The methylation cycle is the ideal pathway to focus on for nutrigenomic analysis because the proper function of this pathway is essential for over 250 processes in the body. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, or MTHFR, is a key regulatory enzyme in the metabolism of folate. It also refers to a specific gene that plays a major role in the body’s methylation process. Both the enzyme and the gene have the same name, MTHFR. The gene’s role is very complex, and recent discoveries have been focused around the MTHFR gene polymorphisms (or variants). These polymorphisms are often referred to as ‘mutations’ or ‘defects’ because of the problems they cause in the body.
Most often when you hear someone talk about MTHFR, they are referring to one of the two common MTHFR gene mutations that causes this MTHFR enzyme to become imperfect and therefore much less effective. Simply stated, MTHFR most often refers to a genetic mutation that inhibits the body’s ability to methylate or convert folic acid from the food we eat into Methylfolate. Methylfolate is most often referred to as the ‘active’ or usable form of folate that our cells require. Because the body’s cells cannot actually use folic acid, it must first go through a metabolic pathway or 4-step conversion process to become Methylfolate before the cells can use it. It is this metabolic pathway that the MTHFR gene defect inhibits and cause methylation deficiencies and/or neuro-immune syndromes.
The learnings about this gene defect have come out and taught us that there are as many as 50+ variants of the MTHFR gene. However, only two are considered ‘common’ defects that today’s MTHFR Blood Test checks for and are the: 677 and 1298 (discovered in 1995 and 2001).
For our Foundation, Methylation, Wellness Nutrigenomic Panel, 21 genes have been chosen by our experts to be analyzed for SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). The report algorithms and customized software will take the patient’s genetic results and create nutritional and lifestyle recommendations along with recommended lab work and health precautions based upon SNP results and their clinical expertise. The built-in proprietary software takes out the guess work and allows the provider to recommend the proper nutrition and health advisements safely by your DNA results.