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Genetic Mutations that Affect Detoxification

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>> Hi there, and welcome back. In this lecture, we'll be revisiting one of the major genetic mutations which can affect the body's ability to rid itself of toxins. This common gene mutation is called the MTHFR. It stands for methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase which is a mouthful but thankfully you don't have to remember that. What you do have to remember about this mutation is that it affects a lot of processes in the body and can have a profound effect on the body's ability to detox properly. In this lecture, we're going to be taking a closer look at this gene mutation. What it is? What it means to your clients, and what they can do to improve their health and functioning if they have it. First things first, there is a MTHFR gene and a MTHFR enzyme which can be confusing but we'll let you know throughout the lecture which one we're referring to. The MTHFR enzyme's main job is to add a methyl group to folate to make it usable by the body. It also converts homocysteine into the amino acid methionine which the body needs for proper metabolism, muscle growth, and glutathione creation. The only difference between homocysteine and methionine is that methionine has a methyl group and homocysteine does not. Homocysteine is an amino acid that's a product of protein break down in the body. If levels are high, it's a sign of inflammation in the body. It's been shown that people with elevated levels of homocysteine are at risk for heart attacks, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. It's also associated with birth defects and difficult pregnancies. MTHFR defects are quite common and vary in how severe they are. In fact, up to 50% of the population has some form of the defect. In terms of severity, you can think of it like a clog in the sink. For some people, it's just a slow drain that empties eventually, and for others, it's almost completely blocked. The reason we're focusing on MTHFR is because all the other detoxification systems are dependent on that enzyme doing its job. It creates the building blocks for most of the other energy producing processes in the body. Now let's take this science and apply it. Let's look at some ways that a MTHFR defect might show up for your clients. Poor methylation can cause a variety of mental health symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, racing thoughts, obsessive compulsive disorder, perfectionism, memory loss, violent behavior, panic disorder, and spaciness. Physical symptoms include PMS, amenorrhea, weight gain, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, fatigue, asthma, skin irritation, food sensitivities, allergies, and hypothyroidism. In addition, women with the mutation can have multiple miscarriages which is why is very important they be tested for the mutation. One requirement for a healthy methylation is having enough methyl groups to do the job. And here is the truth about methylation, even people who are healthy and eat a very nutritious diet, often don't have enough methyl groups to go around. So where does methyl come from? Methyl groups can be obtained from certain foods, especially dark green cooked vegetables, quinoa, lamb, chicken, and beets. They're best absorbed from cooked foods not raw. Now surprisingly, processed foods are a very poor source of methyl groups. Also, it's important to note that strictly vegetarian diets don't provide adequate methyl groups. People with genetic mutations in their methylation genes who eat a strict plant-based diet may want to rethink their diet. But remember, you should never tell a client they need to change their diet. Simply provide information and let them make their own decisions. Mutations in the MTHFR gene produce an enzyme that functions less than perfectly. The MTHFR gene is responsible for making the MTHFR enzyme. The two processes it handles activating folate and turning homocysteine into methionine are extremely important to many other enzymatic processes in the body. Folate has an active form called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF, which is formed by the MTHFR enzyme from the folate in food. This 5-MTHF is essential to all of the processes we discussed a little earlier. We've talked about it before but as a quick reminder, folate is a form of B9 naturally found in food which can easily be used by the body. Folic acid on the other hand is a chemical added to foods in supplements that's much less available to biological process. People with MTHFR mutations shouldn't take folic acid because it can actually interfere with their ability to create 5-MTHF. For these individuals, there are supplements that are already methylated which you can recommend instead. Since MTHFR is a genetic problem, it might seem like there is not much your clients can do about it if they have it. But there are actually a variety of things you can teach your clients with the MTHFR mutation that will help them to detoxify more efficiently. Remember, you can't change your genes but you can alter your environment which influences your genes. To help you support these clients, I'm going to share with you my top six recommendations you can make to clients with the MTHFR mutation. One, get a good daily dose of B vitamins through food. B vitamins are needed for proper MTHFR function. Vitamin B9 also known as folate and vitamin B12 are essential to the methylation process. The other B vitamins, particularly B6, are involved in the process as well although at lower levels. As you can see, it's necessary to take an adequate amount of B vitamins to keep methylation on track. For some clients, methylated B vitamins may be a better option due to the possibility of additional mutations. It's recommended that your clients see a genetic specialist or a functional practitioner who has knowledge about correct supplementation for specific gene mutations. Two, supplement with folate and not folic acid. In particular, methylated forms of folate are recommended over folic acid. Individuals with the MTHFR mutation have a difficult time metabolizing folic acid and should avoid these artificial forms of folate. Generally speaking, one can start with a low dose of folate around 200 micrograms per day and slowly increase by 100 micrograms each week until they reach 1 milligram per day. But as I stated a moment ago, it's important to seek guidance from a medical professional when it comes to proper supplementation for clients with genetic mutations. Three, eat an abundance of dark, leafy, cooked greens. When lightly steamed, they are rich in methyl groups. Now that you needed another good reason to eat dark leafy greens but there it is. They are also loaded with the vitamins and minerals needed to maximize methylation. Great sources include Swiss chard, kale, bok choy, escarole, watercress, spinach, dandelion, mustard, collard, and beet greens. Four, consume plenty of quality protein. Protein supplies the building blocks for methyl groups and helps maintain an acid rich environment in the stomach. And an acid rich environment in the stomach is necessary to be able to break down proteins properly, thus providing the body with methyl. Taking medications that decrease stomach acid, such as Prevacid or Zantac can worsen methylation significantly. Five, eat choline-rich foods such as liver, eggs, dairy, and cruciferous vegetables. Choline is an important methyl donor assisting the process of methylation through the body. It's most commonly found in grass fed liver, free range eggs, full fat grass fed dairy, and organic cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and bok choy. Choline is also important to maintain efficient liver function. Diets low in choline can result in fatty liver. Six, avoid processed foods, alcohol, smoking, and sugar which all interfere with the body's ability to make adequate methyl groups. These kinds of changes will have a great impact on your client's overall health as well as their methylation process. But remember to proceed with patience and compassion. It's your job as a Health Coach to educate your clients and support them in the changes they want to make, but you can't expect or force them to make any changes to their diet or lifestyle. Some clients may be resistant or unwilling to quit smoking, give up their sweets, or their nightly wine. Be cautious not to be pushy or judgmental. The key here is to be supportive, empowering, and let your clients lead. So when they struggle with a recommendation, ask why, listen deeply, and validate their concerns. You may have clients who know they have the MTHFR mutation, but many people with this condition don't know they have it. Typically, this isn't something on most people's radar is to get checked out for but information about the MTHFR mutation is starting to spread into the mainstream. Some of your clients may be interested to know if they have it, so the question remains, how can they find out. The best overall genetic test available to the general public right now is the 23andMe test. This test has been evaluated by the FDA and is the only direct to public DNA test that is approved by them. The 23andMe test doesn't actually give much information about the MTHFR defect, but the markers are available in the raw data. So your client will have to take the data from 23andMe and enter it on a site like to get more specific information about their gene mutations. All of this information needs to be properly interpreted and managed. So we recommend that they work with a genetic specialist to determine any impact this may have on their health. As a rule of thumb, you can recommend a test to a client. There is no issue with scope of practice here, but we do caution strongly about interpreting a client's results. This creates a scenario of liability and treads into the realm of diagnosis. So educate your clients about these tests but then leave it up to them to purchase, administer, and pursue their own interpretation of these results. Now you have an overview of what the MTHFR genetic mutation is, the six steps your clients with this mutation can take to improve how their bodies feel and function, and information on how your clients can test for this condition. Remember, as a Health Coach, you're here to support your clients not treat them. If you are concerned that a client might have an MTHFR mutation or that this is causing significant medical problems, please refer them to a genetic specialist for further workup and treatment. Have you ever worked with a client with the MTHFR gene mutation? Are you one of the many people with this genetic condition? If you feel comfortable, stop into the Facebook group and share how you've supported yourself and/or your clients with food and lifestyle changes. Next, be sure to review the handout and take the quiz for this module to test your knowledge on the topics we've covered. Thanks so much for watching, bye for now.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 22 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 9
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 11, 2019

Genetic Mutations that Affect Detoxification

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