As much as half of the population may have an MTHFR gene test mutation which has been linked to anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and depression.
What is an MTHFR mutation?
The MTHFR gene provides instructions to produce the MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme is needed to activate folate in the body which is essential for:
- Cell division, heart function, DNA synthesis, brain function and memory.
- Converting homocysteine into methionine which the body needs for proper metabolism and muscle growth.
- The process of methylation which enables the body to detoxify itself.
An MTHFR gene test will identify a defect in the MTHFR gene which can cause abnormally high levels of homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is associated with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, ischaemic stroke and atherosclerosis. Research also links migraines and depression to inadequate methylation caused by variances in the MTHFR gene.
What is tested?
Two relatively common DNA sequence variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are tested. These two MTHFR variants are called C677T and A1298C and individuals can inherit one or both variants.