MTHFR may not be as complex as it seems

Genes are like little factories that take in raw materials and produce components our body and life require. Our body can activate or deactivate certain genes to keep up with our evolving environment, current toxic load, or current available nutrients. We can pass mutations to offspring as a way of warning them what to expect from the environment and diet.

Some genes are more advanced, are much further down the line, and depend on a lot of different nutrients and components. If we’re not feeling well, a lot of these more advanced genes/cells may not be functioning. With less cells in operation, there will be less demand for some of the core pieces.

MTHFR is a vital gene, but it’s not going to make components that have no use. We have potentially trillions of cells down the line waiting for other nutrients before they need anything from MTHFR.

When we eat natural fresh whole foods that contain folate, they naturally have a small amount of folic acid. This natural blend of folate and folic acid allows the folate wheel of our metabolism to run at the speed it would like to. Sometimes if we haven’t eaten vegetables for a long time, a supplemental form called folinic acid(fol-in-ic, not fol-ic) can sometimes help us catch up. But when we supplement methyl-folate, we’re creating the component our folate cycle wanted to create on its own, at it’s own pace, so now there is a good chance we’re just going to push the wheel to go faster, which doesn’t always work out.

The substance our MTHFR gene creates, works with B12 to recycle homocysteine back into methionine(protein) so the whole methylation process can run again. If we don’t have enough B12 due to poor stomach acid not allowing us to absorb the B12, low glutathione not allowing us to carry B12 properly, or not enough lithium to processes the signal, we don’t have a need for what MTHFR creates. And if for some reason we don’t have homocysteine to recycle, again there is no use for what MTHFR creates. Out of magnesium? Why create MTHFR to recycle homocysteine into methionine, which can’t be used because there is no magnesium.

B12 deficiency is common, most likely due to poor stomach acid being pretty common. A lot of people eat folic acid in fortified foods, like cereal and bread for examples. And a lot of supplements contain folic acid instead of folate. An unnatural ratio of folate vs folic acid can slow down the folate wheel. So just these few situations can drastically alter the need for MTHFR’s production. So what happens when 100’s and 1000’s of other processes down the line are jammed up and don’t need MTHFR’s product?

As I continued to study MTHFR, I realized I had many of the symptoms that tend to go with this gene mutation. So I started supplementing in an attempt to support it. This led me to realize most people have an odd understanding of this gene, and also led me to Dr. Ben Lynch’s information and supplements geared towards this system. I went from playing with a pile of individual supplements, to feeling much better with his base multivitamin

Gene mutations and methylation seem complex, but we can look at them in a simple way if we would like to. I am developing resources to help break this topic down into bite sized pieces of info. Read more about methylation here

For a closer look at the folate vs folic acid issue, check out this page and video