I have the MTHFR gene mutation. Is there anything that can help?
Q. Hello Terry, “I have the MTHFR gene mutation. Is there anything that can help?” — David M., Bismarck, ND
A. Dear David, The MTHFR (methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase) gene produces an enzyme that is responsible for making sure that the folic acid (vitamin B9) we eat or ingest is converted into the active form of methylfolate. When people have MTHFR gene mutations, it prevents the body from being able to do this conversion process and can lead to a folate deficiency.
Because folate is incredibly important to numerous processes in the body, it is best to take a folate that is already methylated, or in the human form. People often having difficulties converting other members of the B vitamin family – like B6 and B12 – into their human form as well. Current estimates suggest that 30 – 50% of the population cannot efficiently convert these B vitamins into their active form.
Therefore, I recommend supplementing with B vitamins that are already in their human form and do not require conversion by the liver. I would take methylfolate (folate), methylcobalamin (B12), and P-5-P (pyridoxal-5-phospate, the active form of B6), along with B1, B2, B3, B5, for a full-spectrum of the B vitamins. Additionally, there are some B vitamins that also include choline, which upwards of 90% of our population is deficient in. I would take these nutrients once or twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally