MTHFR: What To Avoid
We have discussed what the MTHFR gene mutation is and its importance to health and contribution to common diseases. If you have yet to read this article, it can be found here: MTHFR Overview
In this article we list drugs, vitamins and compounds you should avoid and medications to consider, as they make the symptoms of MTHFR much worse. We do want to make sure to please consult your physician before making any changes to existing prescription protocols.
Medicines That Make MTHFR Much Worse:
Acid blockers and Antacids (over-the-counter or prescription). These will deplete your body of probiotics, and suppress your ability to make methylcobalamin. They reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients needed to drive the methylation pathway.
Cholesterol binding drugs such as Cholestyramine or Colestipol; drugs that not only rob your body of vitamins A, D, E and K, but also reduce absorption of folate and cobalamin from your food. This increases the methylation problem and allows more toxins to build up.
Nitrous oxide. When administered by the dentist or in a supplement nitrous oxide inactivates the enzyme methionine synthetase. The body depends on this enzyme to produce a usable form of B12 (methylcobalamin). 1
Niacin; high doses will deplete SAMe and reduce B6. It’s a good thing to remember if you are over-methylating! You can put the brakes on with niacin.
Anti-seizure drugs; don’t stop taking these drugs without first discussing this with yourphysician! You need to ask your doctor what to do if you want to wean off any medications and which drug you CAN take if you can’t take the drugs. The worst offenders for people with methylation defects include carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin and valproic acid. These drugs are folate antagonists and rob the body of folate–that is how they are designed to work. They deplete folate, but that’s not a good thing if you have the MTHFR mutation that reduces your ability to methylate.
Estrogen drugs for birth control and menopause medication rob the body of folate.
Sulfa-containing drugs like Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (brand name Septra or Bactrim) or sulfasalazine, or triamterene (found in Dyazide). These inhibit the enzyme Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). This enzyme is important in the building of DNA among other processes.
Methotrexate is a popular rheumatoid arthritis drug that robs the body of folate.
Metformin robs the body of methyl B12 (methylcobalamin). This makes the situation worse because you need methyl B12 to drive the methylation pathway forward.
What Depletes Methyl Groups Beyond Pharmaceuticals?
Niacin, heavy metals, copper, mercury, arsenic, smoking, stress, acetaldehyde–commonly referred to as the “hangover chemical”.