Tag Archives: Gluten Free

The MTHFR Mutation

Sounds scary, doesn’t it.  Well, it kinda can be.  You see, I have the homozygous MTHFR gene mutation which leads to severe reduced folic acid conversion.  Homozygous: this means that I have two mutated alleles in on one particular gene that are busted. So, that’s pretty bad for me… so how do I fix it? Can I fix it?

So here’s the scoop:

When we ingest folic acid, it is in a form that cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, to enter the brain. This is where it needs to go to help create seratonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.  If we don’t create enough of these, any antidepressant can only do so much with the small amount of neurotrasmitters present. The gene segments responsible for instructing the body on how to properly metabolize folic acid so it is usable in the brain have been identified.  This is why cheek swabs can be used: DNA can be isolated from the tiny tissue sample on the swab, and it is then inspected in the lab to see if there are mutations on what’s called the MTHFR gene. This gene is the one responsible for Folic Acid metabolism.  A person may have no mutations, one, or two.  If they have a mutation affecting their use of folic acid, it is available in an already-metabolized form, so that when swallowed, it is already capable of crossing the barrier to the brain. For some people, finding out they have this mutation and beginning to taking the L-methyl folate into their body, is the missing puzzle piece – their antidepressant begins to work much better, because the brain has begun to make neurotransmitters in correct amounts upon which for the antidepressant to act.

So, I have now been on Deplin for 5 days and I feel incredible. nIt’s been like light a light switch going on.  I took a GeneSight test by Assurex to look at possible gene-drug interactions, so based on those results I was also put on Pristiq and again I continue to feel good everyday. I have more energy, more stamina, and a willingness to finally allow myself out of my psychological box and become vulnerable.

I feel like my sleep cycles are starting to shift to more reasonable hours and that the daytime MS fatigue is significantly better.  I am so grateful for this test.  It has helped build a better path with less guess work as to which medications work well in my body and which other do not.  This is huge.  I had one of my son’s take the test and he too was low in Folic acid conversion, but not as bad as me. So, he’s on Deplin as well and is now on medications that are in his least side effects column.  I stand by this test 110% – now that he is on the correct medications, he has made a 180 degree change for the better and is much happier with life.  So truly amazing.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

My version of this banana bread is indeed gluten-free,
but it does have dairy and eggs.


1  1/2  cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)

1  teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon salt

1/4  teaspoon cinnamon

1  teaspoon xanthan gum (I again used Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum)

3  medium sized over-ripe bananas (just over 1 cup when mashed)

1/2  cup lowfat buttermilk**

3/4  cup sugar

2  eggs (warmed close to room temperature)

1  teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2  cup canola oil

1/2  cup chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and xantham gum in large mixing bowl.  Place peeled bananas in blender, and blend on high until mashed.  Add buttermilk**, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and oil.  Cover and blend on high.  Pour over flour mixture, hand-mix together and scrape the sides of the bowl.  You can mix in the chocolate chips at this time if desired.  Pour into an oiled 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour or until done when tested with a toothpick.

** You can always substitute the buttermilk with low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt or just unsweetened applesauce. The ratio for substitution is 1:1