As many as 70% of persons are thought to possibly have a genetic condition that does not allow them to produce sufficient amounts of a specific enzyme, MTHFR (methylene tetra hydro folate reductase). Specifically, these are known as gene C677T and A1298C mutations. Persons with one or both of these aberrations can suffer from a host of symptoms and conditions. The list includes some of the following:
- chronic pain
- chronic fatigue
- nerve pain
- elevated homocysteine levels in the blood
- irritable bowel syndrome
- Alzheimer disease
- bipolar disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
- heart disease
- multiple miscarriages
- stillbirths and other defects
- Down’s syndrome
- autism spectrum disorders
- certain cancers
- inability to detoxify certain substances such as heavy metals.
Simply, an essential B vitamin folic acid cannot be properly processed and therefore there is a deficiency of the direct byproducts of folic acid which are L methylfolate and 5-MTHFR. These substances cross the blood brain barrier and are essential in the production of certain neurotransmitters. Without these critical substances, brain function can suffer terribly.
On the surface, the solution seems as simple as to supplement with the L methylfolate allowing the necessary biochemical pathways to proceed as they should normally. However, many individuals with this genetic variant suffer significant side effects from ingestion of methylfolate alone. It appears likely that the side effects are at least in part associated with the deficiency of the many other nutrients, micronutrients and the B vitamin complex that are required for the efficient and proper usage of methylfolate. Therefore, it is essential to supplement with true whole-food concentrates that have the multitude of essential factors, known and, most importantly, those many unknown substances that will allow physiology to function as it should.
The more common mainstream strategies include the addition of a collection of chemically produced and man-made formulations of B vitamins to a regime of methylfolate. In some people this appears to work, at least on the surface, but in others produces a cascade of biochemical indiscretions leading to adverse side effects or minimally, decreased effectiveness of the program.
Many authors and ”experts” are quick to recommend specific protocols or recipes for treatment of the MTHFR condition. A wiser approach would include the proper use of whole-food concentrates and observation of the patient’s response to any alteration in these therapies and adjust intake of specific nutrients and their dosages accordingly. This task should be undertaken by someone who understands true whole-food nutrition.
While genetic testing provides more definitive evidence of this genetic variant, the symptom picture may warrant a trial of methylfolate with the intent of observing the effect upon the individual. Some persons will experience very significant changes in their symptom picture within a very short period. If so, it is likely that they possess the MTHFR variant and will benefit from the addition of Standard Process Cataplex B and Cataplex G. The standard dose is two of each of these per methylfolate tablet or capsule.
Another valuable addition may be the Standard Process Cataplex B 12 or For-Til B12. This addition is made per the symptom complex, blood tests and the patient response to methylfolate.
The biochemical pathways in the human body that require methylfolate also play a part in detoxification of many substances including heavy metals and the man-made, inorganic chemicals. If one suffers from the genetic variants that reduce methylfolate production, they often have difficulty eliminating certain toxins from the body. This in turn can result in a host of health issues. Therefore, the introduction of methylfolate into a supplementation program can significantly increase detoxification primarily through the liver. Some persons will experience significant discomfort from this process including nausea, fatigue, headaches and a host of other complaints. The best product to facilitate this detoxification and therefore eliminate the symptomatic repercussions is Standard Process Livaplex at the rate of 2 to 6 per day. While this addition may not be necessary if the individual is already engaged in improper, whole foods liver support, it is not in any way harmful. It is probably a very good idea in almost all circumstances to add to Livaplex to this regime.
If detoxification is uncomfortable the process should be augmented to assure optimal results. The AlphaBio Centrix (ABC) energy healing patches are an ideal therapy. Cleanse or Detox facilitate the process. HM Detox will be particularly valuable when heavy metals, such as mercury, aluminum, cadmium, lead, etc. are involved. Use these per the standard directions for ABC Therapies.
There are several combinations of the possible variants of the MTHFR gene (nine total). The specific genetic configuration along with many other factors will determine the optimal treatment of this potentially devastating condition. These include, but are not limited to, other genetic variants, lifestyle, diet, age, supplementation and so on.
Another important factor is the amount of methylfolate to be taken. This appears to be a matter of individuality resulting from a multitude of known as well as unknown factors. Some seemed to respond quite nicely to a few hundred micrograms of methylfolate and others experience optimized function at levels up to 20 to 30 mg per day (1 mg equals 1,000 mcg). Additionally, there are reports of toxic effects from excessive methylfolate however it is unclear as to whether this is related to insufficient liver detoxification or other related factors.
In simple conclusion, this genetic variation can be devastating to many individuals and the proper treatment program may truly be life-changing. The primary list of basic potential supplementation products to be included in the treatment protocol for variations of the MTHFR gene are listed here.
For-Til B 12
AlphaBio Centrix – Cleanse, Detox, HM Detox
Cataplex B 12