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Got MTHFR? What to do NOW

Many of you have come in to test for MTHFR, the synonymous “Motherf*cker” gene. The next big question for those who test as heterozygous (having one copy of the gene) or homozygous (having two copies, one from each parent), is what now?

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the body’s methylation process, which is vital for DNA synthesis, repair, and overall cellular function. Some individuals have mutations in the MTHFR gene, which can impact enzyme function and lead to various health issues, including elevated homocysteine levels, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, mental health issues, and pregnancy complications. 

If you are a member of our weight loss, wellness, or BHRT programs, you can add homocysteine or MTHFR testing to any of your labs. Make sure to ask for this at your next visit. Fixing or managing MTHFR-related problems involves a multi-faceted approach, focusing on diet, supplementation, lifestyle changes, and medical guidance. Our providers will work with you on several factors to improve this genetic condition. 

Understanding MTHFR Mutations

MTHFR mutations can be classified into several types, with the most common being C677T and A1298C. Individuals may inherit these mutations from one or both parents, leading to different levels of enzyme activity reduction. Testing for MTHFR mutations can be done through Body Tonic Med Spa through our in-house lab testing. Results are available typically within 48 hours, or 2 business days. 

What are the symptoms associated with MTHFR?

Conditions that have been proposed to be associated with MTHFR include:

  • cardiovascular and thromboembolic diseases (specifically blood clots, stroke, embolism, and heart attacks)

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • bipolar disorder

  • schizophrenia

  • acute leukemia

  • chronic pain and fatigue

  • nerve pain

  • migraine

  • recurrent miscarriages in women of child-bearing age

  • pregnancies with neural tube defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly

What can you start doing today?

Dietary Adjustments 

A diet rich in natural folate is essential for individuals with MTHFR mutations. Unlike folic acid, which is a synthetic form of folate, natural folate is more easily utilized by the body. Foods high in folate include:

  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli)

  • Legumes (beans, lentils)

  • Avocados

  • Eggs

  • Citrus fruits

Additionally, it is advisable to limit or avoid processed foods and those fortified with synthetic folic acid, as individuals with MTHFR mutations may struggle to convert folic acid into its active form. This can lead to the several unwelcomed health issues listed above. Any food that is labeled as “enriched” or “fortified” has folic acid. 


Supplements can play a significant role in managing MTHFR mutations. Key supplements include:

  • Methylfolate (5-MTHF): This is the active form of folate and bypasses the MTHFR enzyme, directly supporting the methylation process.

  • Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12): The methylated form of B12 works synergistically with methylfolate.

  • Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P): The active form of Vitamin B6, which supports the conversion of homocysteine to cysteine.

It’s important to start with low doses and gradually increase, as high doses can sometimes cause adverse effects. Consulting with a Body Tonic healthcare provider before starting supplementation is essential.

Lifestyle Changes

Several lifestyle modifications can help manage MTHFR mutations:

  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can exacerbate MTHFR-related issues. Practices such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress levels.

  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity enhances circulation and helps manage homocysteine levels.

  • Adequate Sleep: Proper sleep is crucial for overall health and aids in the body’s repair processes.

Medical Guidance and Monitoring

Regular check-ups and blood tests are vital for individuals with MTHFR mutations to monitor homocysteine levels and ensure that the supplementation and dietary changes are effective. Our medical providers work with you on improving specific markers and monitoring progress.  Working with a Body Tonic healthcare provider that is knowledgeable in MTHFR mutations can assure you personalized guidance and adjustments to lifestyle and treatment plans to help improve the methylation process. 

Abnormal or low levels of methylation have been linked to the following diseases:

  • Alzheimer’s disease 

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Autism 

  • Cancer, especially involving the colon, stomach, cervix, prostate, thyroid, and breast 

  • Cardiovascular disease 

  • Cognitive decline

  • Mental health disorders

  • Parkinson’s disease 

But here’s the good news: unlike a mutated gene, which is unlikely to change back to a normal gene, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible. In other words, a gene with a defective methylation pattern might, under the right circumstances, be able to reestablish healthy activity and continue to function. Get tested today if you have struggled with any of the symptoms listed above. 

Managing MTHFR mutations involves a comprehensive approach that includes dietary changes, appropriate supplementation, lifestyle modifications, and regular medical supervision. By taking these steps, individuals with MTHFR mutations can effectively manage their condition and reduce the risk of associated health issues. Always consult with your Body Tonic healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or supplement regimen to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your specific situation.

Stacey Francois | Owner

Body Tonic Medical Spa


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