Author: Audrey Marco, Naturopath, Canberra 18th May 2016
Beautifully complex humans being! We all have similarities, yet each and every one of us is unique! Unique by our complex gene disposition which in turn can have a massive effect on how every cells in our body are performing. For example, our gene can determine how well one can absorb and process (or metabolize) nutrients. It is the variation of these genes that can have an impact on how we metabolize certain essential nutrients such as Folate (also known as B9), B12 and B6.
An essential enzyme called MTFHR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase) is involved in converting the vitamin Folate into a form the body can use. P5P or Pyridoxal phosphate is the active form of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin (methylB12) or hydroxycobalmin (hydroxyB12)), being respectively the main forms the body can use.
These 3 main B vitamins ( B6, B9, B12) are so important in keeping us healthy as there are involved in many genetic , metabolic and nervous system processes. Unfortunately, gene variants of these active forms (P5P, MTHFR, methylB12 or HydroxyB12) are very common in the community. Even though a large variety of these nutrients are available through food, they get destroyed easily by heat and B12 for example is found mainly in animal sources and can still be difficult to absorb from our digestive tracts as we age or are subject to longer term stress.
You can find yourself with high folate or high B12 i.e. your body will have problems converting inactive forms of folate and B12 to the active forms. So the inactive folate or B12 will simply build up in your blood serum, also inhibiting the active forms. Most serum folate tests are actually measuring folic acid, which needed to be converted to methylfolate to be used metabolically. These are not the types of B vitamins sold in supermarkets and pharmacy, in fact some are from compounding pharmacy and naturopath only sources.
These nutrients are so important in so many ways, that it would take an essay size paper to describe in details each of their function on the body!
However here is a short list of their main actions/ therapeutic uses:
- Supplementation indicated for women of childbearing age to prevent neural tube birth defects
- Protects against heart disease and stroke ( reduces homocystine an inflammatory marker)
- Thyroid health
- Indicated for prevention and treatment of cervical dysplasia (cervical cancers, detectable via pap smears)
- Helps prevent cervical, lung, and colon cancer
- Indicated for Alzheimer’s dementia and impaired cognitive function in the elderly
- May improve acne
- Supplementation indicated for individuals with AIDS
- May relieve depression
- Indicated for mental or psychiatric symptoms in elderly
- Indicated, with B12, for macrocytic/megaloblastic anaemia
- Aids in the formation of healthy red blood cells, preventing macrocytic anaemia
- Indicated for candidiasis (severe/chronic/resistant candida and yeast infection)
- Helps prevent and treat rheumatoid arthritis
- May aid constipation and improve health of bowel lining
- Adjunctive therapy of cataracts
- May relieve headaches/ nausea
- Part of therapy for treatment of infertility
- May decrease risk of stroke
- Used in treatment of sickle-cell anaemia
- May protect against hypercholesterolemia, elevated cholesterol (HDL and LDL)
- May help maintain remission in irritable bowel disease
- May decrease hypertension and risk of stroke
- May be beneficial for bone health and prevention of fracture risk
- Helps with liver clearance
The journal Molecular Psychiatry states that “Schizophrenia-like syndromes, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia have all been associated with one or more mutations of the MTHFR gene”. (2006; 11, 352–360). This is huge!!!!
We highly recommend all patients with metabolic or nervous sytem conditions screen not standard blood serum folate and B12, but get the Methylated/active nutrition blood tested: Methyl Folate and Methylated B12.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Adv Dip of Naturopathy, Dip of Herbal Medicine – College of Naturopathic Medicine in London
Audrey grew up in Provence, South of France where she developed her passion for Herbal Medicine from an early age. She is passionate about helping people gaining optimum health and energy to able them to live a fulfilling life. She understands how Endocrine hormonal balancing is a beautifully complex and essential system for providing a healthy state to our bodies. Audrey has since moved to Canberra and completed an accreditation course at CIT in order to comply with Australian regulations and standard. Next, she is planning on studying for the Bachelor in Health and Sciences in Complementary Medicine.
Restoring full health and attaining wellness is an exciting process; Audrey is dedicated to working with customers, supporting and guiding them to archive the best health they possibly can. Audrey has experience both in Pharmacies and Health food store where she has developed a strong understanding of a united system of health care with the management of allopathic and Complementary medicines. Audrey has also previously worked as a Nanny in England for many years where she has gained knowledge on infants and children’s health.
She is registered practicing member of the Australian Natural Therapist Association.
Recommended reading & References
http://www.genetics.edu.au/Professionals visited on 29.04.16
www.imgateway.net visited on 29.04.16
http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/mthfr/ visited 29.04.16