What is MTHFR?
MTHFR is the abbreviation for the gene that provides the body with instructions for making the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase for which the MTHFR gene gets its name. This enzyme is responsible for converting the amino acid homocysteine into another amino acid that is used by the body to make proteins as well as other important compounds. There are various forms of mutation of this gene, but as much as half the population may actually have some form of MTHFR gene mutation.
Those with a mutation may experience heart disease, inflammation, difficult pregnancies, birth defects, and have trouble detoxifying (as mentioned above). Oftentimes, these mutations cause difficulty with processing folic acid into methyl-folate, which is critical to methylation. Methylation optimizes some important processes in your body including metabolism of hormones and production of DNA.
Depending on the mutation variations, you could have trouble converting nutrients into vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and maintaining appropriate hormone and neurotransmitter levels. It can even affect cholesterol levels, brain function, and digestion.