MTHFR – What the heck does that mean?

What priority do you place on your health? Many of our clients, perhaps all, are aware of the things that help us achieve optimal health. Handfuls of supplements, organic diet, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care are all utilized to aid in health. Other tools may include chelation therapy, whole-body cleanses, vitamin drips, or glutathione infusions. Ultimately, all of these choices come down to aid in detoxification and limiting the effects of inflammation. Our own innate anti-oxidant system is our glutathione system.

Despite your best efforts (and your hard-earned money), you may not be able to achieve optimal detoxification. All the money you spend on your health and all your best efforts might not be benefitting you as much as you think. Why? You might have a genetic mutation on your MethyleneTetraHydroFolate Reductase enzyme. MTHFR.

MTHFR Genetic mutations are common

There are two key mutations (variants) that are tested for in the MTHFR gene:

Key definitions:
Heterozygous = 1 copy of the gene from either parent
Homozygous = 1 copy of the gene from each parent

Below is a summary of the frequency of a MTHFR mutation in a mixed population and the effect of the mutation on methylation capacity:

Normal (no mutation) C677T Normal (no mutation) A1298C
Frequency: 44% Frequency: 46%
Methylation Capacity: Not Impaired Methylation Capacity: Not Impaired
Heterozygous C677T Heterozygous A1298C
Frequency: 41% Frequency: 41%
Methylation Capacity:40% loss of function   Methylation Capacity: 20% loss of function
Homozygous C677T Homozygous A1298C
Frequency: 15% Frequency: 13%
Methylation Capacity:70% loss of function Methylation Capacity: 40% loss of function

Incidentally, if you are heterozygous for both mutations, methylation capacity is reduced by 50% (frequency of mutation is unknown)

Cellular biology

Every cell of our body (all 50 trillion of them!) works to optimize health by changing toxins into less toxic particles. As an example, one of the ways it does this is by adding methyl groups (CH3) to heavy metals, making them water soluble and we then excrete them through urination. Adding methyl groups to detoxify and protect us is called methylation and this is the goal of our body in how it wants to protect us and keep us healthy.

Methylation is so critical to overall health. Here are just a few things that the CH3 groups do for us:
  • Repairs and regenerates your cells, tissues and DNA
  • Regulates gene expression and protein function
  • Synthesizes neurotransmitters that influence mood, sleep, behavior, cognition, and memory
  • Controls homocysteine; keeps inflammation in check
  • Aids liver in processing fats
  • Activates and modulates the immune system
  • Modifies toxins and heavy metals

When we eat foods that contain folic acid (vitamin B9), MTHR converts it to methyl-folate. Methyl folate is the key player in the methylation pathway. A defective MTHFR enzyme may cause you to produce 20-70% less methyl folate than others. Lower methylation puts you at risk for developing certain diseases.

Abnormal methylation in… Is associated with…
DNA Cancer
Endothelium (cells that line blood vessels) Cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis
White Blood Cells Excessive blood clotting, stroke


First things first

Methylation can be optimized but first, find out if you have a MTHFR mutation. Below is a list of resources and tests you can use to determine methylation defects that you may have:

However, before you spend money on any test, make sure you know what it will cost to understand the results and know what to do about it. Your physician is your best resource and consulting her/him is important. 

If you have a mutation, what happens next?

Again, your practitioner will be your best and most-trusted resource. But you can supplement with methyl folate and methylated B12 to help your detoxification pathway. It’s important to know what type of mutation you have and then what to do about it.

Interesting Coincidence?

An established client came in for her full body scan and had been diagnosed with the MTHFR A1298C mutation and started on the supplements specific to her condition. She was concerned that she would have lots of inflammation due to this new diagnosis.
This client noted the following since starting on her new supplement regime she has been on for about 2 years:

  • Decrease in bilateral breast tenderness
  • Able to eat most anything without experiencing flu-like symptoms for several days afterwards / improved digestion
  • Significantly decreased sinus congestion and allergies
  • Overall feeling of well-being

Below are her images of breast and abdomen. (Due to significant allergy symptoms, client was unable to have her 2015 imaging, so there is a break in the continuity of imaging.)



Breast images



Abdominal images

Realize, thermography cannot diagnose any condition, but often improvement in the ability to detoxify the body can be seen in comparative scans with reduction in inflammation.


We spend lots of money and time working to optimize health. With thermal imaging, we watch for changes over time as an early indication of changes in health. Both Lynda and I have noticed an increase in the number of our clients, both established and new, that come into our clinics with a diagnosis of MTHFR mutation. Many of these clients are finally finding answers to their struggles and we encourage all of our clients to explore this avenue for themselves.

The methylation cycle is complex and this newsletter is not meant to give a complete understanding of its importance. MTHFR mutations effect your detoxification system as well as neurotransmitter production. We may discuss this further in a future newsletter and share our experience with our own familial MTHFR mutation in one of our family member. Please let us know what you think and as always, share this information with your loved ones.

Yours in health,

Brenda and Lynda Witt

P.S. For those interested, Brenda is heterozygous for C677T mutation; no A1298C mutation.