The MTHFR gene mutation is one of the more frustrating physical (and genetic) ailments an individual can have. Depending on your ethnicity, the MTHFR gene is prevalent as high 25% of the population and having at least one MTHFR variant could be as high as 50%. There are some who believe it affects around 40% of the world. One of the best ways to know if you have the MTHFR gene is to get tested. If you have the MTHFR gene, you know what you eat and the nutritional supplements you take are incredibly important. We tackle five important things to know before taking a MTHFR supplement.
1 - Use Caution When Beginning To Take a MTHFR Supplement!
This should be a general rule of thumb whenever you are taking any supplements. A few important reminders with this:
· Do your research on the supplement company. Avoid the click-n-buy-n-take trap a lot of people fall into when trying a new supplement. Chances are high that you buy supplements from Amazon. Just because it is ranked at the top of an amazon search and has a lot of reviews doesn’t mean it is completely safe. Do your research! Are the MTHFR supplements made in the USA? Does the company have good manufacturing practices (most will have a badge)? Is the company reputable? A simple google search on the company’s website will usually do the trick. Your health is worth an extra 2-3 minutes of research on the web. If they don’t have a website…major red flag.
· Introduce new nutritional supplements one by one with a keen eye looking for any negative or adverse reactions. And those reactions are not always physical; take note of your mood and emotions as well. More on an effective way how to do this below…
2 - Create a MTHFR Supplement Gameplan
This gameplan should consist of some list or method of prioritizing what you are going to start with and when to introduce supplements to your diet. Start with the MTHFR nutritional supplement essentials first. We suggest these MTHFR essential supplements to you in this order:
· Methyl-folate (sometimes referred to as methylated forms of folate)
· Methyl-B12 (sometimes referred to as methylated forms of b12)
· Fish Oil (Omega 3 Fatty acid supplement)
· Vitamins C, D, E
One of the few nutritional supplements we’d recommend as a premium MTHFR supplement is Q Max and Q Core Q Max from Q Sciences. Q Max (a multivitamin stand alone product) contains 4 of the 6 MTHR essential nutrients, but the Q Core Q Max bundle contains all six of the essential MTHFR nutrients.
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3 - Go Natural In Addition To Taking MTHFR Supplements
Do not rely solely on supplements to get your vitamins and nutrition. This is perhaps one of the biggest misnomers and mistakes out there. This is why they are called “supplements”. Eat foods rich in folate which will aid in efficient methylation and seek after natural sources of vitamin B12.
Natural Sources Folate:
Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula), asparagus, beets, avocados, citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemons and limes), brussels sprouts, broccoli, nuts, legumes and bananas are just a handful of foods extremely rich in natural sources of folate.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B12:
Eggs, nuts, beans, animal liver, beef, sardines, clams, fortified cereals like Malt O Meal, Salmon, tuna, milk and dairy products.
Once again, the best source of vitamins and nutrition are going to come from organic foods free from pesticide use and hormones.
4 - Keep A Health Journal!
Don’t roll your eyes at this! Documenting (at least weekly) your weight, how you feel, your digestive movements, your energy levels is not just important for you to know, but you’d be surprised how helpful this information can be for your health professional. A continual observation of your body and mood is something that should be regular practice. If you don’t like to write, bust out a spreadsheet and track it that way.
Oftentimes, we won’t notice negative side effects until weeks after we start taking a supplement, beginning a new diet plan, etc. The reason is vitamins, nutrition, supplements, or a change in our diet will commonly have incremental changes (good or bad); this means it can take a while before we notice results one way or another. Being able to track the source of those incremental changes is rather easy when documenting our behavior, attitude, mood, emotions, and the way we feel through a journal or other recording method.
5 - Avoid Synthetic Folic Acids
Where do synthetic folic acids come from? Plain and simple: processed foods. The bulk of synthetic folic acids come from highly processed foods like flour and breakfast cereals. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. There is research that suggests eating fortified foods with synthetic forms of folic acid actually inhibit the ability for other vitamins and nutrition to metabolize in the body. Furthermore, in subsequent research studies, scientists found that un-metabolized folic acid found in the bloodstream has been associated with multiple health problems. This is serious stuff.
The biggest takeaway is this: avoid processed foods as much as possible. At Today’s Mama, we are huge proponents of Whole 30 and have a bevy of Whole 30 resources. Check out this Whole 30 Shopping list guide for ideas.
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