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Understanding Your Anxiety: Could MTHFR Be To Blame?

Understanding Your Anxiety: Could MTHFR Be To Blame? | Mr Vitamins
Despite how successful or level-headed someone may appear, practically everyone has experienced anxiety at some point in their life.

Whilst this a complex topic', you might just find out some important insights into the science behind your health – based on modern genetic research.

Is anxiety connected to your genetics?

From sweaty palms and dry mouth to headaches and panic attacks, we all experience anxiety differently. Research shows that there is a reason for this and it may involve your genetics more so than your stress levels.

Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) – What is that?!

MTHFR is an enzyme essential for converting folate (vitamin B9) or folic acid into the active form, methyltetrahydrofolate, or MTHF. Folate provides methyl groups for an important, life-preserving process called methylation. Among its many functions, methylation assists in protein synthesis, detoxification, hormone regulation, and neurotransmitter synthesis. Each of these processes plays a crucial role in mental health; but, when it comes to anxiety, the hormones and neurotransmitters may be unbalanced.

MTHFR Gene – The glue that holds you together

Everyone has two copies of the MTHFR gene – one from each parent. However, it is possible for one or both of those copies to mutate and become dysfunctional. When that happens, any of the following can occur:
  • Folic acid cannot be converted into folinic acid
  • Without folinic acid, the brain cannot produce enough serotonin and dopamine
  • Without serotonin or dopamine, the brain cannot properly stabilise mood
  • With too much or too little dopamine, the brain struggles with focus and motivation
So it is easy to see that a MTHFR gene mutation, if responsible for under methylation (see below), can cause anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders.

Are you feeling Over - or Under-Methylated?

Anxiety or depression can be symptoms of over-methylation where excessive levels of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline are being produced. Individuals in this category most likely have low levels of folate, niacin (vitamin B3), and vitamin B12. Low serotonin, specifically, indicates under-methylation resulting in very low levels of calcium, magnesium, methionine, and vitamin B6. Although these individuals have high levels of folic acid, they are at an increased risk of developing pyroluria, although pyroluria may be present without the involvement of MTHFR. Keep in mind that living with anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders does not automatically suggest the presence of a MTHFR gene mutation. Instead, you should 'Ask a Naturopath' to test you for MTHFR underactivity as well as guide you in selecting the best treatment for your mental health.

Mr Vitamins Wellbeing Clinic

The Naturopaths and Nutritionists at Mr Vitamins Clinic are well-experienced in recommending the right tests to find out about MTHFR, and other related functional insights. You can follow up and gain major health benefits when you understand the deeper connections that relate to your past – and future health. Practitioner appointments available here...  

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