MTHFR – Methylation & The Weight Loss Link.
I see so many clients struggling with the weight loss challenge, and have done so for many many years. Often, these clients no matter how hard they seem to try, diets and exercise, weight loss is slow compared to others and incredibly quick to regain, often with many other health conditions in the background.
Commonly many end up MTHFR positive, and when addressed, these clients start to see significant changes in their overall health and weight for the first time.
What is MTHFR?
(MTHFR) Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is a gene that provides instructions for making the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase which converts 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. This is required to convert homocysteine to methionine which the body uses to make proteins and other compounds in the body. More simply, it converts folate in your leafy greens to a more active form of folate (methyl folate), to be used by the body.
This enzyme is a component of the one-carbon metabolism pathway; or more commonly known as the methylation process and studies now show MTHFR polymorphism play a significant role in the bodies metabolic factors.
WHAT conditions are associated with methylation?
Methylation is a dynamic process that requires balance. Many health issues are associated with fluctuations in the methylation process including: ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, Atherosclerosis, Bipolar disorders, Cancers, Chemical sensitivities, Chronic fatigue, Diabetes, Depression, Down syndrome, Hypertension, Fertility issues, Inflammatory Conditions Insomnia, Neural tube defects, Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, Weight loss, Metabolic syndrome and many more.
If I get a positive result what does it mean?
A positive result means something different for each individual. Not all people with the gene will have known in ‘gene talk’ as turned on or their gene ‘expressing’.
Genes expressing or turning on for each individual have many factors, such stress, environmental toxin load, diet, lifestyle etc.
What is methylation and why is it so important?
Methylation is involved in a number of important biochemical processes in the body including gene expression, DNA and RNA synthesis, immune cell differentiation, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine clearance, detoxification, hormones, mitochondrial metabolism, phospholipid synthesis and myelination, and neural tube development. It occurs in almost all cells in the body.
Methylation involves the transfer of active methyl groups and when utilised, SAMe (Sadenosylmethionine) is converted to SAH (S-adenosylhomocysteine), and then homocysteine. The recycling of homocysteine to methionine can occur via two pathways – via methionine synthase conversion that requires the transfer of a methylgroup from 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (5-MTHFR) by MTHFR or via betaine homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT).
During higher states of oxidative stress, homocysteine may be converted to cystathionine and then to taurine, glutathione or sulfate via the transulfuration pathway Methylation.
Along side genetic polymorphisms there are many other factors at play that may be contributing such as hormones; thyroid profiling, oestrogen, testosterone, and we also now know that the microbiome is an ecosystem that signals and affects all body systems including how we hold fat cells.
Do you struggle with weight loss or other health conditions and feel there is something else that may be going on? Contact me for a chat.