If you or someone you know has recently received an MTHFR diagnosis, you might be wondering what comes next…
Here at Methyl-Life, we’re all about treating MTHFR
After all, it’s not enough to know your genetic status. It’s important to understand how you can best manage your symptoms and lead a healthy life! We bring you the information you need to feel informed and confident as you learn how to manage every step of an MTHFR diagnosis.
Treating your MTHFR symptoms involves 2 key steps:
- Eliminate Folic Acid from your diet
- Add Methylfolate
In the illustration below, you can see the conversion process the body goes through to make folate available for absorption and use at the cellular level. This critical process is called methylation.
If someone has an MTHFR defect, that mutation interferes with the body’s ability to use the converted folate that it needs. That’s when MTHFR symptoms arise!
So, it’s critical that people with MTHFR gene defects eliminate folic acid and add a methylfolate supplement. What’s the difference between folic acid and folate?
What does Methylfolate do?
- It promotes both SAMe and BH4 (or Tetrahydrobiopterin), which help make & balance our neurotransmitters.
- It helps our bodies produce glutathione, which detoxes our system from things like heavy metals, environmental toxins, plastics (BPAs and phthalates), and more.
- It works to reduce homocysteine in the body, which can wreak havoc on the cardiovascular system when its levels are too high.
So here’s the key thing: Methylfolate and Folic Acid are not the same!
If you have an MTHFR mutation, folic acid is actually a bad thing for you to take. This is because it is a synthetic, man-made substance that can lead to a buildup in your body of un-metabolized folic acid (called a UMFA). This UMFA can bounce around in your bloodstream for months with no purpose. And it actually fights with the nutrient that you actually need: methylfolate!
How does that work? Your body only has so many folate receptors available. The UMFA is your body can actually tie up or clog those receptors, making them unavailable to bind with and utilize the methylfolate. Your body actually absorbs less methylfolate, even if you’re taking a good amount of methylfolate as a supplement.
So, before you take folic acid supplements or eat foods that are fortified with folic acid, be aware that the folic acid will compete with the methylfolate and may actually block the methylfolate from being absorbed and used by your body!
There may be more to treating your MTHFR symptoms
MTHFR is only one gene out of thousands in your body. So don’t try to treat it in a vacuum, without considering what other genes along the methylation pathway may be negatively affecting your health! Some people may find huge improvement using a methylfolate nutrient supplement on its own, but most need other key vitamins to go with it. Another big nutrient to consider is B12.
Ready to Manage Your MTHFR?
Visit our Dosage and Methylation Protocol pages to learn more about what nutritional recommendations leading MTHFR doctors have suggested. For those not following a doctor’s orders with specific products or dosages, you might consider our starter pack which can be purchased here.