Hey Father MTHFRs, Happy Father's Day! While a lot of the information in circulation regarding MTHFR mutations is specific to women's health, and most of the people in this online community are indeed women, this genetic variant affects men as well! I see plenty of men, both with and without children, who are taking initiative in learning about this condition and are rocking it in advocating for themselves and their kiddos. So in honor of Father's Day, let's do a post that's about men and what it means to be a male MTHFR.
Well, when it comes down to it, being a male MTHFR is a lot like being a female MTHFR. While a great deal of emphasis is placed on this condition affecting female fertility, chances of miscarriage, and rate of birth defects, it's a misconception that the same doesn't apply to men. Low levels of folate in the body of men can damage the DNA of sperm, negatively affecting quantity and quality - all of which can lead to the consequences listed above that are typically attributed to women's health.
Additionally, studies have found that elevated levels of homocysteine can result in a shorter lifespan for men. Naturally, men with an MTHFR mutation would be at the same risk as women for developing an autoimmune disease, as well as any other conditions connected to carrying the variant, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, food allergies, migraines, and anxiety.
So the bottom line? Male and female MTHFRs aren't all that different, after all! Here are some basic rules of thumb to follow if you find out you have an MTHFR gene mutation, regardless of your gender:
-Consume more natural folate in your diet (think dark leafy greens, lentils, and avocado)
-Avoid sources of folic acid (the synthetic version of folate common in fortified foods and many nutritional supplements)
-Supplement with methylated B vitamins rather than folic acid
-Consume more Vitamin B12 in your diet (try eggs, nuts, and beans)
-Eat an anti-inflammatory diet that supports detoxification (eat clean, whole foods and cut out refined sugars and processed foods)
-Use non-toxic cleaning products and toiletries
-Try a heavy metal detox (do this through a functional medicine doctor to ensure you do this safely and effectively)
-Heal your gut (a functional medicine doctor will put together a regimen to re-balance the flora of good bacteria in your gut)
-Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary and be sure to supplement with a good pro-biotic when you need to use one
Are you a Father MTHFR? A male MTHFR? Is there a man in your life with this mutation? Tell us about it!