What is Nutrigenomics and MTHFR?
Nutrigenomics is a system of utilizing genetic analysis to help identify genetic mutations and support the body with specific nutrition to counterbalance the ill effects of such mutations. For example, a common genetic mutation involves a gene called “MTHFR”. When mutations occur the ability to convert folic acid into its active form called 5-methyltetrahydofolate (5-MTHF) may be compromised. Approximately 40% of the population has some MTHFR mutation, and the scientific literature related to the significance of this genetic mutation is extensive, yet still largely ignored by much of the healthcare community. The consequences of this mutation, unsupported with proper nutrition, can lead to or augment a number of health problems including the following: autism, allergies, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, heart disease, cancer, and more.
What is entailed in a nutrigenomic analysis?
The first thing you need to do is get your genome mapped. The company 23andme.com can map your genome for $99, and involves a simple saliva sample. The turn around time for 23andme is approximately 6-8 weeks. Once you have been notified that you have your results back, then you will want to use livewello.com’s $20 software to generate a variant report from the 23andme data. Dr. Buckley then interprets the variant report, and helps educate the individual on the results.
What is a variant report?
The livewello software generates a report of genes mapped from your 23andme raw genomic data paying specific attention to key genes involved in detoxification, methylation, immune function, blood clotting, mitochondrial function, and more.
How does this knowledge help?
If you can identify potential weaknesses in your genomic profile, you can find ways to help support your biochemistry so that you may be less prone to developing disease that you otherwise may be susceptible to. For example, if you have a specific type of MTHFR mutation you may at increased risk of overproducing the heart disease promoting homocysteine. If you know this, you can take some simple steps to properly support your biochemistry with specific forms of B-vitamins.
Dr. Buckley focuses on the genetic mutations as they relate to the process of “methylation”as this process has been aptly described as the biochemical backbone of our entire biochemistry, as this occurs in every cell of the body. It effects DNA repair, gene silencing, gene activation, detoxification, energy, neurotransmitter levels, immune function, and inflammation. Every biochemical activity which occurs in the body can be somehow related to methylation processes. Additional attention is placed on detoxification mutations in the cytochrome P450 enzyme, and glutathione genes. Understanding which detoxification genes have mutations in them can help you understand which medications you may have problems metabolizing, as well as environmental toxins you may have problems eliminating.
Do all mutations mean I will have a health problem?
No. Genetic mutations may exist in your body, but they may be silent and not active. Not all mutations are necessarily bad, either. Utilizing functional biochemistry testing through other lab work and/or through applied kinesiology we can help determine if key gene mutations such as MTHFR are active or not, as well as how best to support them.
*This service is provided only to members of the PMA.