What is MTHFR? – Dr. Berg Explains in Simple Terms (2024)


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Dr. Berg talks about the MRHFR genetic defect and how it affects the MTHFR enzyme. No longer will you be able to fully convert folic acid to its active form (methyl folate). This leads to a chain reaction with
*high hom*ocysteine
*low methionine
*low SAMe
resulting in
1. Inflammation (fibromyalgia)
2. Inability to detoxify (esp. heavy metals and iron)
3. Deficient neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin. Then comes mood changes (depression and anxiety), and addictive traits (drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes).

Here's what to do
1. Avoid taking folic acid (esp in enriched wheat).
2. Take the methyl folate (B9) form.
3. Take the methylcobalamin (B12) form
4. Avoid gluten
5. Consume dark leafy greens
6. Eat only organic and grass-fed without antibiotics
7. Consume these 2 supplements as well: NAC and Glutathione Reduced to help your detoxification take place.

Also, get testing to rule out your specific genetic detection in the first place.

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Dr. Eric Berg DC Bio:
Dr. Berg, age 57, is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media.

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Dr. Eric Berg received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988. His use of “doctor” or “Dr.” in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Berg is a licensed chiropractor in Virginia, California, and Louisiana, but he no longer practices chiropractic in any state and does not see patients so he can focus on educating people as a full time activity, yet he maintains an active license. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Berg and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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Hi guys in this video.

My goal is to take this very complex topic and make it as simple as humanly possible.


So, under if you saw is floating around the internet it's, this thing called MTHFR it's, a defect in this gene.


Now, genes are mini instructions or like the blueprints to tell cells what to do what to make.

And you have this whole chain reaction in the cell.

You have the blueprints.

You have a copy machine.

You know, literally a copying machine in yourself.

You have a translator.

You have little little things that help check for errors.

Then you have the other machine over here.

That builds the different body parts.

Okay? Well, a defect in this specific MTHFR gene caused the defect in the MTHFR enzyme.


And the function of the enzyme normally is to convert folic acid into its active form of folic.


Folic acid is other than beet.

Vitamin b9.


Folic acid is the inactive version it's supposed to normally convert through this enzyme to the active form called methyl folate and has a whole series of actions that occur after that.

So basically this condition is a defect that blocks full capacity of conversion of the inactive to the active form of b, b9, that's.

All it does that's the simplicity of it.


And right when I say full conversion, I'm saying, it might convert somewhat, but it's like 40 to 70 percent defective.

So you make a lot less than you should so it doesn't convert.

And that leads to a whole series of chain reactions that occur within the cell and I'm, not going to even give you these these names because it's not important what you should know is that having a defect in this gene will give you a series of symptoms.

And if you have these symptoms, then you should go get checked to make sure that you don't have this because believe that it's quite common, but there's a solution for it.

Number one.

It can affect your heart coronary heart disease, stroke high blood pressure dimension.

Okay, it also affects the International anti-inflammatories.

You end up with inflammation, fibromyalgia, achy, joints, arthritic type pain.


You also have the inability to detoxify and your liver, especially heavy metals, especially iron.

So if you consume foods that have heavy metals, it can be very dangerous to your liver and your body, because you lost that function very important, especially living in this environment.

You also have the inability to make the folk epatha tea of neurotransmitters.

Okay, I'm talking about serotonin, dopamine, melatonin.

So that affects your mood.

It affects your cause anxiety, always depression.

It can cause a low dopamine, which which gives you addictions addictions to alcohol addictions to drugs addictions to cocaine fictions to smoking melatonin is all about sleep.

You can't sleep that well, you potentially could even get cancer.

So there's, all these things that happen right? And here you are and you're trying to fix all this stuff.

And you don't really know, what's going on.

It could be one simple defect of this genetic little gene thing.



So you go get tests tested.

Let me tell you the remedy of this.


The remedy is very simple.

You need to avoid taking folic acid, because it can build up it's, not converting.

And that would be in all the enriched foods that you shouldn't be eating anyway, like the grains.

So you got to just look down the list and see what food tabs folic acid.

You want to avoid that you do want to consume the active form of vitamin b9 called methylfolate.



You want to take that as a supplement you'll start feeling better.

And then you want to take another chain reaction thing that occurs.

You want to take the active form of b12 and that's called methylcobalamin guys will take that as well.

You want to avoid gluten.

You want to avoid all wheat, of course, sugar as well want to consume dark.

Leafy green vegetables, chard, some spinach, kale.

You want to do that big-time, because you need to actually have help to detoxify because you're not detoxifying on a percent and you're filling up with heavy metals.

You want to really have organic food grass-fed, because you can detoxify there's.

A couple of supplements I would get to help your liver detoxify.

And that would be NAC.

You can find that supplement that will help the liver detoxify and go defy.

It glutathione reduced it's called you just find something that sort of glutathione reduce and take that and you're going to actually assist your liver and it in the natural detoxification.

You start feeling better.

Okay, I just want to create a video on the simplicity of what this is.

And what you need to do.

Thanks for watching press, the subscribe button press, it forget it.


It I'm done press, the subscribe button and I will keep you updated on the future events.

What is MTHFR? – Dr. Berg Explains in Simple Terms (2024)


What is MTHFR in layman's terms? ›

The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme plays a role in processing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is important for a chemical reaction involving the vitamin folate (also called vitamin B9).

What foods should you avoid if you have MTHFR? ›

Avoid all products with added or fortified folic acid which is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 found in fortified supplements (pregnancy supplements) breads, cereals and commercially produced flours. Avoid processed foods that have synthetic folic acid added to them.

What problems does MTHFR cause? ›

Complications associated with having hom*ocysteinemia due to MTHFR mutations include:
  • abnormal blood clotting.
  • developmental delays.
  • seizures.
  • microcephaly.
  • blood clots.
  • poor coordination.
  • numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.

What are the symptoms of MTHFR? ›

Beyond heart disease, several different kinds of symptoms have been attributed to MTHFR gene mutations, including fatigue, chronic pain, brain fog, depression and anxiety, estrogen dominance, and headaches. These are common symptoms that we see and treat daily in our clinic.

What happens if you have MTHFR? ›

Normally, your body quickly breaks down hom*ocysteine, so you have very little in your bloodstream. But if you have a change in an MTHFR gene, the MTHFR proteins your body makes may not process folate as well as they should. As a result, you may have increased levels of hom*ocysteine in your blood.

What autoimmune diseases are linked to MTHFR? ›

The MTHFR mutation will also cause issues with detoxing properly, as well as issues with hormone balance and immune system function. It has been associated with autoimmune conditions such as fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's, and lupus.

What foods should you eat if you have MTHFR? ›

To support overall health, people with this genetic variation are advised to eat a healthy diet that includes foods rich in folate, B vitamins, choline, and methionine. This includes foods such as leafy greens, legumes, fortified grains, animal products, nuts, and seeds. This can be thought of as an “MTHFR diet”.

What vitamins should you avoid with MTHFR? ›

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that cannot be used by those with a MTHFR defect and which can be very toxic. avoid any supplements with folic acid and only take L-MTHF forms, which are the methylated forms that my body can use.

Are eggs bad for MTHFR? ›

It's easy to become deficient in vitamin B12 if you have MTHFR mutation, but you can get this micronutrient from foods such as beef, chicken, eggs, fish, turkey. The best sources of vitamin B12 are animal-based, but make sure to avoid common pitfalls. Avoid processed meats and other processed foods, for that matter.

Why is MTHFR controversial? ›

Due to the large, varied and often conflicting data reported on MTHFR, these polymorphisms have been weakly associated with multiple conditions, including autism, schizophrenia, cardiac disease, fetal neural tube defects, poor pregnancy outcomes and colorectal cancer.

What is the life expectancy of someone with MTHFR? ›

The median survival time of this group was 11months compared with 38 months and 36 months for men with ala/ala and ala/ val genotype, respectively. Among women, the MTHFR mutation was not associated with a difference in life expectancy (P log-rank = 0.16).

Can MTHFR cause weight gain? ›

MTHFR genetic mutations have been linked to both weight gain or ineffective weight loss efforts. This may be due to nutritional deficiencies that result from poor methylation in the body. Methylation is required for numerous metabolic processes and has been implicated in weight gain and obesity.

What is the best multivitamin for MTHFR mutation? ›

Some of the best multivitamins for MTHFR mutation are methyl folate, active B12 and B6, vitamin D3, and glutathione. Vitamin B12 shots help combat the side effects of MTHFR mutations. Genetic testing can help identify MTHFR mutations, and a simple blood test can reveal nutritional deficiencies.

What kind of doctor treats MTHFR? ›

If you've found that traditional medicine is helpful to you--which, for some conditions, it very well may be--finding a licensed Naturopathic Doctor (ND) or an MD who has also studied naturopathy may be the optimal choice for you.

How do you detox if you have MTHFR? ›

With impaired MTHFR genetic function, toxins can build up in the body overtime. It is critical to help facilitate the body's detoxification pathways by avoiding toxins from the following places: Filter drinking water as well as bath and shower water. Use non-toxic personal care and beauty products.

How serious is MTHFR? ›

Over time, the downstream effects of mutations in the MTHFR gene can put people at higher risk for many common health problems, such as preventable heart disease, colon cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and more.

How does MTHFR affect the brain? ›

An MTHFR defect can also impair the body's ability to synthesize important brain neurotransmitters, so that brain-based disorders may arise. An MTHFR defect has been linked to depression, anxiety, brain fog, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia.

Does MTHFR run in families? ›

It's also possible to acquire both C677T and A1298C mutations, which is one copy of each. Gene mutations are inherited, which means you acquire them from your parents. At conception, you receive one copy of the MTHFR gene from each parent. If both have mutations, your risk of having a hom*ozygous mutation is higher.

Is MTHFR a neurological disorder? ›

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency is a rare inborn error of metabolism inherited in autosomal recessive pattern and is associated with a wide spectrum of neurological abnormalities.

Is B12 good for MTHFR? ›

Most people who have MTHFR benefit from taking methylcobalamin (methylated B12). In addition, consume more natural forms of B12, folate, and vitamin B6 (also important in the process of detoxification), such as beans, lentils, asparagus, broccoli, and avocado.

Is gluten bad for MTHFR? ›

A leaky gut allows large undigested molecules to pass into circulation, these substances then trigger an inflammatory response. It is then highly recommended for those with MTHFR to avoid gluten as part of their treatment plan. Avoiding substances that cause inflammation will reduce strain on the body.

Does MTHFR affect vitamin D? ›

Summary answer: Women with MTHFR 677TT (hom*ozygous mutation, TT) genotype have significantly lower vitamin D levels, higher hom*ocysteine and natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicities than those of women with MTHFR 677CC (wild type, CC) and 677CT (heterozygous mutation, CT) genotypes.

Does MTHFR cause inflammation? ›

Those with MTHFR taking methylfolate can experience many severe side effects, including gut inflammation and other types of pain and discomfort such as achy joints, sore muscles, and migraines.

Does MTHFR make you high risk? ›

During pregnancy, women who test positive for a mutated MTHFR gene may have a higher risk for miscarriages, preeclampsia, or a baby born with birth defects, such as spina bifida.

Is chocolate bad for MTHFR? ›

Our results suggest that cocoa consumption produces a more potent effect on the reduction of DNA methylation levels in humans with normal activities of MTHFR and MTRR enzymes.

Is spinach bad for MTHFR? ›

Foods high in folate should form the basis of the daily MTHFR meal plan. This means plenty of dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale; legumes such as beans and lentils; broccoli, asparagus, and avocado. Vitamins B6 and B12 are also crucial.

Is cheese OK with MTHFR? ›

Dairy sensitivity tends to co-occur with gluten sensitivity, which, in people with MTHFR, a mutation can cause discomfort and other uncomfortable symptoms. Make sure to either avoid dairy entirely or decrease consumption.

Is MTHFR passed from mother or father? ›

Each person has two copies of the MTHFR gene: one from his or her mother and one from his or her father. These are the possible genotypes* of the MTHFR gene (see illustration): MTHFR 677 CC (two copies of C, one copy from each parent);

What ethnicity has the MTHFR gene mutation? ›

The most common MTHFR mutation is called the MTHFR C677T mutation. The mutation is extremely common in certain ethnic and geographic populations. In the United States, ≈20% to 40% of white and Hispanic individuals are heterozygous for MTHFR C677T. The mutation is less common in blacks (1%–2%).

Why does MTHFR cause anxiety? ›

Research suggests that MTHFR genetic mutations may lead to reduced folate metabolism, which in turn can impact the production and function of these neurotransmitters. This disruption in neurotransmitter function may contribute to the development of anxiety.

Is MTHFR an autoimmune disorder? ›

MTHFR is a form of an autoimmune disease.

What cancers does MTHFR cause? ›

Many studies that suggest that the MTHFR C677T SNP is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in various populations, including Asian, Jewish, premenopausal, and postmenopausal women.

Does MTHFR affect the heart? ›

Its deficiency leads to an increased serum level of hom*ocysteine, which is well-known to be associated with premature coronary artery disease (CAD). Our case demonstrates the association of MTHFR polymorphism with premature CAD and myocardial infarction (MI) despite normal hom*ocysteine levels.

What is the benefit of MTHFR? ›

Supplementing with L-methylfolate has been shown to reduce hom*ocysteine levels by improving your body's methylation processes. It's often recommended for those with elevated hom*ocysteine and also for those with treatment-resistant depression.

How does MTHFR affect mental health? ›

The connection between MTHFR and mental health can be important to understanding your mood and energy levels. Genotypes associated with decreased activity of the MTHFR enzyme may lead to decreased vitamin B9 metabolism and less methylfolate. This may predispose those individuals towards having low mood and energy.

Can MTHFR cause thyroid problems? ›

The results of this study suggest that the MTHFR C677T variant was significantly associated with hypothyroidism. In addition, in individuals with T allele risk of hypothyroidism significantly increased.

How much B12 should I take for MTHFR? ›

The high dose Methylcobalamin (B12) range is between 2-15 mg (with many people falling into the 5-10 mg category, but some can get injections for 25+ mg) – if you have MTR & MTRR mutations, you might need significant doses of this (I personally take about 8-12 mg a day).

Does the MTHFR gene cause B12 deficiency? ›

Moreover, genetic predisposition was demonstrated in vitamin B12 deficiency. For instance, mutations and polymorphisms in transport proteins such as transcobalamin TCN, gastric intrinsic factor GIF and metabolic enzymes such as methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase MTHFR have been associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Does insurance cover MTHFR testing? ›

You, of course, can always ask your primary care physician to order an MTHFR blood test for you. Although, most insurance companies do not cover this type of MTHFR gene test, and may leave you with an $800-$1,000 bill.

Does magnesium help with MTHFR? ›

Those with MTHFR are advised to supplement with folate and vitamin B12 to assist with methylation. However, a magnesium supplement may help relieve other MTHFR-related symptoms such as muscle cramps, headaches, and depression.

Does exercise help MTHFR? ›

Exercise can also aid individuals with MTHFR by boosting the detoxification process, when the heart rate is elevated, faster circulation of the blood allows for toxins to be removed quicker, one means is through sweating.

What is MTHFR also known as? ›

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR; EC 1.5. 1.20) plays a central role in folate and hom*ocysteine metabolism by catalyzing the conversion of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the primary circulatory form of folate which is utilized in hom*ocysteine remethylation to methionine.

Is MTHFR gene mutation serious? ›

Over time, the downstream effects of mutations in the MTHFR gene can put people at higher risk for many common health problems, such as preventable heart disease, colon cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and more.

What is the difference between MTHFR and folic acid? ›

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is often in supplements and in fortified foods such as cereals. There is a gene, called MTHFR, that helps produce an enzyme that converts a portion of folate and folic acid into folinic acid.

What is the treatment for MTHFR? ›

MTHFR mutations reduce your ability to methylate, so one of the best things you can do is supplement with the three main vitamins needed for methylation: folate in its pre-methylated form (5MTHF), B6 in its active form, and B12 in its active form.

What is the best vitamin for MTHFR? ›

Some of the best multivitamins for MTHFR mutation are methyl folate, active B12 and B6, vitamin D3, and glutathione. Vitamin B12 shots help combat the side effects of MTHFR mutations. Genetic testing can help identify MTHFR mutations, and a simple blood test can reveal nutritional deficiencies.

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