MTHFR or Mercury Poisoning

No. I’m not swearing at you.

That’s what I thought when I first saw this being talked about in the lyme, mold illness and chronic illness support groups.

MTHFR = methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. If you think, “mother, father” than you can keep your mind clean.

Fad or Fact?

dna geneticsMTHFR has become a hot topic, one that some people doctors are focusing on. Some people feel they have found the answers because they have discovered they have a genetic mutation which causes detoxing difficulties. I have even read that people with this genetic mutation have to stay away from mercury because they cannot detox it. The fact is, anyone can detox mercury given the correct information.

Some are supplementing with methyl-B12, P-5-P B6, Trimethylglycine, Folate and sometimes BH4 Biopterin. I don’t doubt that some people will be helped with these supplements… and that is why people are buying into this theory. They feel better with the supplements, so they must be onto something.

I have yet to see someone who is 100% well because of the MTHFR diagnosis and treatment… if you are out there please comment here and educate me… because I admit I am still learning.

The MTHFR Enzyme Mutation has been blamed for schizophrenia, strokes, chronic illness, pregnancy loss, autism and probably more. My question is, if MTHFR is the underlying reason some people are sick… why isn’t everyone with the same genetic code also sick?

This study Aberrations in folate metabolic pathway and altered susceptibility to autism says that out of 138 autistic and 138 non-autistic children, 9 non-autistic children have the 677T-allele and 23 autistic children have this allele. Their conclusions state that there is an increased risk for autism if a child has the 677T allele. What about those 9 children who don’t have autism and do have the allele? I believe the study was far too small to come to this conclusion.

Another study says MTHFR C677T is not a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders. Also done with a very small group of children: 151 autistic children and 100 healthy control children focusing on the 677T allele… the conclusion is there is no association between the T allele and autistic behaviors. The 677T allele was just as common in the non-autistic group as the autistic group.

There are thousands of these studies available with conclusions on both sides of the fence. I can just as easily find studies that link these same diseases to mercury poisoning. I tend to believe that as common as mercury is in the air, the water supply, our food and vaccinations, the latter is much more likely.

Instead of jumping on the MTHFR bandwagon, I suggest you look at both sides of the argument. Some say that genetics and gene mutation are the reason for illness… others say that heavy metals, mycotoxins, chemicals and other environmental causes are the reason for illness.

Mercury Poisoning

hg mercuryNone of these studies tested for toxicity or more specifically, mercury poisoning. How many of those autistic children had mothers with amalgams. How many were vaccinated? How many love to eat tuna fish? Or lived where the water has been contaminated by mercury or arsenic? How many live in homes with toxic mold? How many have food allergies because of their toxicity?

Mercury displaces zinc and zinc plays a crucial role in more than 300 enzymes in the human body. Without zinc our body cannot make glutathione. Zinc is especially important during pregnancy, for the growing fetus whose cells are rapidly dividing. Which may explain why so many people who are being diagnosed with MTHFR are women who have gone through multiple miscarriages.

I believe people and doctors are confusing mercury poisoning with MTHFR. My son and I got well by chelating mercury, detoxing with an effective nutritional cleanse and limiting the ongoing poisoning from mercury, mold and other environmental toxins.

The Doctor’s Data Hair Elements test is a good place to start. It is available with a doctor’s order through Doctor’s Data and without a doctor through Direct Labs.

There are several support groups for people who have heavy metal issues and want to get the metals out of the body safely. You can do this at home with supplements that are available without a doctor’s prescription, so even if you can’t find a doctor to help you… there is a way to get well with support from many knowledgeable people.

For children with mercury issues: Autism-Mercury Yahoo group

For adults with mercury issues: Adult Metal Chelation Yahoo group

There is a discussion going on now in the Adult Metal Chelation group: subject line: MTHFR. That thread will remain on the board forever. Join the Adult Metal Chelation Yahoo group and join the discussion there… or comment below and let me know what your experience with MTHFR is… thanks!

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12 thoughts on “MTHFR or Mercury Poisoning

  1. Andy Cutler

    It is quite well known that the MTHFR fad has nothing to do with mercury poisoning, people’s health situation, or reality.

    The testing is for common wild type alleles that are well known (and demonstrated in the medical literature) to have no clinical significance.

    All the people I’ve run across who were told they couldn’t detox, couldn’t use ‘sulfur based chelators,’ etc who ignored that wrong advice and did it anyway got better. All the people who believed that bad advice and didn’t try to detox are just as sick as they always were.

    Testing for the various MTHFR alleles is like testing for whether you have brown, blue or green eye genes. It just isn’t relevant. Interesting, individual to you, etc. but just not relevant to how your body handles mercury.

    If you want to stay sick and go broke, see a practitioner who offers these types of genetic tests.

    If you want to get better you don’t need to do that.

    Reply
  2. Beatrice Latherings

    I have pyroluria which was not diagnosed (urine test) until I was in my mid-fifties. I had chealted out the extreme levels of lead and cadmium and the moderately high levels of mercury but did not feel any better. That is because pyroluria causes you to discard Zn and B6 in amounts far greater than you actually need them; in place of the missing Zn, your body will take up heavy metals and try to utilize them, so nothing works very well. Within just a few days of starting to take adequate supplementation of Zn and B6 (p5p) I changed dramatically. I still have to take extreme doses of Zn to have adequate levels (currently 150mg per day, it has been as high as 300 that I needed.) Typically people with autism test very high scores on the pyroluria urine test; my test was under 30 and scores of kids with autism can be near 100. If I need 150 mg Zn a day with my relatively low score, I can’t imagine how much Zn an autistic kid would need to protect themselves from Hg.

    Reply
  3. Jamie

    Why is it that you feel there is *no* link between the two? If mutations of the MTHFR gene do indeed interfere with detoxing ones body of harmful heavy metals such as mercury and lead, would this not lead to heavy metal poisoning? Of the other hand, just because this process is interrupted doesn’t mean one *can’t* detox, but that a person with MTHFR mutations (or variants) needs to go a outs it slightly differently or that they have more problems from the metals. From the reading I’ve done on the matter (which has been quite extensive… Short of having a medical degree LOL!) there is pretty good evidence of *some* sort of link, regardless of the amount/ reasoning. The fact is that genetic testing is simply one piece of a much bigger puzzle. There are dietary, environmental, emotional, and other factors at play as well- hence the reason people respond differently to having these variants.

    Reply
    1. Heather Plude Post author

      Good points, Jaime. There are so many factors and everyone is different. I do not feel that heavy metal poisoning has anything to do with genes. Mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum and other toxic metals are toxic. There are methods of chelating the metals out of our bodies that work because of the laws of chemistry… no matter what the genetic testing says. How are you doing in your journey to health?

      Reply
  4. C White

    I am one who has greatly improved, health wise, since finding out I have a MTHFR 1298 mutation. My symptoms could have been from mercury poisoning but I have not gone through any detox to get to what feels like perfect health compared to what I was experiencing for 3 years. The two are so closely related since you may not be able to detox “on your own”. Just supplementing with folate, key B vitamins plus other specific vitamins and minerals worked for me. Not so much for my husband who has a MTHFR 677 mutation so we are looking at detox options such as the Andy Cutler method above or Dr Christopher Shade’s protocol.

    Here is some research data although it has not been updated since 2012:

    http://mthfr.net/mthfr-research/2012/01/27/

    Reply
  5. LH Smith

    You asked for someone who is well because of this diagnosis and treatment – Here I am.

    You also mentioned, why doesn’t everyone with this genetic make up have the same issues? Listen for a moment –

    I am a relatively healthy, normal woman in my 30’s. No major issues to speak of – not even allergies of any kind. I had 3 babies successfully and without much issue at all, but following this point in time something happened. Things changed. I suddenly lost HUGE chunks of memory. Entire people, years, places, and even family members were removed from my memory. I developed depressions that were untreatable by conventional therapies. I tried every known SSRI, an SNRI, and Welbutrin – all had the same effect – more misery, and chronic sleepiness to the point that I couldn’t function as a mother. Even off these medications, I was chronically fatigued. I was tested for sleep apnea, MS, any other balance, hearing, or neurological problems – NOTHING. And then I began to miscarry… Over and over and over again. After three successive times, I asked to find out why. The perinatologist was baffled. She tested for all possible acquired issues on a thrombosis panel and came up empty. Hormones were normal.. structure was normal.. sperm was normal.. cycles were normal, even pH was normal. Nothing explained this. So I was referred to an RE. He started from the top and ran all the tests all over again, but this time ran a full thrombosis panel.

    What came up? Compound Heterozygous MTHFR. I blinked at hearing this term. He then recommended massive doses of folic acid. I tried this… and I conceived easily once more – and miscarried again. Totally devastated at 5 miscarriages in a row after having NO issues before – I began to research MTHFR and how the Methylation pathway worked. Then I requested tests for various toxic things stored in my body. That was eye opening! I was overflowing with them, and had WAY too much ethylmercury (and it takes a very tiny bit to have too much!) in my system along with other things as well. Seeing a Naturopath because the RE kept throwing numbers in my face and telling me that if I did it his way I would succeed.. I went through a basic detox type program for a short period, and then I started ditching normal vitamins for just a combo of Methylfolate and Methylcobalamin. It took less than a week for my fatigue to vanish. My short term memory improved although I never regained the long term memories I lost. And lo and behold – I conceived again. This time I did not miscarry. I have faithfully done that simple change of vitamin in my diet, and have had this pregnancy watched like a hawk. They thought the baby would have issues with NTD’s.. but through many scans and cardiograms as well as MRI’s… there is absolutely nothing wrong with the baby at all. I’m less than 2 weeks from full term, and I have never felt better.

    I don’t suffer from the issues I did before. I don’t have the miscarriage issues I had before. (and yes there was genetic testing… most of these babies had NTD’s – indicative of low folic acid EVEN ON the high doses of folic acid… and two were lost to blood clots, which is also a known associated issue with MTHFR – no other issues were present). I am now quite healthy, happy.. and still do not know what triggered my MTHFR to activate into a nasty spiral like it did… but further testing concluded I am not the only one in my immediate family with this exact genetic situation – some experience trouble from it (miscarriages and the like) and some experience none of the problems inherent with it – I will note that those who experience less issues are Organic Vegans though. I can’t explain why this would make a difference, but perhaps they are exposed to less over all toxins is all I can guess.

    As time goes on with the MTHFR under study – I think you’ll find there are more and more stories just like mine.

    Reply
  6. Deb

    My roomate who was never sick. All of as udden at age 40 had a stroke. Inches from her brain stem They genetic testing and found out she had the Homozygous MTHFR. Her nuerologist put her on an rx folic acid vitamin. She was doing very well. No residual effects from the storke. The family doc 6 mths later does blood tests and tells her her vit levels are to high. Stop taking the vitamins. ^ mths later another stroke same area. The nuerologist told her to go back on the vitamins and do not go off them. He said many Dr’s do not understand the MTHFR and the folic acid but he knows how his patients feel. This time she has had some risidual effects of memory loss. She is doing better now that she has stayed of the vitamin combo. She doesnt have any more dark circles under her eyes, or the fatigue she had most of her life.

    Reply
    1. LW

      You speak of folic acid as being helpful. With an MTHFR mutation the folic acid and poor methylation is the reason for the problem. Only folate should be used. Never folic acid.

      Reply
  7. Brandi

    I think it’s rather sad that this was such an opinionated rather than factual article. I have Protein S deficiency syndrome. It’s not MTHFR but I can tell you that from dealing with my children’s and husband’s MTHFR and my protein S, I have found it to be very beneficial to be able to read about these correlations. My first pregnancy I lost, my second I had a son who was born having had severe strokes and he passed away in the NICU. Overall we have lost 5 children and with the help of my diagnosis and subsequent care we have now 6 healthy children… I mean relatively healthy. My children were all born tongue tied to different degrees. My son has aspergers symptoms and after getting a diagnosis for MTHFR and Mercury toxicity we detoxed him and he is doing much better. My other son has such severe allergies that he cannot eat almost any fresh fruit or vegetable due to oral allergy syndrome. It really goes on and on. Switching to a primal diet and a continuous detox regimen has helped, but we acknowledge that there is a difference between when you have a gene and gene expression. Gene expression is complicated and depends on a large variety of stimuli.

    Reply
  8. LW

    You speak of folic acid as being helpful. With an MTHFR mutation the folic acid and poor methylation is the reason for the problem. Only folate should be used. Never folic acid.

    Additional comment
    When I say “you” in my reply above, I was replying to Deb. I would urge anyone to learn from MTHFR.net. There is research behind this. It has been know for a long time about the folate deficiency and some birth defects but they developed synthetic folic acid to treat in pregnancy the deficiency rather than the natural form of folate. That is one of the problems for people with the mutations.

    Reply

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