Wellness Blog

MTHFR & Casein

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 3:35 PM

MTHFR…here is an interesting tidbit.

MTHFR or methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase is responsible for methylation in the cells of the body. Why is this important? Methylation is important for cellular repair, synthesis of nucleic acids, production & repair of DNA & mRNA. It is also needed for detoxification and neurotransmitter production. This enzyme is also needed for a healthy immune system. It affects formation & maturation of red blood cells, white blood cells & platelet production. Okay, that all sounds very technical. Basically, a genetic mutation affecting MTHFR can lead to a host of health issues. How much a person’s health is affected does depend on the severity of the mutation.

Glutathione is your body’s primary detoxifier and antioxidant. MTHFR gene mutation can make you susceptible to illness by lowering your ability to make glutathione. People with low glutathione will experience more stress and are less tolerant of toxins. Have you noticed some people seem to constantly be fighting to stay healthy? This may be an indicator of low glutathione. There are many very serious conditions also associated with MTHFR mutations. Good news on the glutathione front may have come from an unlikely source. A2 Beta Casein has been shown to increase glutathione levels. At a time when milk is blamed for everything from allergies to yeast, this information is quite interesting. The debates about raw milk continue, but the evidence shows a definite difference between how the body uses A1 and A2 types of Beta Casein (B-Casein). We know that A1 type is responsible for the gastric upset people experience with cow’s milk allergy.

However, it should be noted that older breeds of cows Jersey, Asian, African cows produced primarily A2 type B-Casein. Genetic mutations, cross breeding, and other influences has resulted in breeds such as Holsteins now producing primarily A1 type B-Casein. However, there are alternative sources of milk available. Goat, sheep, camel, buffalo, yak, and donkey milk all contain mostly, or only A2 B-casein. So people that have avoided cows milk and used these alternatives were in reality increasing the amount of glutathione available for their bodies!

People with MTHFR mutation now have a reason to consider alternative sources for milk. Besides the normal health benefits associated with some dairy consumption, there is now the important increase in glutathione. Just think, that glass of alternative milk may contain the ability to improve immunity, reduce migraines, improve gastrointestinal issues, reduce risk for many chronic diseases, and more!

Dianna Richardson, ND January 3, 2017


Deth R, et al. Clinical evaluation of glutathione concentrations after consumption of milk containing different subtypes of β-casein: results from a randomized, cross-over clinical trial.Nutr J. 2016 Sep 29;15(1):82.

Haq MR et al. Comparative evaluation of cow β-casein variants (A1/A2) consumption on Th2-mediated inflammatory response in mouse gut. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Oct 29.

Yang S,et al. Identification of Genetic Associations and Functional Polymorphisms of SAA1 Gene Affecting Milk Production Traits in Dairy Cattle. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 9;11(9):e0162195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162195. eCollection 2016.

Woodford K. Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and Politics: A1 and A2 Milk. Wellington New Zealand: Craig Potton Publishing 2007.

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