The MTHFR or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene is well-known due to a genetic mutation that may cause high homocysteine levels and low folate levels in the bloodstream, among other essential nutrients. Healthcare professionals believe that a variety of health issues, such as inflammation, may be associated with an MTHFR gene mutation. In the following article, we will discuss the MTHFR gene mutation and how it can ultimately affect your overall health.
What is an MTHFR Gene Mutation?
People can have single or multiple mutations, as well as neither, on the MTHFR gene. The different mutations are often referred to as “variants”. A variant occurs when the DNA of a specific part of a gene is different or varies from person to person. People that have a heterozygous or single variant of the MTHFR gene mutation have a decreased risk of developing health issues like inflammation and chronic pain, among other diseases. Moreover, healthcare professionals also believe that people that have homozygous or multiple variants of the MTHFR gene mutation may ultimately have an increased risk of disease. There are two MTHFR gene mutation variants. These specific variants include:
- C677T. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of people in the United States have a mutation at gene position C677T. About 25 percent of Hispanics and about 10 to 15 percent of Caucasians are homozygous for this variant.
- A1298C. There are limited research studies for this variant. A 2004 study focused on 120 blood donors of Irish heritage. Of the donors, 56 or 46.7 percent were heterozygous for this variant and 11 or 14.2 percent were homozygous.
- Both C677T and A1298C. It’s also possible for people to have both C677T and A1298C MTHFR gene mutation variations, which includes one copy of each.
What are the Symptoms of an MTHFR Gene Mutation?
Symptoms of an MTHFR gene mutation can be different from person to person and from variant to variant. It’s important to remember that further research around MTHFR gene mutation variants and their effects on health are still needed. Evidence regarding how MTHFR gene mutation variants are associated with a variety of other health issues is currently lacking or it has been disproven. Conditions that have been suggested to be associated with MTHFR variants include:
- bipolar disorder
- chronic pain and fatigue
- nerve pain
- recurrent miscarriages in women of child-bearing age
- pregnancies with neural tube defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly
- cardiovascular and thromboembolic diseases (blood clots, stroke, embolism, and heart attacks)
- acute leukemia
- colon cancer
What is the MTHFR Diet?
According to healthcare professionals, eating foods with high amounts of folate may help naturally support low folate levels in the bloodstream associated with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Good food choices can include:
- fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, banana.
- juices like orange, canned pineapple, grapefruit, tomato, or other vegetable juice
- veggies, such as spinach, asparagus, lettuce, beets, broccoli, corn, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy
- proteins, including cooked beans, peas, and lentils
- peanut butter
- sunflower seeds
People with MTHFR gene mutations may also want to avoid eating foods that have the synthetic form of folate, folic acid, however, the evidence is not clear if that’s beneficial or necessary. Supplementation may still be recommended for people with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Furthermore, always make sure to check the labels of the foods you buy, as this vitamin is added to many enriched grains like pasta, cereals, bread, and commercially produced flours.
For information regarding the MTHFR and its effects on health issues like cancer, please review this article:
MTHFR, or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, gene mutations may cause high homocysteine levels and low folate levels in the bloodstream. We believe that a variety of health issues, such as inflammation, may be associated with an MTHFR gene mutation. People can have single or multiple MTHFR gene mutations, as well as neither. The different mutations are often referred to as “variants”. People that have a heterozygous or single variant of the MTHFR gene mutation have a decreased risk of developing health issues like inflammation and chronic pain. Moreover, doctors also believe that people that have homozygous or multiple variants of the MTHFR gene mutation may ultimately have an increased risk of disease. The two MTHFR gene mutation variants are C677T, A1298C, or both C677T and A1298C. Symptoms of an MTHFR gene mutation can be different from person to person and from variant to variant. Following what is referred to as the MTHFR diet can ultimately help improve overall health in people with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Also, adding these foods into a smoothie can be an easy way to add them into your diet. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights
Protein Power Smoothie
Cook time: 5 minutes
• 1 scoop protein powder
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 kiwi, peeled
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of cardamom
• Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately!
Leafy Greens Hold the Key to Gut Health
A unique type of sugar found in leafy greens can help feed our beneficial gut bacteria. Sulfoquinovose (SQ) is the only known sugar molecule to be made up of sulfur, an extremely essential mineral in the human body. The human body uses sulfur to produce enzymes, proteins, and a variety of hormones as well as antibodies for our cells. A fast and easy way to get leafy greens into your diet is to toss a couple of handfuls of them into a delicious smoothie!
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require additional explanation as how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.
- Marcin, Ashley. “What You Need to Know About the MTHFR Gene.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 Sept. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/mthfr-gene#variants.