Are you considering whether or not to get tested for MTHFR? If you haven’t already, check out how getting tested for MTHFR changed the life of our founder, Jamie Horn. Read more >>
If you are ready to get tested, but are wondering what your options are, this post is for you!
There are three good options for getting tested for MTHFR. We’re here to help you navigate the pros and cons of each so that you can find out what your specific MTHFR mutation status actually is. Then, check out our great resources about what your unique status means for your health:
Methyl-Life’s preferred MTHFR testing options:
- A genetic blood test your doctor can order
- Holistic Heal’s DNA Panel for the Methylation Pathway
- 23andme’s Comprehensive DNA Panel
A genetic test your doctor can order
If you want an MTHFR mutation test, the most affordable approach is to have your doctor run the test for just the 677 & 1298 MTHFR mutations. Insurance companies are getting much more willing to cover this genetic test as more and more research becomes available. And more research is becoming available specifically about the 677 & 1298 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), which are two MTHFR SNPs that are linked to many different studies about cardiovascular disease, miscarriage, depression, neuropathy, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and more. Just get on pubmed.com and search for MTHFR. There’s a lot of clinical research that shows up!
- The upside: it’s usually free or just the cost of your time, gas, and a copay ($10-40).
- The downside: you only get a very small amount of information for this outlay (MTHFR 677 & 1298 status). Truthfully, there’s not a lot you can do with this result by itself. It’s not enough information to build a solid program for your individual health since you do not know anything about the genes and enzymatic exchanges that happen before or after it. You won’t know what your status is for any of the other 40+ less-well-known MTHFR SNPs. You also don’t get to know what your status is for any of the other genetic SNPs that are important for what happens before and after the MTHFR enzymatic conversions along the methylation cycle pathway (i.e., COMT, MTR, MTRR, VDR, CBS, etc). And finally, you won’t get any information on genetic SNPs affecting other biopathways in your body. There are literally millions!
Holistic Heal’s DNA Panel for the Methylation Pathway
- Another approach might be that you contact Holistic Heal (an organization we’re familiar and comfortable with) and have them run a full panel methylation test for you. You pay for a kit that gets sent to you, and then you do the test at home. It consists of doing a finger prick, which requires you to smear some blood into 3 small circles. This test, developed by Dr. Amy Yasko, focuses specifically on 30 key gene SNPs that are on the methylation pathway. These are genes that work together in the more complicated cases for those who have things like Autism and Chronic Fatigue. Dr. Yasko’s test is more comprehensive than the genetic test discussed above. It takes about 12 weeks to get your results back, but when you do, you will get a specialized protocol detailing what vitamin forms are the best for your body’s health based on each of the gene defects that is uncovered in the test. She also specializes in treating Autism, so if you want a detailed list of supplements to take, a forum & online support system, and/or you have Autism in your family, this is our recommendation!
- The upside: you will get your MTHFR mutation status (677 & 1298, plus an additional MTHFR SNP), along with the 27 other most important SNPs around it in the methylation cycle. You get access to a mature support forum from someone considered the “nutrigenomic grandmother” in the field. If you have Autism or Chronic Fatigue, you might gain a particular benefit, since these are Dr. Yasko’s specialties.
- The downside: it’s a bit pricey at $500 per test. But we think it’s worth it, considering that it includes forum support & comes with the full breadth of Dr. Yasko’s learning and practice in this field.
23andme’s Comprehensive DNA Panel
Another great option is to get your genetics test done through 23andme.com, which is a wonderful non-profit organization. You pay $99, and the company sends you a test kit which consists of a vial for saliva collection (you just spit into it). Once you fill it, you send it back to them and wait for your results. The main thing you get with 23andme results is a raw data file that provides results for hundreds of thousands of gene SNPs. You can download these results and do whatever you want with them! However, since it’s not very readable on its own, the best thing to do with it is to pay a partner company to “transform it” for you. For somewhere between $20-40, these partner companies will give you a readable report. Typically, green is used to show any gene that is considered “normal” or not mutated, yellow for any gene that is considered to be a “single” mutation (one mutation from either the biological mother or father, but not both), and red for any gene that is a “double” mutation (or one mutation from both the biological mother and father). We’ve included some of these 23andme data transformation companies below.
- The upside: it’s incredibly affordable and provides you data for a huge number of genes in your body across many different biopathway systems.
- The downside: if you wait, it’s likely that the FDA will continue to reduce the number of genes that 23andme can test and provide results for. (Yes, this has already been done. Current versions of the test show far fewer gene results than earlier versions.) Another downside is that there is no medical authority available through 23andme to interpret the results with clear, experienced guidance for how to manage them. You have to do a lot of the research on the gene results for yourself, or find and work with forums who have this information.
- 23andme Raw Data Transformers (creating a human-readable results report)