TPV Podcast, Episode 258: Bad Pseudoscience about MTHFR

Ep. 258: Bad Pseudoscience about MTHFR


In this episode, we discuss pseudoscience  and how to recognize it in relation to an article about “bad foods with MTHFR variations”.

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 258: Bad Pseudoscience about MTHFR

  • Intro (0:00)
  • News and Views (0:41)
    • Stacy is in her brand new office in her new home!
    • She’s unpacked almost everything. Man is it a lot of stuff!
    • She found that she has too many clothes because when she unpacked it all she found herself paralyzed by too many choices.
    • Thank you for the fun live show, everyone who attended! It was so much fun! Sarah also loved her road trip to Washington!
    • She felt inspired by surviving the trip to visit other places.
    • Stacy gets stressed out by clutter, so showing her house still with boxes was stressful.
    • And it was a new house: Stacy, Sarah and Matt had to Google how to turn on the stove.
    • On top of it, the kids all got along really well. It’s such a crap shoot whether your friends’ kids will like your kids, but it worked out splendidly!
    • The live show was fantastic! We loved the instant feedback and follow up!
  • “Pseudo-Science BS on the internet” (18:10)
    • Sarah puts a lot of time and research into what she puts out on the internet. She even is comfortable with nuance on topics like “Is this good to eat? What are the pros and cons?” But not everyone is like that.
    • Some people take a grain of scientific truth and uses jargon to report things in a sensational way. If you seen that kind of sensationalism, turn around and walk away.
    • One of the biggest issues in society is fact checking. And when it comes to health information, misinformation can be dangerous.
    • Look for things like citations, especially with links. Check the citations to make sure they say what the article says it does!
    • Be skeptical of things that sound too good to be true or are too condescending.
    • Look for multiple sources. The more sources, the more likely something is to be valid.
    • This article is like that: Bullet points of technical language with no sources.
  • The article from a MTHFR information site was called: “MTHFR Bad Food List” (27:12)
    • It starts by saying that folic acid wouldn’t be good because you need real folate.
    • But the subsequent list is full of unconnected list of foods with no themes or sources.
    • The reason was only “Known powerful enzyme and metabolic inhibitors” and “As a result you will make fewer amino acids and can’t make as much protein as you should.  This leads to lower immunity by reducing glutathione which is one of the bodies most important antioxidants involved in the homocysteine cycle.”
    • What’s the process here? What’s going on!? And where’s the reference to extra B12 and what foods are GOOD to eat?
    • This list doesn’t make sense on folate rich foods and includes nutrient rich foods.
    • It references mechanisms that don’t make sense either.
    • Sarah feels that it’s “here’s a bunch of sciencey words related to a bunch of foods not to eat!”
    • The grain of science here is that folate rich foods might not be good for people with MTHFR variants.
    • These variants affect the efficiency of the enzyme MTHFR which affects your methylation ability. And it never stops it completely.
    • MTHFR is the rate limiting enzyme. It controls how quickly you can methylate (activate) proteins.
    • Problems with MTHFR affect with lots of autoimmune and mental disorders. Also liver detoxification and neurotransmitter regulation.
    • It affects the usability of vitamins (like B9, folate). You can’t convert folic acid into methlfolate. Folate itself is better.
    • Some people who can’t convert folic acid may have issues from overdose of folic acid supplements.
    • It turns out the grain of truth in this article is that folic acid can be bad for people with MTHFR variance. But that doesn’t mean that FOLATE is bad for you!
    • We do love the Vital Proteins Beef Liver Pills as a supplement for folate, though!
    • Sarah did searches in PubMed for any connection between the science words and these foods. And a bunch of these foods did the OPPOSITE of what was claimed! None were metabolic inhibitors and only a few could be a possible enzyme inhibitor.
    • There is a lot of information out there for MTHFR challenged people. Find a good doctor to work with to help you!
    • Pseudoscience is rampant on the internet. Take the time to become informed for yourself. The more people around on the internet when a story is shared, the less an article is seen critically. Because people assume everyone else much have checked it!
    • “Trust but verify.” – an old Russian proverb that Ronald Reagan liked to quote.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to discuss it! Help your friends and family learn to be skeptical!
  • Rate and Review us! Goodbye!
  • Outro (1:07:24)


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