Heavy metal accumulation
How to find out…
There are tests your doctor can order for MTHFR, including:
The good news…
- It’s important to eat a nutrient-dense diet and maximize digestion and absorption. Keep in mind that everything you put into your mouth either supports health or helps tear it down, and opt for support every time you can.
- Eat lots of leafy greens. Be sure to eat at least four to five servings of veggies every day, and make a big part of those spinach, mustard, turnip greens, collard greens, beet greens, Swiss chard, bok choi, escarole, and watercress. All those leaves are packed with folate, nature’s own B vitamin, which is much healthier for your body than synthetic folic acid*. You’ll also find folate in eggs, broccoli, oranges and orange juice, peas and beans.
- Since the other B vitamins are very important to methylation, eat rich sources of the B complex every day, including sunflower seeds, unsweetened whole milk yogurt with live cultures if you tolerate milk, wheat germ if you’re not allergic to wheat, nutritional yeast, walnuts, asparagus, whole grains, liver and almonds.
- We all need protein, but most of us think we need more than we do. If you eat animal protein, keep amounts small and use it more as an ingredient than as the main event. Most adults need only about 45-50 grams daily. A piece of meat, fish or fowl the size of a deck of cards – a single deck - has about 15 grams. Two eggs have about 12 grams.
- Eat your food fresh and much of it raw. Cooking, canning, freezing, indeed any processing depletes nutrients. Eat local when possible. The longer veggies travel the more nutrition they lose.
- We have huge amounts of bacteria in our digestive tract. Called gut flora, these little critters need to be in a healthy balance. That subject would take an article of its own, but you can help these important little critters by taking probiotics, eating raw fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, unsweetened yogurt, kombucha and kifer, and staying away from sugar and refined grains.
- Great health requires good digestion, but most of us don’t make enough hydrochloric acid (HCl) after age 40, despite TV ads for acid blocking medicines to the contrary. So take HCl supplements. Call me, or another Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, if you need instructions for how to find your correct dose.
- If you have MTHFR you need a protocol of supplements that help your body do the methylating job required to detox heavy metals. I’ll address that protocol later in this article.
- Avoid sugar like the plague it causes! While you’re doing that, avoid trans fats from shortening, margarine and processed foods. Avoid supermarket vegetable oils. Use only expeller pressed or cold pressed oils – mostly extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, hempseed and flax oils. Never heat hemp or flax oils. Heat damages their fragile omega 3 fats that most of us get far too little of. Never heat any fats and oils too hot, as this turns them into trans fats, which are extremely harmful to your body.
- Avoid all processed and refined foods, especially things made with white flour and sugar.
- Avoid caffeine. Wean yourself off coffee by diluting the grounds with decaf, a bit more every few days, until you’re caffeine-free without the headaches of sudden withdrawal. Caffeine depletes B vitamins.
- Alcohol also depletes B vitamins, so if you drink, keep it down to only three glasses of wine or beer weekly.
- Smoking depletes B6, so, if you haven’t stopped by now, perhaps this will supply added incentive.
- Avoid medications that interfere with folate methylation, including methotrexate, used for cancer treatment; cholesterol-lowering drugs; anti-inflammatory drugs like sulfasalazine; biguanide drugs like buformin, phenformin, or metformin used for diabetes; birth control pills; diuretics, and some anti-seizure drugs.