We spent years of experimentation and thousands of dollars on MTHFR treatment. What is the best MTHFR test? What are the best MTHFR supplements? Are supplements enough to treat MTHFR mutations? What symptoms will be improved with MTHFR treatment – is it really worth all the hassle? Our lessons learned and conclusions are all spelled out here, and our MTHFR treatment strategy and results are surprising. First off, an outline of the content, for those who like to skip around:
Background & Our MTHFR Symptoms
- MTHFR Supplements
- Energetic MTHFR Treatment
- MTHFR -Tongue Tie & Frenectomy Connection
- MTHFR-Other Structural Issues Observed
- MTHFR-Parasite Connection
Background & Our MTHFR Symptoms
We started MTHFR treatment by trial and error before the term ‘methylation’ even gained popularity. This started when our oldest child was so fatigued in the afternoons that she could barely function. Her energy was much better when she took Beyond B12, a methylated B vitamin supplement. We didn’t really understand methylation, we just figured she had a B vitamin deficiency. Later we learned about the methylation cycle and how incredibly complex it is.
It turns out that MTHFR treatment was a piece of our health puzzle. Overall, once we got ourselves methylating properly, we experienced better energy, moods, detoxification, and increased ability of our bodies to deal with other health issues. These are apparently pretty common symptoms of methylation deficiency. (Wish we had known that back then!)
MTHFR Test Overview
It is in vogue these days to test for genetic mutations in the MTHFR gene. If a mutation is present, typically MTHFR treatment is suggested. This usually consists of prescribing an MTHFR supplement. However, even people with genetic mutations can be methylating well. For example, our oldest child never had any fatigue or problems methylating until she got Lyme disease. There are lots of very healthy people living with MTHFR mutations. These people have no symptoms of poor methylation. Conversely, there are people without an MTHFR genetic mutation whose methylation cycles are broken. My point is this – MTHFR tests are one data point, but it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole methylation story.
That being said, our family has done lots of MTHFR testing. As usual, I wasted some time and money here, so hopefully this information will help others avoid the same fate. There are currently three methods for testing for the MTHFR mutation that I am aware of – blood test through Labcorps, Quest, or equivalent, or 23andMe genetic saliva testing, or equivalent, and Dr. Amy Yasko’s Nutrigenomic Test.
The 23andme genome can be post-processed by Genetic Genie into easy-to-read methylation summaries. Genetic Genie gives more information about methylation than just the ‘conventional’ genetic mutations. It details a list of ~29 other methylation mutations, including VDRtaq and COMT. Science is still trying to understand the importance and effect of these methylation markers. In my experience, VDRtaq and COMT energetic treatments can do just as much good as a methylation supplement. (More on that in energetic MTHFR treatments later.) VDRtaq and COMT, in particular, are actually pretty important, perhaps even more so than the ‘conventional’ MTHFR mutations. Genetic Genie also offers a detox profile. Science doesn’t fully understand this either. I can’t say I’ve noticed any trends or better ability to detox in certain people given Genetic Genie Detox Profiles. I conclude that detox has more to do with the ‘terrain’ and environment than it does with genetics. In summary, Genetic Genie gives interesting information, but we don’t understand enough yet to devise an MTHFR treatment plan from these results alone.
Dr. Amy Yasko has her own MTHFR test. It is unclear to me that this is much more helpful than Genetic Genie. Furthermore, we were able to figure out MTHFR treatment without this test or her protocol. We did have some of the items in her protocol as energetic treatments. There is controversy in the medical community about her approach and science. I can’t say I’ve spent enough time studying her work to form an opinion. However, I am of the opinion that methylation can be fixed without Dr. Yasko’s MTHFR test or protocol.
We have done both blood (Labcorp) and saliva (23andMe) on all members of our family, and found the results 100% consistent for conventional MTHFR mutations between the two methods. 23andme testing is cheaper at the time of writing, and it offers way more information through Genetic Genie post-processing. So, that would be the method I would choose in hindsight. Below is a summary of our MTHFR mutations:
|Family Member||Conventional Mutation(s)|
|Youngest Child||C677T / C677T|
|Oldest Child||C677T / A1298C|
|Husband||C677T / A1298C|
Interestingly the Husband has traditionally been the healthiest in our family, and the oldest child and/or mom the sickest. I have to assume that this is due to issues other than methylation. I theorize that Husband’s health has more to do with his great detoxification ability. The oldest child’s struggles are perhaps because of her large heavy metal burden and longer time living with chronic Lyme disease.
How to Treat MTHFR
The real question is – if there is a methylation mutation or one has symptoms of poor methylation, what do you do about it? Is there a one-size-fits-all MTHFR treatment for a given mutation? Here’s a list of what we found most helpful, in rank order from most helpful to least helpful. The next few sections go over these topics in more detail.
- Supplements – In general, we found methylation supplements helpful, but we found they needed to change over time.
- Energetic MTHFR Treatments – These treatments really work for methylation. Really. Portions of the methylation cycle can be fixed that cannot be addressed with supplements.
- Tongue Tie & Frenectomy – Science is just starting to understand the connection between MTHFR mutations and the frenum . We had amazing results with frenectomies. I would definitely look into frenectomy, even in adult, as part of MTHFR treatment.
- Other Structural Issues – I observed that those of us who needed frenectomies also had flat feet.
- Parasites -We observed experimentally that the more parasites we cleared the better we methylated – without the help of MTHFR supplements.
There are practitioners making dietary, lifestyle, and environmental recommendations as part of MTHFR treatment. A good example is Dr. Lynch here . Dr. Lynch’s update to the article is great – “Regardless of MTHFR or not, the recommendations for diet, lifestyle and environment need to be considered by all!” The content presented here assumes these diet, lifestyle, and environmental recommendations are already dialed in. Amazing health benefits can come from these alone; more info & tips can be found in the best diet for health section.
No one methylation supplement fully solved any of our methylation issues at any point in time. What??? I start with this confusing statement because a lot of practitioners ‘prescribe’ a specific supplement for a specific MTHFR mutation. Some practitioners prescribe the same supplement no matter what mutation(s) are present. I have found this approach to help sometimes, but not always, and usually not optimally.
The MTHFR supplement we needed varied over time depending on what our bodies were doing, what was going on in our lives, etc. We had to constantly check in and adjust both which supplement we were taking and the dose. This video gives an example of how we check our methylation. If these debugging techniques are new, check out the Overview Video first.
Over time, we tried different MTHFR supplements. The most consistently useful for us, in rank order, were:
Beyond B12 is where we stared empirically when a practitioner recommended it to us. It definitely helped our oldest child, in fact she couldn’t function at all without it at that point in time. Later we learned that the Methyl Guards worked just as well if not better for her, without the mannitol, sorbitol, and potato.
Stress B-Complex was, however, very useful post-vaccination. Often vaccines push methylation out-of-whack. Consistently, after the Td vaccination, Stress B-Complex was most helpful.
The next question is which MTHFR supplements are best for a given mutation? Should all of these supplements be purchased and tested? Here is a table showing which supplement was testing best for each member of our family, averaged over time. Our testing was usually done with ZYTO once per month. When we didn’t go to ZYTO that month, then we tested at home as demonstrated in the video above. Note that Beyond B12 is not included, because we stopped using it once we found the other supplements without mannitol, sorbitol, and potato.
|Age of Person||Mutation (s)||Methyl Guard Plus||Methyl Guard||L-Methylfolate||Pantethine|
|4-5||C677T / C677T||24%||24%||52%|
|7-8||C677T / A1298C||63%||37%|
|41-43||C677T / A1298C||63%||12%||25%|
The % in the table is the percentage of time tested best on (and therefore took) that supplement. For example, our youngest child with C677T / C677T tested the best on Methyl Guard Plus (and therefore took it) about 24% of the time. Interestingly, the double C677T in our family seemed to be the only one needing the L-Methylfolate. The rest of us favored Methyl Guard Plus, with the parents also needing some Pantethine.
How often do MTHFR supplements need to be changed or revisited? Here is a list of things that pushed our methylation out of whack:
- Any change in medication
- Start or end of chelation
- Parasite cleansing
- Changes in diet
- Lifestyle changes (sleep, exercise, stress)
The list above indicates what we have found – any change, even small, in our lifestyle or health often meant that we needed to re-visit our MTHFR supplements. In general, we don’t take nearly as many MTHFR supplements now as we did when we were first starting to heal. MTHFR supplements are a dynamic, changing part of the overall MTHFR treatment plan. Specifically, working on the following health issues reduced our need for supplementation, in rank order from most helpful to least helpful:
- Energetic Treatments
- Dental Infections
I feel very strongly that a lot of our body’s inability to methylate came from parasite infections. We noticed a significant decrease in methylation supplementation needed after a few months of parasite cleanses. Ridding ourselves of the other chronic infection seemed to help a little bit, but clearing up parasites seemed to give us the biggest boost in our body’s methylation ability.
The above list is empirical, I haven’t cobbled any data together yet correlating this list to exactly how much less reliant we became on MTHFR supplements. I have come to the conclusion that our bodies will try to methylate, no matter what the genetic mutation. Chronic infections burden our bodies so much that the methylation cycle breaks. The genetic mutations are less of a problem to the methylation cycle than chronic infections and the ‘terrain’ or environment. Our family is now almost independent of MTHFR supplements, down from 4 pills per day to either none or a few pills a week. If the body is healthy, MTHFR supplements may not be part of the MTHFR treatment plan, even if one has a genetic mutation!
Energetic MTHFR Treatments
Energetic treatments can help with methylation. Often better than methylation supplements. What?!? Yup. Amazing but they can really help get methylation working. I have found that the methylation cycle can break at many different points in the chain. The broken point can vary over time. If we start a round of chelation, for example, our methylation cycle might break somewhere new. The cycle is incredibly complex, and supplements can only aid certain parts of the methylation process.
We have used both ZYTO for MTHFR treatment. Our ZYTO practitioner has all the items in Genetic Genie’s methylation report available as treatments. She also had all of Dr. Amy Yasko’s protocol items like RNA foods as energetic treatments. We haven’t had a major methylation problem or disaster since we started working on methylation with ZYTO. We have also reduced our dependence on MTHFR supplements since starting the energetic treatments. If a good ZYTO practitioner with methylation treatments can be found, then it might be worth the money.
MTHFR – Tongue Tie & Frenectomy Connection
I thought only babies with breastfeeding problems or people with speech impairments had frenectomies! It turns out frenectomies can also be helpful to people who don’t have any obvious symptoms. Science is just starting to understand the link between MTHFR and tongue tie. Dr. Benjamin Lynch talks about it in the article The Intersection of Tongue Tie and MTHFR . Environmental factors also play a big role, but MTHFR mutations seem to be involved as well. In truth, scientists are still learning and researching the connections.
I take the practical side on this topic – What is (or is not) a problem? What should be done? Will I feel better? Is it worth it to have a frenectomy? Consider these questions as part of an MTHFR treatment plan.
Surgery so that you ‘might feel better’ seemed a little questionable. Our youngest, however, had a minor speech slur and sometimes was difficult to understand. I could see with my own eyes how tight the frenum looked. The sides of the upper lip also looked really tight:
The above discussion and picture is a preview of the frenectomy section. All of the details about when to get a frenectomy, and tips, tricks and lessons learned can be found in the frenectomy section.
After the amazing frenectomy results with our youngest child, we decided to consider frenectomies on the rest of the family as part of MTHFR treatment. It turns out my husband didn’t need a frenectomy, only the oldest daughter and I did. To figure this out, we consulted dentists, osteopaths, and the oral myofascial therapist.
|Age of Person||Mutation (s)||Type of frenectomy||Slurred Speech||Development of Jaw/Face||Growth Spurt||Hunch-Back Posture||Overall Good Mood & Happiness|
|C677T / C677T||T, LB||++||+++||+++||+++|
|C677T / A1298C||L, LB||++||+|
|C677T||T (L done in car accident)||+++||+|
|C677T / A1298C||Didn’t need any|
T= under the tongue, a.k.a lingual
L= holding the lip in the front, a.k.a labial
LB = holding the lip on the side, a.k.a labial buckle
+ = slight improvement
++ = major improvement
+++ = unbelievable improvement
The youngest child and I had the worst tongue ties in the family, and we both have C677T mutations only. We also both saw the most benefit from frenectomies. This is not enough data for a conclusion, but interesting to note. Hopefully this table helps quantify the benefits of considering frenectomy as part of an MTHFR treatment strategy.
Other Structural Issues Observed
After we had frenectomies, I found that our body structure shifted and we needed osteopathic and chiropractic visits as well. Any time when a child grows a few inches in a week, they probably need some structural support!
I also noticed that some of us were very flat-footed and needed arch supports. Could other structural issues be part of our MTHFR treatment puzzle? Here is a summary of what I observed:
|Age of Person||Mutation (s)||Type of frenectomy||Arch?||Shoe inserts?|
|4-5||C677T / C677T||T, LB||None||Y|
|7-8||C677T / A1298C||L, LB||A little||Y|
|38-40||C677T||T (L done in car accident)||Very little||Y|
|41-43||C677T / A1298C||Didn’t need any||Yes||N|
Those of us who needed frenectomies seemed to be more flat-footed and needed shoe inserts. In addition to wearing shoe inserts, we do exercises to help build the arch. The exercises can be found in this book. Skating was also used by us as a therapy for building the arch and strengthening supporting foot, ankle and leg muscles. All this as part of MTHFR treatment – who knew there might be a connection!
I observe that those of us who needed shoe inserts also needed postural corrections. Postural corrections? Yup, we needed to re-learn to sit, stand, and walk. This book is a summary of the techniques and exercises we did to improve our posture.
Clearing up parasite issues dramatically improved our body’s ability to methylate on its own. After working on clearing parasites, we hardly require MTHFR supplements. We also rarely require energetic MTHFR treatments anymore. My guesstimate is that it took about 4-6 months of parasite medications to notice a significant reduction in the amount of MTHFR supplements and treatment we needed. I have no quantitative data to back this up, nor have I seen any studies (yet!) on the relationship between parasites and methylation. I do observe one interesting link between the two: Dr. Amy Yasko who sells a methylation protocol as a treatment for autism, and Kerri Riviera who promotes parasite treatment as part of her autism healing protocol.
No questions yet, ask away!
 Ben Lynch ND, “The Intersection of Tongue Tie & MTHFR,” 2014.
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