Book Report, Genetics

Book Report: MTHFR Basics

MTHFR Basics by Benjamin Lynch

Ok, that alphabet soup above is actually correct. It is an important enzyme in the body that is involved in the folate (a B vitamin) cycle. It is often found to be reduced by genetic inheritance, which can have profound downstream implications.

Dr. Lynch is an incredible resource on this topic, one who is impacted by the mutation. This book is a quick intro to a very complex topic; a needed intro, as there is much that is to be discussed and understood.

I will include the highlights I saved from this eBook that helps set the stage for deeper discussion:

  • When the MTHFR gene has a polymorphism, the enzyme it produces has an altered shape. The altered shape reduces the functional ability of the MTHFR enzyme. The altered function causes decreased neurotransmitter function and decreased SAMe production.
  • One, methylfolate helps make neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are what allow us to think, sleep, run away, express emotions and learn. When methylfolate levels are low, so are your neurotransmitters. Low production of neurotransmitters may cause conditions of addictive behavior, depression, anxiety, ADHD, mania, irritability, insomnia, learning disorders and others. Two, methylfolate also allows us to make a critical compound called s-adenosylmethionine also known as SAMe by many. SAMe is critical as it helps regulate over 200+ enzymes in the human body – this is second only to ATP, which is the body’s cellular power unit. Without ATP, life ceases. Without SAMe, life ceases. With decreased levels of SAMe, you, or your loved one, are at high risk of conditions such as cancer, infertility, miscarriage, autism, down’s syndrome, thrombosis, high blood pressure, speaking problems and so on.
  • Methylation is the act of taking a single carbon and three hydrogens, namely a methyl group, and having it attach itself to an enzyme in your body. When this methyl group attaches to an enzyme, the enzyme performs an action. A common action performed by methylation that you appreciate daily is the breakdown of histamine. A methyl group is made by the methylation pathway and it floats around until it finds a specific enzyme to bind to. In this case, the methyl group binds to histamine. When a methyl group binds to histamine, histamine breaks apart and goes away.
  • What is the function of SAMe? The function of SAMe is to simply take what is called a ‘methyl group’ and give it away to over 200 enzymes in the body in order to perform various critical functions. Some key functions of this freely donated methyl group are to – – Protect your DNA. This is very important. For example, if your DNA is not protected, then it is susceptible to damage by viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, solvents and others. Over time, this damage becomes significant and may result in cancerous cell proliferation. – Reduces histamine levels! Repeating this so it sinks in. A methyl group given away by SAMe helps eliminate histamine from the body. Those with allergies or rashes may have higher levels of histamine and decreased methyl groups. – Produce a key component for your cell membranes called phosphatidylcholine. The methyl group donated by SAMe helps build phosphatidylcholine which then gets incorporated into the walls of all your cells known as cell membranes. If these cell membranes become damaged and weak, the cells become fragile, allow toxins and harmful things into the cell, do not carry in useful nutrients and then they die. Excessive cell membrane damage leads to serious medical conditions such as MS, ALS, and cancer to name a few.

He then touches on some other downstream impacts. For example, you need a sufficiently functioning MTHFR enzyme to convert thyroid hormone to it’s active form. There are many others. I have been running genetic data throught Dr. Lynch’s program (Strategene) to see that most people have this mutation. There are varying degrees, but understanding a person’s predisposition to optimal functioning of this ezyme and many others have lead to profound improvements of performance and well being.

This Book Report collection is meant to provide some of the best take-home points from the health and science genre I read. I will continue to go thru my notes of the 160+ and counting (as of January 2019) Kindle books I have on file. To view ALL the notes I saved on this one AND many others without a Book Report post yet, THAT IS ALSO SEARCHABLE, please click here.

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