There is much more extensive information on MTHFR in my new book Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.
MTHFR is a gene which most people have two copies of, however, many people have a handicap to the MTHFR gene and they are missing one or both copies, which can lead to health issues that Western medicine doctors don’t test for! MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. When we eat foods that contain folic acid, which is also know as vitamin B9, MTHFR converts this into mthyl folate, which is the active form of folate. Methyl folate plays a key role in our bodies and we need to methylate on a daily basis to stay healthy. Methylation is needed for almost everything your body needs and does day to day. It helps you:
- Keep inflammation down.
- Helps your liver process fats.
- Repairs your cells, DNA and tissues
- Helps regulate your immune system
- Helps remove toxins and heavy metals from your body
- Helps neurotransmitters that effect your sleep, mood, behavior and memory.
I have one of the MTHFR mutations, which means I produce less methyl folate than someone who doesn’t have the mutation. There are ways to increase your methylation and keep your body healthy without being at risk for developing disease (as many people with the MTHFR mutation are). The key is to eat an incredibly clean diet and clean up your environment from toxins that you are breathing, touching, drinking and eating on a daily basis to lessen your body burden.
You can test for the MTHFR mutation from your Functional/Integrative Medicine doctor as well as 23andMe. I had my test done by Functional Medicine doctor and it’s a simple blood test. My advice is to work with an MTHFR specialist to help you with your genetic mutations to make sure you are healthy and methylating daily. I love reading information on methylation from Dr. Mark Hyman, who has great tips on how to support your methylation. Here a few ways you can help optimize your methylation process starting today:
- If you are taking a supplement with folic acid in it, stop it because your body will build this up inside of you and you won’t be processing the folic acid you are taking.
- Avoid processed foods that have added folic acid in them.
- Eat organic.
- Heal your gut and eat probiotic and prebiotic rich foods.
- Help support your body’s detox pathways via Epsom salt baths, exercise, sweating, infrared saunas as well as taking glutathione. I took glutathione for years!
- Avoid exposure to chemicals in your cleaning products and personal care products/makeup such as chapstick, sunscreen, etc. More about this in my book Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, as well where I outline exactly what chemicals to remove from your lifestyle and what products to use that are safe.
- Eat more dark green leafy veggies. Try to eat at least 2 cups per day.
- Remove your mercury fillings from your mouth with the care of a specialized Functional Medicine Dentist.
- Check your homocysteine levels.
Say Tuned….More Information Coming Soon!