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Mastering Nutrition

Hi, I'm Chris Masterjohn and I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences. I am an entrepreneur in all things fitness, health, and nutrition. In this show I combine my scientific expertise with my out-of-the-box thinking to translate complex science into new, practical ideas that you can use to help yourself on your journey to vibrant health. This show will allow you to master the science of nutrition and apply it to your own life like a pro.
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Apr 3, 2020

Question: A rant on why many people use “MTHFR” to slap a label on their health problems.

I put MTHFR in quotes because I meant it the way that people mean when they say, "I have MTHFR." Everyone has MTHFR. What people mean by that is they have these MTHFR polymorphisms. What I meant by that title is that there's a very compelling—It's not totally airtight. It's not completely proven. There's a very compelling argument that the low activity of the C677T polymorphism in MTHFR is exclusively a result of mediocre riboflavin concentrations. That's what I meant by just your MTHFR in quotes means the polymorphism, the result of the polymorphism. Just riboflavin means that the enzyme activity is only lower as a result of that polymorphism because of the mediocre riboflavin concentrations.

To them, MTHFR doesn't mean the rate of the MTHFR enzyme. It's a general label for all their health problems that they put Band-Aid solutions on like these tedious distinctions between these different forms of B vitamins and stuff like that that in a healthy well-balanced system don't matter.

If people are hypersensitive to little distinctions in the type of B vitamins they’re taking like this, their problem is not just MTHFR. Their problem might be related to methylation. They probably have mineral deficiencies, or other genetic polymorphisms, or other health problems, thyroid-adrenal stuff that are causing that. The reason that MTHFR isn't simply about riboflavin for those people versus the well-controlled studies of showing that riboflavin supplementation specifically lowers homocysteine 40%, specifically in people with MTHFR C677T homozygous, specifically with poor riboflavin status.

When you're out there saying that overmethylators can't tolerate methylcobalamin or they get terrible reactions to this, you're slapping overmethylator label on someone whose problem is that they just don't have a rational strategy for dealing with their MTHFR. Because no one is an overmethylator or an undermethylator, unless it's a collection of symptoms of a poorly managed methylation system.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/09/06/ask-anything-nutrition-march-8-2019

If you would like to be part of the next live Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, sign up for the CMJ Masterpass, which includes access to these live Zoom sessions, premium features on all my content, and hundreds of dollars of exclusive discounts. You can sign up with a 10% lifetime discount here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/q&a

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