A tiny, inheritable gene variation affects our health: If you have high levels of thrombosis, depression, chronic pain, or lead fatigue, you should go to the best MTHFR test.
Do you have MTHFR-SNP?
The abbreviation SNP stands for an inherited genetic variant of a particular gene. In the past, these minimal changes were given no importance, they were considered to be an unremarkable “mood of nature”. However, thanks to improved data analysis methods, it is now known that such changes play a role in some diseases. As a result, the medicine becomes more complex, but it is also better adapted to the individual patient – provided one knows the effects of the individual gene variants already. This is being worked on, but research is still far from everything.
One of those genes in which SNP has a major impact on our metabolism is the so-called “MTHFR gene”. The abbreviation stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. The first part of this word reveals the function of the gene: It controls the methylation process in the body.
What does methylation mean?
Methylation is a metabolic procedure in which the body reparations DNA, it reprocesses molecules that are required for detoxification, decreases inflammation and, among other things, turns genes on and off, i.e. decides whether the gene is currently active or not. This process affects the development and progression of many diseases as well as the aging process.
MTHFR polymorphism and venous thromboembolism
So a change (SNP) in the gene responsible for methylation really has a big impact on our health. In this case, one speaks of an MTHFR polymorphism. This should be clarified in the laboratory of the best MTHFR website. This is important because, among other things, people with a change in the MTHFR gene are at an increased risk for:
- Vein thrombosis
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pulmonary embolism
- Persistent fatigue
- Weakened immune defense
Important: An MTHFR change does not mean that you have any of these indications. It just means that your risk is increased. MTHFR changes are common but often remain unrecognized. A blood test in the lab gives information.
How is an MTHFR change treated?
Your genes are not your destiny. And MTHFR genes are not the only factors that influence the methylation process. Lifestyle measures support the body in the process of methylation:
- Regular endurance sports: 45 minutes several times a week, but when choosing the sport, be careful not to put too much strain on your joints.
- Reduce overweight
- Make sure you have a balanced, non-protein diet rich in vegetables
- Do not smoke
- Avoid environmental toxins
- Sufferers should avoid folic acid.
In an MTHFR treatment and food supplements are used:
- Other active forms of B vitamins involved in methylation. These include vitamin B12, riboflavin and vitamin B6.
The choice of nutrients and the dosage needed varies from person to person. Last but not least, they also depend on the specific nature of gene modification, the history of the disease and the current symptoms. Your doctor will work out an exact treatment plan with you.
Folic acid or folate: the differences
The folate (vitamin B9) is a group of natural compounds belonging to the water-soluble B-vitamins. The folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin and is used in dietary supplements and in artificially fortified foods. In everyday life, however, these terms are often used interchangeably.
The difference: The folic acid itself is a kind of “preliminary stage”. It has no vitamin function and must first be metabolized into the actual vitamin folate in the body.
People with MTHFR polymorphism cannot convert folic acid into folate. Therefore, it is important not to supply folic acid preparations but the already bioactive folate form 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate). This is especially true for pregnant, breastfeeding and elderly people who have a higher folate requirement.
But it is not just about the usability for the organism: If the supplied folic acid is not converted into a usable form, it can lead to an accumulation of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an intrinsically important amino acid, but too much of it is toxic to the body.
Folic acid and folates in everyday life
In summary, the recommendation for those affected is:
- Avoid folic acid
- A lot of natural folates
The former is relatively easy by taking no folic acid preparations. Even pregnant women get automatically prescribed supplements containing folic acid, should do without it and instead of a substitution with 5-MTHF access.
The supply of folate is bad in many countries. For example, in Canada, the United States and many Latin American countries, wheat flour is fortified with folic acid to prevent malnutrition. For MTHFR-SPN carriers this means looking for alternatives without nutrient enrichment.
Which foods contain folate?
The intake of natural folate is a good foundation. Whether your folate supply is covered or whether you need a supplemental folate supplement, please check with your doctor.
The following foods are rich in natural folates:
- Green leafy vegetables (such as spinach or lettuce, especially endive salad)
- Brussels sprouts
- Pork Liver