MTHFR: know your genes, know your future

November 14, 2016

There is a test that is kind of like seeing into the future. AND  there is something that can be done about any negative results! The genetic tests may say, “Oh, I see a heart attack in your future despite exercise and eating right.” But a specialist will retort, “Yeah well, let’s change the future. I know how to prevent this.”


While watching an episode of Frasier, I remembered it would be wise to inform readers of the MTHFR genetic mutation that can cause heart disease, cancer, and issues detoxing. In this particular episode, Frasier is driven crazy trying to determine why a vegetarian, athletic, religious man died suddenly of a heart attack in the prime of his life. The man did everything right! How could a wine-sipping, fatty-food eating, unfit person live into his nineties when a middle-aged man with an extremely “healthy” lifestyle had to meet his Maker? The episode is quite funny despite the heavy topic. It reminded me of what I learned regarding “telling the future” and studying genetic test results. I am merely a patient, and not giving medical advice, but felt the information is worth passing on for others to research for themselves.

When visiting a functional medicine clinic in the South I learned that genetic testing is quite common. I was screened for everything it seemed, and tested positive through Esoterix Labs as homozygous for the MTHFR A1298C mutation. The testing showed I am not susceptible to cancer or celiac disease.  Other patients that day tested positive for a double mutation, the MTHRF C677T and A1298C. If a patient possesses two or more congenital mutations the risk of thrombosis and heart disease is not only high, but expected. The person will likely be highly toxic and have liver issues. However gloomy the results, there is good news.

Information is power and knowing one has this mutation means doing something about it. Some people with the double mutation feel powerless and scared and refer to it as the “Mother F^#@$er ” genetic mutation…the MTHFR acronym looks like the curse, I guess. But there is hope and help! Don’t swear and throw your hands up in the air.

This test is kind of like seeing into the future, AND  there is something that can be done about it. The genetic tests says, “Ooooo, I see a heart attack in your fifties despite exercise and eating right.” But the specialist retorts with, “Yeah well, let’s change the future.”

Taking multivitamins can prove dangerous for some, as people with the double mutation especially cannot process some “normal” B vitamins, not converting them into something useful. Most of us supplement with L-5 Methyltetrahydrofolate instead of folate (which our bodies cannot handle). The dosing must start slowly and be monitored. Some people have severe reactions to supplementing. I suggest reading the research of Ben Lynch on this one. Mostly the mutation means we do not detox efficiently on our own and need support. A functional medicine doctor or knowledgable ND will know how to open the detox pathways and help support the body. Not many doctors understand this process or have studied the latest research, so ensure you do the research in finding the right “healer” to help you. If you have the mutation and try an over-the-counter two week detox program you could do some serious harm. A supervised, slow and gentle lifestyle change is required. 

And of course, keep the air and water clean helps. Do not use synthetic products or eat processed foods that will just further stress and pollute your body. If the body isn’t overloaded with chlorine, heavy metals, and highly toxic substances like air fresheners and perfumes (don’t get me started on scented dryer sheets), then the body won’t have a heavy burden load. Learn about the diet and the supplements. Research its link to disease. It is time we focus on prevention and take charge of our futures.

Labs that test for this mutation and many other possible health issues are growing, like 23&Me Genetic testing. The cost isn’t too bad. If heart disease or cancer runs in your family, if you feel awful when doing a detox, if you have been diagnosed with a serious illness, consider this testing and then find a MTHFR-literate ND or MD to help rewrite the future as a proactive, healthy one. There are some researchers who say this is not a true “mutation” at all as proper diet and supplementation can reverse it. Bodies can heal and learn how to function properly if given the proper framework.


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