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Dr. Chris Masterjohn: MTHFR Secrets & Testing for Nutritional Deficiencies

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:
Chris Masterjohn podcast

These are the show notes for the podcast with Chris Masterjohn.

About Chris Masterjohn (00:00:00)

  • Chris received his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut
  • We had him on a previous podcast (Carnivore Diet problems)

Chris’ Recommendations for MTHFR (00:00:38)

  • Two variants: C677T (more severe activity) & A1298C (less severe) – there are 6 combinations
  • There is a gradient of MTHFR activity across the population, evenly divided by 15-20% each
  • Chris released a choline calculator – which gives you a methylfolate score
  • For low MTHFR activity, add an extra 1.6mg riboflavin to your diet, RDA is 1.3mg
  • If you are doing any exercise 5 days a week, or actively losing weight, you are increasing your riboflavin needs by about 60%
  • The best-documented thing that having low methylfolate does is increases your need for choline
  • Cheat sheet (testing nutritional status version 1.2)
  • There is betaine in foods and supplements, and you can partially substitute your choline requirement with it

Recommendations Summary: (00:23:29)

  • Increase your riboflavin
  • Get more choline, take some methylfolate and creatine
  • That will counteract the predispositions towards MTHFR

Glycine (00:24:19)

  • Glycine acts as a buffer of methyl groups
  • Glycine is important as an inhibitory neurotransmitter
  • When you have too little methyl groups, you excrete more glycine

Methylfolate (00:26:16)

  • Methylfolate is the off switch when you don’t have enough methyl groups
  • The ideal way to supplement is to put it in water, or take a time-release form
  • You want the methylfolate to shut off the glycine buffering system

Psychiatric disorders (00:36:32)

  • Methylation donates methyl groups to an enzyme called COMT
  • This regulates dopamine in ways that influence mental stability and flexibility
  • The data is messy when you’re looking at MTHFR in the psychiatric disorders
  • COMT interacts with nutrition to impact the supply of methyl groups
  • By impacting the relative stability and flexibility of the mind, you wind up with OCD, depression, and anxiety

Homocysteine (00:39:54)

  • What is the optimal range?
  • The healthiest youngest people have 5-9, 7 is considered the middle

Blood tests (00:47:40)

  • Quest or LabCorp – insurance friendly
  • Amino acids, organic acids, homocysteine, nutrients test
  • Copper levels, serum B9

LDL Status (00:55:52)

  • When you have inflammation or oxidative stress, that’s worse for heart disease
  • Cholesterol tests on animals to find out the causes of atherosclerosis
  • Low cholesterol can also be bad

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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