Regular B12 injections, Mood down... have you been checked for MTHFR?
Over 40% of the population have MTHFR gene. This gene helps support the metabolism of your food to energy. When not working properly your risk of heart disease, inflammation, poor muscle growth and feeling down can be experienced. Often, I see whole families who have some form of heart disease, mood disorder, high Anxiety and gluten intolerances. Once we know this pathway is blocked, we can teat with Food as Medicine approach as well as methylated vitamins to support their bodies natural process.
Most importantly for these patients is effective toxic elimination, Detoxification is required regularly to keep their body clear of toxic build up.
Treatment plans include:
1. Focus on gut health
It is important to focus on gut health so that the body can absorb the nutrients from food as effectively as possible especially when you know your body is unable to use nutrients efficiently. Support your gut with fermented foods and homemade broth. Avoid rancid oils, processed grains, refined sugars, chemical rich creams and soaps.
2. Avoiding toxins in the environment
As mentioned, those with an MTHFR gene defect have an impaired ability to eliminate toxins. Avoid plastics, chemicals in beauty supplies and cleaning products. Even scented candles aren’t good for you since they release harmful chemicals in the air. When cleaning indoor air, use houseplants instead and make sure you filter your drinking and shower water too.
3. Not taking folic acid
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that cannot be tolerated well by those with MTHFR. You may need to be correctly advised on what supplements with folic acid to take, and which forms are best for your body's absorption.
4. Eating leafy greens
Dark leafy greens contain the methylated forms of folate that those with a gene defect need. As if we needed more reasons that it is important to consume green veggies. We’re talking about the likes of spinach, kale, bok choy, and Swiss chard.
5. Don’t eat processed foods, eat whole foods
Many processed foods have synthetic folic acid added as well as how they’re just not healthy for you. Eat hormone free, grass-fed meats, grass-fed butter or ghee, and organic free-range eggs. The key here is to eat something the way nature intended and not how large-scale factories want it.
6. Avoiding heavy metals
Heavy metals in diet or environment are harder to remove from the body for those with a gene defect. Remove mercury amalgams from a trained biological dentist. Avoid aluminum exposure in antiperspirants and cookware. Help remove toxins using liposomal glutathione. On the 7 week cleanse we work on eliminating these heavy metals and toxins.
7. Getting folate from natural sources
Nothing beats getting vitamins and minerals from food. According to NutritionData, the best sources of folate per 100 g serving are:
Beans and lentils (~50% RDI)
Raw spinach (49% RDI)
Asparagus (37% RDI)
Romaine (Cos) lettuce (34% RDI)
Broccoli (27% RDI)
Avocado (20% RDI)
Oranges/Mangoes (~10% RDI)
Research shows a folate-rich diet can match the homocysteine-lowering effects of either a regular folic acid or 5-MTHF supplement.
8. Get your homocysteine levels measured
Your body’s ability to convert homocysteine is impaired if you have an MTHFR mutation. If your homocysteine levels are abnormally elevated, it can result in an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Cognitive impairment, mood disorders, congenital defects and pregnancy complications may all also be significant problems. High homocysteine levels also appear to be correlated with incidences of PCOS. No one agrees on an upper limit for safe homocysteine levels. 5-15 micro mols per liter is thought to be average, but that varies of course from person to person.
If your homocysteine levels are high, you may need to supplement with the correct form of B's to lower.
9. Have a regular detox
Since your body’s ability to detox properly is impaired, you would be doing it a favor by initiating your own little detox routines. If you don’t detox and your body also has trouble detoxing, the body can become over-burdened by heavy metals such as copper, lead, or mercury, or by environmental toxins like BPA, or by normal body waste like excess estrogen.
Some detox regimens include infrared sauna sessions, Epsom salt baths, and regular exercise or sweating.
10. Supplement with essential nutrients
Nutrients from food are great but if you find yourself unable to procure food rich in nutrients you need then you really have to take something exogenous. Methyl-B12, methyl-folate, TMG, N-acetylcysteine, riboflavin, curcumin, fish oil, Vitamins C, D, E, and probiotics are excellent supplements your body will love more so if you have an MTHFR mutation.
A word of caution: if you are double homozygous for MTHFR mutations, you should advance carefully with methyl-B12 and methyl folate supplementation. Some patients with this type of mutation can’t tolerate high doses. Also, avoid taking high doses of niacin (vitamin B3), which can hinder methylation.