A third of the many women struggling with infertility cannot figure out why they are faced with these problems conceiving - it’s a mystery to their doctors, the specialists, and all involved. New research suggests that the cause could be an MTHFR gene mutation. This is a mutation that affects men and women equally and it’s all about how you utilize folate in your body - a vital nutrient when it comes to your fertility. Those with the mutation cannot properly absorb and utilize folate.As we start to hear more about MTHFR in the media, I want to let you in on my perspective: if think that we should ALL act as though we have this gene mutation, regardless of whether testing shows that we do or not. Why? Because our ability to metabolize toxins is already compromised due to increased chemical exposure, and taking the methylated form of folate can help your body manage all of this whether you have the mutation or not. Following the recommended guidelines for managing this problem can only come to good, in my view. My husband suffers with one of the signs of MTHFR gene mutation - IBS - and so he takes the methyl form of folic acid as a supplement and lives a lifestyle as free of toxins as possible, just incase this is something he is dealing with. If you are trying to conceive right now, then acting as though you too have this gene mutation, regardless of the symptoms or signs you might experience, is going to help you and support the health of your future baby.That said, let me give you a little more information on what this gene mutation is, what it means, and why it’s important for your fertility.
What is the MTHFR gene mutation?
The faulty enzyme MTHFR (which stands for methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase - what a mouthful!) is responsible for methylation, which is a core process that occurs in all cells that aids cell repair, detoxification, neurotransmitter production, and supports a robust immune system function.As part of the cell repair process, when functioning correctly, this enzyme helps to produce and repair DNA and RNA and ensures cells are created to do what they are supposed to do in the body. With detoxification and neurotransmitter production, this enzyme supports the conversion of amino acids into neurotransmitters. It is essential for turning our food into healthy, functional hormones. MTHFR also ensures immune system function via the formulation of red and white blood cells and platelets. A gene mutation will cause inflammatory build up in the body and this will become the source of many serious health problems.
How does this impact my fertility?
The most important piece of information to retain about this MTHFR gene mutation is that those who have it will find that they are super-sensitive to environmental and food borne toxins. They have a hard time getting rid of these elements through the normal detoxification processes in the body and this sets them up for major illnesses and diseases, including infertility, fibromyalgia, miscarriages, blood clots, migraines, mental health issues like bipolar and depression, and inflammatory diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as breast cancer. MTHFR gene mutation has also been linked to children being born with Down’s Syndrome, Autism and Spina Bifida.People with the MTHFR gene mutation don’t make enough glutathione, which is a primary antioxidant and detoxifier. They instead accumulate toxins in the body that lead to premature aging, a poor functioning liver, a compromised reproductive system, and fertility issues.This may all seem frightening, but it’s not out of your control completely. As with many diagnoses of this kind, if you get into action today you can change the outcome. 5 diet and lifestyle strategies for those who have the MTHFR gene mutation (and even for those who don’t!)
- Have lots of foods that are high in folic acid and glutathione - which means plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Do more juicing. This will help you to up your intake of fruits and veggies and also help absorption of the nutrients, as you won’t be having to process all that fibre as well.
- Don’t use poor quality cooking oils - pick nutrient packed olive and coconut oil instead.
- Do not overheat your food - choose to lightly steam or sautee when possible. This will help you avoid the toxins that can be transmitted from our commonly used cooking utensils.
- Always eat organic. Eating non-organic even for just a week can have a profound impact on your body and your immediate health outcomes. Visit your local farmer’s market to get the best deals.
PLUS like my husband, take the active and most bioavailable form of methyl folate and a methyl B12 or B100 complex. You can’t take just any folic acid or folate supplement, if you do have this gene mutation folate in the unmethylated form is very difficult for your system to deal with.
How you can get tested
You can get tested for MTHFR gene mutation through a home diagnostics online service like 23andme.com and use Genetic Genie to interpret the mailed results.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
To your FLO,