MTHFR and Thyroid Disorders

See the above photo? This photo is some of our methylation cycle.
Many people have mutations in these but are totally unaware. 
And tonight, I learned that MTHFR and Thyroid Disorders have a direct correlation to one another because of these methylation pathways, and these enzymes..

What got me to this?
I attended a seminar of my wonderful colleague Dr. Ben Lynch tonight in curiosity, because he mentioned there was a correlation to thyroid disorders and MTHFR... and boy oh boy there are. I took notes and you can find them below... 

MTHFR + Thyroid Disorders(Notes by April Marie Driesse based on webinar by Dr. Ben Lynch, 7-18-2013)

Why are we talking about this?
Folate Metabolism
What is MTHFR?

What does it do in conjunction with the thyroid?

Three Tiers in Nutrition:
What we get in.
The assimilation
Genetic Variability on Activation (lack of absorption, not widely understood)

Functions of Folate:

Folate: Hear about it a lot.
Folate Basics:
Relatively Simple.
Implications of their activity and dysfunction can be profoundly far reaching.
Folate is VERY important.

Functions of Folate:

Producing your DNA and Repairing it.
Skin is constantly regenerating itself, but DNA is being produced.
Intestines and inside the lining of the intestines are being repaired and regenerated on daily basis. If not repairing it, you’re susceptible to problems. Single Carbon Metabolism
Methylation: Critical in turning on and off genes. Some you want on and some off. In order to make certain nutrients you need Methylation.

  • CoQ10, Creatine , Carotene, Phosphocoline, Neurotransmitter Production, Histamines
Form red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.


Folic Acid does NOT = Folate.
Folate is biological active form of what your body uses of different types of Folate.
Folic acid is totally synthetic, made by man, to have stable shelf life, and put in supplements and prevent neural tube defects.
People who have MTHFR, such as Dr Ben, and I, and 50% of the population, using folic acid are NOT what are needed. Folic acid is NOT found in nature, and has to go through a bunch of reactions in the body to be used properly.

Folate is an umbrella term for folic acid, methylfolate, tetrahydrofolate, folinic acid, and others.

Folic Acid is TOP. Bottom one is Methylfolate. Both look very similar. The only difference is the red circle that is circulating the line, which is providing a methyl group. Only difference is the methyl group, with CH3 on it, which is a methyl group. The work that has to be done to put the methyl group onto the folic acid is A LOT of work.


Folic Acid: Supps and Fortified Food
DHF: Another type of Folic Acid from Rich Fortified Foods such as Leafy Greens, Breads and Grains
SLOW = UMFA *unmetabolized folic acid* Little Research on this.


MTHFR *Enzyme* = Methyl Tetra Hydra Folic Acid
Enzyme is VERY important.


5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate or methylfolate)

What happens with Folic Acid and DHF is its slow, and it produces a compound by our body that affects our immune system because UMFA accumulates in your blood and it can inhibit your immune system, or your NK’s (natural killers). NOT GOOD.

Yellow Circle:

B2: Riboflavin *Very Specific Form* (Required Cofactor for This)
With this mutation you NEED: Niacin, B6, B12, Vitamin C, Zinc and an acidic stomach, meaning you cannot take antacids and possibly other genetic mutations upstream from MTHFR need to be managed.

Some of these byproducts from this folic acid, possible risks for colorectal cancers, there is negative effects from not taking it properly. Folic acid can do a lot of negative things. If you have decreased immune system you become susceptible for cancers. Folic Acid can MASK Vit b12 deficiency which can cause DNA Methylation issues and set you up for other downstream affects. Folic Acid has A LOT of issues.

MTHFR. What is it?

It is an enzyme that converts one form of folate into another form of folate and that form is methylfolate.
You get 2 copies of genes, 1 copy from dad, and 1 copy from mom.
If you have MTHFR 677T variant, meaning you have a mutated nucleotide base at 677 position of the MTHFR gene, you have one bad copy, reducing ability to convert some form of folate by about 40% to methylfolate. If you have 2 copies, upwards of 70% to do this, 30% capacity to convert to methylfolate. 1 copy is pretty bad, 2 copies is really bad.
If you have MTHFR A1298 is another type of MTHFR defect. A lot of research says it’s not a big problem right now, but you have to look at other genes as well, not just at one.
If you have one copy of each, you are compound heterozygous. Reduces capacity, which decreases ability to methylate.
Riboflavin, Vitamin B2
When you have the MTHFR Defect, more rapidly falls off the enzyme. If you have a defective enzyme, Riboflavin cannot stick on their very well that means the enzyme doesn’t work very well, and it also produces a problem.


Some Issues they cause:

This list is from research. Not something pulled out of a hat.

Who is at risk of MTHFR Mutations? This is looking at the general population.

Mexicans, Hispanics, Italians, Northern Chinese = Have the highest chance of having 2 copies of MTHFR, in the upwards of 30-40%
Mexicans from Dr Lynch’s experience, don’t eat that many leafy greens, and use a lot of beans and not a good source of methylfolate due to the enzymes in beans that inhibit the folate.
The black population in Atlanta is about 5% that have 677 variant, but in general, the general population on average have 45% prevalence of one copy of BAD 677 variant.

It is NOT a death sentence, and identify you have the mutation; you can treat and bypass the mutation, which is cool.

Half the population has this mutation, and it is a larger reason why some ethnicities are at greater risks of certain diseases. Why not more understanding of MTHFR?
Because research shows that MTHFR is only related to elevated levels of Homocysteine, which is NOT the case. Another study showed it’s not related by elevated levels of Homocysteine. The diagnosis used to be based on elevation of Homocysteine; this is NOT accurate because that is only ONE path to lower homocysteine and treat the mutation. It is a lack of understanding of the biochemical abnormalities, and that is why this is so neglected.
There are DRUGS that treat this mutation. Their gaining ground, but not so much based on research saying its not a big deal if you don’t have elevated levels of homocysteine, but this is NOT the case.


Go to your doctor, tell them you recently found out about this, tell them you want to be more proactive in your health, may or may not have elevated levels of homocysteine, you want to be proactive and find out if you have this mutation. If not covered, it can be anywhere between $35 to $600.00. It can be fully covered, or not covered at all. It is not mainstream enough to be fully aware of. Spectra cell offers a good test option for MTHFR. Any Lab Now is another one that offers these tests, which have amazing prices. They use a cheek swab for MTHFR, not needles. If you have drug sensitivities, miscarriages, infertility, ect. Insurances can cover it. This test is readily tested. Quest and Lab Corp do test for this mutation.
Ethical Considerations: Are you ready to be labeled as a mutant? We all are a mutant that is how humans evolve, and we are all different, hence being mutant. BUT when you see it on paper, it takes a new face to that. If your uncomfortable knowing you are mutant or not, then it is something to consider, but it is safer to know then to not. 23andMe will test for thousands of mutations, but it tests as well for other Methylation issues and you can import this data into or MTHFR to find out more about these mutations.

Digging into the DEEP & Main Discussion:

If you see where the green text that is 5-10-MTHF Reductase, which is the MTHFR Gene.
Going forward, is methylfolate.
The BLUE is methylcobalamin which is Vitamin B12, in various forms, which is connected to an enzyme called Methionine Synthase. The big huge wheel doesn’t turn unless you have adequate methylfolate turning and your b12 in conjunction to balance each and get them turning.
There is a straight line from Homocysteine and Methionine, but it only comes from the liver and the kidney, but it is not in any other parts of the body, and these are not in other areas of the brain or other critical areas. Masking a B12 with folic acid is BAD because B12 and methylfolate push this huge circle.
ADMA (Adeno Methionine) is commonly known as SAMe. This decreases pain, and also supports significant depression.
Gluthionine: That is also being produced through these pathways, so this is HUGE.
Methylation Products are also produced from SAMe. These could be CoQ10, Carnetine, ect. ect.

MTHFR is found in Thyroid Disorders! This is HUGE. This is looking at Graves Disease and Hashimotos. Graves is an autoimmune disorder, which attacks your thyroid, and makes it work very fast causing TSH to be low. Hashimotos is hypothyroid variation of auto immune, and causes you to make thyroid work low, causing TSH to be high. Makes system sluggish and slow.

MTHFR and the 677 Variant, this is the CC and CT. C is the good one, T is the bad one. If you have 1 T that is bad, 2 T’s is worse. This study didn’t measure one copy of each 1298C and 677T but you can see the prevalence in graves and Hashimotos. Looking at one copy of 677, it’s nearly 50% intractable grades of these of these and 53% in remission, nearly 50% in severe and 50% in mild. The prevalence of MTHFR 1 copy of C677T is about 45% of the population. The 1298 Variant, research doesn’t show much with this. 1298 also has those with thyroid disorders.
The onset for graves and Hashimotos is the exact event, and there is some form of genetic variant, in transport of iodine, and we can’t detox with MTHFR, properly, so more things build up, if there is immune abnormalities, the body will attack itself. Very similar similarities in Graves and Hashimotos.
There is a TOTAL DIRECT LINK between MTHFR and Thyroid Disorders. A lot of different studies link various environmental toxins to thyroid disorders and thyroid functions.

Riboflavin: Vitamin B2: Necessary for MTHFR to work.

When you have the Variant, there is difficulty with B2 attaching to the enzyme. So you need higher levels of Riboflavin if you have the mutation, or mutations.
The studies show that MTHFR cofactor FAD, which is the most active form of Riboflavin, could protect the mutant enzyme from destabilization, suggesting that Riboflavin, the prescurser of FAD, should be considered as a modifier in MTHFR consequently in high levels of homocysteine.

How significant is it to get Riboflavin in MTHFR?

People with MTHFR NEED Riboflavin, or B2.
Riboflavin supplements targeted those who have High Blood Pressure, and the MTHFR mutation, caused it to decrease the blood pressure.
The deficit of B2 makes these MTHFR mutations more pronounced.
People who are chronically ill, have lack of B2. Paleo reduces grain ingestion, thus reducing riboflavin, which are in enriched foods. A lot of people who are ill are on these diets that reduce riboflavin.
Riboflavin is the BASE nutrient for MTHFR.

There are not as many steps to convert Riboflavin to FAD. There are still steps. What regulates this? Thyroxine. Thyroxine is T4. Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of T4. This regulates Riboflavin and converts it to FAD. You need FAD to help MTHFR function. You need more FAD, but you can’t form it. You’re in double trouble. With Thyroid Disorders and MTHFR. Thyroxine (T4) is a thyroid hormone, controls Riboflavin to the active form. Replacement Therapy is preferred on T3 and T4.

T4 is just a source of other hormones, but other things are just needed by themselves, perhaps just needing Riboflavin or FAD would help, instead of synthetic hormones like T4.
Thyroid makes T4, or inactive hormone. The body has to convert it and activate it. Some of the needed chemistry of FAD depends upon the T4. Those who are on T3 only therapy, this is a drawback. If the body does something in a certain way, it does it for a specific reason even if it’s not clear at that point in time.

Expression of MTHFR and Availability of FAD in Thyroid Disorders::

MTHFR 677 is BAD. It increases risk of CAD, Colon Cancer, related to levels of Homocysteine.
We know that Riboflavin Availability affects how MTHFR Works.

We now know that Thyroid Hormone affects most active form of Thyroid Hormone is FAD.

The thyroid status does affect the expression of the MTHFR gene. Even if you do NOT have MTHFR, and your clean, you STILL have an MTHFR inhibition or stopping by having reduced Thyroxine. Still function of MTHFR with Thyroid levels not being right.

Basically, the graphic shows an illustration on how thyroid affects MTHFR Enzyme, but concluding statement shows that thyroid status does affect expression of MTHFR by modifying Riboflavin Creation. Thyroid Dysfunction affects folate which affects MTHFR and Homocysteine regulation. This is HUGE. If you have a lot of Thyroid Hormone, you’re producing more FAD, and if you have more active riboflavin you’re pushing MTHFR Enzyme faster, and will have a REDUCED Homocysteine level.

If you’re hyperthyroid, or Graves Disease, you’re producing more FAD, and you’re at risk for low homocysteine. Low Homocysteine is BAD. You need it to produce SAMe and Gluthionine and other hormones. There needs to be a healthy level of Homocysteine.
If you’re Hypothyroid or Hashimotos, your production of Thyroid is less, and you’re not producing enough FAD or active Riboflavin, and your MTHFR is not functioning well, and your Homocysteine is going to be elevated or high.
So BOTH too much thyroid hormone, or too little can affect MTHFR.
The natural world has ignored the excess or too little by being out of the state of balance. This is not good, because if we have too little or too much, on the biochemical level, we’re causing more damage.

Yellow Dash is SamE.

MTHFR needs to be working properly to be producing SAMe.
SAMe is the main methyl donor in the body.
If you don’t have Methylation or MTHFR Enzyme working properly, you’re not producing enough SAMe, or not turning on and off genes properly, so you’re not repairing your skin, or intestinal lining, or walls, setting you up for cancer, and other issues.
This is how MTHFR is also linked to Thyroid Cancers.

Connection between MTHFR and Thyroid Health::

MTHFR and SAMe is connected. As you push MTHFR to work, your converting Homocysteine from Methionine, Methionine goes to SAMe. SAMe is REALLY needed to control critical enzymes in the body. DMNT1 and DMNT3A and 3B. These are DNA Methyl Transfer Enzymes and are critical. These are important in embryo development and preventing cancers.

Study shows increased T allele frequency of bad MTHFR enzyme is indicated and found in differentiated thyroid carcinomas. Very important, get proactive with physician and properly treating thyroid disorders and MTHFR and other things.

Data suggests that the fastest type of increase cancer is Thyroid Cancer in North America. Baseline Ultrasound Testing is recommended for anyone diagnosed with Thyroid Disease. Thyroid Cancer is such a big deal. It is very manageable at earlier stages. If you’ve never had one, get one done. PLEASE.
Chemicals in our environment and food we eat are critical to our bodies.

Understand that MTHFR is important.

Bruce Lipton and new biology… Look it up, it’s something good to watch and look it up… perception of environment controls genetic expression…

Incidence of MTHFR and Neural Tube Defects::

If you go to Italy, they have a 50% prevalence of having bad MTHFR genes, but do not have an associated risk of neural tube defects, because the environment has a HUGE role and so you should optimize your environment and your foods. It’s not a death sentence. You CAN manage this.

The benefits to MTHFR Defects:

Readily apparent, there are no benefits. MTHFR is becoming more prevalent because of the introduction of folic acid in food, it’s still converting into methylfolate, so a lot of woman who are recurrently miscarrying or infertile are carrying MTHFR, so the standard of medicine, the go to thing is to give 4mg of folic acid along with hormones and anticoagulants, and if you do that, your causing genetics to become weakened in society, because these children are being born through parents who have MTHFR are more genetically susceptible to environmental toxicity due to forcing these long term pregnancies. It is a very ethical dilemma. There are genes out there however that are for our benefit, but MTHFR is not one of these.

Action Steps::

Testing, Supplementation, Should we take MTHF if were not sure.
If your struggling with health and not improving, you should be testing for MTHFR regardless to see what it is, in order to optimize health, evaluate thyroid hormones, ensure your getting Riboflavin (b2) Methylfolate, and B12, find a doctor who works with you and biochemistry, and also realize importance of environment and your lifestyle in order to optimize your health, its not as simple as eating healthy, and supplementing with nutrients, because if Thyroid Cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the US, that means we need to be REALLY careful with what were putting into our body. Not just running out and taking methylfolate, because it can cause side effects, and there is a lot more details on the side effects on for you and your physician.

Would you encourage restriction of folic acid or synthetic folic acid:

YES, read labels, and DO NOT take synthetic folic acid. Reproach this via your physician, or literally throw away folic acid supplements, and switch to folinic acid or methylfolate

Best Steps:

Go to, and you can watch videos, and read articles, and listen to podcasts, you can also go to Dr Lynch’s facebook page, to listen and watch videos, and MTHFR Webinars. There is loads of information out there. If your physician wants more training on this, than and go to CEU and there is a conference in October where you can visit a conference for 2 days, 15 hours each day to attend these. The DVD will also be available.

MTHFR in google -> will pop up, and Dr Lynch

** Notes taken from Dr. Ben's presentation found here: MTHFR and Thyroid Disorders

So what does this mean? In a nutshell?

This means WE NEED to AVOID folic acid.
We NEED the following:
- B2: Riboflavin
- B6: P-5-P or Pyrixidol Phosphate
- B9 as Methylfolate
- B12 as methylcobalamin
- Zinc
- Iron

It means that if we treat these with the above nutrients we can get our methylation cycle working again, and TREAT and possible turn off these bad mutations and turn on good ones.

So what do you think? I think I'm going to get me some B2! :)


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