Anxiety * is a Vitamin Deficiency the Trigger

When I was in my early 40´s I started to show signs of the menopause (my Mam went through the menopause in her 40´s) so I was aware that is could happen to me.

As an optimistic person I always looked at the glass is half full rather than half empty, so when my thoughts were starting to chance I became more aware of what the heck was going on with me.

By the time I reached my mid to late 40´s I started doing research on mood swings and Vitamins to see if there was a link and there is.

It is not only down to the menopause that, in my case, the vitamin in question was not being processed in my body but since doing the research I have also come across that it could be a genetic mutation which would explain a few things about why us females have a tough time with emotions when ovulating, pregnant or menopausal.

You know the feeling “it´s my football and I am taking it indoors” You just cannot explain what you are feeling, other than I am NOT Playing today, you´re tired and your energy levels are just zero oh yes and the * Where is the Chocolate * Crisps or just anything I need to eat right now.

Well it turns out that 1 in 4 women could have this genetic mutation which is known as MTHFR (umm could be a rather apt acromym) and the results mean that my body has trouble processing the B group of vitamins.

The good news is that these Vitamins are easily available in many high street shops under the name of Vitamin B Complex and are really inexpensive.

I take a supplement daily and my energy levels are way up and my glass is now back to half full. When I have not had one I do know about it so it is now part of my morning routine.

Over the last 2 years I have spoken to over 70 women and asked them to try them (I do not sell them, they have to buy it themselves) and over 95% of them have seen an improvement in their energy levels and feel Positive about themselves including having the ability to cope.

Below are extracts from various areas where I have researched so you can also have a look and come to your own conclusion.

But it is worth considering if it really is a Vitamin B Deficiency which is causing Anxiety or making Depression worse.

It worked for me.

Do Google “MTHFR” and anxiety and you will come across over 129,000 of pages devoted to it, which have been created from people like me who are looking for answers.

The link between MTHFR mutations, mood disorders and neurodevelopmental problems is not new information to scientists, even though adoption of testing by the broader medical community appears to be a rarity.

Studies have shown homocysteine levels can predict the length someone might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, that B vitamins have been observed to relieve premenstrual anxiety, and that MTHFR variations are associated with major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

A study in Northern Ireland found a MTHFR variation was associated with an increased risk of depressive episodes. A 2011 study reported a possible link between a different MTHFR variation and ADHD.

A recent study in Arkansas, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, found that a group of children with autism who were treated with folinic acid showed significant improvements in verbal communication, receptive and expressive language, attention and stereotypical behaviour. About one third of treated children demonstrated moderate to much improvement.

Studies that definitively prove a link with anxiety are thinner on the ground.

Trying to find a comprehensive study that looks at the possible link between MTHFR variations and anxiety is tricky, even though its link to other mood disorders is extensively researched.

So if there is a possibility that these common mental disorders could be improved by the addition of a readily available vitamin, why are more general practitioners not testing their patients?

Dietitian and nutritionist Melissa Adamski is the owner of Nutted Out Nutrition and a nationally-recognised expert in the field of nutritional genomics. Broadly, nutrigenetics looks at how human genetic variation results in distinct nutritional requirements, and how diet and nutrition modulate the expression of genes.

Adamski believes a reluctance on the part of many GPs to invest more time in nutrigenetic testing is because there are no best-practice guidelines for them to look to.

“There is lots of information coming out on genetic variations and how that affects our biochemistry and health. However, there is less information on how to address that with nutrition and other health recommendations,’’ she says.

“A lot of practitioners are quite hesitant in using nutrigenetic tests as they are less clear in what we recommend to the patient. Practitioners are waiting for more robust evidence as there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.”

She adds that many people don’t actually want to know what secrets may be hiding in their genes, often because they don’t understand that, while genes can’t be changed, their expression sometimes can.

“We don’t have a lot of best-practice guidelines on how to use genetic information,’’ she says. “Misinformation needs to be cleared up — giving people clear examples of what they can change nutritionally to help them. We need to get away from the thinking that genetic testing will just show what things will definitely happen to them and start to understand that it can start to guide preventive health recommendations and treatment options.”

While a passionate advocate of the future of personalised medicine and allied health practice — in which nutritional genomics will play an important part — Adamski also encourages people to ensure they are informed before they embark on any genetic testing they may be offered.

“Be very clear on what you want to know through the test. Speak to a genetic counsellor or geneticist if you have questions on serious medical conditions and genetics,’’ she says. “Ask lots of questions of your practitioner.”

Naturopath Carolyn Ledowsky is the founder of MTHFR Support Australia.

She says there is still not a good understanding of MTHFR mutations and their possible links with anxiety and depression in the medical community. “Most medical professionals will disagree there is a link with anxiety or depression,’’ she says. “But 70 per cent of our MTHFR patients present with anxiety.” Depression is also a very big component she adds, explaining that folate is important to the processes that produce key brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and melatonin.

“Most MTHFR patients with anxiety also have decreased B6 and zinc in the body,’’ Ledowsky says. “When this is addressed and B12 and folate levels are restored, anxiety will be decreased by about 80 per cent within three weeks or so.

“This has been life-changing for me too. The genetic route is the key to good health. We can’t do anything about the genes we have but we can change the way they act and the results I’ve seen are nothing short of phenomenal. When you view your family history and your genes, you know you will likely head down the same path unless you change the way the genes behave. This is powerful nutritional medicine at its best.”

This is a chemical found in a metabolic cycle called methylation that relies heavily on B-vitamins and plays an important role in, among many other things, mood regulation. MTHFR, when working properly, synthesises folate into a specific form needed to turn toxic metabolite homocysteine into methione, which is essential for cell growth and DNA metabolism.

To bypass this problem, all I need to do is take folinic acid (the bioavailable form of folic acid) and methylcobalamin B12. That’s it.

CSIRO principal research scientist, Professor Michael Fenech — who leads the genome health and nutrigenomics project — first started looking at MTHFR because of the C677T’s association with increases in homocysteine, which has also been linked with an increased risk of DNA damage, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Fenech says while thousands of papers have been published globally on the association of MTHFR polymorphisms with the risk of diseases of old age as well as pregnancy complications, having a baby with Down syndrome or with neural tube defects, relatively few papers have been published on the effect of MTHFR variations on many other aspects of health in Australia.

Perhaps I should let him better explain the link between MTHFR and depression and anxiety.

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