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MTHFR or is it just a lack of digestion?

Updated: May 10

I am going to challenge the mainstream once again. When we have low B12, we have been told we likely have an MTHFR gene/variant. Most do not know enough to question the theory or the testing. It has become common practice to jump totally past the basics: digestion and proper function of the digestion or organs.

I have had many come to my office and tell me they have MTHFR, to which they are taking methylated supplements. I listen, and then we do a scan to which many of them have digestion issues, specifically stomach acidity or lack thereof.

If we had this gene, we would have very high homocysteine levels and deficient red blood cells. The best test for MTHFR is to test homocysteine levels in the blood. There can be various reasons things happen in the body or become deficient. The popular thing is to be tested with the MTHFR test and be told we do not methylate. I believe there is much more to the story than a variant, and it is something else we need to focus on.

I want to talk about the intrinsic factor. With all this talk about MTHFR, we don't hear many discuss the intrinsic factor, how it impacts many, and how it can be a simple fix and is possible. If this is the issue, you're also not digesting minerals and proteins well, which can cause many health issues.

MTHFR is a variant/ mutation that impacts the enzymes we are born with. The intrinsic factor is an issue of the stomach and gastric juices, triggering cells to produce it and supporting the absorption of not only Bs but also calcium and iron.

What is the intrinsic factor? It is a glycoprotein produced by the parietal cells (oxynitic cells) located at the gastric body and fundus (upper part of the stomach). Its release helps to stimulate gastric acid secretion (stomach acidity) via the pathways known to stimulate gastric acid secretion: histamine, gastrin, and acetylcholine. This glycoprotein is made in the stomach; it is needed to absorb vitamin B12.

"After 50, the body’s capacity to absorb many essential nutrients is weakened because the stomach produces less gastric acid and other cofactors that are needed for effective absorption of micronutrients. One important cofactor is called Intrinsic Factor. It is a protein secreted by the cells lining the stomach and it is essential for the absorption of vitamin B12 in the intestines. Our immune system operates as a finely orchestrated mechanism and any dysfunction in even one part of it can affect the entire system. The immune system cannot function effectively, without Intrinsic Factor and it is vital that Intrinsic Factor is included in the supplements one takes." Improve Your Immunity With Intrinsic Factor - Dr. Rath Research Institute (

Low stomach acidity significantly impacts whether we can methylate, break down proteins and minerals, and how we absorb due to releasing intrinsic factors. 18-28% of people report heartburn once a week. Only 5% of people who have heartburn are high in acidity; the rest are lacking it. This means many people are not properly digesting and usually put on antacids, which will stop acidity. If you are on antacids, you are stopping the gastric juices, which means you can not absorb your b12.

The first step in most deficiencies is to examine digestion, and yes, even if you don't feel like you're having issues, you could be not correctly digesting. It is essential to make sure your digestion is working right if you want to be healthy.

I do the scans to get a nonbiased look at what is happening in the body. If you need help with health or want to see what is happening in your body, set up a scan or do a health survey. But please take a look at digestion and support it!

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