Understanding Your Strands: MTHFR Gene Mutation
In recent years, the knowledge of the MTHFR gene mutation has become more widespread across the population. Due to the fact that we all carry two forms of the MTHFR gene that come from our parents, it is easy to see how this mutation, combined with other hereditary traits, such androgenetic alopecia (AGA) or sickle cell, can lead to hair thinning and hair loss–along with other health concerns. At one time, the MTHFR gene mutation was thought to be a rare mutation, but with further research it is now suspected to affect nearly 50% of the population. Genetic mutations are very common. Many times, people with the MTHFR gene mutation do not have any indications of it, while others may experience adverse effects.
What is MTHFR?
MTHFR is a gene in the body responsible for the manufacturing of the MTHFR enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is necessary for methylation (an epigenetic signaling tool that cells use to lock genes in the “off” position), repairs DNA, and supports other key functions in the body. Methylation is essential to convert both folate and folic acid into an active form that can be readily used by the body. We know that folate and folic acid are important to maintaining hair health. Those with this mutation may be experiencing hair thinning or hair loss. Those individuals with this mutation may develop a folate deficiency as well.
Hair and Amino Acids
Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, also play a large role in our hair health. MTHFR is especially important for converting an amino acid called homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. Those sensitive to this mutation may develop a higher homocysteine level, which has been linked to an increase in cardiac disease and stroke. Because your hair is made up for proteins, amino acids play a large role in your hair health.
If you would like to get tested for the MTHFR gene mutation contact us today at 615.662.8722 or complete our consultation form online. Want to learn more about yourself and get a customized treatment plan? Discover the AlopeciaDX blood test available from HPIHair Partners.