If you’re interested in personalized genetic medicine you will have undoubtedly come across the protein methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). MTHFR is an enzyme which is encoded by the MTHFR gene and functions to convert 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (MTHF) to 5-MTHF (methyl folate) as part of a very complex pathway called the “one-carbon pathway”.
Two common polymorphisms MTHFR C677T (~30% of the population carry at least one allele) and A1298C (also ~30% of the population carry at least one allele) have been identified which lead to a reduction in its enzyme activity. This reduction has been linked with a variety of disorders including various psychological disorders, heart disease, migraines and problems during pregnancy.
This is thought to be driven by an accumulation of the harmful molecule homocysteine, which is normally converted into the less harmful cysteine or methionine, using compounds generated from the one-carbon pathway. In those with MTHFR C677T or A1298C the reduction in the amount of 5-MTHF formed is thought to be limiting, meaning that homocysteine accumulates more rapidly than it can be converted.
Several B vitamins are key co-factors in the one-carbon pathway and also in the direct conversion of homocysteine into cysteine or methionine. MTHFR Support contains vitamins B2,6 and 12 along with methyl folate to ensure that your one-carbon and homocysteine metabolism can function correctly.
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin 5’-phosphate
Riboflavin 5’-phosphate is the active form of vitamin B2. It is a co-factor required by the MTHFR enzyme in order to function in order to convert 5,10-MTHF into 5-MTHF. The polymorphisms C677T and A1298C result in a reduction in MTHFR activity meaning that less 5-MTHF is produced. 5-MTHF is required for the enzyme methionine synthase to convert the harmful molecule homocysteine to the less harmful methionine.
Vitamin B6 – Pyridocal 5′-phosphate
Pyridocal 5′-phosphate is the active form of vitamin B6. It is a co-factor required by several enzymes, cystathionine β synthase and cystathionine γ lysase which convert homocysteine to the less harmful cysteine. It also acts as a co-factor for the enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase which converts THF to 5,10-MTHF, the substrate used by MTHFR.
Vitamin B12 – Methylcobalamin
Methylcobalamin is a form of vitamin B12 which acts as a co-factor for methionine synthase. Methionine synthase converts homocysteine to the less harmful methionine whilst simultaneously converting 5-MTHF (production of which is limited by those carrying the C677T or A1298C SNP) into THF.
Folate – L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate
Folate is the main dietary source of the various compounds used in the one-carbon pathway discussed above. It is converted into THF at which point it enters the one-carbon pathway.
Betaine – Trimethylglycine
Alongside the one-carbon pathway discussed above there is another reaction which converts homocysteine to methionine. This reaction is processed by the enzyme betaine homocysteine methyltransferase which uses betaine as a source methyl groups for the formation of methionine from homocysteine.
MTHFR Support is a B vitamin methyl complex designed to give an extra "boost" to those with a reduced ability to process B vitamins as part of the body's methylation cycle, an important biochemical process that helps convert the problematic amino acid metabolite homocysteine into the amino acids methionine and cysteine.Dr. Steven Brody
Usage: 1 capsule daily with food or as directed by your healthcare provider.
Amount of Time to Use: In some cases, it is not necessary to use methyl donor supplements indefinitely. Seek the advice of your health care provider when determining the length of your supplement regimen.