In each and every human being, there are genes. These genes are inherited from our parents and act as instructions that enable our bodies to carry out normal functions and develop unique characteristics. When a gene is defective, or there is a genetic mutation, it can lead to certain anomalies. One of them is called MTHFR blood clotting disorder. Anxiety can be due to genetic variation in the MTHFR gene.
MTHFR gene (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) is a gene in our body which is responsible for the production of a particular enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase which aids in the breakdown of folate and folic acid. Folate is an essential B vitamin which can be gotten when we consume foods like leafy greens, broccoli, lentils, and many types of beans, while folic acid synthetic form can be gotten from processed foods like cereals, supplements and so on. This essential vitamin, also is known as vitamin B9, is vital for the production of certain chemicals in the brain that are required for a healthy mental status. It is also necessary during pregnancy for the prevention of congenital abnormalities, to make red blood cells and iron.
What is MTHFR?
MTHFR mutations lead to very severe problems in the human body, such as MTHFR blood clotting disorder and anxiety. This is a condition in which the MTHFR gene is defective in its normal duties, which can lead to cardiovascular problems, miscarriages, psychological problems, even physical problems, and it has been associated with some cancers. Approximately one in four people carries a mutation in the MTHFR gene, which is inherited from our parents.
However, only a relative number of people actually present with symptoms while the rest are asymptomatic. Basically, MTHFR gene is key for methylation to occur. This is a metabolic process that regulates genes, repairs DNA and many other important things. Methylation is of great importance in the metabolism and conversion of both folate and folic acid into 5-MTHF. In this form, it is active and usable in the body.
How Do You Know If You Have MTHFR?
People usually experience symptoms of vitamin B deficiency or more specifically folate deficiency like lightheadedness, fatigue, chapped lips, eczema, tension, poor memory, lack of energy, poor appetite, and stomach pains. These are often missed early symptoms in a person with MTHFR gene mutations. As a consequence, more severe problems usually develop, affecting a person both mentally and physically. More severe psychological symptoms are anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism. MTHFR mutations also increase the risk of several physical health problems, including but not limited to, cardiovascular disease and stroke, recurrent early miscarriage, migraine with aura, osteoporosis, and some cancers.
If you suspect you have MTHFR blood clotting disorders and anxiety, the best way to confirm this is to get tested. This can be done by seeing a doctor and getting MTHFR tests and your homocysteine levels checked. A high homocysteine level is due to poor methylation, and this can help in making the right diagnosis.
How Does MTHFR Cause Anxiety?
Anxiety is a huge problem for people all over the world. Studies have shown that about 30 percent of the US population is affected. If you have once been anxious or had anxiety attacks or even panic attacks you know how bad feeling and even debilitating those feelings can be. Few people are yet to realize that MTHFR gene mutations sometimes have a considerable role in anxiety & depression disorders.
Let’s take a look at how these gene mutations cause you anxiety. MTHFR gene mutations lead to MTHFR or MethyleneTetraHydroFolate Reductase deficiency which causes the body to inadequately use folate in its active form from the food you eat. Due to this anomaly, many nutritional pathways in the body become disabled or reduced, like the conversion of the amino acid homocysteine into a different amino acid, methionine. Methionine will not be able to be utilized by the body for the production of proteins and other essential compounds, including neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are crucial when mental health is concerned.
The result of this problem is MTHFR symptoms and associated conditions like anxiety and even panic attacks being the top of the list. The main genes that play a vital part in causing anxiety are divided into two. These are C677T and the A1298C genes. Mutations in C677T AND A1298C genes, each have their own way of making one feel anxious, and sometimes an individual can have both simultaneously making the situation more severe.
B Complex Group of Vitamins and Anxiety Treatment Success
According to a double-blinded research conducted, it was found that using vitamin B-complex multivitamin as well as its supplements, observed to counteract the emotions of anxiety, perceived stress, and fatigue. The study was carried out in about 80 healthy men who were between the age brackets of 18 to 42, giving a rough estimate of those who have lived for approximately two to four decades. This provided the researchers with the chance to have matured adults for the study, and they were assigned to each use a daily multivitamin or a placebo for four weeks.
The mineral content consisted of 15 mg of vitamin B1 and vitamin B2, about 50 mg of vitamin B3, vitamin B5 was 23 mg, while vitamin B6 in the composition was10 mg, vitamin B7 was 150 mcg, vitamin B9 was 400 mcg, and vitamin B12 was10 mcg. Other minerals and vitamins added were 500 mg of vitamin C, 100mg of calcium and magnesium as well as 10 mg of zinc. When compared to those who used the placebo, those that had multivitamins administered to them experienced steady and significant relief from anxiety, and they were more productive as they did not feel as tired.
There are a couple of ways to get high-folate nutrition, which will provide the body with a supply of folate and not mere folic acid, in one’s diet. This will assist in the production of the active form of 5-MTHF. Foods like beans and lentils, as well as leafy green vegetables like raw spinach, are rich in folate.
One can also get daily supplies of folate from Asparagus, Romaine, Broccoli, Avocado, Oranges and Mangoes. For those suffering from the MTHFR mutation, the best bet is to get supplements. Studies have also shown that eating quality protein meals like liver, kidney, heart, nutritional yeast and fermented dairy products, is also a great way to fortify the body with the B complex vitamins.
The world is becoming more aware of mental disorders increasingly day by day. Finding relief from anxiety and depression, or even preventing them in the first place, has become paramount. Old age predisposes one to many medical and physical issues. It is only fair that one takes absolute care of oneself by not practicing any form of illicit and improper actions, while proactively eating healthy, resting well, and exercising correctly.
If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or any other symptoms of MTHFR, see your doctor.
MTHFR Mutation Symptoms, Diagnoses & Natural Remedies – Dr. Axe. (2017). Draxe.com. Retrieved 4 April 2018, from https://draxe.com/mthfr-mutation/
Support team, M. (2018). Anxiety & MTHFR -Gene mutation the cause of your anxiety?. Mthfrgenehealth.com. Retrieved 4 April 2018, from https://mthfrgenehealth.com/anxiety-mthfr/
Vitamin B-Complex | Michigan Medicine. (2015). Uofmhealth.org. Retrieved 4 April 2018, from https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2922005