Folic Acid And MTHFR Mutation Genes

We all are aware of the fact that proteins play several different roles in our bodies, that is, from building cell through to making the brain function well. We have more than 20,000 genes present in the human genome and one of these is the MTHFR gene that provides instructions for the production of protein methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This particular protein acts as the key player in the complex process of converting the folate that we consume through natural foods into methylfolate, the form human body can easily make use of.

The MTHFR gene is basically responsible for how much of methylfolate is generated in the body. The human body requires for an appropriate metabolism process. If there is not sufficient amount of methylfolate present in the body, it leads to several serious health issues.

MTHFR Gene Explained

Humans have two different forms of MTHFR gene present in our bodies. One of them is inherited from the father and the other one is passed on from the father. Each form of the gene can be either normal or may have a defect – any changes in the DNA sequence could affect how much protein this particular gene is able to produce.

Such defects are known as MTHFR mutations. One of the most common MTHFR mutation genes is a single change in the DNA sequence that brings down the activity of the protein being generated. Around 10 to 15 percent of people have both forms of the gene affected by this kind of mutation.

These people who suffer from MTHFR mutation have extremely low or poor activity of the MTHFR protein in their body. This mainly leads to a reduced ability of their bodies to convert folate into a consumable form and can be lead to the accumulation of the amino acid homocysteine – which can be very toxic to the body.

The MTHFR mutation gene has been considered to be one of the prime factors that put people at an increased risk of heart diseases, migraines, infertility, increased risk of cancer along with fetal development and growth issues. It has been also found to increase the risk of dementia, schizophrenia, and depression.

To Supplement OR Not?

Consuming a diet that is rich in folate is considered to be crucial for all those suffering from MTHFR mutation gene. People with MTHFR mutation genes perhaps be affected more if they do not consume sufficient amount of folate foods.

It has been revealed that people belonging to Asian region are more affected by this mutation than in countries that make use of granule fortification with folic acids – such as New Zealand, Australia, and the US. However, more studies should be conducted to prove if diet alterations and use of folic acid supplements can be adequate to overcome any negative health effects that are caused by MTHFR mutation genes.