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MTHFR: Here’s to Your Health!

Monday, October 31, 2016 10:13
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Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective

A few years ago, I had a genetic profile done to learn what, if anything, was troubling my genes. As it turns out, one of the big problems has to do with the fact that I am considered homozygous where the C677T (MTHFR; Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene is concerned. This means, that both copies of this particular gene are corrupted and because of that, do not work properly. The C677T gene in particular has a big job to do in the body and when it doesn’t work properly, absolute havoc is often the result. While there is no conventional cure for this problem, there is a growing body of evidence and study that provides excellent ways to overcome a great deal of the problems associated with it. The nutrient Methylfolate (a shortened form of MTHFR), is extremely important to the overall smooth running of our bodies and systems.

In short, MTHFR is considered an autoimmune disease and obviously must be handled with care. Everyone’s body needs to methylate folate that is taken into the body via food or drink. Without getting seriously technical, here’s a great definition of MTHFR and how it works from Genetics Home Reference:

The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme plays a role in processing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is important for a chemical reaction involving forms of the vitamin folate (also called vitamin B9). Specifically, this enzyme converts a molecule called 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to a molecule called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. This reaction is required for the multistep process that converts the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. The body uses methionine to make proteins and other important compounds.

A person’s body who does not have the MTHFR mutation is usually able to methylate/convert enzymes through the correct chemical reaction this with no difficulties at all (unless other illnesses or extenuating circumstances exist). This keep things running smoothly within our bodies. Someone like me who has both genes corrupted has great deal of difficulty methylating and/or converting things into usable forms. It can get extremely complex and the more we learn about our genetics, the more we realize that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). We are not a product of evolution.

So for instance, if I take normal, every day folic acid, I will have big problems because folic acid (something our bodies definitely need), is the synthetic form of folate, which appears naturally in certain foods. Because of my faulty genes, my body is unable to convert or methylate folic acid. Because of this, I need to avoid taking any vitamin supplements with folic acid in it. Moreover, I need to avoid eating any processed or enriched foods that are “enriched” with vitamins that include folic acid.

Because my body cannot convert or methylate folic acid into something usable for other chemical reactions, folic acid is simply dumped into my blood stream. One would think that it would eventually find its way out of my body but even though that is the general idea, it doesn’t happen over night. It can take a while and if I’m taking a multi-vitamin with folic acid in it every day, then my body will always be building up its store of folic acid since I cannot break it down and/or use it for the needed chemical reactions that my body requires.

Ultimately, we all need the nutrient Methylfolate but because my body cannot convert it there are many negative side effects that can occur within my system. Here is a list of the main ones (from MTHFR.net), but is not all-inclusive.

  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • sore muscles
  • achy joints
  • acne
  • rash
  • severe anxiety
  • palpitations
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • migraines

Most people experience irritability at times or insomnia or some of the other ones listed. However, if these symptoms become the norm day after day without any real explanation, in my case, I know they have to do with the fact that folic acid is building up in my system. Since I learned about my genetic variant that causes difficulty, I’ve been on a search to find out how to best deal with the problems caused by it.

Other problems caused by MTHFR can be related to fluctuating high blood pressure, serious fatigue, and ringing in the ears. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) last year. I believe the symptoms of these illnesses were caused by my problematic genetics.

I’ve realized that for me, the best way to ensure that I get enough folate (the natural form) is to eat the types of foods that are naturally high in folate. This means dark, leafy greens, nuts like walnuts, cashews, etc., certain meats, and specific fruits. If I do this, I won’t need to supplement with folic acid, which for me, would be the worse thing I could do since my body is incapable of breaking it down and converting it into something usable.

My lifestyle and diet has changed dramatically over the past several years. It has allowed me to lose nearly 70 pounds and in some ways, I feel much better. However, because of the ongoing fibromyalgia and CFS, other issues seem to be constantly at the forefront with me. I always seem to be fighting off fatigue, a foggy head with inability to concentrate, and a general malaise that cannot be explained. Folks, this is what medical doctors would say hypochondriacs are made of, but thanks to the field of genetics, things are being uncovered that provide more and more information on how are bodies work or how they are supposed to work but don’t.

Aside from eating the correct foods, there are other things I can do to help myself. These include taking certain supplements like CoQ10, Omega 3, Vitamin D3, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and a few other things. I would also like to point out I work with a very qualified Naturopath who understands the problems associated with MTHFR. You can’t go this alone. Some folks also add a methylfolate supplement (an already methylated form of folate, as opposed to the synthetic folic acid), to their daily regimen. This needs to be done with extreme care and under the guidance of a qualified doctor who understands the risks involved. I personally have tried a number of these supplements and almost invariably, I am struck with headache, irritability, anxiety, or all three.

What do I do if I am experiencing the type of symptoms listed above and they become unbearable due to folic acid overload? One of the ways to break it down quickly in the body is by taking 50 mg or 100 mg of Niacin. This particular supplement helps eliminate extra methyl groups that your body isn’t able to process. Again, I cannot stress enough that if you think you have this problem (or a problem like it), you need to find a qualified individual who can help guide you through the process. They will likely draw your blood for a genetic panel to determine whether or not MTHFR is an issue with at all. Our genes do not lie, but imagine what people do not know about themselves?

A few years ago, people were going gaga over 23 and Me’s genetic testing. They wanted to find out what their ethnic make-up included. Most of these folks completely ignored the other genetic information provided by the lab, which allows a person to literally see which (if any), genes are variants and corrupted. Genes that do not work correctly will result in physiological problems in some form. Not knowing the underlying can drive a person crazy. Often, seeing medical doctors who know nothing of how genetics plays into things only makes matters worse.

There is a tremendous amount of information about MTHFR on the ‘Net. Below are just a few of those more well-known resources. If you have unexplained symptoms that constantly dog you, it would probably be worth it to at least have the genetic testing done. Then you can find a qualified person who can read them and determine a course of action.

Resources:

By the way, be prepared to run into places on the ‘Net which are extremely opposed to any form of alternative medicine. I’m sure they don’t like the word “medicine” used together with “alternative.” They deliberately forget that many people outside of America in actual developed countries have been using alternative medicine for generations. A number of websites I checked out are determined to put all alternative practitioners out of business so be prepared for that.

The opposition to alternative medicine is strong in some quarters and there’s really no logical rationale for it. These people routinely rely on what the FDA says even though the FDA is way behind the times. For instance, the FDA continues to believe High Fructose Corn Syrup is okay, even though study after study, test after test proves that HFCS is often contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins and is highly addictive. Let’s not even talk about the fact that most of the corn used to create HFCS is from GMO corn. It’s one of the worst poisons a person can put into their bodies but has the FDA done anything to ban it? Hardly, and they won’t either because too many food and beverage companies rely on it for their products. Those non-profits opposed to alternative medicine routinely support GMOs as well. Clearly, they appear to be benefiting from donors who support pushing GMOs, HFCS, vaccinations with all the poisons built into those vaccines, and some are even opposed to any form of supplementation (vitamins, minerals, etc.). This type of thinking should be a red-flag to anyone who can think critically.

I read one article that essentially claimed the reason there are more instances of autism today is not because of anything to do with vaccines at all. No, the real reason is because somewhere along the lines, the definition for autism was broadened. That’s the reason. But this is in spite of the fact that a vaccine producer actually admitted on the FDA website that one of the potential consequences of their vaccine was autism. Yes, the definition of autism has somewhat broadened, but the increase in total number of vaccinations for children has gone from about 6 (when I was a kid), to over 20 today. It is ridiculous the amount of vaccinations that we are told we need.

There are plenty of shills and/or lobbyists out there who work indirectly or directly for the pharmaceutical industry. People who take the alternative medicine route usually bypass Big Pharma. The answer? Ignore these folks. They have a mission that is probably bought and paid for by Big Pharma. They’re trying too hard.

You are far more intelligent than Big Pharma would like you to believe. They don’t want you to think you can possibly know what’s best for you. They want automatons who simply do what they’re told and take anything prescribed to them and that includes all the vaccines that science can create as well as annual flu shots.

There are a growing number of medical doctors and professionals who also question the FDA and other government agency findings. Moreover, they support supplementation in many cases over the Rx pad because of the growing body of evidence that shows a connection between proper supplementation, proper diet (NOT FDA recommendations), and good health. Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. William Davis, Dr. David Perlmutter, and Dr. Mark Hyman are all qualified medical doctors who have something to say about health. Of course, these men have their detractors, so once again, you’ll need to wade through things with your critical thinking skills to determine who is telling the truth.

Think about it. If there are groups who want to completely eliminate ALL alternative practitioners and other groups who are constantly trying to knock down actual doctors, there must be a connection. What is it? It is most likely the fact that alternative practitioners and doctors who recommend supplements as a first line of defense rather than the Rx pad are both creating road blocks for the pharmaceutical industry, which ultimately can cut into their profits.

Think about it.

Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective

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