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Hi,

Apparently, something like 40 percent of the total population have an MTHFR mutation, which interferes with the body's ability to process folate (folic acid) and is implicated in many different health problems. 40 percent!!! That is a big percentage. Only a smaller number have a more serious form of this mutation, but even the less complex forms can lead to health problems.

Now my question is, given that the MTHFR is rather common, should everyone be tested for it? Or if not, who is a suitable candidate? And where and how do you get an MTHFR test?

Anyone with personal experience, please reply in particular :).

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Geneticists certainly don't think everyone should be tested for an MTHFR mutation. Testing would be considered only if symptoms are present. (The mutation has been linked with heart disease, miscarriage, diabetes, certain cancers, eye disorders, strokes etc.) 

Even so, I did read this commentary that seemed rather straightforward. People who have a problematic MTHFR mutation that is likely to lead to health issues will also have high homocysteine levels in the blood. (This is some kind of enzyme, which doesn't really matter for the purposes of what I am trying to say.) So essentially, rather than having complex genetic testing, which is also presumably expensive, you can have a simple blood test and still end out with similar enough information. 

Does that make sense?

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Hi,

I've been dealing with mouth canker sores for a while now and after extensive internet searches, I did read that these sores can sometimes be related to an MTHFR mutation. I also have many of the other signs, so it makes sense. Other things have not helped me resolve this issue so far, so I figure there is no harm in following the MTHFR protocol. 

My question is, if this works and things get better, is there any conceivable reason I would need testing? Could my kids have it as well, for instance? And if I do need to get tested, where is the best place to do that? 

Thanks

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23 and me, where you can find out all sorts of things about your genes, actually has a very conservative view of MTHFR mutations. They are skeptical that all the health issues attributed to MTHFR mutations are really caused by it. However, you CAN get tested for the MTHFR mutation there, as well as a whole range of other things, and I am planning to do this myself soon. Not just for the medical stuff but also because of geneology. Just a heads up for anyone who want to know if they carry an MTHFR mutation. This is probably one of the easier ways to get tested.

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As far as I know, you can be tested for the MTHFR gene at basically any lab. You don't need a referral from a doctor. Just Google MTHFR mutation lab + your location and local options should jump up immediately. 

If you don't want to waste money though, it is probably a good idea not to have this done if you do not have any of the symptoms of an MTHFR mutation and if you do have symptoms, it is probably good to have a chat with your family doctor to see if they think having the test done makes any sense. 

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Thanks for all the responses, fellow boardies!

That's interesting, what one of you said, that not everyone is convinced that the MTHFR mutation really causes all that many health problems. I will certainly read more from that point of view as well. Every medical thing, from gluten free to now this and of course many other issues, are always coopted by people who think that thing is the answer to everything. Some caution is wise, I suppose.

At the same time, I thought it was shocking that so many people have it, and I was wondering whether those who have it ought to know.

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I have the MTHFR mutation and I am glad I know about it. I take supplements now. Thorne is the best for that — B-complex, MethylGuard, and so on, and this is what my doctor recommended to me, but they are also pricey and it is possible to find cheaper options, especially online. Just consult with your doctor before deciding what supplements to take, if you are tested and you find out you have the mutation. If you don't know, you are just in a "shot in the dark" situation, so my advice would be, for anyone who seriously believes they might have it, to get tested for MTHFR. 

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I have been reading more about this, as well. It seems like MTHFR testing is only necessary, sometimes, as a follow-up when someone has had their homocysteine levels tested and the results come back high. Or sometimes, if a person has direct relatives with MTHFR mutations and needs to find out whether they have it too, but even then homocysteine testing can be done first and it's simpler. Thanks for sharing that! This has been very useful.
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