MTHFR - it's both a gene and an enzyme. If you have a polymorphism in one of two known genes, your MTHFR enzyme won't work effectively. Implications for the following health issues are involved, and that's why you should know/care (think about your family medical history, too):
Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol
Depression in Post-Menopausal Women
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Esophageal Squamous cell carcinoma
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Idiopathic male infertility
Congenital Heart Defects
Infant depression via epigenetic processes caused by maternal depression
Deficits in childhood cognitive development
Migraines with aura
Post-menopausal breast cancer
Type 1 Diabetes
Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma
Tetralogy of Fallot [congenital heart defect]
Decreased telomere length
Potential drug toxicities: methotrexate, anti-epileptics
Increased bone fracture risk in post-menopausal women
Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma
Placental Abruption [ie miscarriage]
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
Nitrous Oxide Toxicity
Tight Anal Sphincters
Midline Defects (many are listed above)
Phew, right? I found info on Youtube about fibro and the MTHFR gene, so I immediately checked on my DNA results from 23andme test (blogged about testing here: bit.ly/o3Tg5n
). 23andme doesn't code their genes the same as the online info, so I had to decode it with help. Neither sister nor I have the polymorphism in either allele (yay and boo. boo because I was looking for an easy fibro fix/answer); and however, DH does have one gene polymorphism (boo).
If you carry MTHFR C677T or A1298C or a few more rare mutations; you can't convert dietary folate or recycle used folate. So no matter how much folate you take, you can't convert enough to be healthy.
Doctors don't routinely screen patients for this, so look at the list to see if it might behoove you to ask for the genetic test. I don't believe it's covered by insurance, but you could ask. It costs around $150 and could save your quality if not your life, which is well worth the cost.
Treatment is taking the correct form of folate, not some over-the-counter folic acid and other personalized to you B vitamins; and/or it might be to lower your folate intake. How do you do that? Reduce your processed foods/grains as folate is fortified in them, take note of your folate type in your multi-vitamin (it's likely NOT methyl-sourced as manufacturers prefer cheap sources), and make sure you take methyl-sourced folate. If you read the links, you'll find good information to take to your doctor. Ten to 50% of the population have some sort of mutation.
Awesome Source: www.MTHFR.net
Dr. Neil Rawlins' videos on youtube: bit.ly/DrRawlins
New Yahoo Chat: MTHFR basics here: bit.ly/yahooMTHFR
and treatment options here: bit.ly/yahooMTHFR
and the link that started my "methyl-tetra-hydro-folate reductase" studies (about fibro and MTHFR): short and sweet: bit.ly/It3cvx
and from a dental perspective: bit.ly/methylcycl
I got my Spectracell ( www.spectracell.c
) results and I was low in serine (an amino acid I know not much about), omega-3s (haven't been using my fish oil but will), and GLUTATHIONE. This is actually a better report than my previous test two years ago bit.ly/IrKGRQ
. You'd think for sure that I'd have that darned gene mutation having low GLUTATHIONE (again)... but really, it comes down to not eating ENOUGH fruit and veg. for my biology. I eat them daily, BUT I'm not eating ENOUGH (even w/a big a$$ salad most days). GLUTATHIONE = ANTIOXIDANTS. Hmm, make that veg, not fruit so much, and why? I'll leave that for the Mother Post. I love fruit. STILL reversed on copper/zinc which deserves its own blog post; which may have to do with B vitamins and methyl pathways (and you'd guess by the topic of this post, MTHFR ... maybe I decoded my alleles wrong - ha). Oh, to be a biochemist. Dr. friend says to ask my doc, "WHY would my glutathione be low?" and I never thought of that. I just assumed mine would be ...
I take note of Dr. Terry Wahls who recovered much of her quality of life from Multiple Sclerosis by going paleo and eating much veg. I bought her book ( amzn.to/IfcMD4
on behalf of helping an MS friend- I should blog about her!) years ago, and it's nice to see what a splash she's been making on the web via TED TALKS and Mercola, Mark's Daily Apple, etc. bit.ly/overcoming
... I knew I needed to take N-A-C (for glutathione) two years ago, but for some reason I can't remember why, I never used it. I think it might be contra-indicated for another problem I might have (yes, I'll talk about it in the Mother Post if I ever get to it).
I'm not sleeping, I'm not eating much (that also has to do with the Mother Post). I'm a mess. I sent DH a card for our 31st anniversary on Monday for Wednesday, and the post office sent us a letter yesterday that mail OUT was destroyed in a postal car fire. The Vita-Mix lid wasn't on tight and I had to clean up green smoothie 'wallpaper' all over the kitchen :P. The dog diarrhea-d all over my master bedroom, bath and office yesterday as a fine howdy-doo doo. I ruined the wood floor in the office cleaning it up (one of the ones I just got refinished).
Edit: P.S. it likely IS covered by insurance!!! Check!
[deleted some stuff here, so the comments won't make sense if you're reading that far. sorry.]
"Out of adversity, comes opportunity." I will take it day by day, minute by minute right now and hope for the best.