I've read that as soon as you're diagnosed as having a MTHFR mutation, there are some steps that you should take, which are mostly natural.
These include things like healing your gut by following a candida diet, avoiding any processed foods which contain folic acid (a lot!), eating only organic, grass-fed meat and eggs, stop taking folic acid, and more.
Folic acid apparently isn't processable by the MTHFR mutated body, so that makes sense to me. Are there really natural remedies for MTHFR mutations such as grass fed meat though? I thought your body cannot un-mutate itself and I don't see how these are related to folic acid either.
According to the journal Circulation, elevated homocysteine levels can be caused by:
- A lack of folate and other B vitamins in a person's diet.
- Diseases, such as kidney disease, psoriasis, and thyroid disease.
- Certain medications, such as methotrexate.
- Finally, MTHFR mutations.
It goes on to say: "Regardless of whether you have an MTHFR mutation in both genes or not, the treatment for elevated homocysteine is the same—dietary intervention and supplementation with folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12."
It adds that supplementation should be determined on the basis of homocysteine levels (that is, just how elevated they are) rather than whether you have an MTHFR mutation or not. It also says that those people with mutations in both MTHFR genes do not require any particular supplement if they do not also have high homocysteine levels.
I am a natural skeptic, but I haven't really questioned the stuff you hear all around about methylation and needing specific active forms of folate rather than folic acid, but reading this now, I am not sure even this is true any longer!
I should also say that the same paper (I know I can't post links here but it's in Circulation, and called "Homocysteine and MTHFR Mutations — Relation to Thrombosis and Coronary Artery Disease") mentions other interesting things regarding MTHFR mutations as well.
The paper says there are no actual guidelines on who should be tested for homocysteine levels, but it mentions people with blood clots, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. They say they don't know whether women who suffered preeclampsia or repeated pregnancy loss should have their homocysteine levels checked but seem to leave the door open to that possibility.
Regarding MTHFR mutation testing itself, they actually say there is no indication for testing in any situation, but leave open the possibility that mothers who gave birth to babies with spina bifida could have the test done.
That's a far, far cry from "everyone should get tested", which you hear in some places.
Finally, and I do apologize for the serial posting though I think this is important, I know that Google personalizes search engine results so not everyone will get the same results. Personally, when I search "MTHFR mutation" and all related terms, the first page all points to websites I'd hardly consider reputable. Dr Axe, Diet vs Disease, Mommy Potamus, Wellness Mama, and OK, THEN a scientific link to NIH, followed by Rare Diseases Info, Bulletproof Blog, etc.
I'd argue that if people click on most of these sources and then share the info they have gathered there with others, this is no different from my son saying "the Illuminati is real; I saw it on the internet".
Sources matter, and when it comes to MTHFR mutations, there is really very little in the way of scientifically accurate information that your average Googler might find, since the "market" is dominated by... let's just say "other people".
I completely agree!!!
You know, I can absolutely relate to doctors who just don't listen to patients. This happened to me. I have severe acid reflux and it is really frustrating when you leave every doctor's visit feeling worse (mentally) than when you went in because the fact is that the doctor doesn't know any more than you do after all the trial and error things have been explored and you're still stuck with debilitating symptoms. So I know how tempting it then is to turn to someone who does listen to you, who does say they have the answer, etc. That is only human.
But to suggest you go on special diets (candida diets are a lot of BS anyway) and eat only organic products (maybe better but not related to these genetic mutations if you can even call them that), in addition to all these supplements which have no scientific basis either, yeah, that's taking advantage. Not cool.
There is no natural remedy for an MTHFR mutation, nor, in most cases, is any remedy needed at all.
My sister, who's always been into natural health care and has experimented with everything under the sun as it becomes popular, started sending me links to things about MTHFR mutations and 5MTHF, some supplement, a while back. I have to say that this caught my attention for a while, because I am constantly tired, I suffer from anxiety, I frequently have headaches, and as a vegetarian, I actually eat really well and plenty of folate rich foods as well. I then read that MTHFR mutations are incredibly common and I did start wondering if it could explain my symptoms too. I'm in my 30s and really shouldn't be feeling the way I do.
I'm not totally convinced, nope, but I can't dismiss it either this time. It would seem this doesn't fall into the colloidal silver category, kwim? It's an actual thing you can get scientifically tested for.
Just my thoughts.
Yes, it is an actual thing that you can get tested for. In most cases, it doesn't mean anything though. Therefore, you don't need to know whether you have it unless you suffer from some very specific and severe conditions.
Those who are offering the interpretation of 23 and me results for a steep fee and then peddle supplements you do not need are not there to turn your health around. They are there to make a profit. (Dare I say it?!? They do exactly what they accuse "Big Pharma" of doing!)
I also understand that doctors don't always have the answers, and that this is frustrating, of course. That doesn't mean this is the answer, either, on the other hand.