MTHFR, Depression, Pulmonary Embolisms: A Consult with Dr Ben

Listen to the 30 minute phone consult which Dr Ben Lynch held with a women diagnosed with an unspecified MTHFR gene mutation.

MTHFR (methyl tetra hydro folate reductase) is needed to tranform standard inactive Folic Acid into methylated active 5-MTHF.

Those with certain MTHFR gene mutations (I am of the belief that everyone should) must take only active forms of folic acid as 5-MTHF. If they do not, their homocysteine increases dangerously leading to pulmonary embolisms, deep depression, anxiety, atherosclerosis and cancer to name a few.

Dr Ben goes into some detail about MTHFR and how to reduce homocysteine by taking HomocysteX by Seeking Health.

HomocysteX by Seeking Health uses 5-MTHF, methylcobalamin (active B12) and pyridoxine-5-phosphate (active B6) and soon, TMG (trimethyl glycine). These four nutrients are crucial in reducing homocysteine levels.

Consider taking 2 capsules of HomocysteX in the AM with food and also 2 capsules at lunch time with food.

Always have your doctor monitor Homocysteine levels. This is a marker to see how well you are managing your MTHFR gene mutation.

Questions, comments are highly encouraged. Please comment below. Dr Ben will respond.

Medical Associations: FIND A GREAT DOCTOR (not a close-minded one)

  1. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
  2. Orthomolecular Medicine
  3. Functional Medicine
  4. American Holistic Medical Association
  5. American College for the Advancement of Medicine
  6. American Academy of Environmental Medicine

Supplements recommended in this MTHFR Consult:

  1. HomocysteX: to reduce levels of homocysteine and bypass the genetic deficiency of MTHFR with active 5-MTHF. Consider taking 2 capsules in the AM with breakfast and 2 capsules at lunch.
  2. Magnesium Plus: to support healthy neurotransmitter production due to symptoms of depression. HomocysteX should help with depression immensely but likely won’t be enough on its own. Take 2 capsules with breakfast and 2 capsules before bed.
  3. Optimal Multivitamin: provides all necessary active B vitamins, active minerals and antioxidants. All are needed for most individuals yet most important in those experiencing any form of mental imbalance or highly oxidative condition like MTHFR. Consider taking 2 capsules in the AM with breakfast, 2 at lunch and 2 more at around 3 PM to maintain energy levels throughout the day.
  4. ProBiota 12 Powder: due to routine antibiotic use and symptoms of depression. Consider taking 1/4 teaspoon after dinner for 2 weeks and then up to 1/2 teaspoon after that. Once the bottle is finished, reduce to taking 1/8 teaspoon each evening after dinner or switch to taking 1 capsule of ProBiota 12 capsules.
  5. Optimal Iron Plus Cofactors: To replenish Iron stores due to iron deficiency. Take 1 capsule daily between meals. Before bed is ideal.
  6. Body Balance Oil: To balance inflammation with a healthy balanced oil. Take 1-2 tablespoons with a meal anytime of day. If digestive disturbance from it, take 1 tablespoon at breakfast and one at dinner to split up the dose.

Lifestyle changes recommended in this MTHFR consult:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice mixed with 1/2 cup of filtered water. Sip slowly first thing in the morning.
  2. Ensure eating some form of meal with protein every couple hours to maintain blood sugar and energy. Great for neurotransmitter development also.
  3. Coconut Butter for cooking and eating for general well-being.

 

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13 Responses to “MTHFR, Depression, Pulmonary Embolisms: A Consult with Dr Ben”

  1. Kara Lewis September 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm # Reply

    I was recently diagnosed with MTHFR mutation. I had 2 children which are now 20 and 23 years old. How we found out that I had the mutation was I have a blood clot in my arm . I was just wandering with me on the coumadin can I still get blood clots? I do not know what to expect with this. and kinda scared…My arm is staying very painful. my legs hurt . do I need to find a dr that would be just for this? I see a hematologist also.

    • DrBen September 8, 2011 at 6:06 am # Reply

      Kara –

      I’m glad you were diagnosed with the MTHFR mutation – it is far better knowing you have it than not.

      While on coumadin, it is still possible to get blood clots if the dosage is not correct. Coumadin dosing is usually monitored quite well and frequently. Talk with your doctor and let them know that your arm and legs hurt. That is important information and may be a sign of further clots or just the after effects of having a clot (low oxygen).

      Get your children tested for the MTHFR mutation – if you have it, they may have it. Have your family members – sisters, brothers, parents, uncles, etc – also test for it. You could be saving their life and improving the quality of their life immensely.

      Being scared is due to a lack of understanding about MTHFR mutations – which is why I created http://www.MTHFR.net.

      I hope to ease the fear in many and point them in the proper directions.

      There are very few doctors who know and understand MTHFR well. I am constantly researching it.

      I do not know who to refer you to currently – I hope to build up a referral database quite quickly.

      You may schedule a consultation with me so we can go over things in detail.

      It really depends on which MTHFR mutation you have. This dictates the type of treatment you should receive from your doctor. It also will establish what type of information I will give you.

      Taking just coumadin is not enough – by far. Addressing the cause of the blood clots is what must be done. Coumadin only addresses the clots themselves- but not the formation of them.

      Please call your doctor and let them know about your arm and leg pain.

      In health,
      Dr Ben

      • Kara Lewis September 8, 2011 at 10:45 am # Reply

        The mutation I have is homozygous for the C677T and the report says negative for the A1298 C.. I so do not understand this…. I had 2 perfectly normal preganancies and 2 healthy kids.. I am assuming if I would have nev er had the blood clot I would never known I had this. What kind of Dr should I be looking for ?
        I cannot have anymore kids .but should I be on more meds or anything for this mutation?

        • Dr Ben September 9, 2011 at 12:20 am # Reply

          This explains it quite well:
          “Methlyenetetrahydrofolate reductace (MTHFR) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of homocysteine. Mutations in the MTHFR gene have been reported as causes of hyperhomocysteinemia. The most common MTHFR mutation, C677T, is present in the homozygous state in 5-10% of the general Caucasian population. In homozygous individuals, this results in a thermolabile variant of the enzyme with decreased activity. Individuals homozygous for the C677T mutation are predisposed to developing hyperhomocysteinemia, particularly when deficient in folate. The frequency of C667T homozygosity is increased in individuals with coronary artery disease (to 17%), arterial disease (to 19%), and venous thromboembolism (to 11%).” – From http://www.kimballgenetics.com/tests-mthfr.html

          I do believe you can have kids as long as you are under appropriate care.

          You also must test your current children for the MTHFR gene mutation. They likely have it. If so, they also need to be supplementing with active 5-MTHF, active B12 and active B6 along with other things.

          Beginning with HomocysteX by Seeking Health is a good place to start to help increase levels of 5-MTHF in the blood and reduce homocysteine.
          http://www.seekinghealth.com/homocysteine-formula-homocystex.html

          Your levels of homocysteine levels checked? If not, they should be monitored.

          I will create a post and video explaining what else should be done and why.

          I highly recommend:
          – Optimal Fish Oil
          – Flow Fx
          – Active CoQ10
          – NAC
          – Optimal Multivitamin
          – HomocysteX

          These may be all found here in the MTHFR category of Seeking Health:
          http://www.seekinghealth.com/natural-health-remedies/mthfr.html

          I need to provide much more specific information about why each one should be taken, how much, how long and reason behind the ingredients.

          In this post, I discuss various medical associations where you can find a physician who has the more ‘functional’ and ‘holistic’ mindset.
          http://mthfr.net/2011/09/08/mthfr-gene-mutations-family/

          I have a lot of content to create – stay with me – as MTHFR.net is going to be a very valuable resource. We just went live yesterday!

          Dr Ben

          • Julia September 17, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

            Dr. Ben-
            I want to sincerely thank you for this site. To date, I am still am unaware which polymorphisms (correct term?) of MTHFR I have as they were never noted in my medical records-I was simply told I have it, after 9 PEs and 6 serious suicide attempts from major depressive disorder. I was told nothing more than to take more warfarin, which I was also told I was resistant to. I had given up, believing I was destined to a quick death from clotting, or I was intent on taking my own life, as I didn’t understand why I felt so badly. While I haven’t found a physician where I live that knows anything about my condition, I have hope now that there is someone out there that understands, and that my condition is not my conclusion.

          • Dr Ben September 18, 2011 at 8:40 am #

            Julia –

            I am here. And I am speaking LOUDLY about MTHFR not only to those with MTHFR mutations – but also to doctors.

            In fact, I just submitted an abstract discussing the significant relationship between MTHFR mutations and cancer risk to a national oncology association. I certainly hope they accept my abstract because docs need to know about MTHFR mutations.

            Based on what you said you in your comment, I have a hunch you have homozygous C677T or compound heterozygous A1298C.

            I believe you and I had a consult together yes? If so, I hope the recommendations have helped you.

            A lot more information and help is coming by way of MTHFR.net and DrBenLynch.com – along with the conferences I’m speaking at and books I intend to write.

            Doing all I can.

            Please spread the word about MTHFR.net!

            Keep positive, Julia ;) You will feel better!

            Dr Ben

  2. Sterling September 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm # Reply

    Dr. Ben,
    I am tired of being on coumadin. I know it helps me by preventing clots from forming. I just feel like I should be on something more natural considering I have MTHFR. I spoke with my hematologist/oncologist about going on nattokinase and got no answer. I am wanting to get completely off of coumadin and go with the nattokinase and maybe some krill oil. I really don’t know what dosages I should take. I also have Factor XII with hyperplatelet function along with the compound hetero mutation. I do have two different tests where Factor VIII was out of range and another test showing that Factor VIII was in range.

    • Dr Ben September 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm # Reply

      Sterling –

      The only way to effectively know if you can take something like Flow Fx by Seeking Health (which contains nattokinase), is to find a doctor willing to taper you off of coumadin while you are taking Flow Fx.

      They would monitor your blood to make sure they are pleased with the results.

      Taking Optimal Krill Oil along with Optimal Fish Oil would also help reduce the hypercoagability.

      Again, the only safe way to do this is to work with a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic physician who is willing to taper you down on coumadin while adding in nattokinase, fish oils, gingko, magnesium, garlic, rosemary and others.

      The ‘standard of care’ is prescriptive blood thinners in any blood clotting disorder and if one deviates off the ‘standard of care,’ this opens up risk to the individual and to the doctor.

      –UPDATED—

      I spoke with a colleague of mine who is a master herbalist and naturopathic physician. He said the following:
      “Ben,

      I would honestly tell them I couldn’t sleep at night taking them off warfarin under such circumstances. Warfarin is no good but at least we have some studies on what it does, while the natural products are completely unknown. I am honestly about the pluses and minuses but this patient is at very high risk of thromboembolism.

      There are no known anticoagulant herbs by the way. There are anti-platelet herbs in vitro but none of these have really been shown to be clinically effective. I guess lumbrokinase and nattokinase have some potential but there is just so little evidence available about them in English it’s a total crap shoot.

      Sorry not a better answer.”

  3. Jennifer Springer November 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm # Reply

    I need to know what to tell my dr on what kind of Folic acid to take. He just told me to take over the counter folic acid which after reading this that isn’t correct. I have the 2 mutated genes. I have just found out about this so I don’t know alot. But I had a blood clot in my leg last year from the knee to my groin and my oncologist is doing more test and if they are negative he wants to take me off of blood thinner and for me to take folic acid, but if I am not taking the right kind that puts me in real fear. I know all about blood clots my sister had one in her lung last year at the same time I did and my dad is on blood thinner for life because of all his clots. So I would like to take your answer to my dr so he can see what needs to be prescribed.

  4. Lisa February 12, 2014 at 2:25 am # Reply

    Dr. Lynch,
    I have suffered Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety since I was a teenager. I am also a thyroid cancer survivor. Recently I tested positive for deficiencies of A1298C and C677T. Instead of a methylcobalamin tablet, my psychiatrist has me injecting 50ml shots three times a week and also taking NAC and TMG capsules with a multivitamin, chelated magnesium and fish oil. Are the shots more effective?
    thank you,
    Lisa

  5. Dawn March 15, 2014 at 11:54 am # Reply

    Dr. Lynch; I’ve recently heard about treating depression with high-dose niacin. However, as a follower of yours, I’m under the impression that niacin wipes out the effects of methylfolate. (I’m homozygous C677T; lifelong severe depression/anxiety; hypertension, born with facial cleft defect). I would really like to hear what you have to say about niacin therapy, since I somehow have the impression that you have knowledge about treating bipolar. (BTW, I’ve been on your protocol for six months and have seen a marked improvement in my psych symptoms. In fact, I have been able to halve my Effexor dose WITHOUT the withdrawal brain-zap symptoms).

    (I’m really hoping you see this…I have two wonderful little boys and am missing out on their childhoods because of my psych problems. I’m getting desperate.)

  6. Kymari June 28, 2014 at 1:21 am # Reply

    Hello Dr. Lynch,

    I was recently diagnosed with MTHFR in January, 2014. I am homozygous for the 1298 allele. Up until the last 10 years I have been in very good health except for mild depression and issues with constipation. Constipation is the only thing I’ve dealt with since childhood. I am currently 48 and have had 3 children with 3 pregnancies. No miscarriages. My body temperature typically runs low at 97.8 and generally have had low blood pressure, 105/65. I had a cardio scan done in December 2013 and it revealed I have zero plaque. Over the past 10 years I have been under considerably more stress than the average person, for various reasons. Anyhow, my weight has become a very big problem. I have always been in shape and worked out regularly but more and more am really struggling to lose weight let alone maintain. I have gained 30 lbs. in ten years and CANNOT lose it! I eat right and even record it, not to mention keep track of how many calories I burn daily through exercise. The last time I was at the doctor my blood pressure was up, 128/86, and it appeared as if I’m pre diabetic. What is up?! I don’t get it. This is driving me crazy! Is there any link between MTHFR and issues with weight gain and an inability to lose it? I would love to know what you do about this subject and if there is a correlation. And, by the way, I am not menopausal : ) I have also been trying to reduce the amount of stress in my life through yoga and church, however, it does not appear to have changed anything yet. All the doctors I’ve talked to tell me I’m either cheating on my diet and not being honest about what I eat and how much, its just part of growing old, I am not eating enough, I am eating too much, its all in my head or I’m peri menopausal and I just need to accept it. I’m not buying it. I know there is more to this story and my gut tells me it is related to MTHFR. My health is now at risk and it feels like nothing I’ve done has helped. I started taking Deplin daily in January and have seen some improvement with my memory but not with my weight. I really need to lose this weight so the rest of my body can function properly.

    Please respond! Thank you.

  7. Ana August 8, 2014 at 5:43 am # Reply

    I have MTHFR 677C->T polymorphism ..heterozygous, Wild type G1691A, and C(APC) resistance, this test was performed on 12/1/2010 ….I had previous DVT, venogram showed 6 clots, groin to ankle, with permanent valve damage, at age 21 (1987, first pregnancy). Then another clot in 2009 from first airplane flight. treatments were heparin, Coumadin, and Lovenox. I had 3 children total, all born 2 weeks early, first one had VSD.
    Over the years..(I am now 47), I’ve suffered so many things I’ve never heard of before…. plus, chronic infections, malaise, fatigue, allergies, migraines with lights, vertigo, etc., had surgeries and misc. just plain sick! … I’ve recently been feeling nauseated, and have even worse fatigue than ever! ( muscle shakiness) …. I’m not sure ‘Where’ to start!? and what to take? …do you need to have prescriptions for these supplements?…….. Please help!? ANY suggestions would be wonderful!! Thanks in Advance :) Ana

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