I had a major pulmonary event about ten years ago. Without going into too much detail (because honestly, I’ve blocked a lot of it out), it was a pretty terrifying experience. My care team was stumped as to why the event happened (after all, I appeared to be perfectly healthy), so they ordered a bunch of tests to see if my genes had any answers.
While this super extensive blood work didn’t find a direct genetic explanation for why this major health event happened to me, it did reveal something else: I, along with 20-40% of the white and Hispanic population in the U.S., have an MTHFR gene variant called C677T.
This means my MTHFR enzyme is about 35-70% less efficient at converting folate (aka the essential vitamin B9) and folic acid (the supplement form of folate) into the active 5-MTHF form that can be used throughout the body. These inefficiencies cause my methylation–a vitally important biochemical process that affects nearly every essential process in the body–to run suboptimally.