MTHFR, Folic Acid and Folate: Should I Eat It?

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[Last Updated 14th November, 2018]

MTHFR mutations are well-known genetic variations that can impact folate metabolism.

But there is a lot of confusion whether we should eat more or less folate.

This short article explains it in human terms.

Folate vs Folic Acid

folate vs folic acid vitamin b9

It’s fundamental to differentiate between folate and folic acid to understand the concept.

Firstly, both are similar types of vitamin B9 that we eat.

Folate refers to a family of different compounds that occur naturally in foods like leafy greens and legumes. This includes (1):

  • Dihydrofolates
  • Methylfolates
  • Monoglutamyl folates
  • Polyglutamyl folates.

The name folate even comes from the latin term “folium”, or what we call “foliage”.

Folic acid is one of the folate compounds and can be found naturally in foods too, in small amounts.

However, a “synthetic” version (it’s identical to natural folic acid) is also used in dietary supplements and added to foods, such as wheat flour.

High doses of folic acid are typically used to treat folate deficiency and other conditions, such as Neural Tube Defects and high homocysteine (2, 3).

The Noticeable Difference

The difference between folate and folic acid occurs during metabolism.

In particular, the process of converting them to the active form of folate, called L-methylfolate or 5-MTHF.

In this form, folate can be transported into cells and even across the blood-brain barrier.

folic acid vs folate metabolism and methylation

Click to enlarge.

The human body must do this conversion because it cannot use folic acid or folate in its basic form (chemical structure).

Folic acid we eat must always go through this entire sequence (above image), from top left corner to the bottom step, L-methylfolate. Notice the last step requires the MTHFR enzyme (blue box), produced by the MTHFR gene.

On the other hand, dietary folate can either start on the top right, corner or bypass the entire sequence completely…

This is because much of our dietary folate is already in the active form of L-methylfolate.

Summary: Most of the folate and folic acid we eat must be converted into the active form, known as L-methylfolate or 5-MTHF. However, some dietary folate is already in the active form when we eat it and therefore does not rely on MTHFR.

Some Natural Folate Is Already Methylated

Some natural folate is already methylatedAs mentioned above, natural folate we eat comes in a variety of compounds.

This includes the active form of L-methylfolate.

That means we all need to eat more natural folate, MTHFR mutation or not.

I could not find a reliable source that lists the exact ratios, but many websites suggest these are the top food sources of L-methylfolate (methylated folate):

  • Romaine (Cos) Lettuce
  • Sprouted legumes (buckwheat, mung beans, chickpeas, etc)
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Kale and spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Fermented foods such as miso and kefir
  • Berries like strawberries and raspberries
  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits

Natural vs Supplemental L-Methylfolate

natural vs supplemental l-methylfolateIt’s clear that an individual with no methylation (MTHFR) issues could get adequate amounts of active folate from food alone.

Either directly as L-methylfolate or from other forms of folate (such as folic acid) that are converted during metabolism.

However, an individual with a “severe” MTHFR mutation would need to consume large quantities of these foods consistently to restore – perhaps to maintain – adequate folate levels.

For example, according to one germination study, 100 grams (almost 1 cup) of soybean sprouts contains about 0.8mg of total folate maximum. 100 grams of mungbean sprouts contained about 0.7mg total folate (4).

How much L-methylfolate was in those total folate amounts was not shown, but the average person just does not eat large amounts of those foods consistently.

The recommended starting dose of an L-methylfolate supplement is 0.5mg, but that is pure L-methylfolate. Prescription varieties start at a whopping 7mg, so there is certainly some use for supplementation.

What should I eat with an MTHFR mutation?

Get your free guide here:

Summary: Many foods naturally rich in folate already contain L-methylfolate. So the potentially harmful effects of an MTHFR mutation could be offset through a folate-rich diet in some scenarios. However, there is still a use for supplements.

What Is The Issue With Folic Acid?

Those with an MTHFR mutation may not produce enough MTHFR enzymes.

This means they may not consistently complete the final metabolic step that converts folic acid (and some folate) into the active form L-methylfolate.

MTHFR enzymes are necessary for this to happen (as well as vitamin B2).

mthfr-enzyme-and-vitamin-b2-for-methylation

Therefore folic acid supplementation and foods fortified with folic acid may be largely ineffective in these people.

This could be a big issue if they have a folate deficiency, high homocysteine or are in the early stages of pregnancy and rely on folic acid.

Some suggest that unmetabolized folic acid can bind to folate receptors, effectively blocking access by L-methylfolate. I couldn’t find any studies to confirm this theory though.

Others also say that unmetabolized folic acid in the blood is uniquely harmful, but there’s no evidence of that in the medical literature. The body is simply getting rid of excess (a good thing), which goes from blood to kidneys, and then out through urine.

Summary: Those with an MTHFR mutation may not benefit from folic acid supplements or fortified foods. Theoretically a build-up of unmetabolized folic acid could be harmful, but it’s yet to be proven.

Everyone Should Eat More Natural Folate

Foods high in folate contain many different compounds, including L-methylfolate (methylated folate).

For this reason we should all aim to eat more, particularly leafy greens and sprouted legumes… as though we needed additional reasons to eat more vegetables.

If you have an MTHFR mutation and do not frequently eat the folate-rich foods mentioned above, you may be at risk for issues related to low folate.

This risk may be increased if you eat single sources of folic acid, such as folic acid supplements or fortified foods.

For more information I recommend this roadmap guide I’ve put together.

MTHFR ebook ipad

More on MTHFR and other genetic variations

MTHFR mutations can impact folate metabolism. But there is confusion whether we should eat more or less folate. This short article explains it.

About Joe Leech, Dietitian (MSc Nutrition & Dietetics)

Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.

He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in exercise science, followed by a Master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.

Learn more about him on the About page

65 responses to “MTHFR, Folic Acid and Folate: Should I Eat It?”

  1. HI Alexa,
    I’ve been tested for the MTHFR genetic mutation and the results show C677T/C677T, two copies of the same variant. I am fairly confused about this situation, as I wade through all the information listed on this site, as to what is the correct approach to this problem, dietary, as well as supplemetary. I do have high levels of lead contamination in the body. I had been undergoing edta chelation therapy for the lead removal, but was getting nowhere with the removal, thus showing that there was a source of contamination for lead in my system. I had been drinking coffee for 8 yrs. from some ceramic mugs made in China., when it finally occurred to me to test a mug for Pb and Cd (another high element that I tested for), I discovered finally the source of the contaminants. After eliminating these mugs and all ceramics from my life, I continued with intensive chelation therapy for a number of months, only to be disappointed with the results, as the Pb levels were not dropping like I thought they should. The physician who owns and manages the chelation clinic, then had me tested for the MTHFR gene mutation, which showed up. She then put me on a regime of supplements. So I am taking the Methyl-Guard product from THORNE, 1 cap 2X daily. I assume you are familiar with the ingredients in the Thorne product. I have also been taking a product from RHP, their Advanced Nerve Support Formula for about 7 yrs. in order to ease the effects of neuropathy which I experienced from Metoproloi (blood pressure) and a lower back surgery in 2010. This product contains per 2 caps: D3 (100IU); K2 MK7 (100mcg; , B1, Benfotiminine (166 mcg); B2 (4mg); B6, PyroHCL (4mg); Folic acid, methyltetrahydrofolic acid (200mcg); B12, Methylcobalamin (2000 mcg); Tumeric; Acetyl L-carnitine; and R-alpha Lipoic acid.
    I am 69 yrs. of age, overweight by about 30 #, with metabolic syndrome (pre-diabeties). Lately I have felt fatigued and somewhat light-heated and slightly vertigoic(?). I do eat most of everything you have listed in terms of veggies and will switch to your take of grass-fed organic meats. I had discontinued the chelation out of frustration, but would sure love to eliminate Pb & Cd from my body (this would probably drop the BP), so I am beginning chelation again soon.
    I am writing for an opinion as to whether it seems as if I am on the right track concerning the MTHFR issue in your opinion and also if you can add by suggestion any other nutritional or other practices to my life. Thanks in advance, Bill Keller

    • Hi Bill. I have the same two copies, so like me, your methylation system is only working at 10-20 percent efficiency.
      The huge problem with lead and other heavy metals, the molecule takes alot of enzymes to detoxify it and excrete it out of the body, the molecular bonds for lead, cadmium, copper, etc are such that they bind to our tissues faster and harder than the magnesium, lithium ,etc that we do need for good functioning. When you do the chelation again make certain they keep a close eye on your calcium, magnesium, zinc, and lithium levels (which we tend to be low on anyway with the methylation system not working well) because chelation will strip your body of all minerals and metals indiscriminately. Make your physician aware that we tend to have low levels because of the MTHFR gene mutations, low magnesium especially can be a cause of high blood pressure. You will tend to lose the minerals you need before any lead or cadmium comes out, so my physician back in 1989 stopped using it in patients who had my symptoms. He switched to using Vitamin C IVs with added B Vitamins, they were much easier on the body, and worked just as well in getting the lead and mercury out of the body. The IVs also had the side effect of decreasing my pain and increasing my energy levels. That and taking powdered Vitamin C added in my drinking water and sipping water all day worked very well for me and my son. (He has one copy of C667T and had high lead levels).
      Vitamin C helps the methylation system work better and is not as traumatic to the body .
      I am learning more organic biochemistry in the last three weeks than I would like to have to, biochemistry was never my favorite subject. All those chemical reactions dependent on enzymes and hormones, levels of which were basically unknowns. Physics and inorganic chemistry are so much more simple.
      I am familiar with Thorne. With what I have learned about the methylation system I am looking for supplements that have the least amounts of “inactive” ingredients in them. So I no longer stay with one particular brand. Most important is that the vitamins and minerals are in bioavailable forms and have few other ingredients in them. Every added chemical is another item putting strain on the methylation system, and working only at 10-20 percent I find I feel worse when I am exposed to alot of chemicals. Going into a department store can make my brain foggy for days, and I find days later when it is working better that I bought all sorts of stuff I did not really need or want.
      I hope that folic acid which you listed is not in the Advanced formula, if it is you really should not take it. We really have to avoid all chemical vitamins and other chemicals as much as possible , getting by on a system only working at 10 percent is challenging. I use glass plates, glasses, even glass jars to drink from to avoid any possible chemicals or metals, even liquid foods like spaghetti sauce and mustard. I threw away all the liquid foods I had open that were not in glass, the rest I gave to the food bank. I have been feeling so much better in the last three weeks since I got serious about avoiding chemicals. I had not realized how impaired my body was, with the methylation system functioning so poorly at only 10 percent, 20 if I was lucky.
      I used to be diabetic with an A1C of 12, my physicians kept saying I had to be eating foods I had not written down when I was carefully measuring and weighing everything before it went in my mouth. Then I found that even minute amounts of maltodextrin would raise my blood sugar 40 points! The tiny amount in a stevia packet I put in my tea raised my blood sugar 40 points, and the packet stated it had zero calories in it. Now I use SweetLeaf, and my A1C is 5. I found six of the supplements had maltodextrin in them, and when I eliminated them too, I was no longer diabetic. Corn also raises my blood sugar high, even one kernel will do what maltodextrin does to me. I looked into it and found corn is so contaminated with chemicals and pesticides, I do not understand how they can sell it as food. The government just keeps raising the “allowable” limits. Giving up corn is harder for me than giving up wheat. I adore corn fresh, corn muffins, grits, corn chips, whatever way you make corn I love it. I had a favorite corn muffin recipe I made with jalapeño peppers and fresh corn in them that I miss so bad. It’s been 5 months since I gave up corn and have lost forty pounds.
      Regarding your neuropathy, I had carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. The right hand was so bad, the neurologist wanted to do surgery immediately as I was in danger of losing the hand, the pain was like cold ice, freezing cold like I had never felt before in my life. My pain management physician has a device from Germany called Hakomed. They put pads on my hands, like the ones they use with TENS units, with one 45 minute the pain was down from a 10 to a 3. After three 45 minute treatments the pain and numbness all went away. Now whenever I start to feel any numbness, it happens about every 10 months, I get one or two treatments and the pain and numbness goes away again. If you can find someone in your area with a Hakomed machine who is knowledgeable in it’s use, they may be able to help relieve your neuropathy.
      I have been using two products, one called Niagen that I take in the morning and another called Sirutan that I take before bed, both made by HPN which have helped my energy immensely, and I have also added reduced glutathione which helps the methylation system detoxify the body. I hope you find this information helpful
      Aelxa

      • I have just learned that reduced glutathione does not survive stomach acid, only acetyl glutathione or liposomal glutathione are absorbed intact for the body to use. Going to switch from reduced glutathione to acetyl glutathione , since the liposomal form is fragile. This means it needs to be stored carefully and used fairly soon after it is manufactured, whereas the acetyl form is much less fragile.

    • Lead in products from China continues to be a problem, ceramics and paint on children’s toys are often contaminated with lead. The US does not require automatic testing of imported items, and China has no laws against using lead in paint and glazes. Another source of high lead (Pb) and high copper blood levels can be copper water pipes, from acidic water. They used a high lead metal composition to solder the piping together. Even after they made it illegal, they let plumbers continue using the lead-based solder they had on hand instead of making them turn the stuff in. And many cities have old lead water supply pipes and if the correct chemicals are not added the lead will leach into the water. Cadmium is used in galvanizing iron pipes, so if you have water pipes made of galvanized iron that could be the source of the cadmium in your body. Plastic piping will eliminate the cadmium, lead, and copper, but add chemicals to the water as they leach out. In my opinion, water supply pipes which supply water for drinking and cooking should be plain iron. If iron leaches from piping it is the least harmful element to our bodies. I use a Pur filter to reduce metals and chemicals in my drinking water, but there no great answer to the problem. Distilled water is not a great solution since we get most of our minerals from our drinking water, and chemicals from the plastic jug it comes in leaches into. You have to do just the best you can, with what you have available.

  2. 4 months ago, I was diagnosed with MTHFR mutation (2 snps). I have Hashimotos, my adrenal glands are working about 20%, and I also have struggled for about 3 years with chronic kidney infections. I quit even going to the doctor because I was getting no where and they were constantly telling me my blood results were “normal.” As for the kidney infections, I just got frustrated they wouldn’t go away with several rounds of antibiotics and started drinking a ton of cranberry juice and taking capsules. OH! Did I mention I am also Multi-drug resistant? That’s why I couldn’t get rid of the infection.

    I reached a point that I couldn’t get out of bed. I was exhausted all the time. We already ate organic, grass-fed, and mostly vegetarian with lots of natural greens for the folate (I learned about that after a miscarriage before my last child was born). I couldn’t get going though. I was in a bad place physically and my brain just wouldn’t shut down. I wanted to do more. I wanted to be my typical active self, but couldn’t. I finally reached out to a naturopath. He has really helped change my life from the path it was going. After some blood work, urinalysis, saliva, and DNA testing, he was able to diagnose all the above and then some. What no one has yet mentioned, is that when your methylation isn’t happening, your neurotransmitters aren’t functioning properly either. This has now caused a chemical depression. Ask me if I’m depressed and I’ll tell you NO. True answer, yes. 8 of my 9 neurotransmitters are in the below normal range. My naturopath wondered how I wasn’t suicidal at that point. Well, I thank a strong-will and God for that. I knew something was physically and chemically wrong, but just didn’t know what. Now I do.

    Anyway, I am now gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, caffeine-free, corn-free, tomato-free, & peanut-free. The hardest thing to give up was pasta and bread. I have found a few alternatives that stay within my new lifestyle, but I think the best thing for anyone dealing with all this is to realize that it’s about our all-around health. How did our ancestors eat? How did they ever make it in life? I’m sure it wasn’t on fries and cheeseburgers. It was eating off the land. Just look around and see all the glorious foods the grow and realize that is the way we were meant to eat. I want to feel good. I want to be more energetic. I want to be a healthy mother and wife. I don’t hardly eat out because it’s discouraging the crap that is served. I got eggs and potatoes at a major chain restaurant recently, thinking, “Can’t go wrong with eggs…” WRONG! They were fake eggs. It was made from some sort of powder or whatever. I was sick within minutes. So, the little sacrifice of not eating out but eating what is natural and good is worth all of that to me. And remember, what works for one of us doesn’t work for all of us. All of our bodies methylize and metabolize differently.

    If you don’t like your doctor’s answers, find another one. Find one who knows what MTHFR is and how to treat it. I am taking a supplement called Methyl-B12 along with about 7 other remedies/supplements. It can be frustrating taking all these supplements and taking them around eating times and not eating those foods that can have affects on them; but then I think about where I was a few months ago and push on. I don’t want to be back in that place.

    I hope others who are searching for answers and understanding find that healing is about the whole health. It isn’t just the folate/folic acid. You have to start treating your whole health because it’s all intertwined.

    • Hi Kristina, I’m glad you’ve found a way of life that helps you and is conducive to your health. Keep it up and good luck! 🙂

    • Hi Kristina,
      I know how you feel, I have two copies also so my methylation system only works at 10-20 percent. I only have two antibiotics that I can take, so I drink lots of water and avoid anything that can cause an infection.
      Did your doctor check your lithium level? Our bodies naturally use lithium and when lithium levels are low, as is common in people with the MTHFR mutations, depression is the usual result. I take 300mcg of lithium a day and no longer severely depressed. This dose is what we normally need and is a very tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the dose they use in psychiatric illnesses. In fact, I get it over the counter because it is not a prescription item at this strength.

  3. My recent MTHFR test indicates = Compound heterozygous A1298C + C677T.
    Homosystene levels and B12 results are fine but blood test indicates toxic levels of B6. B6 levels slowly coming down due to detox diet and natural liver detox capsules plus I stopped taking my B Complex vitamins.
    My concern is not knowing how the B6 got so high in the first place. I was taking a B complex (150% daily B6) for about 6 months but this was around a year –after– my pain started so I doubt it was the cause of the toxicity. I’ve had severe neuropathy type pain in my feet and legs for over 2 years undiagnosed and unable to work since. With the B6 results we are assuming it’s the reason for my pain. Neurologist says he’s not sure if the nerve damage in my feet is permanent or not being it went undiagnosed for so long. As the B6 levels drop my pain remains. Feels like electricity running through my feet all day and night. The only thing that seems to help is heat from a bath or heating pad.
    Do you think my MTHFR mutation has anything to do with the B6 toxicity in my blood ? Also, you mentioned the the Compound Heterozygous A1298C + C677T is the most severe or “at risk” of enzyme function. Can you shed some more light on that subject or recommend a book / website where I can get more information ? I appreciate your time. Cheryl G.

    • You have two copies of the MTHFR gene mutations, with two copies your methylation system is only working at 10-20 percent efficiency. This means your body can not convert folic acid through the multiple conversions to make it into L-methylfolate that the body can use. What no one mentions is that the same process is used in converting almost all vitamins, including B12.
      This means if your blood test levels of B12 are normal or high, and you have symptoms of. B12 deficiency, then the B12 in your blood is in unconverted B12 forms that your body’s cells can not use. At the same time it can not excrete the useless B12 forms either since the methylation system is also part of the body’s detox system. You will need to educate your doctor about this.
      The neuropathy you are experiencing is indicative of the B12 in your blood being unconverted. If it were converted you would not have the neuropathy. Unless you are also diabetic, high blood sugar levels also cause the neuropathy you are complaining of.
      Doctors do not understand this since most get only a few hours of nutrition in medical school, and almost nothing about gene mutations and vitamin conversion difficuties. Only in the last 10 years has the information about gene mutations and the problems they cause in regard to vitamins even been discovered.
      The high B6 is due to the same problem, the best form of B6 to take is Pyridoxine, because it can enter the cells, where it is then turned into the active form, pyridoxal-5-phosphate or P5P. If you take B6 as P5P it will stay in the bloodstream since P5P can not enter cells, and you will wind up with toxic high B6 blood test results. (This is from a research article in BMC. Pediatrics 2011 “Effect of a Vitamin/Mineral Supplement On Children and Adults with Autism”. Note: It has been found that 98 percent of children and adults with Autism have the MTHFR mutations.)
      Anytime you have normal or high levels of a vitamin, and you are showing symptoms of a vitamin deficiency, just assume the vitamin is in unconverted forms, and that you are actually suffering from a vitamin deficiency. In your case you probably need to be taking B12 in the hydroxocobalamin form as an injection. I have two copies of the MTHFR gene mutations, and this is the form I have to take.
      If you get the correct B12 form soon enough, then there is a possibility of reversing the neuropathy, if you wait too long then the condition will be permanent .
      I suggest you make an appointment with your doctor today, and make him aware of what the normal B12 blood level really means.
      The website I get my information from is the US Government’s National Institutes of Health. http://www.nih.gov. PubMed site.
      Meanwhile, clams have the highest levels of B12 with 80 mcg per 100 grams, followed by beef liver with 26-58 mcg per 100 grams , beef and lamb 1-3 mcg per 100 grams, eggs are 1-2.5 mcg per 100 grams,chicken trace- 1 mcg per 100 grams. But you have to chew them well, because the B12 absorption process starts with the TCN1 enzyme in your mouth’s saliva. If the B12 is not attached to the TCN1 enzyme, then it will not survive the acid in your stomach.

      • It is also best to eat your B12 containing animal foods in small amounts of 3-4 ounces every 4-6 hours apart. This is because a study found that you can only absorb a small amount of B12 no matter how how high the dose of B12 you take. They believe it is because your body can only make a minute amount of intrinsic factor every 4-6 hours. Intrinsic factor is made in the small intestine and is the next enzyme B12 hooks up to after the B12 gets through the stomach and then unhooks from the TCN1.
        So chew your animal foods very well, and make them organic and grass-fed to avoid the nasty chemicals that we have trouble detoxing due to the MTHFR gene mutations.

      • I am homozygous for C677T and recent lab results showed low (below normal) levels of folic acid and B12. My doctor gave me a Cyancobalimin b12 shot. Will this type work for those with MTHFR mutations?

        My doctor recommended I take a folic acid supplement, but I’m hesitant to do so given what I’ve read about problems being able to convert folic acid. Is there a specific type of supplement I should be taking? From what I’ve read, increasing folic acid in foods like spinach should help, but won’t be enough. Appreciate any advice.

  4. Hi I have had mthfr for over 10 years now. I know very little about it. I was diagnosed after throwing saddle PE’s. My Dr said little about it and I have asked many different Drs and get no advice. I’m trying to read and learn on my own. I have a question about how it effects weight gain and if eating my folate rich food will help with this. I workout 4 to 5 Times a week watch my carb intake but no results. Does mthfr effect this?

    • Eating folate rich foods may help but it depends.
      The MTHFR gene mutations affect the body’s methlyation system, one copy and the system works at 60-70% efficiency and with two copies it only functions at 10-20%.
      The methlyation system function is to do detoxification of chemicals and heavy metals, conversion of almost all vitamins into methyl-forms which the body can use, also it deals with the hormones in our bodies.
      Hypothyroidism is common in people with the MTHFR gene mutations because of the impaired methlyation system, it is supposed to convert the T4 the thyroid makes into T3, if the thyroid is not making enough T3. We need a specific balance of T4 and T3. over the entire 24 day period. The form of thyroid medicine most doctors prescribe is Synthroid which the methlyation system cannot convert into both T4 and T3 when impaired by the MTHFR gene mutations. We need bioidentical forms the body can use, without them you get weight gain. The thyroid makes T4 well, T3 not so well since it depends on the methylation system to change the T4 into T3 AS NEEDED by the body as you go through your day. This means that anything that impairs the methylation system will cause a decrease in T4 to T3 conversion, not enough T3 and the body’s metabolism slows down and you store calories eaten as fat. You cannot exercise enough to overcome the low T3 level, unless you burn more calories than you eat. But if you do not eat enough calories, then the body’s metabolism system senses you are starving and will slow down even further to conserve what calories you do have in storage. This is a no-win situation, the only fix is to get T3, since the lack of T3 is causing the problem.
      In my case I have a doctor who listens, and I take Synthroid(T4) and Cytomel(T3) before I go to sleep, then Cytomel every 8 hours thereafter. The benefits have been that 1) my depression, that no medication has helped, is now almost completely gone. 2) my sleep is deep and solid, and my dreams are great with no more bad dreams at all. Before I was waking every 2-3 hours that I was aware of (sleep study showed me waking every 40 minutes minimum. 3) My stomach where I carry my weight is getting smaller, and I weigh the same because I am finally building muscle instead of storing fat. Low Thyroid is the biggest contributer to depression, thyroid is needed in the brain to keep your brain’s neurotransmitters functioning properly. If you want to know more there is a book that I have not read yet, but have a copy of, that is written by an endocrinologist Ridha Arem, MD called “The Thyroid Solution ” , make certain that you get the newest edition which is the Third Edition that was published in 2017. I made my changes from reading his professional paper published at an Endocrinology conference, but I will be reading his book that I just got on Friday.
      Now, will eating your greens help, the answer is yes IF you eat greens that are organic. Why? Because every chemical we take in our body has to be detoxified by the methylation system, and if the body is busy working to detoxify the pesticides and other various chemicals in and on conventional veggies, it will take care of that first. After it makes certain we will not die from poisons, then it will work on converting vitamins and hormones, etc. This is why I tell people to eat organic and grass-fed meats and organic veggies, and get the chemicals out of your house. The methylation system will keep you alive the best it can, but if you throw too much cra_ at it then it can only can only do a cr_ppy job of it. The methylation system has too many functions to do and in our modern polluted society it has a hard enough job, add in MTHFR gene mutations and we are the first to get sick and we get sicker faster, and die early. Why? Because physicians are only being taught that the MTHFR gene mutations affects the conversion of Folic Acid and to give lots of folate instead , if they are taught what the methylation system does in converting Folic Acid, detoxifying chemicals, converting hormones, etc then the information must slip out of their brains while they are still in medical school.
      The better you treat your body, then the better it will work to keep you healthy and happy. Remember, “Better Living Through Chemistry” was a DuPont Company marketing slogan, chemicals are NOT you friends—they will make you sick.

      • That should have read ” We need a specific balance of T4and T3 over the entire 24 hours of the day period.”
        Also, the usual time a patient is told to take their thyroid medicine is in the morning before eating. The problem with this is that fiber will block the absorption of thyroid medicine. And since it takes four hours for your body to totally absorb the thyroid medicine, you would have to wait almost four hours in the morning to eat your breakfast, since breakfast is the most fiber heavy meal of the day.
        I am taking the same amount of Synthroid and Cytomel as before, just no longer in the morning and the Cytomel every 8 hours, ( instead of taking 2 Cytomel with the Synthroid in the morning and one Cytomel in the afternoon as my endocrinologist had me doing before. ) Now my blood thyroid levels are all mid-range which is perfect, instead of being low thyroid as I was before. Same medicine just different timing made all the difference.

        • I also want to add that when you get any blood tests done you should get the printed results, DO NOT accept the doctor saying “Your results are normal “. Why do I say this? Because back in 1998 I got very sick and my primary physician told me all my results were normal. I knew something was seriously wrong and insisted on a copy of the results from the hospital lab. It turned out that my IGF- 1 was only 26 and normal levels range from 70 to 298. This freaked me out because I knew from my studies that the level of 70 was for a person who was 100 years old ( 298 is the level at puberty). When I pointed out the result was only 26, the doctor told me “That’s OK, it’s only a little low”. At that point I knew he was totally clueless when it came to Endocrinology, so I immediately went to my endocrinologist and when he saw the 26 result, the endocrinologist admitted me to the hospital right away. He ordered a special IV challenge test the same day that confirmed my pituitary gland was hardly functioning at all and I was put on daily growth hormone injections that I inject myself. Without enough growth hormone your heart will start to fail and then you die, and my heart was already showing signs of failing.
          I wound up with thyroid problems six weeks ago because my endocrinologist was retiring and only working two days a week, so he transferred me to one of the new endocrinologist on staff. This brilliant new doctor discontinued my Cytomel (T3) medication because she said at my age “the levels should be lower “. And three days later I was in my primarycare physician’s office because I was unable to stop crying, my hair was falling out, and I felt like I was dying. My primary physician was horrified and immediately put me back on the Cytomel, and even increased it from the two tablets a day I had been taking before it was stopped, up to three tablets daily.
          In a way I should thank the new endocrinologist because, due to her messing me up, I got online and looked into studies dealing with thyroid. Needless to say, I made adjustments to my medicine based on what I learned (with my primary physician’s OK), and my blood thyroid levels are all mid-range and I feel great. I also asked my old endocrinologist to take me back and thank heavens he is taking me back!
          The last time I saw the new endocrinologist I told her I did not care if she was unhappy with me being back on the Cytomel, because I would be damned if I would be sick and falling apart just to make her happy. And that her job was to make me well, not to make me so sick that I was unable to function. It seems once you get over 50, it is not only hard to get a job, but physicians start treating you like you are a waste of space and you need to die to make room for all the younger people.
          So be proactive people, the life you save may very well be your own. End of rant.

          • I have one copy of A1298C. I’ve been taking The Synergy Company’s organic whole food vitamins and their other supplements for a year now. They don’t contain any synthetic ingredients, and are fully organic. The multi has 800mg of folate.

            We eat only grass finished meats, organic proteins, organic produce, almost no sugar, no grains, legumes, (Paleo Diet) We exercise regularly, have zero toxins in the home, a large air purifier, and drink R/O water.

            I also extensively tested for thyroid issues – did the full panel on my own, not the TSH test offered by doctors. Results were normal thyroid numbers, EXCEPT for Reverse T3, which was slightly high. (Tested that one twice to be sure.) I have normal homocysteine numbers, my blood pressure and cholesterol are fine, etc.

            However, I’m still tired all the time, and cannot lose weight.

            My main concerns are:

            1. Whether I should take a methylated B-complex supplement in addition to the other supplements I’m already taking.

            2. Many of the folate-rich vegetables contain vitamin K as well. Is there such a thing as eating too much Vitamin K? (As an older woman, I have a concern about blood clots.)

            I wonder if an additional Methylated B supplement would help with the fatigue and excess weight. I cannot see a ND or Functional MD now, or do more lab tests, due to budget constraints.

            Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated

    • Hi Robin, MTHFR does not effect weight gain to my knowledge. I can’t see how that mutation would effect your weight.

  5. May I please ask, I have both mutation for C677t and A1298C. I also suffer from Hashimotos and therefore the fatigue is unbearable and I am not certain what I can do. My TPO AB are over 600 with no success in lowering them at all in 2 yrs. I have tried injections of B12 or B Complex but they don’t seem to give me any extra energy. Perhaps because of the MTHFR mutations? I have read that I would need methylfolate. Now although there are oral supplements out there, could I take an injection of B12 and and injection of folic acid instead?? Thankyou for any information.

    • Hi Shaunte, I don’t recommend injecting B12 or folic acid. And you should speak to your doctor about that.

  6. hello how are you, if you take anything supplemental make sure it is in its converted stage (folate opposed to folic acid) (b12 in methyl form) very few doctors are educated on this matter I am going to see a geneticist that understands mthfr, don’t listen to doctors that are not sure exactly it could be dangerous if untreated or mistreated

  7. Just because you have an MTHFR mutation(s) doesn’t mean eating extra folate will help. Sometimes, depending upon whether your system is overmethylating or undermethylating, folate with have positive or deleterious effects. It is not wise to suggest ALL people with MTHFR to load up on folate. In undermethylators the excess folate can speed up the SERT function, that is the serotonin transporter. When SERT is speeded up, it takes the serotonin out of circulation and the result is depression. I have inadvertently done this without supplementation, only with whole fresh foods. I would advise caution in high consumption of folate rich foods or methylfolate supplementation for people with MTHFR C677T. In some people folate helps with depression, in others it can make it worse.

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