The MTHFR gene is one of the most talked about genes in the health community. Can 23andMe help you understand what your risks are regarding this gene? Read on to find out how to interpret your 23andMe MTHFR results.
MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down the amino acid homocysteine, which is usually found in small amounts in your body.
In normal conditions, your body converts this amino acid into other less harmful products with the help of B vitamins. Elevated homocysteine levels could indicate a deficiency of these vitamins.
High levels of homocysteine have also been associated with several diseases. It can increase your risk for heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, arterial damage, and many other health conditions.
Many factors can increase your homocysteine levels, one of them being genetics. A mutation in your MTHFR gene could be the cause of your elevated homocysteine levels.
Everyone has two MTHFR alleles, one from each parent, and you can have either one or two mutations (or none) in your MTHFR gene. If you have one mutation (heterozygous), you’re less likely to have high homocysteine levels than if you have mutations on both alleles (homozygous).
There are two most common MTHFR variants found in humans, MTHFR C677T and MTHFR A12898C. Once you know which variants you carry, you can apply simple lifestyle changes to counteract the negative effects of your genes.
Your doctor may order a test to measure the levels of homocysteine in your blood. However, a homocysteine test is not commonly used since it’s relatively expensive and not covered by insurance. Plus, results may vary depending on the lab you choose because of differences in techniques and equipment.
Another more convenient option is to find out which type of the MTHFR gene you carry to see if it’s the cause of your elevated homocysteine levels. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies often test for variations of the MTHFR gene, and you won’t need to go through your doctor first.
Although not all companies will provide you with lifestyle recommendations on how to combat your MTHFR variants, most will give you access to your raw DNA data. This way, you can always look for other options that will give you access to this information.
You can find your 23andMe MTHFR status from the raw DNA data provided by the company.
Unfortunately, 23andMe doesn’t give you much information about your MTHFR status as there is no such thing as a 23andMe MTHFR report. Rather, this company will only inform you of which variants you carry from your 23andMe MTHFR raw data.
If you want to find out more about what you can do to counteract the negative effects of your genes, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
To find out your 23andMe MTHFR status, you can browse your raw data on your 23andMe dashboard. All you need to do is search for the MTHFR gene to see what variants you carry.
You can easily access and download your 23andMe raw data which contains information on your MTHFR gene.
After you have access to your 23andMe MTHFR raw data, you can upload your DNA file to other platforms that can help you further explore your 23andMe MTHFR results.
You can upload your raw data from 23andMe to SelfDecode to get access to over 300 DNA Health & Trait Reports, including a dedicated MTHFR report.
With SelfDecode, you’ll receive an analysis of up to 83 million genetic variants from your typical DNA file such as those from 23andMe. By using cutting-edge AI and machine learning, SelfDecode is able to provide you with the most accurate and complete genetic reports.
Unlike 23andMe, SelfDecode provides prioritized and personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations so you can combat the negative effects of your DNA. You can upload your DNA for free to experience the platform before committing to a plan. You will have access to 10 health & trait reports and lab and lifestyle analyzer tools.
If you still haven’t taken a DNA test, SelfDecode also offers a DNA kit that tests over 700,000 SNPs (more than 23andMe’s 640,000 SNPs) to ensure that you don’t miss out on your core health SNPs.
For users who need a DNA kit, SelfDecode offers two options:
SelfDecode also offers cutting-edge ancestry analysis with in-depth ethnicity percentage breakdown, as well as a color-coded map that can help you easily discover where you’re from. You’ll be able to trace your maternal lineage back through the ages, learning where they started in the world, and the journey that they took to get to where you are today. Ancestry Insights is only available with a SelfDecode DNA kit.
If you want to find out more about your risks regarding your MTHFR gene, 23andMe may not be the best choice for you. They don’t give you much information other than telling you what your genotype is, and you’ll get no health recommendations on how to combat your genetic variants.
For those who wish to learn how they can use their genetic information to improve their health, SelfDecode presents a better option. If you already have your raw DNA file, you can find out your 23andMe MTHFR risks by simply uploading your 23andMe file to SelfDecode. Or, you can choose to take a SelfDecode DNA test to get the most out of your genes.
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