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MTHFR, The Holy Grail or another Fad?

MTHFR, The Holy Grail or another Fad?

My epignetics v2

When a new idea enters the landscape, the idea starts out as a thought and then we do a google search to find out what the heck the fuss is about. The google search shows little and you have to keep asking and listening to others that are leading the way. A few more people feel that this new idea will change their life forever and the word starts to launch. This is what happened with MTHFR. It was only a few years ago we hadn’t heard of it. Now everyone wants to know, and they believe it is the holy grail. Truly nothing is the ”Holy Grail” to life – not one simple thing. Yes, MTHFR can help many people in understanding more about their health, however believe me if it was a matter of taking an activated-B supplement everyone would do it and we would have no further health issues. Let’s put this into perspective. MTHFR – significant? Yes, you definitely want your pathways to be working well (I will explain more soon) however your body is a complex interplay of biochemicals with nutrients feeding organs and glands etc.

Fast track a few years and most people that come to visit me have MTHFR tested before they arrive and some have other genetic SNP’s results as well. They understand more about the underlying mechanisms working within. What next? Now they ask, “How do I manage my MTHFR?”

In Australia, as things become popular supplement companies get on the band wagon and develop new products. Of course, this happens all over the world. When something exciting and leading edge appears in the health industry new products come out.  In Australia we now have many products based on the MTHFR gene and genetic testing available. It can become confusing as there is much information out there and many different products to choose from. 

I remember an article I read a few years ago where a person discussed how their anxiety subsided after taking folinic acid.  From this everyone wanted to take the activated forms of folic acid. Folic acid is the synthesized (chemically produced from of folic acid that is placed in many processed foods as mandated in many countries including breads, cereals, cakes and supplements as it prevents neutral tube defects). On my journey as a practitioner, I went to Dr Ben Lynch’s Seeking Health Conference in 2015, which was fantastic learning. After that I put almost all MTHFR clients on 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) and after 3 months several reported increased irritability and being over-energised. I needed to know more and set about learning. Since then I know there is so much more to MTHFR than taking an activated-B supplement.  If only it was that simple!  There are many people who take supplements based on google searches however now I am finding more people who want to the best approach to taking supplements (if needed) for MTHFR, in other words based on their individualised health condition (along with testing if required which is often the case in more complex cases).     

What is MTHFR?

It is more prevalent in the Spanish, Italian and Chinese populations and affects approximately 55% of Australians. Yes, that is very high, which means the person sitting next to you potentially has an MTHFR mutation.

How do I manage my MTHFR?  

My recommendation is to gain an understanding of what is occurring beneath the surface through a full holistic approach to health with a practitioner who understands many different aspects of complex issues and uses testing as a tool to gain your full holistic picture if needed. The type of testing depends on you – what is occurring for you individually; the signs and symptoms you have, and the journey you have been with your health. And if you do not want to test that is also okay, afterall it is your body!  the testing provides further insights. 

Most commonly people treat MTHFR using activated B-vitamins. Placing MTHFR into perspective helps with understanding. Believe me it’s not about treating the SNP’s (gene mutations), we have to dig deeper than that. We need to TREAT THE PERSON. Treat you as a whole. I know it is easier to take one pill that will fix everything for you. Your body is more complex than that. We need to find out what is causing the MTHFR SNP potentially not function as well as it could and look at all aspects that are influencing this including yeast/candida, bacterial infections, heavy metals, gut issues etc that affect your genes.

Understanding MTHFR

MTHFR (methyltetrahydrofolatereductase) is an enzyme in the body that is responsible for converting one form of folate (5,10-methylene tetrahydrofolate), into the activated folate (5-methyltetrahydrofolate).  It is then activated and can be used. This process (folate cycle) requires vitamin B2 and B3 for it to function well – so that the road opens (so to speak) and allows things to move through.  

The folate cycle then connects to the methionine cycle (which is termed methylation). This process also needs a variety of nutrients to ensure this and other enzymes are able to work properly. These nutrients include: vitamin B2, B3, B6, B12, zinc, choline, magnesium, energy, and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine).  The methionine cycle then connects to the transulfuration cycle and the folate cycle connects to the biopterin cycle. All of this requires numerous nutrients and enzymes to function correctly for the super highways (so to speak) to function correctly. The enzymes of all pathways can be inhibited by substances as well – including high levels of vitamins, deficiency of vitamins, heavy metals, unwanted bacterial infections, yeasts and inflammation. The system is complex and an issue in one area potentially impacts the next.  Your body really is about a balance of everything (maintaining equilibrium and homeostasis is the key).

If we use too much of one thing it can impact the next. This is where it is important to learn to understand your body and what is occurring. If you use one nutrient in excess, it can ‘’push’’ others ‘’out’’ or push too ‘’hard’’ against the cycle affecting enzymes and their ability to do their job effectively. A perfect example of this is our electrolytes. If we push hard on one of them for example calcium then this will push out the balance of magnesium. 

An Activated B-Complex often has many B vitamins within it and sometimes other nutrients as well. It is important to support your pathways however over time you will find that an individualised approach is needed.  You need to be assessed based on your holistic picture – what is expressing in your body and treating that along with the underlying issues occurring. When viewing genetic SNPs (23andMe or it often becomes highlighted in a profile which ones are the ‘’main’’ areas that require ongoing support. It is much more than taking a supplement. There are aspects of a person’s life that often need attention – i.e. environmentally mould in a house, a diet needs some attention, blood pathology signals problems with thyroid function or perhaps a person is not sleeping due excess stress. These are all aspects that require a skilled practitioner to look at and understand holistically and then the impact MTHFR is having. We need a holistic well-rounded view of our health and life (not pointing to one gene as the cause to our health issues – a reductionist view it is called).  MTHFR is definitely here to stay. Learning how to manage this with more than activated-B vitamins is the key. Tuning in and getting to know yourself is part of that journey. 

Special Discounts until end Jan 2019

Your Methylation Kit – 1  (For those with High blood pressure use this kit. Those with normal blood pressure can also use this kit).

50% Discount

  • BioActive B – 60 Caps
  • Cal:Mag 1:1 – 60 Caps
  • TraceMins – 90 caps
  • Cost – includes GST – $59.95

Your Methylation Kit – 2 (for those with Normal blood pressure)

50% Discount

  • Basica Active Alkalising Mineral Formula – 300gm
  • BioActive B – 60 Caps
  • Cost – includes GST – $63.50

Digestive Support – Digest Forte – 30% Discount – $25.95 includes GST

If postage required the cost is – approx. $12.00-$15.00 – depending on where you live

Call Karen today to order your kit on 0400836254 or email Orders can be processed over the phone.

All packages available until the end of January 2019

See Consultations here

See MTHFR testing and Genetic Profiling here 

Genetic Testing

Migraine Solutions that Count

Migraine Solutions that Count

Do you suffer from debilitating migraines or know someone who has? Here are some vital migraine solutions that count. If you aren’t a migraine suffer then it’s not truly easy to understand what it must be like to suffer in silence. Imagine what it must be like to have nasty migraines that stop you from working, sleeping soundly, having extreme sensitivity too light, noise and nausea and to feel like your head is in a vice. Continue reading

The 8 Best Nutrients for MTHFR SNPs

The 8 Best Nutrients for MTHFR SNPs

Whether you have MTHFR genetic SNP’s or not here’s the 8 best foods to optimize your health and give your body the zing it needs.

When it comes to foods eating naturally wholesome, fresh, and organic if possible is still the best!

Continue reading

Vitamin B3: New kid on the block in prevention against miscarriages

vitamin B3Vitamin B3: New kid on the block in prevention against miscarriages & babies born with defects

“Arguably, it’s the most important discovery for pregnant women since folate. The promise is that this could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and babies born with defects.”

Scientists from the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney investigated why some women have multiple miscarriages and why some babies are born with heart, kidney and spinal defects.  They found a major cause was a deficiency of a vital molecule known as NAD, which is important for normal development of organs. Lead researcher Professor Sally Dunwoodie said it was the first time NAD been associated with miscarriages and birth defects.

“We have discovered a whole new cause of birth defects and a way to treat it as well,” she said.

“The promise is that this could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and babies born with defects”.vitamin b3

NAD is usually formed in the body as part of a healthy diet that includes eggs, cheese, salmon, turkey, nuts and seeds. But you can also get it by taking supplements of vitamin B3.

The head of the Victor Chang Institute, Professor Bob Graham, said the discovery could potentially help millions of women around the world.

“What’s exciting for me is that we may be able to help people who have children who have developmental defects or who have had miscarriages,” he said.

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team proved birth defects and miscarriages could be overcome by taking vitamin B3. They found a disruption of NAD synthesis caused a deficiency of NAD and congenital malformations in humans and mice. Niacin supplementation during gestation prevented the malformations in mice. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others.)healthy foods

“We gave pregnant mice with the NAD gene knocked out a regular dose of vitamin B3 and we found it prevented miscarriages and birth defects, over-riding the genetic block,” Professor Dunwoodie said.

Vitamin B3 has a universal role throughout human body metabolism: supporting cellular mitochondrial energy production, is anti-ageing, assists with detoxification, provides skin protection, and assists calming of neurological over-excitation (including from over-methylation). These are certainly exciting times for vitamin B3.


NAD Deficiency, Congenital Malformations, and Niacin Supplementation

Vitamin B3 supplements can prevent miscarriages, birth defects: study

Need to consult a professional who can assist in deciding the best approach for you? Contact Karen today!

What lies beneath, the silence you don’t see

What lies beneath, the silence you don’t see

The more patients I see, the more chronic the picture seems to be getting in this busy and stressful world. What lies beneath, the silence you don’t see of the leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, environmental toxins, stress from family life, are influencing health in profound ways. The issues are multi-factorial and are compounded by your genetic profile and how you live your life.

My role as a clinician, is to find the underlying reasons why you are not healthy, and what you need to do to change this. Sometimes the job can be overwhelming, which is why the approach needs to be slow and steady, step-by-step.  As a Naturopath I often comment to my patients if your disease state is manifesting now, imagine how long it has taken to build (festering) in your body! My rule of thumb (and really there is no rule of thumb because we are all unique), for every year you have had your condition, allow one month of dedicated healing to change it. This appears daunting at first however my aim is to show you that it can take time, patience and dedication to your health, to get you back on track.

3 things that make your life easy now!

  • Focus on the now, one thing at a time, that is all you need to do
  • Chunk your health condition or issues into smaller bite size pieces – a bit like a puzzle. Each part of the puzzle has a aspect or clue as to what you need to change
  • Don’t listen to your negative self-talk. I’m not sure if you are aware, you are not your inner self dialogue. You are much more than that. Often this inner talk is negative and stops you in your tracks.


Each day in every way, I am getting stronger and stronger

Maybe this is your positive mantra or personalise it and make one of your own. This keeps you motivated and moving toward better health in your life. There will be times that you go off track, life’s cycles, ups and downs. That is part of life. And most of all be kind to yourself.

Ask yourself: What dedicated practice do I need to embrace to daily to create what I want in my life? Choose one thing at a time and it slowly and grdaully. Slow and steady wins the race.  Do you need more help in getting the results you need? What is holding me back from taking better care of me? And, who would be the best person to help you through? Seeking help from a professional to work and find out your best approaches and resources to create a newer, happier you are super important to you.

The reasons why a clinician tests…what lies beneath

So often after many questions asked, delving deeply into conditions, finding out what lies beneath, compiling research I still ask patients to complete testing with me. We call this functional testing. Why? Finding valid approaches too complex, multifactorial cases is useful, saves time in the long run and provides a direction that can be useful to gain health.

Recently with a client we conducted Heavy Mineral Testing Analysis. Why? You may ask. She was overweight (which concerned her) and part the investigation showed perhaps heavy metals being a culprit. To our surprise the heavy metals were not the culprit, the balance of major minerals was. She had an imbalance of calcium to magnesium, always supplementing with magnesium, and had many minerals out of balance.

Suffering in silence with mood swings, not herself and lacking motivation, I recently conducted a Urine Hormone Analysis with a client that showed adrenal fatigue and lowered sex hormones. An extremely valid test for a woman who was tired, lacking motivation and finding it difficult to feel energetic and vital.

Biocompatibility Hair Testing is another test that I use. It always surprises me the foods that come up as being the culprits that will therefore be placing the immune system on red alert and leading to inflammation, skin conditions, possible weight and energy issues (to name a few). If you have autoimmunity it is highly recommended. The common ones  – wheat, dairy, soy, nuts and shellfish usually appear however there are also obscure foods that are unique to you that can be predisposing you to health issues such as leaky gut, SIBO and immune dysregulation.

OATS – organic acid testing provides valuable insights to evaluate four critical areas of metabolism: gastrointestinal function, cellular and mitochondrial energy production, neurotransmitter processing, and amino acid/organic acid balance as influenced by vitamin/mineral cofactors. Results can be used to address chronic systemic complaints ranging from chronic fatigue and mood disorders to headache, muscular/joint pain, and digestive problems.  A simple urine test can provide much information about your general internal state of affairs.

MTHFR and genetic testing can be as easy as you would like it to be and as complex. Getting a full genetic profile testing is not for everyone. Some people just don’t want to know what the potential health hazards can be. Let’s put this into perspective. It is genetic potential – that which you are predisposed to, not necessarily going to get! Many clients are happy to stick with MTHFR which can provide some understanding as to why you feel lethargic, cardiovascular dissease risk and slowing of repair mechanisms or detoxification in the body.  For more information ask Karen on 0400836254.

Don’t suffer in silence make changes today! The tests that are available today are numerous and too many to mention here. If you would like something explored further there is probably a test that can help however I only recommend testing when I completely believe it will assist the client.

Seek professional help today from an experienced naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist Karen Green from Gaining Health Naturally

MTHFR, What’s the fuss?

MTHFR, What’s the fuss?

MTHFR, What’s the fuss, began several years ago for me when I noticed that several of my patients continually suffered from fatigue and stress and after providing specific nutrients their health improved. Surprisingly for others nothing changed.  I kept asking myself what is going on? In times past, there has been a belief that your genes are set in stone and therefore there is nothing you can do to change them. In other words you were doomed with what you have! We know know this is no where near the truth. Your diet, lifestyle and the environment you live absolutely make a difference. You can influence your genes!

Continue reading

What are your genetic triggers to disease?

What are your genetic triggers to disease?


We never truly understand how important our health is until things start to fall apart. Want to understand the true underlying causes to your health concerns & disease? Genetic testing may help! Why? Your genes don’t lie.  Continue reading

Gaining Health Naturally Naturopathy Brisbane, Sunshine Coast Qld

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