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Eating leafy greens to combat MTHFR deficiency and its role in children's anxiety & depressi

Here's some technical scientific information with a very simple nutritional solution, eat more leafy greens!

The MTHFR GENE gene can be tested by way of a cheek swab in children. If you test positive it means that you likely have 50% or more loss of function of the MTHFR enzyme, therefore, the folate you eat is not properly converted and is less available in your body. Folate is essential for a plethora of bodily processes.


MTHFR stands for methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase. It is an enzyme that converts folate you eat into the active form (5-methyltetrahydrofolate). All the folate you eat has to be converted to the active 5-MTHFR in a pathway in your body. MTHFR enzyme affects the last step of this pathway.

If you have a gene mutation for the MTHFR then it will affect how much active folate you have available. Currently there is available testing for only two key mutations of MTHFR – MTHFR C677T and MTHFR A1298C.

Without getting into the details of genetics, in order to get a mutation of the MTHFR gene it is inherited from your parents. You may inherit one copy of the gene from either parent (heterozygous), or you may inherit one copy of the gene from both parents (homozygous). Depending on the nature of the inherited gene variant, the function of the folate enzyme pathway in your body is decreased affecting how much active folate you have available.

Why is folate important?

Folate is required for the following:

  • Synthesis of DNA, RNA and SAMe. Proper cellular function is critical for our good health ie energy

  • Amino acid metabolism (for neurotransmitter, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine production and detoxification) ie appropriate mood regulation, helpful to protect against anxiety and depression

  • Formation and maturation of RBC (red blood cells), WBC (white blood cells) and platelet production.

  • Detoxification

For all of these functions the body needs folate to be converted into the active 5-MTHFR with the help of co-factors such as B2, B6 and B12 (through a process called methylation).

Therefore, in order to ensure your body processes are getting the folate it needs (and the co-factors) supplementation is required.

Therefore treatment for MTHFR is activated B vitamins and green leafy vegetables.

Another reason why its so important for our children to be eating a wide variety of green leafy vegetable.

This recipe is a favourite in our house either served with toast or as an adjunct to a stew.


400g Broccoli, Trimmed and Chopped 1 Celery Stalks 1 Onion, Diced 2 Garlic Clove, Minced 1 Teaspoon of Parsley

1 Teaspoon bone broth concentrate (meadow and marrow) 1 Litre of Vegetable Stock 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil Sea Salt and Black Pepper


In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic and diced onion.

Cook until softened for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the broccoli, celery and stock. Bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce to low heat to simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender and cooked.

Add in the parsley and then blend the mixture until smooth.

Put the soup back on the stove to re-heat and add salt and pepper and seaweed (sea power) for seasoning.

Emily Rose Yates


0414 071 314

3/191 Bronte Road, Queens Park NSW 2022

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