You found out you have the MTHF C677T gene SNP! What should you do?

Testing your DNA can open many windows into pathways in the body that may not be working as well as they should.  Using this information properly can help you feel better, and help some metabolic pathways work better than they have been.

Many people are having their DNA tested for MTHFR, one of the genes responsible for methylating folic acid.  Folic acid is necessary for human life, and if you have the MTHFR C677T SNP, you probably are not methylating folic acid efficiently.

The quick response to this gene SNP is to take a large dose of methyl-folate and many people feel better at first.  But, there are a significant number of people who, after a few weeks or months of supplementing methyl-folate, start feeling worse.

How is this possible?  This nutrient is necessary for life, so why do some people who supplement with a necessary nutrient feel worse? 

To help explain this, you need to understand that genes, nutrients and their metabolic pathways are interconnected, and there are usually more than one gene SNP and pathway that is not working well.  If you support just one area, that pathway works more efficiently, but pushes the problem further downstream to the next sub-optimal pathway.

Methylation Map

Looking at this diagram, you can see MTHFR (3) in the middle of the picture.  If there are SNPS for MTR, MTRR, CBS, BHMT, MAT, DHFR, this can affect how the methyl-folate is used.

If there are other areas that needs support, adding methyl-folate can lead to decreases in glutathione, increases in ammonia, glutamate, super oxide, peroxynitrate, decreases in neurotransmitters, nitric oxide and any combination of these, and this can lead to a decreased sense of well-being.

This helps explain why testing only one gene such as MTHFR and not looking at the whole picture can lead to problems.

DNA testing and supporting the pathways are a great way to help understand where some imbalances may be, and to help correct the imbalances.  Make sure you are working with a practitioner that looks at the whole picture and each part of the above diagram.  The genetic report, along with lab tests, medical history, and symptomology should be put together to get a true picture of what needs to be done, and in what order. Sometimes labs such as NutrEval, Organic Acid test or Methylation pathway tests can be very helpful in understanding what is going on and what needs to be done.

Here is a short video that can help you understand that genetic testing and interpretation needs to be done completely, not just addressing one or two genes.

Click the image below to view the video.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


About drgaryk

Dr. Gary Kracoff is a registered pharmacist with a doctorate in naturopathic medicine who provides in-depth consultative services at Johnson Compounding & Wellness. Gary’s guiding philosophy is to treat the person as a whole, not to chase symptoms. He focuses on finding the “why” to what is happening physically and mentally, and works with individuals to restore balance in the body. Gary frequently lectures at pharmacy, medical, and health-oriented conferences. He is an educator at the Academy of Integrative Medicine, conducting two-day seminars for health care professionals twice a year. Gary also serves on the faculty of the Center for Education and Development of Clinical Homeopathy.
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