MTHFR – Copper Overload, Glucose, Malabsorption and Heavy Metals

Please note: The content of this post is my own, unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copied and pasted. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science,…

Please note: The content of this post is my own, unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copied and pasted. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery. 

Copper (CU)

Copper is an essential trace element that is vital to the health of all living things (humans, plants, animals, and microorganisms). In humans, copper is essential to the proper functioning of organs and metabolic processes. The human body has complex homeostatic mechanisms which attempt to ensure a constant supply of available copper while eliminating excess copper whenever this occurs.

Various national and international organizations concerned with nutrition and health have standards for copper intake at levels judged to be adequate for maintaining good health. These standards are periodically changed and updated as new scientific data become available. The standards sometimes differ among countries and organizations.

  • Adults – The World Health Organization recommends a minimally acceptable intake of approximately 1.3 mg/day. In North America the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for copper for healthy adult men and women at 0.9 mg/day. The European Food Safety Authority set its UL at 5 mg/day.
  • Adolescents, children, and infants – The World Health Organization has not developed minimum daily intakes for these age groups. In North America, the RDAs are as follows: 0.34 mg/day for children of 1–3 years; 0.44 mg/day for 4–8 years; 0.7 mg/day for 9–13 years; and 0.89 mg/day for 14–18 years. The ULs are 1 mg/day for children of 1–3 years; 3 mg/day for 4–8 years; 5 mg/day for 9–13 years; and 8 mg/day for 14–18 years.

Full-term and premature infants are more sensitive to copper deficiency than adults. Since the fetus accumulates copper during the last 3 months of pregnancy, infants that are born prematurely have not had sufficient time to store adequate reserves of copper in their livers and therefore require more copper at birth than full-term infants.

  • Pregnant and lactating women – In North America, the IOM has set the RDA for pregnancy at 1.0 mg/day and for lactation at 1.3 mg/day. The European Food Safety Authority set the PRI for pregnancy to be 1.6 mg/day, and for lactation 1.6 mg/day – higher than the U.S. RDAs. [taken from Wikipeadia]

A common problem in ADHD, behaviour disorders, and hormonal depression is a genetic inability to control copper, zinc, manganese, and other trace-metal levels due to improper functioning of metallothionein proteins.  Elevated copper can cause striking changes in the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain and are also associated with hormonal imbalances and intolerance to estrogen.

Children with ADHD are recommended that they steer clear of foods and products containing copper/ copper sulfate. However, because most people with Autism also have a methylation problem, it is recommended that they too limit their copper intake. In addition, it is recommend drinking bottled water and limit use of swimming pools and jacuzzis treated with copper sulfate anti-algae agents.  Foods to be limited due to high copper content include shellfish, chocolate, and carob.  Biochemical treatment focuses on zinc, B-6, and other nutrients that stimulate metallothionein synthesis and functioning.

When the body cannot effectively get rid of copper in the body and it builds up, you get conditions like Wilson Disease and Menkes Disease.

Glucose Dyscontrol

The inability to control your glucose levels does not really have such a big influence in behaviour and other conditions or symptoms associated with Autism, ADHD, etc., but instead is an aggravating factor which can trigger striking symptoms.  Typical symptoms include drowsiness after meals, irritability, craving for sweets, trembling, anxiety, and intermittent poor concentration and focus.  Treatment includes chromium, CoQ-10, and other glucose-stabilizing nutrients, but the primary focus of treatment is on diet.  People with dyscontrol of glucose benefit from six or more small meals daily with an emphasis on complex carbohydrates and protein.  In essence, they cannot tolerate large meals or quick sugars.  Complex carbohydrates provide the necessary glucose in a slow, gradual manner and may be thought of as “time-release” sugar.

But not being able to control your glucose does not mean you have Diabetes. Having Hypo/ Hyperglycemia is when the body cannot stabilize your blood sugar levels.


The statistics from around the world on malabsorption are staggering. More and more people are suffering from conditions like:

  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Short bowel syndrome (short gut syndrome)
  • Whipple disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

According to a study done by Walsh Research Institute in Illinois, about 90% of autistic patients studied suffered from some form of malabsorption. There are three primary classes of absorption problems:

  1. Stomach problems, including excessive or insufficient HCl levels
  2. Incomplete digestion in the small intestine
  3. Problems at the brush border of the intestine where most nutrients are absorbed into the portal bloodstream.

The consequences can include nutrient deficiencies, inflammation of the intestinal tract, candida, and mental health problems.  An incomplete breakdown of protein and fats can adversely affect brain neurotransmission and has been associated with impulsivity and academic underachievement.  Treatment depends on the type of malabsorption present and may involve probiotics, adjustment of stomach HCl levels, digestive enzymes, and special diets.

Heavy Metals

No, heavy metal detoxification has nothing to do with getting rid of Iron Maiden and Metallica, it is getting rid of chemicals like mercury, arsenic, lead, Cadmium, Copper, Tin and aluminium that have been building up in your body over a long period of time.

Persons with a metallothionein disorder are especially sensitive to toxic metals, and that over methylation is often associated with severe chemical sensitivities.  Effective treatment requires a three-part approach:

  • avoidance of additional exposures,
  • biochemical treatment to hasten the exit of the toxic from the body,
  • correction of underlying chemical imbalances to minimize future vulnerability to the toxic.

Some of the most common warning signs that you are struggling with heavy metal toxicity include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Brain Fog
  • Depression, Bi-polar and Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Insomnia
The following natural detoxification agents are commonly used:
  • Foods rich in vitamin C – Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C can reduce the damage caused by heavy metal toxicity by acting as an antioxidant.
  • Cilantro and other green vegetables – Cilantro and green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and parsley are detoxifying and can help reduce the buildup of heavy metals like mercury in the body.
  • Garlic and onions – These vegetables contain sulfur which helps your liver detoxify itself of heavy metals like lead and arsenic.
  • Water – Drink 8 ounces of water or vegetable juice every two hours to help flush out toxins.
  • Flax and chia seeds – Omega-3 fats and fibre can help with detoxification of the colon and reduce inflammation.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
  • Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)
  • Alginates
  • Glutathione
  • N-Acytl Cysteine (NAC)
  • Dandelion leaf and root
  • Milk thistle seed extract
Toxic Foods to Avoid
  • Farmed fish – Can contain heavy metals, dioxins and PCB which are highly toxic.
  • Food allergens – If your body is fighting against common allergens, it will not be able to detoxify from heavy metal poisoning.
  • Non-organic foods – These foods increase exposure to chemicals which make symptoms worse.  Some of the worst offenders include conventional apple juice and brown rice products.
  • Foods with additives – Additives are chemicals that can aggravate toxicity symptoms and decrease your body’s ability to detoxify.
  • Alcohol – Is toxic to the body and can make it more difficult for your liver to process other toxins and contributes to a toxic load.
Top 5 Heavy Metal Detox Supplements
  • #1 Chlorella (4-8 caps daily)
    Acts as a natural chelator to remove heavy metals.
  • #2 Vitamin C (3000 mg daily- during detoxification)
    Helps reduce free radicals.
  • #3 Cilantro (tincture 2x per day)
    Helps with detoxification.
  • #4 Milk Thistle (150 mg 2x daily)
    Milk Thistle aids in the detoxification of the liver.
  • #5 Probiotics (50 billion units daily)
    Improves detoxification of the gut and boosts immunity.
NOTE: Though the most effective form of getting rid of heavy metals is CHELATION, as it bonds well with certain elements making it either easier to eliminate or be absorbed. Always consult you doctor first.

There are many other chelating medications of which DMSA (oral), DMPS (transdermal and intravenous and TTFD (transdermal) are some. DMSA is very commonly used. (amendment suggested by Dr Louise Lindenberg)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts