"It's no big deal, take more folic acid," the doctor said. "I don't even know why they listed this in your report. Take 1000 mg of it."
It is really frustrating when you go to doctors, specialists even, to get answers and you realize they know less about a topic than you do. What is the point? What did I just spend my money on?
I found out in April 2010 I carried one copy of the MTHFR genetic mutation at the 1298 spot. I came home and looked it up, and the first thing I learned was that you should not take folic acid, since it can block the pathways for proper absorption of L-methylfolate.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I should explain what MTHFR is. When the gene is mutated, the person has a difficult time converting folic acid into the form that the body needs. Typically, we take folic acid (it's in our flour, cereals, rice, bread, and vitamins), and convert it to something called L-methylfolate, which our body uses. People with the MTHFR genetic mutation cannot do this conversion properly. There are two different results, based on where your mutation lies on the DNA line. A mutation at point 1298 will result in a decreased ability to filter toxins from your body. A mutation at point 677 will result in vascular anomolies, such as clotting or an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. People with two copies of a mutation will have a more difficult time than people with just one copy of the mutation. Those with the most difficult time will have one copy of each mutation (this is what my husband has).
If you are looking for a great MTHFR overview, watch these videos. I'll be back with my next piece of research - how the genes are passed down, what it means for our kids, and how to help!
Part 1 of MTHFR video
Part 2 of MTHFR video
Part 3 of MTHFR video
Part 4 of MTHFR video