Can a homozygous MTHFR gene mutation can be managed by diet alone?

Question: Can anyone speak definitively on whether a homozygous MTHFR gene mutation can be managed by diet alone, diet + juicing greens, diet + greens powder? Does this mutation in its homozygous form require the fancy supplement? In other words, can it be managed with nature?

The story in my head is that this mutation is teaching us to become obligate foliage eaters again, encouraging us to bring the green back to our planet (therefore oxygen), and take it easy on the critters. I can’t help but think cosmically about these gene morphology changes. I’d just love it if I could create a wellness plan that fits into my ideologic little fairy tale world, but only if effective.

Answer:  No. MTHFR homozygous mutations cannot be managed by diet alone.

Most foods contain folinic acid while the supplement ideally used for MTHFR is methylated folate as 5-MTHF.

“As complex as this vitamin is in its structure, it is equally as complicated in its interaction with the human body. For example, most foods do not contain folic acid in the exact form described above, and enzymes inside the intestine have to chemically alter food forms of folate in order for this vitamin to be absorbed. Even when the body is operating at full efficiency, only about 50% of ingested food folate can be absorbed.”[1]

Even Women’s Health.gov agrees:
“Can I get enough folic acid through food alone?

The body does not use the natural form of folic acid (folate) as easily as the manmade form. We cannot be sure that eating foods that contain folate would have the same benefits as consuming folic acid. Also, even if you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, you might not get all the nutrients you need every day from food alone. In the United States, most women who eat foods enriched with folic acid are still not getting all that they need. That’s why it’s important to take a vitamin with folic acid every day.” [2]

Food typically does not have the methylated folate.

Those with hetero and homozygous MTHFR do have some enzymatic function left which is great; however, the amount of greens one must eat would likely be a lot – and that is difficult for a patient on planet Earth.

In a perfect world with a perfect patient – possibly yes – but given the fast-paced stressful and environmentally toxic planet we live on – no.

Be an interesting study.

One must also look at homozygous mutations from a methylation problem as well which leads to increased toxicity.

This requires detoxification protocols – sauna, peat baths, epsom salt baths, coffee enemas, athletics (sweating) and nutrients –

I regret to say also that all the prescription forms of active folate contain a ton of garbage.

I agree I am quite strict on purity given my passion for environmental medicine – but I am also of the camp of why do pills have to contain ingredients which pose absolutely no benefit to the patient and may even cause harm?

On MTHFR.net, I have an article that has a table with all the ingredients of the most popular forms of prescription meds for MTHFR.

I do recommend the use of the Methylation Profile by Doctor’s Data as it measures s-adenosylhomocysteine vs homocysteine. S-adenosylhomocysteine is a more sensitive marker than homocysteine which may explain why some cardiovascular studies say that lowering homocysteine has no benefit.

My point is this – and my soap box is as well –

If we have the tools to reduce miscarriages, autism, bipolar, cardiovascular issues and cancer – then – as naturopathic physicians – we need to use them – and we do which is awesome.

MTHFR is yet another tool.

I know some of you think I’m over doing it here but I am hearing horrific MTHFR stories every day and most of my day. They pour in. 4 miscarriages in a row, depressed entire life and without work, 4 year old son having a stroke, autistic child, severely chemically sensitive – and most of these patients hear is: “you are heterozygous MTHFR – there is no issue.”

Toxic planet.

I am also frustrated by the fact that the paternal genetics are not evaluated as often as they should be during prenatal screening – if some docs are doing that – my hat is off and I am greatly thankful.

If we step up to the plate and bat .500 here, we can inform the public about MTHFR, how to handle it and empower them with information so they can control their genetic expression.

It is not about fear – it is about empowerment.

So – in short 😉 – I think with the perfect patient in a perfect environment – perhaps homozygous MTHFR may be controlled by diet. Given the massive use of antacids, stress, toxins, chemicals and depleted soils – I don’t think we can in the general population.

Best
Dr Ben

References:
[1] World’s Healthiest Foods: Folate
[2] Women’s Health: Folic Acid 

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24 Responses to “Can a homozygous MTHFR gene mutation can be managed by diet alone?”

  1. jane w February 16, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    I am 59 years old and most recently had this test the mthfr mutation and it came back T/T. I am hypopthyroid, losing my hair, a homocystein (sp?) level of 11 and a higher hs-crp. doc sold me some 5-l methytetrahydrofolate and didn’t tell me what else to do. Do I still take my vit B complex, my multi… I’m at a complete loss. I feel like something new has been thrown at me and now I’m more stressed. You call around to get information and everyone wants 100 here 100 there… and I don’t mind paying but who do I believe.

  2. Louise June 10, 2015 at 3:04 am #

    Just eat raw beef liver. I don’t understand why you guys are making this so complicated or worrying about folic acid from plants, which is far less easily utilized than actual folate from animal sources. And always look for the natural source of something instead of some weird frankenstein synthetic garbage which will have weird negative effects later on. You want a potent multivitamin supplement? Eat raw liver.

  3. Fergie August 17, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Dr. Lynch,
    Thank you for your videos and the information that you freely share.

    Is spirulina a good type of “raw leafy green”?

  4. Kelly December 30, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    After suffering 2 miscarriages in the last year- it was discovered that I am homozygous a1298c. My homocysteine levels are normal. I am wondering since I have 2 copies of the same mutation, could this have caused my miscarriages? My fertility doctor does not understand- I was monitored weekly through the first trimester and everything was solid- heartbeat- everything. Amy thoughts? Thanks!

    • Dr. Aron January 23, 2016 at 12:51 am #

      Kelly – Miscarriages could be related to the homozygous A1298C. Please see Dr. Lynch’s article on Prenatal Supplementation.

  5. Jodie June 6, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    Hi Dr Aron,
    I have just been diagnosed with a combination heterozygous C677T and A1298C after suffering a miscarriage at 8 weeks (my first attempt at pregnancy).
    I’m 33 years old and hope that with the assistance of my GP can have a successful pregnancy.
    I feel completely healthy, and have been all my life so this diagnosis comes at a real shock.
    From the material I’ve read on the web, people with both C677T and A1298C mutations have a 50% reduction in function and can be subject to all sort of nasty chronic diseases and illnesses.
    The web has so much information, but not for carriers of both mutations.
    I feel doomed and worried that illness is just around the corner, so any re-assurance would be greatly appreciated.
    If you, or anyone else, has material on my recently diagnosed condition it would be
    greatly appreciated if you could post it on here.

    Thank you for your help.

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