Monday, August 4, 2014

MTHFR, Methylation & Detoxification

MTHFR, Methylation & Detoxification
So here goes, my understanding of MTHFR: (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) is an enzyme encoded by the MTHFR gene. This gene plays an important role in the methylation pathways of the body, and is essential for production of certain key nutrients and neurotransmitters (like dopamine and seratonin, the feel good chemicals in your brain). MTHFR is needed for DNA reproduction and is essential for folate metabolism. MTHFR can block B12 and glutathione production, which are your bodies primary mode of detoxifying, this cycle of repair in your cells affects every area of the body. If one cog in the wheel does not turn, the entire system can become clogged, and poor health and disease can result. 
Your gene sequence does not necessarily guarantee you a life filled with disease, nor does it automatically guarantee protection from disease and illness. How your genes are expressed, referred to as epigenetics, indicates that the influence of diet, toxicity and environmental factors may be more influential than your fixed gene sequence when it comes to your health. 
Nonetheless, inherited gene mutations in your gene sequence certainly may predispose you towards developing certain health issues. Inherited gene mutations are a weakness and may increase your vulnerability to certain disease processes, especially when coupled with an epigenetic trigger such as an environmental toxin or a nutrient deficiency.
It is believed that as much as 50% of the population has some type of MTHFR mutation. Some mutations are more serious than others. Autism specialist, Dr. Amy Yasko says she has not seen an autistic child who did not have one or more MTHFR gene mutations. Very important information I found recently is that MTHFR can actually cause death if exposed to nitrous oxide, you know the laughing gas a dentist uses, so please if you never choose to look into this for your child, never opt for laughing gas just to be on the safe side.
If you have an MTHFR mutation, it is just as important to know if other mutations exist. Other genes that are significant in the methylation cycles besides MTHFR include: CBS (cystathionine beta synthase), BHMT (betaine homocysteine methyltransferase), MTRR (methionine synthase reductase), SUOX (sulfite oxidase), to name just a few.
It's important to be tested appropriately to determine if and where the MTHFR is mutated, and protocols will differ depending on each area its deficient in. Here is an example of a basic protocol for the C677T Mutation (link) You'll notice things which are often recommended for recoving a child biomedically from autism, such as:
  1. Eliminate Gluten from your diet – especially wheat.
  2. Eliminate or reduce Dairy from your diet.
  3. Sauna or sweat somehow (epsom salt baths, sports, yoga..) at least once to three times a week.
  4. Limit intake of processed foods
  5. Increase intake of whole foods and home-prepared meals
  6. Eat the Rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables – daily
  7. Castor Oil Packs over your abdomen daily during times of pain, soreness, cramps
  8. Vegetable/Fruit Juice Diet with Chia Seeds during times of pain, soreness, cramps
  9. Coffee Enemas during times of detoxification or pain
  10. Filter chlorine from your drinking water, shower and bath.
  11. Drink at least two liters of filtered water daily mixed with vitamin C and electrolytes.
  12. Remove mercury amalgams and root canals with a trained biological dentist.
  13. Avoid cooking, drinking, storing and heating in any type of plastic container.
  14. Use an air purifier in your home and office
  15. Eliminate carpets from your home and install low VOC wood or tile flooring.
  16. Eat grass-fed beef, free range, hormone free and antibiotic meats and eggs
  17. Cook with electric stove and oven and remove gas stove and oven.
...Just to name a few! I'm sure we could all safely do these things I just listed for our health regardless but for more specific protocols, speak with your doctor. Though you may think you're giving the right supplements, they can vary greatly depending on which area is missing, and the test results can be difficult to interperet without an expert in the area of MTHFR or biomedical treatments.
MTHFR testing can be done through certain labs. The most thorough test is done through and is fairly inexpensive ($100 or so plus shipping). I was told to be sure to use an alias to get this test done, as it could affect your ability to be insured in the future. They have a child's version of the test done by scraping the inside of the cheek. The adult version uses saliva.
SpectraCell Laboratories also does a test through blood for MTHFR genotyping only, for $195. (link)
Speak to your biomedical doctor for any suggestions they have for where to have testing done, or if it seems appropriate for your child.

Some conditions a MTHFR mutation can attribute to: From
Updated: December 6, 2012
  1. Autism
  2. Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol
  3. Down’s syndrome
  4. Miscarriages
  5. Pulmonary embolisms
  6. Depression in Post-Menopausal Women
  7. Schizophrenia
  8. Fibromyalgia
  9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  10. Chemical Sensitivity
  11. Parkinson’s
  12. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  13. Pre-eclampsia
  14. Stroke
  15. Spina bifida
  16. Esophageal Squamous cell carcinoma
  17. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  18. Vascular Dementia
  19. Bipolar disorder
  20. Colorectal Adenoma
  21. Idiopathic male infertility
  22. Blood clots
  23. Rectal cancer
  24. Meningioma
  25. Glioma
  26. Congenital Heart Defects
  27. Infant depression via epigenetic processes caused by maternal depression
  28. Deficits in childhood cognitive development
  29. Gastric Cancer
  30. Migraines with aura
  31. Low HDL
  32. High homocysteine
  33. Post-menopausal breast cancer
  34. Atherosclerosis
  35. Oral Clefts
  36. Type 1 Diabetes
  37. Epilepsy
  38. Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma
  39. Alzheimer’s
  40. Tetralogy of Fallot
  41. Decreased telomere length
  42. Potential drug toxicities: methotrexate, anti-epileptics
  43. Cervical dysplasia
  44. Increased bone fracture risk in post-menopausal women
  45. Multiple Sclerosis
  46. Essential Hypertension
  47. Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma
  48. Prostate Cancer
  49. Premature Death
  50. Placental Abruption
  51. Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
  52. Methotrexate Toxicity
  53. Nitrous Oxide Toxicity
  54. Heart Murmurs
  55. Tight Anal Sphincters
  56. Tongue Tie
  57. Midline Defects (many are listed above)
  58. Behcet’s Disease
  59. Ischemic Stroke in Children
  60. Unexplained Neurologic Disease
  61. Asthma
  62. Shortness of Breath
  63. Bladder Cancer
  64. Anecephaly

Further Reading:

TACA: Detoxification & Methylation important information for individuals on the Autism Spectrum

Autism Epigenetics Project:

Dr. Amy Yasko: Overview of Methylation Cycle and How SNPs Interact with Health

Methylation: Why You Should Be Concerned:                       

1 comment:

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