What you drink impacts your MTHFR gene.

We all know that tap water is not ideal.

Arsenic levels are a concern as is chlorine, jet fuel, pesticides, fracking, fluoride to name a few.

Whatever foreign you put into your body, your body has to filter out.

If you could remove most of that from your drinking water, wouldn’t that make sense?


Those with the MTHFR polymorphism have a reduced ability to remove some of these compounds – especially arsenic.

In order to remove arsenic, your glutathione level and SAMe levels must be present and healthy.

See the diagram below. source
Key: As = arsenic; SAM = SAMe (methylation); GSH = glutathione

Arsenic Metabolism


Those with MTHFR polymorphisms are at risk to having lower glutathione and lower SAMe levels.

By drinking tap water or water with arsenic, you are putting more burden on your MTHFR enzyme.

If you only had your MTHFR gene working at about 30%, ie. being somewhat lazy, then you would not want to burden it with a lot of work, right?

Simple concept.

It’s true.

Here is an example.

My MTHFR gene function is reduced by about 70% as I have one MTHFR C677T and one MTHFR A1298C polymorphism.

This means my MTHFR enzyme is functioning at only about 30% all the time.

This remaining 30% functioning capacity is great as long as I don’t go over it.

If I have only 30% capacity of my MTHFR enzyme, then I am going to make sure I keep it available for important things as much as I can.

I know that arsenic puts a burden on my MTHFR enzyme.


As we said earlier, our body needs both SAMe and glutathione to get arsenic out.

The MTHFR enzyme helps make both SAMe and glutathione.

The more arsenic we ingest in our water, the harder our MTHFR enzyme has to work making more SAMe and glutathione to get it out.

If we keep ingesting arsenic, then our SAMe and glutathione levels drop. This leads to significant problems. Elevated homocysteine is only a sign that the MTHFR enzyme isn’t working well – and arsenic can contribute to this. source

Arsenic and MTHFR


I’ve purchased a number of water purifiers over the years.

Currently, the one I am most happy with is the Berkey water filter.

I bought my Royal Berkey for my family as a Christmas gift in 2013.

Here is our Royal Berkey water filter:

Berkey at Home

Is that me standing by our Berkey? Nope. I wish I could sport a beard like that but that’s not in my genetic ability 😉

This is a friend of mine, Chris, who visited our home this summer. We weren’t home yet and I told him to make himself at home. He sent me a photo of him standing next to our Berkey. I thought it was a brilliant statement from him.

The Berkey water filter is an ‘epic purchase’.

Things I LOVE about our Royal Berkey Water Filter:

  • taste of the water is phenomenal
  • filters fluoride (we use the add-on fluoride filters x 2)
  • looks good (stainless steel, simple design)
  • easy to use (fill and go)
  • filters a ton of compounds and verified by lab testing
  • filters last quite some time – about a year before replacing

Things I don’t love about our Royal Berkey Water Filter:

  • While filling it is easy, it still has to be filled. This can be a hassle for some. I just make it part of my routine now. I fill it before bed in the evening and in the morning after breakfast. Those are the two times and in our family, this schedule works. We never run out.
  • It can be heavy to lift after filling. If you’re not strong or need to move the Berkey after filling, it can be awkward. Solution is to just keep it by your sink. I prefer not to do this so I fill it and move it to a place where it works best for our family.
  • It takes up space. It’s big. In our kitchen, it’s by itself in a great spot. If your kitchen is tight on space, it could be an issue. You have to weigh the options of pure water or space. Both are pretty essential. I do favor pure water over space personally.



Give a gift that keeps on giving.

Filtered water is one such gift.

PS – If the Berkey water filter is out of your budget, then I highly recommend you consider the Premium 10 Stage Countertop Water Filter. It does a thorough job of removing many things and is affordable at around $80. You may learn more about it here.

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7 years ago

I filter because I live in a farming community and I’m concerned about farm chemicals in my water and I filter because I believe fluoride is poisonous and we shouldn’t drink water with fluoride in it.

Cassandra Nixon
7 years ago

I do not filter, because it is a cost issue. That is really the only reason why I don’t/can’t.

7 years ago

Thank you! I am a competitive swimmer and swim coach. I can’t give up my sport but I know I have to live a more pure lifestyle at home because of the chlorine I’m breathing in. Thanks for the discount!

7 years ago

One reason I don’t filter is that it didn’t realized until more recently how beneficial it can be to help with MTHFR. I have one copy af C677T. Homocystex Plus is bringing my homocysteine down. The second reason I don’t filter is that many years ago I looked into a whole house reverse osmosis system and just couldn’t afford it.

Shannon Piker
7 years ago

I filter because I’ve got an MTHFR generic mutation and our city has a recorded history of high amounts of lead in our water supply with two kiddos at home. Blech! ????

7 years ago

We are a family of five and live where our water system is greatly contaminated. We do filter our drinking water as often as possible but it is often difficult to keep it filled with clean water due to the small size we own. Both my husband and I have one copy of mthr. Our oldest has a double copy. We are working to keep the toxic load as small as possible.

Jamie L Friel
7 years ago

I just confirmed my heteeo A-C muration by blood test today. My boys and I all have lip tie. We have well water, up on a hill. Have.always been told that the water is good, but high iron. Would love to filter out metals with a Berkey! I had.removed fillings years ago, a lot of chlorella chelation
Great improvents im my health!

7 years ago

We filter our water because we try to reduce our overall toxic load. The residue from prescriptions, chlorine, fluoride and who knows what else concerns us. Filtered water also tastes better.

Donna Milligan
7 years ago

I am in the Uk so happy to pay to ship if lucky enough to win!!.About 15 years ago I got a small sink tap top filter when I had children. It felt the instinctive thing to do. Not been tested for MTHFR but my oldest daughter was very ill for a long time and we work hard to keep her in the best state of health and so far we are succeeding and I believe the water filter is part of that.We have to take responsibility for everything we eat, drink , breathe and touch as much as possible to keep some wellbeing in this ever more toxic world.Good luck everyone and health and wellbeing to you all 🙂 xx

7 years ago

I found out 3 mths ago after a DNA test that I have MTHFR 677 and 1298. I also learned I had high levels of toxic heavy metal in my system. I need to filter my water but cannot afford to buy an in home system. I currently buy alcalyzed purified water by the pint at only one store in my community that sells it. Sometimes they are out and it’s cumbersome to buy this way.

7 years ago

We filter all water even our two dogs Zach & Phin. The smell of clorine comes out of faucet before the water. Expense!! Btw I have one of each.

7 years ago

I have not filtered because of the cost. But since finding out I have two copies of C677T MTHFR, I have been learning of the importance of a filtration system. I also have a chronic condition which is affected by pH values and contaminates. I started buying bottled alkaline water, but this is way too costly to continue. My New Years health priority is to find the right affordable filtration system for my family.

7 years ago

It’s my understanding that AdEdge and Layne RT are the only media truly effective in removing arsenic. I suffered arsenic poisoning from chronic exposure in drinking water. Our well water tested clean across board for over 300 contaminants prior to building our home. We installed an Eco-Smarte Well Water Turbo commercial purification system. 10 years later testing showed arsenic levels in our hair and urine off the charts. So we retested, and sure enough, our drinkin water was laced w/arsenic. Apparently, the it migrated in from new wells being sunk. During this time, I developed a host of neuro-immune/inflammatory/degenerative disorders including Mitochondrial Myopathy, confirmed via muscle biopsy. Interestingly, I found some academic papers linking chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water to mito myopathy. I am a compound hetero, too, plus GSTM1, GSTP1 and SOD2. We’ve had 4 different water quality/environmental specialists (MS) tell us that Layne RT and AdEdge are the only media currently available that are effective in removing arsenic from drinking water. None of these professionals is affiliated with either media in any way or form. Other filtration systems may remove some arsenic but most don’t at all. If you want or need to remove arsenic from drinking water, Layne RT or AdEdge is the only way to go. We learned the hard way. I just point this out as an FYI in case anyone is dealing w/arsenic contaminated water and interested in taking remedial measures.

Mary Anne LeRoy
7 years ago

Please have your filtered Berkey water third party tested. It does not remove fluoride if your tap water has a certain Ph. Sorry to rain on your parade

7 years ago

I would like to start using filtered water for my family, because: 1) it makes so much sense to keep harmful chemicals and substances out of our bodies altogether, rather than overtaxing our own built-in filtration systems; and 2) filtered water just seems cleaner and tastier

Jenny K
7 years ago

I don’t filter. We drink bottled… This would be great!

Rebecca Shane
7 years ago

I heard about the life changing benefits of filtered water a couple years ago when I was investigating my autoimmune disease.during that time, I found out I was heterozygous for MTHFR. Our water was off the charts in hardness here in central Texas. Once I got a home system, I noticed a dramatic change in my psoriasis and other symptoms. In addition, after many years of infertility, we now have a handsome, healthy, 9 month old boy! I bring water from home wherever I go, including work! The cost was worth the health benefits and expanding our family.

7 years ago

I filter our water because I know fluoride and all the additives are bad. Filtered tastes much better than tap water.

Christi Hamburger
7 years ago

Why I filter…city water with added contaminants and taste. I just have an older carbon filter and would love to have a Berkey!

7 years ago

We filter our water because we live next to the ocean in Central Californis and the water tasted like puke when we moved here from Southern Oregon. We purchased the Apec water filter system. It works great, but is a little expensive and does take up some room – we put it in a closet next to the kitchen. It is a five-stage reverse osmosis filter system that connects with the faucet hose so that water is always available. Water tastes amazing now! MTHFR C677T and A1298C.

Jenny Adams
7 years ago

I buy RO water from Earthfare or my local healthfood store. I would like to install a filter but they are expensive. I have all the bad genes that preent me from detoxing from heavy metals so I am very sick. I do everything I can to stay away from toxins.

7 years ago

Can you recommend an affordable water filtration system?

7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Ben Lynch

On Amazon it clearly states this system does not filter out flouride, magnesium, chloride, etc. Confused!

Katy K
7 years ago

I have not considered water filtering until recently. My doctor suggested testing our well as we live next to a farmer who “sprays” his crops quite often. My husband and I both have some variance of the MTHFR gene, so our kids do too. I am starting to see especially the importance of a clean, fresh water source reflected in my children’s health. I have seven young children, and the two pregnancies that I drank the well water resulted in boys with significant “detox” issues. The water source, possibly has something to do with this. A Berkley water filter is a brilliant idea!

7 years ago

I filter because I am concerned with all the contaminates in the water. I also filter because I have two young children.

7 years ago

We filter our water but not to the extend or capacity of the one you recommend. I have e polymorphism on MTHFR gene so it was interesting to read your blog post about effects of filtering water on the functioning of the gene.

7 years ago

I filter water for several reasons….pathogens in the water, chemicals in the water primarily. I have chemical sensitivity….and I’ve also had the displeasure of having giardia from public water source. Fluoride is terribly difficult too remove so out would be wonderful get fluoride our!!!!! Our water district refuses to eliminate it……we’ve tried so hard get them to do this. Thanks for the chance too sin This amazing product.

7 years ago

I dont filter because of cost & not knowing whats the best method.

7 years ago

I filter my water because I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, S/P partial thyroidectomy as well as common variable immunodeficiency and require weekly immune globulin infusions. I need all the help I can give myself to stay healthy.

7 years ago

I do not filter water at home because it has taken a while to research the various options available and the cost can be prohibitive to get started and I also did not think I had the room to accommodate a filtration system.

7 years ago

I filter as I can literally smell the chlorine when I run the shower. I have worked hard to chelate heavy metals and am living with a double mutation. Need to keep as pure as I can!

7 years ago

I filter my drinking and my shower water due in part to sensitive skin and then also because I have lived in many places where I am unsure of what exactly is in the water. I am still discovering what my genetic makeup is but I have narcolepsy and try to keep as many toxins out as I can. I however am only able to do minimal filter due to the expense.

Jeanne Janson
7 years ago

Here are a few reasons why I need to filter my water: The Miami-Dade county area has one of the most contaminated and fragile water-filtering aquifers in the world. Our waters are rife with pesticide runoff from agricultural plantations near the Everglades, a crumbling ecosystem at sea level and sometimes below, rocket and jet fuel dumped into the ground since the Cold War rocket site construction and rapid building into the Glades from the 1950s on, unwise tinkering with natural waterways, insane amounts of petrochemical pesticides from home and business use (state law mandates pesticides be mixed with concrete in building foundations), a dodgy antique nuclear plant on the bay and even sneaky, unannounced fracking enterprises running polluted water through the county as landowners make deals with mining interests. Yum! Given my overall toxic load from Neuroendocrine Disease/Lyme and a set of many complex polymorphisms including 677T plus two double COMTs and even the dreaded SUOX, a simple source of pure water is vital for survival here. Years of research keep turning up the efficient Berkey as the best overall solution for good-tasting safe water, and I am happy to see it mentioned on

Lori Gross
7 years ago

My 12 year old daughter has been so sick for the last year with a mystery condition. No one has been able to figure it out yet. The one piece of info we just found out is that she has the MTHFR mutation. She’s been having sudden severe bouts of nausea with or without vomiting since last December. She’s also had a few bouts of severe depression. And now over the last 2 months she’s started having daily seizure-like episodes but she’s conscious and they are extremely painful. I can’t work because I have to be with her every second. I need help figuring out how to treat her MTHFR issue. And I’d love to be able to give her clean water…but can’t afford anything extra right now. Dr. Lynch, any info you have to share with us would be very much appreciated!

Deb Diener
7 years ago

I am an RN and had no idea what it meant to be chronically ill until I had been exposed to toxins due to a medical device and my liver began to fail. I became bedridden and the only option open to me was liver transplant which I refused. I decided to look at all alternatives: detoxed my environment both external and internal, it was a lot to assimilate. I began learning about my specific SNPs, gut health, stress reduction and began to get a bit better but I did not realize how pure water affects MTHFR, & glutathione (thanks Dr. Ben). Getting well takes research, resources, energy (which is typically low when ill) I searched for a system which could remove fluoride but could not find one, until now-again thank you!

7 years ago

With all of the contaminants in the environment and our food filtering my water is one of the best steps I can take to lower my toxic load. And the water tastes better than my well water.

Suzanne Davis
7 years ago

I looked up the less expensive filter you mentioned (which is still too expensive for me), and it says that flouride is left in the water — not acceptable!

7 years ago

I heard that there was a problem with the Berkey fluoride filter. Please let me know if this is true and if the filter has been updated. Thanks.

7 years ago

Would you be interested in talking shop? Looking forward to building better relationship with experts in the field.

7 years ago

Arsenic in my well water is a concern as well as the amounts I am likely getting in gluten-free products.I just found out that I have the MTHFR A1298C as well as others that affect neurotransmitter balance (COMT V158M and MAO-A A664A for example.) Would any of these supplements be helpful to me: Rhodiola, 5-HTP, or Sam-e?

6 years ago

The least expensive option is the Nimbus Water Maker RO filter – you can still find it on eBay and FiltersFast may still have refills – test water before and after filtering with a TDS-4 meter from Amazon. Mine tests at 150 ppm before and 10-14 after.

6 years ago

I just purchased one and should arrive Wednesday. However, I just heard that the black filter leeches silver into the water and from what I understand silver is something we can not chelate out of our body. Also, the white filter leeches aluminium oxide. What are your thoughts? I have reached out the Berkey. Just waiting for a response from them. Thank you in advance.

6 years ago

We filter our water using a reverse osmosis system, which also adds minerals back into the water, so we feel we have the best of all worlds! It is a complete necessity here on the California Coast. With the years of drought we have been experiencing, the aquafilters are now sporting seawater in them.

Dona Bernardi
4 years ago

We use bottled purified water. what is your take on that? What about distilled?

4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Ben Lynch

With having a whole house water filtration system, do we still need trace minerals? I have heard it has a bad taste, so I know I would not be able to get my kids to drink.

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