Food sources high in L-Methylfolate (Folate)

Food sources high in L-Methylfolate (Folate) Activated form of (Folic Acid)

Most leafy green plant sources contain approximately 80% of folate in the active L-methylfolate form.  In other words all of the folate in green plant sources is reduced (ready to be methylated if not already methylated).

Virtually none of the folate in fresh food is folic acid which is considered to be harmful to those with the MTHFR Gene Mutation.

Green smoothies containing raw spinach or kale and organic strawberries are a folate powerhouse.

Green smoothies containing raw spinach or kale and organic strawberries are a folate powerhouse.

 

Grains such as wheat, corn and rice are low in folate, resulting in low folate status in most people.

Meat is generally low in folate, except for liver, which is high in non-methylated (not 5-MTHF) folate.

L-methylfolate is essential for brain health – raw or lightly cooked dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and other fresh vegetables are required for a healthy happy brain.

Foods high in L-methylfolate (Folate)

  • Sprouted legumes (e.g. mung bean, lentil, chickpea, whitebeans)
  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Strawberries (and other berries)
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges, grapefruit, and their juices
  • Fermented foods such as kefir, water kefir, sauerkraut
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Peas
  • Sweet peppers

Dried legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and white beans have the highest folate concentration of any food, however they are mostly in the non-methylated form.  Sprouting legumes for four days causes a 3 – 4 x increase in total folate, a near-complete conversion of the folate to L-methylfolate, and a spike in vitamin C content that protects and stabilizes the 5-MTHF.

Eating legumes sprouted for 4 days is quite possibly the single most powerful way of increasing your body’s supply of L-methylfolate (aside from 5-MTHF supplementation).

Eating legumes sprouted for 4 days is quite possibly the single most powerful and natural way of increasing your body’s supply of L-methylfolate (aside from 5-MTHF supplementation).

 

Green smoothies containing raw spinach or kale and organic strawberries are a folate powerhouse. Vitamin C in foods powerfully protects folate from breaking down. Hence, foods with both folate and vitamin C (such as broccoli and citrus) are super sources of L-methylfolate.

Other sources of  L-methylfolate

Bacteria and yeasts are folate factories, and hence fermented foods are excellent sources of active folate.

L-methylfolate (5-MTHF) supplements are rapidly gaining in popularity because they work.

If you have MTHFR gene mutations, eating fresh folate-rich foods every day becomes even more important, however supplementation may also be required.

 

Berries fresh or frozen never lose their folate

Berries fresh or frozen never lose their folate

 

Effects of food processing on folate

Folate (L-methylfolate included) is relatively fragile and degrades when food is processed, therefore it is important to buy fresh green vegetables (primarily leafy greens and cruciferous) from the fresh produce department.  Organic vegetables are the preferred choice especially for those who are sensitive to pesticides.

Berries fresh or frozen never lose their folate and can remain frozen for up to 5 months.

Vegetables as close to their raw state as possible is best for folate availability.  Lightly steamed vegetables preserve the folate.  Boiling vegetables leeches the folate into the water.  Avoid boiling unless the water will be used in a soup where the liquid is also consumed.

 Article sourced from mindwhale

What is MTHFR Gene Mutation?

MTHFR specifically is a gene that holds the instructions for the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.

When functioning properly, it is highly efficient at helping our bodies convert vitamin B9 (folate), folic acid into a usable form called methylfolate.  This process is called methylation.

When the MTHFR gene is mutated, the capacity to convert vitamin B9 into methylfolate is reduced by 40-70%.

Converting folate into a useable form is essential for DNA (protein building blocks) synthesis and repair, neurotransmitter production i.e. serotonin, melatonin, dopamine just to name a few, detoxification, and immune function.

 

When the MTHFR gene is mutated, the capacity to convert vitamin B9 into methylfolate is reduced by 40-70%. 

When the MTHFR gene is mutated, the capacity to convert vitamin B9 into methylfolate is reduced by 40-70%.

 

In simpler terms imagine your DNA is a cookbook and your genes that give instructions to your cells are the recipes within that cookbook. If one of those recipes got a little mixed up (gene mutation) it can affect all the other recipes within that cookbook that call for that same recipe (gene).

Essentially that is what a mutation is – a slight change to the instructions that can have sometimes small, sometimes significant impacts on other genes.

The “folate in most processed fortified foods i.e. cereals and bakery goods and vitamins is folic acid which is harmful to those with the Gene Mutation”.

 

Are all MTHFR mutations the same?

No. There are over fifty types of MTHFR gene mutations, possibly more that have yet to be discovered.  The two that are most commonly studied and tested for are C677T and A1298C.

C677T mutation

  • We inherit one copy of each gene from our mother and father. If you test positive for the C677T mutation there are two possibilities.
  • Heterozygous – having one copy of the C677T mutation and one normal copy translating to an estimated 40% loss of function.
  • Homozygous – having two copies of the C677T mutation translating to an estimated 70% loss of function.

A1298C mutation

  • There is debate about whether those with the A1298C mutation experience diminished function. Some say no but in our experience definitely!

 

We inherit one copy of each gene from our mother and father.

We inherit one copy of each gene from our mother and father.

 

In cases where an individual is compound heterozygous – having one C677T mutation and one A1298C mutation – there is an estimated 50% loss of function.

 

What could MTHFR gene mutation affect?

Recently there is more of an understanding of what can be affected and so far, researchers have found a connection between MTHFR gene mutation and the following;

  • Tongue and lip ties, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, recurrent miscarriage, asthma, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, multiple sclerosis type symptoms, anxiety, insomnia, severe PMT,

 

Can we supplement with folic acid?

Unfortunately, folic acid which is a synthetic vitamin found in fortified foods and almost all vitamin supplements is considered harmful to people with MTHFR mutations.

People who have low levels of the MTHFR enzyme are not able to convert it into a usable form.

The unconverted folic acid attaches itself to the same receptors in the body used to absorb folate, effectively blocking the body’s ability to absorb any usable folate consumed from your green vegetables.

 

Processed and fortified foods such as cereals and baked goods, and almost all vitamins contain the synthetic form of folate which is harmful to those with the Gene Mutation

Processed and fortified foods such as cereals and baked goods, and almost all vitamins contain the synthetic form of folate which is harmful to those with the Gene Mutation

 

Many lab tests do not distinguish between folic acid and folate when measuring blood levels. If folic acid intake is high, the results may show an individual has adequate amounts of folate when in fact what they actually have are high levels of unusable folic acid (but very little of the natural folate).

 

The good news!

Our DNA is not our destiny.

DNA is like a musical instrument. It’s there, but in order to make music it needs something or someone to play it. That something is epigenetics.  Epigenetics literally means “above” genetics. The epigenome is a second genome that plays the first like a violin, turning genes on and off like sheet music.

What is that sheet music?  Our lives. Our choices. The food we eat. The way we interact with stress. Whether or not we get enough sleep. And for those with the MTHFR mutation, how you compensate for it in order to support overall function.

 

Lifestyle and dietary choices can have a big impact on those with the Gene Mutation

Lifestyle and dietary choices can have a big impact on those with the Gene Mutation

 

You have the MTHFR mutation. What now?

Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to MTHFR.  Supplementation with methylfolate (labeled as 5 L-MTHF or 6(S)-L-MTHF) is often recommended along with vitamin B-12 (in the form of SL methylcobalamin or hydroxycobalamin).

However, there are cases in which supplementation can cause serious side effects, especially when high doses are introduced at the beginning.

This is often the case when the individual has other genetic mutations that interact with MTHFR or especially toxic build up that can cause severe detox reactions that one’s liver cannot cope with in methylating out these toxins.

Hence the “Brain Fog” experienced.

Consultation with an experienced Health Care Practitioner with good knowledge of MTHFR Gene Mutation is recommended.  At Natural Healing Centre we have Dr Nerida James N.D.  and Ashleigh Mythen who both have good knowledge of MTHFR.

 

How to get tested for MTHFR

A blood test referral from your Natural Health Care Practitioner or your G.P.  can be obtained for a Specialist Laboratory.   Children can also be affected and should be tested also.

 

Article sourced from Mommypotamous