The vital reason that MTHFR mutation causes health issues is due to the disturbance in the normal process of methylation.
To better understand why the MTHFR mutation can increase the risk of some of the very common disorders, it is better that you first understand the crucial roles methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase plays in the human body. MTHFR generally:
- Helps with a process called methylation, which is basically a metabolic process that works as a switch that turns genes on and off and also repairs DNA. The Methylation process also helps with nutrient conversion through the interaction of enzymes.
- Forms proteins by converting the amino acids that are usually considered as the building blocks of proteins, which is what we consume from our diet.
- Helps convert the amino acids called homocysteine into methionine, which is another form of amino acids. This helps keep the cholesterol levels well balanced and is crucial for cardiovascular health. Having increased levels of homocysteine put an individual at a higher risk for strokes, heart attacks, and other health issues.
- Execute a chemical reaction that helps the body to easily process the vitamin folate which is also known as Vitamin B9. This is mainly done by converting one form of the methylenetetrahydrofolate molecule into an active form known as 5-MTFH.
- Vitamin B9 or Folate is needed for several different critical bodily functions, so if the body is unable to generate or consume enough of it, it could lead to folate deficiency, which can affect everything in the body from digestion to cognitive health.
- Methylation is also related to natural detoxification as it helps eradicate toxins and heavy metals through the GI tract in a very timely manner.
- Moreover, Methylation is also beneficial in producing different hormones and neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Having any deficiencies in these neurotransmitters can greatly affect things such as your motivation levels, moods, sleep, sex drive, digestive functions, and appetite. Abnormal neurotransmitters levels could lead to depression, ADHD, IBS, anxiety, and insomnia.
In order for proper methylation to take place, the body requires having certain active amino acids called as SAMe. SAMe is useful in regulating more than 200 different enzyme interactions, and without which the methylation process stops.
Whether you carry MTHFR A1298C or MTHFR C677T mutation determine if you are more likely to suffer from specific diseases than others. This is because MTHFR A1298C leads to schizophrenia, chronic pain, fatigue, IBS, higher levels of fibromyalgia, and mood-related issues. MTHFR C677T mutations, on the other hand, cause migraines, stroke, and elevated levels of homocysteine, cardiovascular problems, miscarriages and even neural tube defects.