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A Nutritional Approach for a MTHFR Mutation

The MTHFR mutations have garnered much attention because folate is of great significance. I want to be perfectly clear. Consuming folate (via folate-rich foods) is quite advantageous for all, and especially for those with with a MTHFR defect. A folate rich diet is beneficial to everyone! The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for adults is 400 micrograms daily. Increase this dosage by 100 mcg for pregnant and lactating women.

Folate rich foods:

  • Asparagus

  • Almonds

  • Avocado

  • Beans

  • Black eyed peas

  • Blackberries

  • Broccoli

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Coconut (fresh)

  • Dates

  • Garbanzo beans

  • Green beans

  • Kale

  • Kidney beans

  • Lentils

  • Lima beans

  • Liver (beef)

  • Mung beans

  • Mushrooms

  • Mangoes

  • Navy beans

  • Oatmeal

  • Oranges

  • Pecans

  • Peanuts (roasted)

  • Peanut butter

  • Raw spinach

  • Romaine

  • Walnuts

The term folate is a derivative of the Latin word folium, which means “foliage”, because folate is found in high concentration in green leafy vegetables. Folate works in coordination with Vitamin B12; and, is vital to many body processes and is crucial to cellular division due to the fact that it is needed in DNA synthesis. If a folate deficiency occurs, all cells of the body are impacted; especially those cells that divide rapidly (red blood cells, cells of GI and urogenital tract). The characteristics of a folate deficiency include poor growth, diarrhea, anemia, gingivitis, and abnormal Pap smear. Many know that folate is important to the development of the nervous system of a fetus and that a folate deficiency during pregnancy can result in birth defects (neural tube defects). Folate, Vitamin B12 and betaine work together to decrease the body concentration of homocysteine. An elevated homocysteine level has been linked to several conditions, such as atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. It is important to mention that alcohol and some prescription drugs (estrogens, sulfasalazine, barbiturates) hinder the metabolism of folate. The RDA for folate is 200 micrograms for men and 180 micrograms for women.

The B vitamins play a vital role in converting folate into its active form, known as L-methylfolate. Those very important B vitamins are B2 (Riboflavin) and B6 (Pyridoxine). I’ve listed some excellent food sources.


  • Almonds

  • Beef

  • Broccoli

  • Collards

  • Hard boiled eggs

  • Kale

  • Lentils

  • Liver, calf

  • Millet

  • Mushrooms

  • Mustard greens

  • Navy beans

  • Oily fish

  • Parsley

  • Pine nuts

  • Prunes

  • Spinach

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Wild rice

It was in 1879 that Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, was first discovered. This vitamin plays an important role in energy production. If you become deficient in Vitamin B2 a decrease in energy production results; especially in the cells that divide often (skin, mucus membranes). The early warning signs of a deficiency in B2 include cracking of the lips and corners of the mouth, inflamed tongue, visual disturbances (sensitivity to light, loss of vision acuity), formation of cataracts, and burning/itching of eyes, lips, mouths, and tongue. The RDA for Riboflavin is 1.7 milligrams for men and 1.3 milligrams for women.


  • Avocados

  • Bananas

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Brown rice

  • Cauliflower

  • Garbanzo beans (dry)

  • Hazelnuts

  • Kale

  • Lentils (dry)

  • Lima beans (dry)

  • Navy beans (dry)

  • Peppers (sweet)

  • Potatoes

  • Prunes

  • Raisins

  • Spinach

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Turnip greens

  • Walnuts