Epigenetics, Vitamin B9 – Folate Metabolism and MTHFR Mutations
Updated: Dec 5, 2019
This is a very hot topic, and honestly, while MTHFR mutations can be really problematic, there is also a tendency to hype it up as the problem for every ill that people may experience. So, we have to be careful not to dilute the significance of a very important epigenetic discovery that can be an important contributing factor to many disabling diseases. In order to understand disorders associated with Vitamin B9 metabolism and function, we should get some background on epigenetics – just a little.
Epigenetics is one of the most important scientific discoveries of our time, and our understanding of epigenetics may very well be a huge leap for mankind in the fight to cure diseases worldwide.
So, what is the science of epigenetics? You may have heard of genetics, - the DNA from mom meets the DNA from dad, then poof! There you are!! Epigenetics takes it from there. It is the science of understanding how life’s events can impact the expression of our genes to produce a response to those events. From the moment you are conceived until the moment you take your last breath, epigenetics is involved. The old belief was that our genetic profile is set in stone and does not change. But in recent years, molecular biology has shown that the human genome is far more fluid and responsive to the environment than previously supposed.
Epigenetics describes changes in gene activity in response to the environment without changing the DNA sequence itself. It takes us from the victim status of the old belief because we didn’t have a choice about our genetics, to life-giving mastery over our destiny. But here’s the thing. It’s just not about you and the choices that you make about the health of your body. ‘Cause the choices that you make, and the resultant gene variants/mutations can pass down to your future generations. One study showed that women who smoked had an average of 50,000 gene mutations. The result? Asthma and other upper respiratory disorders, heart disease, obesity allergies, etc. in future generations. So, that puts a quite a different spin on our responsibility to keep the body healthy. Warnings like this are also noteworthy in ancient religious texts – ie, the sins (choices) of the fathers passed down to the 3rd and 4th generations. Science actually confirms this now through the study of epigenetics.
So, what about Vitamin B9? It is the Vitamin B9 pathway that is so important in forming neurotransmitters like serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are involved in a number of functions including short- term memory, concentration, sleep, motor control, hormone control, mood stability, motivation, and appetite control, and has been implicated as a contributing factor to autism and adhd. Healthy Vit B9 levels are also important in maintaining heart health and blood sugar control.
Look at the bottom of the picture where it says Active Vit B 9. You see, when we eat food rich in B9 like spinach and other green vegetables, that doesn’t mean that the B9 will be used by the body. It has to be transformed by an enzyme ,(MTHFR), into "active" B9 first.
The MTHFR gene (it is a long name so don’t worry about what it means) is what does the trick. But about 60% of the population on the United States now has a mutation of the gene.
Why? Because all the toxic chemicals that we (or our ancestors) were exposed to since we were conceived. The more the exposure the higher the likelihood that genes can be damaged. MTHFR can be one of those. But there are many other toxic chemicals that can do the same thing, including vaccines If someone has this mutation they can have problems converting B9 to the active form. Neurotransmitters then can’t form very well, and there can be a lot of other system damage as well. The altered expression of these genes is variable. Some have no real observable symptoms while others show some pretty severe symptoms. Genes 677 and 1298 are two B9 MTHFR enzymes that can mutate. These enzymes are critical for the conversion process to active B9 and the variant mutations can also be passed down to children. But that doesn’t need to be the end of the story. The function of these altered genes can often times be improved/corrected. There have been some classic studies in this area of epigenetics. So, even if you have a mutation to one degree or another, it doesn’t mean that you and your children are locked in to a life of misery. You can be the game-changer for yourself and future generations.
The science of epigenetics suggests that, through healthy lifestyle choices, you can change your life as well as your future generations. And that is a good thing isn’t it? I have a lot more on this in my new book, Your Health Has been Hijacked.
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