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What is MTHFR? Why is it so important for good health?

It might be a weird abbreviation, but it is a vital health component

(Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
(Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images). (Getty Image)

If a body has trouble detoxing itself, it’s likely there are MTHFR defects, some doctors might say.

Yes, we know you might be scratching your head after reading that sentence above, asking yourself, “What the heck is MTHFR?”

The short answer is, MTHFR is something that’s vital to help detox the body and produce good health.

As for the long answer, read on for a synopsis on why MTHFR is so important.


What is MTHFR and what does it stand for?

MTHFR is an abbreviation for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, an enzyme that breaks down the amino acids homocysteine and folate in the body. It is vital in the biochemical process called methylation.

Why is MTHFR so important?

Genes can become active or inactive, according to an article on drhardick.com, and MTHFR helps enhance methylation, which helps activate genes and enzymes that help provide nutrients to the body.

What are signs and symptoms of MTHFR defects?

According to an article on medicalnewstoday.com, some of the symptoms associated with MTHFR defects are:

  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Microcephaly
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Poor coordination

What happens when there are MTHFR defects?

According to mthfr.net, there are 64 diseases that can be enhanced in the body by impaired methylation.

Some examples include:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Birth abnormalities
  • Scoliosis
  • Mental health and behavior disorders

How can someone tell if they have MTHFR defects?

Normal physical examinations or blood tests with a doctor can help determine if someone has defects in MTHFR.

Genetic testing can also be used to identify MTHFR defects, but screening for MTHFR gene variants is also recommended by organizations such as the American Heart Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

What are ways you can combat MTHFR defects?

Here are some suggestions on how to enhance the levels of MTHFR in the body.

  • Avoid eating processed foods, sugar and fats that can damage health, such as vegetable oils.
  • Eat a whole foods diet, preferably organic and non-GMO items, that has naturally folate-rich foods. Good examples are asparagus, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, lentils, liver, garbanzos and pinto beans.
  • Implement a detoxification plan with therapies such as sweating and infrared saunas, Epsom salt baths, exercise and juice fasts.
  • Read food labels diligently to ensure products don’t contain folic acid, but rather folate and folinic acid. Enriched or fortified foods often have folic acid added.
  • Use natural, eco-friendly care, cleaning and gardening products.
  • Get proper sleep and minimize stress.

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