When you read the words “gene mutation” what first comes to mind is probably a school of comic book heroes you saw fight crime in Saturday cartoons, right? Many more people have mutations in their genes than you may expect, like heterochromia, a genetic mutation that gives a person different colored eyes. Gene mutations aren’t always visible, however, and sometimes they can become the source of serious health issues.
MTHFR, or Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (what a mouthful!), is an enzyme responsible for helping us break down folic acid in our bodies, but a surprisingly common mutation can prevent it from doing its job. Human bodies are incredible machines that are capable of many things, all coded into our DNA like a How-To book built right in. Not all the instructions are printed correctly though, sometimes a small typo or duplicated sentence can throw the entire project off course.
Four of the main forms of genetic mutations are deletion, duplication, translocation, inversion, and insertion. Our DNA has extra of something, or is missing something else, even something just slightly out of the order it should be in, and it all goes to pot. Think of a deck of cards, sorted by suit, those would be your genes. Imagine if something got shuffled around, what would your body do?
Let’s start with the basics
Folic acid plays many important roles in the human body, click this to learn about them. From digestion to blood function, organ health to DNA repair and creation, we need it to be our happiest, healthiest selves! It’s been found that not having enough folic acid in our diets can cause troubling issues like anemia, lethargy, and even depression. It’s needed for healthy skin, hair, and nail growth, and place an important part in having a healthy pregnancy, along with vitamin B12.
Common sources of the naturally occurring form of folic acid, or folate, are liver, chickpeas, broccoli, kidney beans, and leafy greens such as kale, cabbage, or spinach. Even vitamin supplements might not be quite enough when your genes aren’t able to do their job to their fullest.
A balanced diet can do wonders for any health-conscious person, but those with certain variants of the MTHFR gene mutation could have a more difficult time converting folic acid into its active form called L-methylfolate.
L-methylfolate helps our bodies create neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, all of which are our natural mood stabilizers. Each plays a crucial part in helping a person feel emotionally balanced and preventing things like depression. For those who have had to battle with it before, or are in an ongoing fight for normalcy, discovering the facts surrounding MTHFR gene mutation variants may open new avenues to treatment.
Finding a solution
As daunting as it sounds to have a genetic mutation that can make you have a more difficult time with something as scary as depression, there are amazing treatments available to help keep our bodies on track! With the right tests, guidance from your doctors, and appropriate supplements, you can be sure you’re living your healthiest life. This starts by looking for MTHFR polymorphisms in your genes. It’s this specific mutation that appears to be a recurring factor in patients suffering from depression.
In a time when people often try to self-diagnose from home, there can be a lot of confusing information floating around on the web. One site may claim to have specific data that another site could directly counter, other sites may have similar but slightly varied information. Finding trustworthy sources can be a struggle, and sifting through facts and opinions can be downright draining.
No one should be lost in a sea of conflicting information when they’re trying to get help. Getting yourself on track is a task in and of itself without having to weed through the crisscrossing arguments and unrelated content presented to us online.
Answers at your fingertips
With all the various posts and articles trying to deduce the truth, the medical community is in agreement that there have been no links between vaccines and MTHFR gene mutation. Genetic mutations can naturally occur in anyone and take many different forms. Some of these can be obvious in your height, your hair, and your general health. It is equally possible for mutations to manifest as something more concerning, however, and this is why it should be a priority to understand your genetics and family health history as best as you can.
For those affected by MTHFR gene mutations and depression, finding out the details and putting together a game plan with their doctor can be a life-changer. Proper resources, professional guidance, as well as solid education in both your genetic makeup and inclined medical risks, can put you in control of your body and your future.
You can read more about the effects of inadequate folic acid intake here https://patient.info/allergies-blood-immune/anaemia-leaflet/folic-acid-deficiency-anaemia
Being curious about your body is equally as important as being serious about your health, the more you know and understand the better prepared you can be. Taking control of your body’s well-being starts with understanding what makes you so uniquely you, genetic mutations or superpowers included.