MTHFR is a common genetic mutation that affects up to 40% of the general population. It impacts your body’s methylation process. Why is that important? Let’s take a further look.
Your body is composed of trillions of cells. Each cell contains your genes, which are the set of instructions that make you unique. Genes are segments of DNA, and each gene contains these instructions, usually for coding a specific function or protein.
Humans have around 20,000 genes and one of those is the MTHFR gene, which helps your body process folate. However, around 40% of people have an MTHFR gene variant which can contribute to low levels of folate and B vitamins and high levels of homocysteine in the blood. These mutations in the MTHFR gene can result in a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
What is an MTHFR mutation?
MTHFR provides the body with instructions to make the enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). When you eat foods that contain folic acid, MTHFR converts it into methyl-folate (folate’s active form).
Methyl-folate is critical to methylation, which optimizes many processes in your body including the production of DNA, metabolism of hormones, and proper detoxification.
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