By Jean-Marc Sobczyk, MD ND
Should we consider testing Men for MTHFR mutations ?
Why is it important and what is the function of the MTHFR enzyme?
MTHFR (Methylene Tetra Hydro Folate Reductase) converts (contained in high amount in Dark Leafy Greens) into its active form, known as methylfolate. Methylfolate is then used to create news cells or repair the damaged ones, provides the material to make DNA , helps our body getting rid of toxins.
When trying to conceive, it is crucial for a successful pregnancy to have a sufficient amount of folate synthetized and available.
MTHFR enzyme activity directly affects Sperm quality as folate is needed in high amount to produce DNA and healthy cells. Slow methylation will affect Sperm Motility and men’s DNA which is critical to successfully fertilize the egg.
Recurrent miscarriages and Infertility can come from the mother and the father.We know from research that early miscarriages are linked to DNA damage and one of the possible reason for this to to have a fetus carrying an MTHFR mutations. Folate supplementation during pregnancy and pre-conception is very important. You will find folate in prenatal multivitamins. If you carry an MTHFR mutation then you need to take an additional amount of folate found in so-called methylation support supplements to mitigate the effect of this mutation.
Let’s consider for a minute what are the risks for the fetus to receive an MTHFR mutation from the parents.
Case #1 : Mom and Dad are Heterozygous (one variant out of two) for MTHFR, the child has 25% risk to have Homozygous MTHFR mutation.
Case #2 Mom is Heterozygous and Dad is Homozygous (two variants) for MTHFR: Now the child has 50% risk to have a Homozygous MTHFR mutation.
It is absolutely crucial to support methylation with the appropriate dose of methylfolate.
With slow methylation, men become also more sensitive to environmental toxins found nearly everywhere, in food (pesticides and glyphosate), in the air and in the water. Accumulation of toxins not only affect men overall health but also sperm quality.
Is there any research to prove this ?
One study has demonstrated that male exposed to motor vehicle exhaust (studies with toll-booth workers) had reduced sperm count, motility and cervical penetration and higher percentages of sperm DNA damage. Another study confirmed that male exposed to high air pollution had also reduced fertility. Exposure to flame retardants in house dust also demonstrated reduced fertility. Phtalates (found in plastics) but interestingly not BPA, negatively impact male fertility. Other studies demonstrated the same negative impact on male fertility with exposure to pesticides and insecticides, even arsenic (found in Rice, Poultry).
Planning for a pregnancy soon?
Start your preconception plan at least 3-4 months in advance to optimize egg quality (takes 120 days to develop) and optimize sperm quality (takes 90 days to develop)
If you have any questions, you can schedule an appointment with Dr Jean-Marc Sobczyk, our expert in MTHFR and Genomics at the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine or schedule a telehealth visit. Call our office now : 310-451-8800 to book your appointment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr Jean-Marc Sobczyk is also on Instagram @drjeanmarc @mthfr_expert
Resources : PMID (Pub MED IDs) 2099722, 12721184, 25329744, 15980006, 23333513, 22414038, 24534276, 23445617, 20194068, 11882472, 22776062