MTHFR Gene Mutation
If you are a patient of Dr. Parker’s, you’ve probably heard of MTHFR, which is the abbreviation for “methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase”. For those who have not heard of it, the MTHFR gene creates an enzyme that converts folate into a form that can be used by the body.
Folate is important to the body for supporting brain function, emotional and mental well-being, proper blood iron levels and it helps to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
MTHFR gene when working properly helps to:
· Lower homocysteine levels
· Optimize metabolism
· Promote muscles growth
· Eliminate toxins in the body
Unfortunately current statistics show that more than half of the population have a mutation or variant of the MTHR gene. In these cases the body cannot properly convert folate, which can result in vitamin B deficiencies and elevated levels of homocysteine. This can increase your risk for stroke, aortic aneurysm, hypertension, and venous thrombosis. Other conditions associated with MTHFR mutation are increased risk of diabetes, depression, schizophrenia, autism, osteoporosis, certain cancers, and pregnancy-related disorders.
How do you know if you have the MTHFR gene mutation?
Simple blood tests are available to determine if you are at risk. In Dr. Parker’s Human Ecology approach to health optimization, this test is can be ordered as part of a comprehensive lab panel to check your all of your vitamin and mineral levels. In addition, specific genetic tests may be recommended for further insight into your health.
What can you do if you test positive for the mutation?
If your test results show that you have the MTHFR gene mutation, there are things you can do to minimize your health risks.
In general you can:
· Increase Vitamin B levels using supplements
· N-Acetyl-cysteine has been shown to reduce plasma homocysteine levels.
· Increase folate levels from adding more leafy green vegetables to your diet
· Avoid Folic Acid since your body cannot process it
Based on the practice of providing personalized medicine, Dr. Parker bases all of his specific recommendations based on your lab results to ensure the best outcome for you
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Folate, MTHFR Gene and Heart Health