pathways. If methylation is working well we are good and if it is not we are prone disease.
““Methylation is the process of taking a single carbon and three hydrogens, known as a methyl group, and applying it to countless critical functions in your body such as: thinking, repairing DNA, turning on and off genes, fighting infections and getting rid of environmental toxins to name a few.” 1
If Methylation is supported even if your genes have a mutation, the chances of it causing problems is diminished greatly.
How to support Methylation:
- Make sure the body has the co factors needed for methylation, especially zinc, magnesium, choline, B2, B6 and B12. The best source of these is a whole food diet. If you know you have the mthfr gene mutation your body needs more support so it is important to take a supplement with already active form of folate in the form of methylfolate instead of folate or folic acid. (see bottom of blog to learn what to look for on an label)
- Methylation needs the building blocks on which it works in order to do its job. These building blocks are amino acids from protein, primarily methionine and homocysteine. It is important for methylation to get enough protein and be able to use it by having adequate stomach acid. First consider making sure you do not have the bacteria infection H. Pylori which decreases stomach acid. You can get checked for H. Pylori here as part of the GI Map or to learn more about H. Pylori read my blog: Hyperemesis Gravidarum Pregnancy Hell . If it is negative consider taking a digestive enzyme to incrase stomach acid. I like Source Naturals Betain HCL Hydrochloric Acid
- Some medications, such as antacids, metformin, or nitrous oxide, can block methylation. If someone has diminished methylation pathways, such as with the mthfr gene mutation, taking nitrous oxide could cause serious issues because your body cannot detox it from the system the way it is supposed to. Be cations when taking medication.
- High levels of some nutrients can deplete methylation, such as high doses of niacin or folic acid which may block receptors. Be sure to be taking high quality supplements with the active form of folate. Below I discuss the type of folate to take.
- Environmental toxins block methylation such as heavy metals, and chemicals. It is important to support your body’s detox ability. One way to do this is by taking Liposomal Glutathione. Infrared saunas are also amazing for detoxification but be sure to go slow with both of these.
- Too much of the end product of the methylation in the body (such as having too much of certain neurotransmitters or too much homocysteine) signals the body to stop methylation.
- Genetic mutations can slow down methylation, which is why it can be useful to learn about your DNA. I recommend working with Rooted for Health with Jessica she will take you step by step in testing your genes and give you an in dephth understand of what they mean. Please be sure to mention that Kara from Vibrant Health Recommended here. A word of encouragement, even with mutations, if the methylation pathways are supported and working the mutations will not be as damaging.
- Stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep can depress methylation, so it is important to make sure we have healthy lifestyle habits.
- Receptors sites can be blocked by antibodies (in the case of autoimmune disorders) or by inflammation, so it is important to rule these out by doing some health investigation with functional tests. I recommend the GI Map. You can order it here.
- High levels of some hormones, such as cortisol or estrogen can block methylation, so it is important to find the root of hormone issues, lower stress, and balance hormones. I recommend the Dutch Test. You can order it here.
So as you can see, methylation is often disturbed by various mechanisms, but they are all able to be supported or treated with the right knowledge, lifestyle, testing, nutrition, and supplements. If you have an mthfr mutation the first step is supporting methylation pathways. If methylation is working well then mthfr gene mutation should not diminish quality of life.
The correct type of folate to take
According to Dr. Ben Lynch an MTHFR expert you want to make sure your active form of methylfolate is the L form or 6S form of methylfolate, which is a biologically active form, and not the D form of methylfolate, which is not biologically active and is possibly harmful to the liver where it is stored.
Here are the L forms which are well absorbed.
- L-5-MTHF =
- L-Methylfolate Calcium =
Another good form is Quatrefolic which passes the gastric barrier and is absorbed mainly in the small intestine and has higher uptake of folate.
Here are the D forms which are chemically not biologically active forms and possibly harmful to the liver.
These next 3 forms do not say they are L form or 6(S) form so may have more then 1% of the D form, which is hard for the body to use. They may or may not be biologically active methylfolate, so you either need to contact the company and ask or avoid them.
There you go, the specifics on how to know which type of folate you should take.
A couple brands I like are
MTHFR can be a scary thing and can be very serous but it does not have to be if you have the right tools. If you have had a couple of miscarriages it is important to know if you have mthfr and work with a provider who is familiar with mthfr and can support you. I would love to work with you.
2. Email from Dr. Katherine Gardner Yates, D.C. Chiropractor and expert on nutritional principles and natural healing philosophy.
3. Maternal and Pediatric Implications due to MTHFR and Methylation Dysfunction. Dr. Ben Lynch. https://www.drbenlynch.com/product/prenatal-conference-course/