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Those who know they have a mutation in their MTHFR gene (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) are likely all too familiar with the fact that nutrition affects day-to-day life.
If you are unfamiliar with it, MTHFR is a critical enzyme in the body. It’s required for DNA repair, switching gene expression on and off, and numerous other important functions (1).
The MTHFR enzyme is important for converting all other forms of folate (Vitamin B9) – including folic acid – into the biologically active form called L-methylfolate (or 5-MTHF). Not to be confused with the enzyme, the MTHFR gene provides the instructions for making the MTHFR enzyme. In other words, the MTHFR gene is the blueprint that directs the production of the MTHFR enzyme.
Therefore, a mutation in the MTHFR gene may cause the production of slightly flawed MTHFR enzymes, crippling enzyme function and impairing one's ability to process folate, or folic acid. (7)
MTHFR Affects Homocysteine Levels, Mood
One of the primary concerns for those with one or more of the several MTHFR mutations, is the effect it has on homocysteine levels in the body. (4, 5)
Homocysteine is naturally formed in the body, but it contributes to cellular stress unless it gets broken down (or recycled) by L-methylfolate (active folate). Said another way, a lack of L-methylfolate can lead to an increase in homocysteine. An increase in homocysteine has been linked to mood and psychiatric disorders and heart disease, according to researchers. (8, 9)
When one is diagnosed with an MTHFR mutation, the first thing typically prescribed is methylfolate – or, incorrectly, folic acid in high amounts.
Research shows that regardless of how much folic acid is consumed, those with an MTHFR genetic mutation often still have abnormal folate levels. (6,7) Subsequently, they may also have remarkably higher than normal homocysteine concentrations, which can contribute to symptoms of depression and mood swings. (8)
How To Properly Supplement For MTHFR
According to Dr. Lynch in his comments on treatment for MTHFR mutations, "The key is to take methylfolate with methylcobalamin." For mood stability, an overwhelming amount of evidence suggests that methylcobalamin and methylfolate are likely to be most effective when balanced with other highly absorbable vitamins and minerals as well.
Hardy Nutritionals® Daily Essential Nutrients is the gold standard micronutrient formulation when it comes to providing the right ingredients at researched levels. Within a complex multivitamin-mineral blend, Daily Essential Nutrients contains both methylfolate and methylcobalamin, which speaks to why it has helped thousands of people successfully avoid psychiatric medications for mood and mental health disorders over the last 5 years, including many with MTHFR mutations. Daily Essential Nutrients and its predecessor formulations† have been independently researched, resulting in nearly 40 medical journal publications (something you don’t hear every day) because of the impact on those who suffer from mood and mental health disorders. The key is the 40 essential ingredients, including methylfolate with methylcobalamin in a balanced format. Many people who deal with MTHFR use it as their daily multivitamin and find incredible benefits.Watch: Dr. Scott Shannon, Renowned Integrative Psychiatrist Share His View on Daily Essential Nutrients [below]
Remember that MTHFR mutations don’t directly make you unwell. But they may cause an exaggerated response to poor diet or lifestyle choices that others can “get away with”. This is why dietary considerations, including supplementation, are fundamental for people with certain MTHFR mutations. When taking Daily Essential Nutrients, start with one capsule with each meal the first day and then work up over time to four capsules per meal with all three meals. Expect astounding results!Pair with Balanced Free-Form Aminos for best results.
This nutrition expert shares her experience with MTHFR, Multiple Sclerosis, and proper supplementation using Daily Essential Nutrients:
†Refers to Daily Essential Nutrients and pre-2013 versions of EMPowerplus, co-formulated by David Hardy.