My goal is to spread awareness of MTHFR. After all, it affects such a HUGE amount of the population, and yet it’s not being talked about.This article is intended to educate at the utmost surface level. I encourage you to dig deeper and spread the message to others.
MTHFR Gene Mutation
MTHFR is a little known, yet hugely common, gene mutation. In fact, statistics show that 40%-50% of the US population have some form of MTHFR gene mutation. Even more astounding is the statistic that 98% of autistic children have this gene mutation. As can be seen, MTHFR is affecting millions of people every day, and most have never even heard of it.
What is MTHFR?
MTHFR stands for MethyleneTetraHydroFolate Reductase. In essence, MTHFR makes it possible for the body to properly convert vitamin B9 (also known as folate or folic acid – the synthetic version) into a usable form. Genetics Home Reference defines the use of MTHFR below.
“The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme plays a role in processing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is important for a chemical reaction involving forms of the vitamin folate (also called vitamin B9). Specifically, this enzyme converts a molecule called 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to a molecule called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. This reaction is required for the multistep process that converts the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. The body uses methionine to make proteins and other important compounds.”
Why It Matters
MTHFR can cause a HUGE variety of ailments. Not only can it cause migraines, cancer, and birth defects, but also bi-polar disorder, autoimmune diseases and more. Generally speaking, this gene mutation is not something to play around with.
Pregnancy: MTHFR can cause a lot of issues for expecting mothers. From infertility to birth defects, this gene mutation can cause a lot of heartache. If you’re not sure if you have a mutation, it’s best to act as if you do and avoid folic acid.
Autism: The VAST majority (98%) of those with autism have some form of MTHFR mutation. If you’re a parent to a child with autism, it’s important to treat your child with the active form of folate (methylfolate), B-vitamins, and the avoidance of synthetic folic acid (found in vitamins or fortified in breads, pastas, cereals etc.)
What Can You Do?
- Spread the word about MTHFR. It affects nearly half the US population. Someone you know could benefit from learning about it.
- Avoid folic acid. Consume plenty of Vitamin B9 in the natural form of folate. Folate can be found in dark leafy greens, soy beans, and many plant-based foods.
- Avoid exposure to heavy metals. MTHFR mutations can make it hard for the body to detox. Fish, bone broth, e-cigarettes, vaccines, and many make-up and skincare products are known to contain heavy metals. In general, try to eat local, plant-based foods and make your own body care and cleaning products.