COFFEE METABOLISM & THE MTHFR MUTATION

Coffee is an all-time favourite of many around the world, it isn’t a drink any more, its a ritual, something that can get us out of bed in a good mood, something we look forward to on a cool winter’s morning. It’s so ingrained in so many of our cultures that we don’t even question it. We also soak up and information they confirms our addiction, and tells us it’s health for us, and improves our health. We do this without taking the diligence to cut it out of our diet and test how we feel without it. We so easily get drawn into a daily cup, and soon we may become used to the different effects it has on us. Don’t worry, I am one of these people too.

Before we get down into some of the nitty gritty details on the negative impact coffee metabolism may have on those of us with the MTHFR defect, I first thought it sufficient to preamble about my own journey with this enticing drink.

I have been giving up coffee now for almost four years. This is due to something inside of me that kept telling me to do it. Each time I went back to a daily cup of coffee, I didn’t notice anything detrimental enough to warrant having given it up in the first place, but a month later, I was always more frazzled, quick to anger, moody, tired and wired. I knew something was off, and there was always a voice telling me that it was coffee, but I continued to drown that voice with another cup. There’s always tomorrow to give it up, I told myself. You see, I no longer remembered how I felt before the coffee, which was cool, calm, collected and more open to life. Now I was just trying to figure out why I suddenly felt so suspicious, paranoid, depleted, and moody.

So of course, I finally listened to the voice. However as the first few days were always hell, and my issues become even worse, I decided to give up and have another cup. Then I decided to give it a rest for a couple of days, noticing no difference in my overall mood. But suddenly, after a certain amount of days without caffeine in my system, it clicks again. My life, is so much better when I am no drinking coffee. I can’t remember the amount of times I have been through yo-yo cycle.

Now that I am once again only consuming about one weekly cup of coffee,  I am more stable, and I love everyone more. Yes, the coffee makes me feel more stressed, mistrusting, paranoid, and sends me into over thinking spirals. This seems like a strange thing for coffee to do, but if you are sensitive to it, I bet it is somehow messing up the feedback loop between your emotions and your mind. Coffee can build up in our system, and if we don’t get rid of it quickly enough it becomes toxic polluting your mental energy, as well as your heart energy.

I’d heard numerous health experts talk about three different kinds of coffee metabolisers, and expected from their explanation, that I was one of the “slow” metabolisers, meaning my liver has difficulty processing caffeine allowing it to build up and become a toxin in the body. The fast metabolisers are those annoying people we know who can down 20 cups of coffee before bed sleep like a baby *rolls eyes*.

However, now, as a MTHFR mutant, it becomes more clear as to why I could possibly be having issues, and if you are also a mutant, please review the following information to understand the reasons why it might be best for you to give up your daily cup for coffee.

LET’S BE CLEAR ON SOMETHING FIRST…

There still isn’t enough research to bring to you all a clear conclusion. So I am going to ask that you take what we know so far, and use your own awareness, intuition and sensibility to see if cutting out coffee improves the quality of your life. You can always energy test it as well ❤

Now, let’s dive into some information…

UNDERMETHYLATORS CAN HAVE DIFFICULTY PROCESSING CAFFEINE

A study conducted in 2006 found that those of us that are slow at metabolising coffee are at greater risk for a non-fatal Myocardial Infarction. This is just a finding for one very dire consequences in our heart. But think of the daily cumulative damage that could be happening, and what effect it might have on numerous systems of the body. In Chinese medicine, the heart governs our intuition, and the very seat of our consciousness. When it is not balanced it can cause insomnia, mania, depression, anxiety and affect other organs in the body, do you really want to mess with that energy if you know you could be at risk?

DRINKING COFFEE IS ASSOCIATED WITH ELEVATED HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS

MTHFR mutants are already at risk for elevated levels of homocysteine due to our poor MTHFR enzyme efficiency. As Folic acid found in food cannot be as easily converted into its active from, the nutrients cant perform one of their key jobs which is to break down and recycle homocysteine.

So why is this bad news for us?

Homocysteine is an amino acid that can damage the lining of our arteries and other cells in our body. It is an independent risk factor for stroke, and cardiovascular issues. (Read here, here and here). These aren’t the only issues we can link homocysteine too, it’s also correlated with hearing loss, cancer, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s (ouch).

RAISED HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS FROM COFFEE DRINKING ALSO LOWER B-VITAMINS

Once again, this is something a MTHFR mutant can’t afford to be dabbling in due to our already hindered folate metabolisms (here).

COFFEE DRAWS FROM OUR ADRENALS

There is no way to get an energy hit without taking it from some sort of store in our body.  Coffee will draw directly from our adrenals. This might be okay for a strong healthy individual with great genetics, lack of stress, amazing diet and lifestyle. However, if you are expressing the MTHFR mutation for undermethylation, are under a lot of stress or prone to anxiety/ low mood and negative thinking patterns, try to take care of your adrenals instead of draining them.

LASTLY, COFFEE COULD BE EXACERBATING YOUR ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND STRESS LEVELS

If you are prone to any of the conditions above, coffee may be stimulating them, and increasing their negative impact on your performance and relationships. I urge you to give up coffee for a while to see how it affects your mood and peace of mind.

I know… you don’t want to give up your coffee, you love your coffee. But I promise you, a week without it and you will no longer feel as if your “morning ritual depends on it”, that is just an addiction and an attachment. I promise that what you really want, is a longer life, more health, more productivity, peace of mind and connection with others. You want to rid yourself of anything that doesn’t help you improve your life, or directly negatively impacts it.

Now, no-one is perfect, why give it up completely if you can have a cup every week or so without noticing any of the negative impacts? Remember, the negative effects begin to start when the drug builds up in our system and becomes toxic, so please feel free to enjoy your cup of coffee every now and then ;).

As always, I love to hear about your own experience with coffee, please share your knowledge as well as questions with me.

Optimal living to all of you,

francescax

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