Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR for short) is an enzyme that is responsible for the process of methylation in every cell in your body. Methylation is a core process that occurs in all cells. People with a genetic defect in the MTHFR gene may be at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, several types of cancer, chemical sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s/ Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression/ anxiety and other ailments. They may also feel sensitive (or worse) when taking nutraceuticals or supplements. Recent studies now link MTHFR mutation to recurrent miscarriages. Keep in mind that while recurrent miscarriages are often multi-factorial, one may consider testing for MTHFR mutation when frequent pregnancy loss is unexplained.
Depending on one’s ethnicity and where one lives, prevalence of this gene mutation can be as high as 21% of the population.
Screening for MTHFR mutation is recommended for:
- Unexplained recurrent miscarriages
- Mental disorders
- Children of parents with MTHFR mutations
- Relatives (blood-related) of someone with MTHFR mutations
- Cancer: family history of cancer or undergoing cancer treatment (in Asians, breast cancer and ovarian cancer)
- Cervical dysplasia
- Cardiovascular risk with family history of heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, clots, etc.
- Chemical sensitivities
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Neurological disorders
- Elevated folate
- Elevated homocysteine
- Drug sensitivities to methotrexate, nitrous oxide, anesthesia
If you’re interested in learning more about MTHFR mutation or getting tested, talk to your healthcare practitioner. For ways to boost fertility naturally, click here.