The Methyl Tetra Hydrofolate Reductase gene (MTHFR) is associated with the synthesis of the MTHFR enzyme, which converts folate obtained from the diet into an active form. The active folate is involved in the re-methylation of homocysteine to methionine. MTHFR gene variations determine how the body utilizes folate from the diet. People with the T variant of the gene are associated with lower levels of MTHFR enzyme which increases the risk for folate deficiency when there is a low intake of folate in the diet.

Association with Vitamin B9/Folate Needs:

In a study conducted on people with major depressive disorder, people with the T variant with low folate intake were shown to be associated with an increased risk of elevated plasma homocysteine levels. Elevated levels of homocysteine are found to be associated with an increased risk for depression, bipolar disorder, neural tube defects, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia. Homocysteinemia is also associated with increased oxidative stress and DNA damage, triggering apoptosis and excitotoxicity.

Association with Neural Tube Defects:

In a meta-analysis, taking into account 50 research studies on the influence of MTHFR gene on neural tube defects, the presence of maternal T variant of the gene was associated with increased risk for neural tube defects among newborns.

Association with Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease:

People with the T variant of the gene are associated with increased risk for hypertension by 24-87% and CVD by 40%. Intake of sufficient amount of riboflavin lowered blood pressure among people with the T variant of the gene.

Association with Male Infertility:

In a study conducted on the South Asian population, men with the T variant were significantly associated with male infertility.

Association with Breast cancer:

In a meta-analysis with nearly 74,000 participants, people with the T variant of the gene were shown to be associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.

Association with Rheumatoid Arthritis:

People with the T variant of the gene were shown to be associated with higher plasma homocysteine levels with an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis. A similar study also showed an association between the T variant of the gene and an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis.

Does your 23andme, Ancestry DNA, FTDNA raw data have MTHFR gene variant information?

CHIP VersionMTHFR SNPs
23andMe (Use your 23andme raw data to know your MTHFR Variant)
v1 23andmePresent
v2 23andmePresent
v3 23andmePresent
v4 23andmePresent
V5 23andme (current chip)Present
AncestryDNA  (Use your ancestry DNA raw data to know your MTHFR Variant)
v1 ancestry DNAPresent
V2 ancestry DNA (current chip)Present
Family Tree DNA  (Use your FTDNA raw data to know your MTHFR Variant)
OmniExpress microarray chipPresent

Association with ADHD:

In a study conducted on the Eastern Indian population, people with the T variant of the gene were shown to be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency and hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Personalized Medicine for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis:

People with the T variant of the gene were associated with non-response to methotrexate in the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

Genotype rs1801133PhenotypeRecommendation
TT[Limitation] More likely to have lower MTHFR enzyme activity [Limitation] More likely to have hyperhomocysteinemia [Limitation] More likely to deliver babies with Neural tube Defects (Women) [Limitation] More Likely to have higher blood pressure and increased risk for cardiovascular disease [Limitation] More Likely to have rheumatoid arthritis [Limitation] More Likely to have ADHD [Limitation] More likely to be infertile (Male) [Limitation] Less likely to respond to Methotrexate (for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis)Include at least 400 mcg of folate in the diet every day Folate-rich foods include romano beans, white beans, lentils, asparagus, okra, green leafy vegetables Include sufficient riboflavin in the diet to lower risk for hypertension. Riboflavin-rich foods include Mushroom, spinach, lamb, milk and natural yogurt
CTModerate level of MTHFR enzymeInclude recommended daily intake (RDI) of folate and riboflavin in the diet.
CT[Advantage] More likely to have higher MTHFR enzyme [Advantage] Less likely to have hyperhomocysteinemia [Advantage] Less likely to deliver babies with Neural tube Defects (Women) [Advantage] Less Likely to have higher blood pressure and increased risk for cardiovascular disease [Advantage] Less Likely to have rheumatoid arthritis [Advantage] Less Likely to have ADHD [Advantage] Less likely to be infertile (Male) [Advantage] More likely to respond to Methotrexate (for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis)Include recommended daily intake (RDI) of folate and riboflavin in the diet.


References
:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25005003
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27720779
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27824246
  4. http://genecelltissue.com/?page=article&article_id=28421
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28215593
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28250422

Related Links:

  1. https://www.xcode.life/dna-and-health/cardiovascular-disease-and-mthfr-gene
  2. https://www.xcode.life/product/mthfr-gene
  3. https://www.xcode.life/dna-and-health/genes-and-greens-to-protect-your-heart

Nutrigenetics, fitness genetics, health genetics are all nascent but rapidly growing areas within human genetics. The information provided herein is based on preliminary scientific studies and it is to be read and understood in that context.”

Are you feeling full yet??

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Satiety can be defined as the ‘feeling of fullness’ after eating a meal. For example, have you ever wondered how you fill up with a bowl of oat meal but even three doughnuts leave you feeling hungry? The reason is the comparative satiety levels from the consumption of these foods.

Let us consider in more detail what happens during a meal. At the beginning, eating is rapid, with few pauses between bites. As the meal progresses, eating slows, there are more pauses between bites, and other behaviours such as fidgeting, grooming, or resting increase. A state of satiety is reached when the meal ends. This state is usually associated with a pleasant sensation of fullness or satisfaction. However, unpleasant sensations of nausea and bloating can be associated with satiety following excessive food intake. Of interest is that even when eating has stopped altogether, the introduction of a new food can restart eating.

Genes are involved in the regulation of metabolic rate and energy expenditure which in turn influences body fat accumulation. Some individuals carrying a variation in this gene tend to have “Difficulty in Feeling Full” and are likely to overeat, and overeating in the long run in turn can increase the likelihood for health conditions like obesity.

A genetic test to identify this mutation in an individual followed by appropriate dietary recommendations to overcome this difficulty in feeling full (if mutation is present) will help an individual attain optimal satiety levels.

GENES RESPOND TO THE FOODS WE EAT?

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There is no dearth of recommendations and advice for the healthiest diet in today’s health conscious world.Since our genes respond to the food we eat,biologists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have strived to find answers to certain questions at the molecular levels.

Do the food we eat contribute to healthy cellular processes? Are we getting the benefit of what we eat?

Their recent genetic research actually speaks for what the ‘gene’ might consider a healthy food preference, limiting the risks of lifestyle related diseases. The ideal diet must consist of: one-third protein, one- third fat, one- third carbohydrates.

DIET AFFECTS GENE EXPRESSION CLAIM NITU RESEARCHES

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Gene expression refers to the process where information from a gene’s DNA sequence is translated into a substance, like a protein, that is used in a cell’s structure or function. A diet with 65% carbohydrates, causes a number of classes of genes to work overtime. This affects not only the genes that cause inflammation in the body, but also genes associated with development of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, dementia, type 2 diabetes and all major lifestyle-related diseases. A common dietary advice to keep genes healthy and prevent chronic diseases is one that reduces inflammatory reactions in the body and also minimizes the body’s need to secrete insulin.

Dr. Berit Johansen, a professor of biology at NTNU, says “In choosing what we eat, we choose whether we will provide our genes the weapons that cause disease”.

Be it the ‘youth gene’ or the genes that are linked to cardiovascular diseases, a new balanced diet sheet needs to be drawn keeping in mind that every meal has the right amount of fat, protein and good carbohydrates..

I AM WHAT MY GENES WANT TO EAT

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Eating disorders can be caused by a mix of sociological, psychological and genetic factors. According to Johansen, “the ability to resist or otherwise, it seems, maybe built into your DNA.” Some noteworthy findings are:

On a positive note, research proves that volunteers showed positive changes within 6 days of diet- change. So remember it’s never too late to alter your food preference in spite of the genetic inclinations.

 

 

Food without salt is tasteless and unappetizing. But, too much salt intake is not good for health. Of course, our body needs salt but not as much as we consume. Only one gram of salt is essential for an adult in a day and even lesser is the need for salt in children. But people take a lot more salt than is medically recommended which is a concern.

1. High Blood Pressure

The pressure that the blood puts on the blood vessels is known as blood pressure. Many reasons like too much body weight, no exercise as well as too much salt intake could lead to the increase in blood pressure. This could lead to various health complications like a stroke or a heart attack. People think that as they grow older, it is natural for the blood pressure to grow. It is not so. If you control the daily amount of salt in your food, you can keep your blood pressure under check..

2. Stomach Cancer

If a person is high on salt consumption, he/she is more susceptible to getting stomach cancer. A bacteria known as H. Pyroli is the cause for stomach cancer. Now too much salt intake can damage stomach lining, which in turn would leave the stomach vulnerable to H. Pyroli, and increase the chances of developing stomach cancer.

3. Osteoporosis

A condition where the bones lose its density and become thin or brittle is known as osteoporosis. Many people around the world suffer from this disorder. Calcium is stored in our bones. Too much salt intake causes this calcium to be flushed out of the body through urine causing the bones to turn weak and brittle. This disorder is very common in women after menopause but this can be checked by consuming lesser amount of salt in the daily diet.

4. Diseases of the Kidney

The kidneys maintain the balance of fluids in the human body. They monitor the amount of fluid which is flushed out from the blood into the urine. Too much salt intake can cause malfunctioning of the kidneys. Also when calcium from the bones is flushed out by the urine, it could cause a deposit to form in the kidneys leading to kidney stone.

5. Retention of Water

Too much salt in the diet could lead to water being retained in the body which could lead to bloating. This can be cured by reducing salt consumption

 

Hence to reduce health hazards and to lead a normal life it is advisable that people eat more fresh food rather than tinned and junk food as they  all have huge quantities of salt in them and thereby increasing your overall salt consumption levels.

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