What is MTHFR?
MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, the infamous enzyme whose incorrect shape can make you predisposed to a long list of conditions. Though it is in the news for the all the wrong reasons MTHFR is a very important enzyme that converts folate into a more usable form called methylfolate in all the cells of the body. Methylfolate is responsible for the production of two important compounds.
First, are a class of biochemicals called neurotransmitters. They are a class of chemicals that help you think, emote and perform all sorts of physical activities. Non-functional MTHFR enzyme that results from single nucleotide changes in your DNA, will lead to low levels of neurotransmitters that in turn has consequences like insomnia, anxiety, depression, ADHD among others.
The second important compound that methylfolate helps to make is called S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe helps to regulate more than 200 enzymes in the body. Without SAMe your body is predisposed to conditions like infertility, thrombosis, miscarriage, autism and certain forms of cancer.
An MTHFR genetic test does not require a medical recommendation. You can simply download your raw DNA data and upload it to a third party service provider to get your results. Genetic reports are generated after the analysis of different polymorphisms in the MTHFR gene and tell you which variants you carry and if your are homozygous or heterozygous for those variations. If your DNA is homozygous for the variants then it means that you have inherited the variant gene from both your parents. If your DNA is heterozygous it means that either of your parent has passed down the variant to you. Each status has its own implications depending on the type of variant and needs to be interpreted accordingly.
Now that you know the importance of being aware of your MTHFR polymorphisms, let’s compare two popular tools that provide you with your MTHFR status. These two third party tools provide you with a comprehensive MTHFR status report from your raw data from companies like 23andme, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and other companies.
Genetic Genie DNA Raw Data Analysis
Genetic Genie test is a DNA raw data analysis from a 23andme ancestry test. The results are free. The website performs an interpretation of your DNA raw data for only your methylation and detox profile. The detox profile looks at gene SNPs of the cytochrome P450 detox enzymes, amongst others. It is important to look at this specific information because certain genetic polymorphisms have been shown to impair detoxification of drugs, hormones, environmental toxins, xenobiotics, and more.
Image showing a section of the methylation report from Genetic Genie
Xcode Life DNA Raw Data Analysis
Xcode Life test results are expert-curated from several large and high scientific authority databases, including UK biobank, Clinvar, OMIM, SNPedia and leading scientific journals to name a few, to curate the variant annotations. Once you upload your raw data to Xcode Life, you will get your test results within 24 hours. And you can simply download your test results and take it to your next routine health test check-up.
Image showing a section of the MTHFR report from Xcode Life
Xcode’s MTHFR reports are easily readable, understandable and implementable. The core philosophy of Xcode reports is to empower the user with actionable genetic information that they can use to enhance health and wellbeing. The report not only comes with a number of genetic variants in the MTHFR, MTRR, MTHFD and other genes, but also has detailed and practical recommendations on compensating for MTHFR deficiency.
How to download your DNA raw data from Ancestry DNA
Thank you for this review!
Thank you for the article. Exactly what implications are seen with a faulty MTHFR gene polymorphism?
Thank you for this comparison. I have tried Nutrition, Fitness and MTHFR from Xcode. I found the reports to be very useful and want to try the other reports.
Thank you for the neat comparison. I uploaded my raw data to genetic genie. I will try xcode's reports now.
Do these sites accept WGS files? I already did a genetic test with a company and I have a VCF file from them. I don't wanna spend another 100 bcks if I can help it.
Hi Arnold. Thank you for stopping by. Xcode Life accepts whole genome sequencing (WGS) files in the VCF format. Genetic Genie only accepts raw data from 23andMe till the v4 version. Hope this helps.
Is there a list somewhere of all the genes that are covered in Xcode's methylation report?
Hi Patty. Thank you for reading the article. Here is the ink to the page that contains the gene names in Xcode's methylation report: https://www.xcode.life/23andme-mthfr-raw-data-analysis
I have used Xcode Life before. Very neat and organized reports. It came very fast, in about 3 hours. Great service.
Thank you Jane. We appreciate your kind words!
Nice article! Thank you for all the information.
Thank you Thomas. I am glad you liked it.
Are the MTHFR SNPs found in the 23andme V5 chip? And does Xcode study those SNPs? Because the Genetic Genie website shows they accept only till the v4 chip. Thanks!
Hi Amanda! Thank you for reading the article. Yes, the MTHFR SNPs C677T (rs1801133) and A1298C (rs1801131) are both found in 23andMe v5 chip. And you are right Genetic Genie accepts raw data till the v4 version till date.
Do I need to order the $199 Health and Ancestry 23andMe kit or will the raw data from the $99 ancestry kit suffice for Genetic Genie or Xcode Life?
Hi Miranda! Thank you for reading the article. The Ancestry only genetic test from 23andme is enough for the Xcode MTHFR analysis. The 23andme raw data from the V5 chip has around 650,000 genetic markers.