MTHFR Hitting a Family Hard – There Are Solutions

Question from a MTHFR Reader:
My mother had a severe stroke at age 58 which left her unable to speak or move her right side. Her only other health ailment prior was bipolar disease…. They never found the cause of the stroke… Then I had Eclampsia and seized several times before delivering my 29 week preemie… They never figured out why. Then my 40 year old brother who is extremely healthy had pulmonary emboli…. Finally after many tests, The hematologist found the mutation. I take Folplex and a baby aspirin. Is that enough? & at what point do I test my kids and start treating them?

Dr Ben’s Response:
I am sorry to hear about your mother.

My hat is off to your hematologist for discovering the MTHFR mutation. Do ask him/her for the specific mutations and find out if you have additional genetic mutations – such as Factor V Leiden.

It is a must that you know exactly which MTHFR mutations you have as the severity varies and so does the treatment your doctors need to perform. Lifestyle changes also vary depending on which MTHFR mutation(s) one has.

In reading your statement, it appears that you ‘understand’ the potential cause of your mother’s stroke: a MTHFR mutation.

A MTHFR mutation can cause sudden strokes and bipolar.

MTHFR C677T was significantly associated with all of the combined psychiatric disorders (Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Unipolar Depressive Disorder)” (1)

 

“The association between inherited gene mutations and arterial ischemic events was modest: factor V Leiden mutation (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.99-1.49), Prothrombin G20210A mutation (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.03-1.69), and MTHFR TT mutation (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.02-1.41). Subgroup analyses of younger patients (<55 years old) and of women revealed slightly stronger associations overall.” (2)

 

A MTHFR mutation can cause pre-eclampsia:

“The data indicate that the T677 variant of the MTHFR gene is one of the genetic risk factors for pre-eclampsia.” (3)

 

A MTHFR mutation can cause Pulmonary Emboli:

“MTHFR/ C677T in Chinese/Thai populations (OR 1.57; 95% CI 1.23-2.00, p = 0.0003), and ACE I/D in African American populations (OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.03-2.18, p = 0.03) were found to be significantly associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE) (pulmonary embolism and deep venous thrombosis)” (4)

A MTHFR mutation is strongly linked within a family network as MTHFR is an autosomal recessive pattern. This means that both copies of the gene in each cell contain mutations. Commonly, the parents of a person with an autosomal recessive condition each have a single copy of the MTHFR gene mutation. This means that the parents most likely do not show symptoms or signs of MTHFR yet they are very likely to have deficiencies of Vitamin B12 and folic acid.(5) This translates into MTHFR being a silent killer that must be identified within all family members.

You state you currently take Folplex and a baby aspirin and wonder if that is enough. Great question.

I’ve no idea as I do not know which MTHFR mutation you have.

However, I’m going to be bold here and say no – that is not enough.

Those with certain MTHFR mutations need to change their lifestyle as they are more susceptible to toxic overload as they cannot methylate well. Lack of methylation causes an increased body burden which means that toxins accumulate and wreak havoc within the body unless they are removed – or prevented from coming in the first place.

Thus, living a more pure lifestyle, performing detoxification protocols with your physician and understanding where toxins come from in our environment is crucial. I encourage all to read the websites of the Environmental Working Group and Environmental Health Perspectives

Understanding proper detoxification methods is also crucial. Foot Soaks, Detox Foot Pads, Colon ‘Blows’ and ‘Diets’ all are gimmicks or dangerous. As an expert in Clinical Ecology, also known as Environmental Medicine, I am well versed in educating others about proper detoxification methods and reducing exposures to environmental toxins. It is my plan to develop a comprehensive Detoxification Course which will be available at Dr Ben Lynch once it is available. It will be announced here at MTHFR.net and to my subscribers. 

Now in terms of Folplex. I am not sure if Folplex is sufficient for you as it contains inferior forms of folic acid, B6 and B12. Those with certain MTHFR mutations cannot process inferior forms of any of these nutrients – especially those which require methylation. The nutrients requiring methylation are folic acid and B12. If B12 and folic acid are not methylated due to a MTHFR mutation, then the body does not utilize them and homocysteine builds up. Elevated homocysteine leads to pulmonary embolisms, ecclampsia, strokes and others.

Very few physicians understand MTHFR mutations and even fewer understand nutritional biochemistry. I am solid in nutritional biochemistry and becoming very solid in MTHFR mutations; however, I feel I will never reach the expert level I desire as both fields are massive and require constant research – which I do on a daily basis.

Back to Folplex. If I were your physician, I would prefer you to take the more active forms of B12, folic acid, B6, B2 along with TMG. I’ve developed a product called HomocysteX which currently contains the active forms of B12 (methylcobalamin), active folate (5-MTHF) and active B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate). This is a comprehensive and potent formula to help reduce homocysteine as it contains methylated nutrients which bypass specific MTHFR mutations.

In my research, I have recently improved the formula of HomocysteX as there are other nutrients which I feel are needed in order to further reduce homocysteine levels effectively and skirt around the MTHFR mutation. I’ve added active vitamin B2 (riboflavin-5-phosphate) and TMG. This new formula is arriving in our warehouse any day. The current formula is still effective.

The other benefit to HomocysteX is that it is pure. As I mentioned earlier, I am an expert in environmental medicine which makes supplement manufacturers not like working with me. I demand purity and quality ingredients. Sadly, it is nearly impossible to find manufacturers which provide the level of quality I demand.

The ‘inactive ingredients’ in HomocysteX are simply: vegetarian capsule (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, water), L-leucine, cellulose, and silicon dioxide. Leucine is an amino acid used by the body, cellulose is undigestable plant material and silicone dioxide is sand.

I’d also combine those nutrients along with fish oil or krill oil, n-acetyl-l-cysteine, sauna, multivitamin with active folate, probiotics, nattokinase and a thorough education in avoidance of chemicals in all forms.

Folplex also contains tons of ‘inactive ingredients’ which are far from beneficial for anyone – let alone individuals with defective detoxification:

Folplex tablets are intended for oral administration.

Each Tablet Contains: 2.2 mg folic acid, 25 mg Vitamin B6 and 1 mg Vitamin B12.

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Modified Cellulose Gum, Crospovidone, Magnesium Stearate, Hypromellose, Titanium Dioxide, Polydextrose, Triacetin, Polyethylene Glycol, Iron Oxide Red, Iron Oxide Yellow.(6)

 

I would test your children now for MTHFR and begin appropriate treatment immediately if required – and it likely is given your family history. Again, talk with an expert physician who can help guide diagnosis and treatment for your children.

Consider having your children take HomocysteX, Kid’s Optimal Multivitamin, Optimal Fish Oil capsules and ProBiota 12 capsules. N-acetyl-l-cysteine may be considered as well in order to assist detoxification.

Again, I wish I had a referral network but currently I do not. Continue working with your hematologist and your other physicians. You may want to call around various medical associations and look for a MTHFR expert in your area.

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

  • American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
  • Orthomolecular Medicine
  • Functional Medicine
  • American Holistic Medical Association
  • American College for the Advancement of Medicine
  • American Academy of Environmental Medicine

I hope you find this information useful – and others as well.

It is my goal to back up everything I say here at MTHFR.net with a research citation. This way it substantiates the importance of the MTHFR gene mutations, the prevalence and allows other health professionals to obtain knowledge quickly and effectively.

Please do post below how you are getting on, improving and how your family is doing – including your children. The more we all work together and demonstrate that those with MTHFR gene mutations can lead a healthy, normal life, the less fear and stigma there will be around it.

That said, I highly encourage emails, comments and sharing of the posts here at MTHFR.net

To your health,
Dr Ben

MTHFR RESEARCH and REFERENCES:
(1) Meta-analysis of MTHFR gene variants in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar depressive disorder: Evidence for a common genetic vulnerability? PMID: 21185933

(2) Association between factor V Leiden, prothrombin G20210A, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T mutations and events of the arterial circulatory system: a meta-analysis of published studies. PMID: 14660985

(3) Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism and pre-eclampsia. PMID: 9192280

(4) The genetics of venous thromboembolism. A meta-analysis involving approximately 120,000 cases and 180,000 controls. PMID: 19652888

(5) Genetics Home Reference of the National Library of Medicine. Homocystinuria

(6) Folplex

Disclaimer: In no way is the information presented at MTHFR.net beyond informational and educational use only. Diagnosis, treatment or prescriptions are not possible at MTHFR.net. Always talk with your health professional for medical advice and treatment.

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27 Responses to “MTHFR Hitting a Family Hard – There Are Solutions”

  1. Amanda February 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    My psych did a mthfr mutation test since I seem to be resistant to some of my meds for bipolar/PTSD. I am homozygous for C677T. She put me on Deplin, which is ok, but reading alot of the material out there has led me to believe I may need more than just the L-methylfolate. How does the Homocystex Plus compare with the Deplin? Pricing will likely be the same… I think it would be around $60 a month for the Deplin…

  2. Luann April 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    I am truly confused. I am recently diagnosed with MTHFR C677T T/T with significantly high homocysteine levels. Significantly decreased folate serum. Significantly reduced B12. I have done a lot of reading on the subject and I have read so many blogs and other comments of people who feel so terribly ill and have so many health related problems. What I don’t understand is why all these people are so ill and I feel wonderful. I don’t feel sick anywhere. I do have a 26 year old son with Trisomy 21 which I am told is not inherited. I have not started the Deplin 15 mg, not have I started the methyl B12 yet that my doctor gave me (she also gave me no reason why I should take it, nor explained anything to me about this mutation – which I am also reading is common because most doctors are not educated in this.) Is it possible to not be sick or has it just not caught up with me yet?

  3. Tracy August 8, 2014 at 1:06 am #

    I was diagnosed MTHFR homozygotic 677-T just over a month ago. that might explain the migraines, the miscarriages, at 51, it’s a little late to do anything about that now. but I am interested in being as healthy as I can. so I went gluten free, diary free, got the Optimal Multivitamin and the tumeric. for a month. the only difference I can tell is happening is I now have bright yellow urine. I don’t have more energy, I don’t feel less tired, I’m still getting headaches. now what?

  4. Alexandra Dib January 14, 2015 at 3:26 am #

    Hello! If I am Homozygous C677T and my husband is Heterozygous C677T, would it hurt to give our children the chewable multivitamin you recommend for kids even if we don’t have them tested? Thanks so much!

    • Dr Lynch January 15, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      Alexandra – absolutely. A quality multivitamin is much needed for most people. We know your children have at least one 677 SNP of MTHFR – and possibly two.

  5. Larissa December 10, 2015 at 12:00 am #

    Hello! I just discovered that I have the mthfr 677 T/T, 1298 A/A mutations. I don’t understand much about this. But it’s exciting to think there is an explanation and effective treatment for all the mysterious health issues I have.

    I’ve started taking Methyl-Guard Plus (increasing it slowly, per my ND). I got tense and angry within an hour of my first dose, so I added B12, and that really helped. I feel clearer, calmer, and my eyesight seems improved even. It’s been three days since my first dose.

    I’ve searched and searched, and cannot find anyplace on the internet that really explains this mutation and it’s consequences to me in detail. Can you direct me to something that will help me understand what I’m dealing with, specifically, and in layman terms?

    Thanks a million!

    Larissa

  6. brandy w February 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    hi im 41 i have factor 5 100% ,and also i have mthfr is this rare or is the truth you can have both gene i have blood clots in my lung i have pnemouina ofter and clots in my heart and clots in my lungs anemic insomia deppression, inr almost never inr thepictic sick often .

  7. Emily Edinger May 1, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

    Hello,
    I have a question about chances for successful pregnancy with clotting disorders. I had a very large (26″) DVT in 2010, shortly after I found out I have Factor V. I was treated with Coumadin and Heperin, I had a son in late 2013 with no issue. Then in April 2015 I had a miscarriage, then in July 2015 I found I was pregnant again, this time I took progesterone pills until 12 weeks along to prevent another loss due to low progesterone. (I know these pills are very dangerous, but I desperately wanted the baby) I also took one 40 MG shot of Lovenox daily. That baby was stillborn in January 2016, at 30 weeks pregnant. We did not do an autopsy, but did send away the placenta and cord, which had no issues at all. While looking into reasons for the loss I had a total workup with a hematologist, and found I also have MTHFR and Factor ii as well. I am currently taking Aspirin daily and I have been told if I become pregnant again I will be on 80 to 100 MG of Lovenox daily to help keep my blood moving. I’ll be 30 this July.

    Is this Lovenox enough?
    Should I even try?
    Is there any way to make sure my next pregnancy will end in a healthy baby?

    Any feedback or questions are very welcome!
    -Emily

    • Dr Lynch June 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

      Hi Emily –

      Sorry for your losses.

      There are ways to reduce risk but it is never possible to eliminate all of them.

      There are many things you can do though to support and optimize your pregnancy.

      Please read this article on how to support your pregnancy nutritionally:
      http://mthfr.net/prenatal-supplementation-optimizing-your-future-child/2012/01/20/

      I’d have your doctor order a DUTCH hormone panel – or ask the lab to refer you to a doctor near you who understands how to interpret it and support you. Here is the test https://dutchtest.com/

      I did not read anything about taking methylfolate and avoiding folic acid in your comment. Doing these two things will help quite a bit.

      Folic acid needs to be avoided – here’s why:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWFPRI6X7P4

      Use the natural folates as described in the prenatal supplementation article.

      Have a great pregnancy and keep me posted!

  8. Abigail June 20, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

    Hi Dr. Lynch,
    Thank you for all of your research. It has been very helpful to me as a first time mother to a 2 year old. He was just diagnosed with autism, but I suspect that there is more going on to cause the umbrella diagnosis.

    I have a history of miscarriages, ulcerative colitis, and my father had colon cancer and has psoriasis. Lots of autoimmune disorders in our family.

    We have not been tested for MTFHR yet, but we will in the next few weeks after insurance is taken care of.

    Our naturopath suspects that from my sons urine, he isn’t digesting B12 or folate and thus may have an MTHFR defect. Which means either I or my husband do as well (or both of us).

    Our naturopath doesn’t think it’s a good idea to give him a multivitamin until we get the genetic testing, but my son is falling off the growth chart and has been 25 lbs consistently for nearly a year now. He is also very short.

    I suspect possible Celiac, so we are getting all kinds of metabolic testing done here soon.

    He also hand flaps, trembles when hes excited, has very few words and is constipated often. I am giving him a good quality probiotic, but I am almost positive it’s a methylation issue.

    Is it safe to give him a multi with B12 as methylcobalamin, folate as L-5 methyltetrahydrofolate now before we get the genetic results back? Will it hurt him if I do? How much should I give him? We have a product called Vitaspectrum.

    Thanks and I appreciate your time.
    Abigail

    • Dr Lynch June 23, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

      Abigail –

      Your doctor is being careful which is respected.

      A multivitamin with methylated nutrients may be powerful for your son.

      Waiting for genetic testing can take some time and I sense your urgency.

      I’d discuss your thoughts with your doctor and go from there.

      If you give Vitaspectrum or any other proper multivitamin, it could backfire.

      Talk with your doctor about giving some Optimal Creatine as this is commonly low in children, is low in those with speech delay, low in those with small stature and low musculature and also supports methylation without backfiring. Consider starting with 500 mg in whatever he drinks.

      Hopefully he avoids fruit juices as these make a huge mess in the gut and brain.

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