for Practitioners

Understanding MTHFR genetic mutation

By Beth Ellen DiLuglio, MS, RDN, CCN, LDN

What is MTHFR?

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme that activates and regulates
folate metabolism in the body. Specifically MTHFR converts 5,10- methylenetetrahydrofolate into 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), the active form of folate. 5-MTHF then plays a key role in the single carbon transfer (i.e. methylation) reactions involved in the synthesis of nucleotides for DNA and RNA production; manufacture of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe); methylation of DNA, proteins, neurotransmitters (NTs), and phospholipids; and remethylation of homocysteine to methionine.1 2

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Alcohol and Heart Disease: it’s in Your Genes

by Patricia Shelton, MD

For heart disease, popular belief can be misleading

Many people have been happy to find out that alcohol may protect against heart disease. In studies, moderate consumption of alcohol (one drink per day for women, or two drinks per day for men) has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, compared to no alcohol consumption. (Rates of many diseases rise sharply with higher levels of alcohol consumption, so some is good, but more is not necessarily better.) How often do you get health advice that’s also fun and indulgent? After learning about this association, many people begin drinking the recommended glass or two of wine every night. (Just for the record, you can’t save them up; seven drinks once a week is not the same as one drink every night.)

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