Knowing your MTHFR status is a gamechanger! Today, Elijah Free shares some theory of health outcomes as related to the MTHFR genetic mutations, affecting folate, vitamin D, and other health issues.
Podcast 396: Genetics and Viruses – MTHFR
Martin: Hello, everybody! This is Martin Pytela for Life Enthusiast Podcast! With me today is Elijah Free, the master herbalist at Earth Friend Herb. Hello Elijah!
Elijah: Hi Martin! It’s great to be here again. We have recorded a lot of podcasts together!
Martin: Yes we have! We have been in many conversations, you and I, trying to explain the principles of health, the principles ofherbalism, and how the products that you have formulated have helped people.
Elijah: Thank you very much, Martin! As always, I am just grateful for your expertise and your amazing company. For those of you who don’t know this, Martin is our main distributor. Martin and I have worked together for years, and I am sure if you have ever talked to Martin, you know how great Martin is. He is one of the most knowledgeable people I have met, really, that you can talk to. So I just want to say: thank you so much, Martin, for carrying our products, for being such a wonderful exponent of them, for sharing them with everyone, and for talking with me today, thank you!
Martin: Thank you, Elijah! Today, I would like to talk to you about your ideas as they relate to genetics and the current situation with the Coronavirus. I will now launch into a slide presentation that we have named Genetics and Viruses and the Possible Connection with the COVID-19, as you can see on the screen now. Our guest is Elijah Free, the master herbalist. Tell us, Elijah, why you should be heard? What’s your background, and how do you actually get these insights that allude to so many people?
Elijah: Thank you for asking! I have talked about my practical training for many years, but this is new for me, I think this will be the first time I have ever publicly spoken about my background like this, so thank you, Martin, for the opportunity. I have had very wonderful training. I started back all the way in 1968, I was a wartime paramedic. I was part of a special training program to replace doctors on the battlefield. But I decided that the war was not something I was highly into. So after that, I went into private practice, where I am a master herbalist, I own Earth Friend Herb company, I am also the formulator and designer and researcher of all of these products.
I also have a very wonderful practice where I rebuild broken hands, feet, damaged spines, and so on. So people over the years have called me lots of things, Martin, I often hear words like Shaman, or Medicine Man, or something like that, because my whole life I have abilities that other people don’t.
So about five or six years ago, I found out that I was on the autistic spectrum, which made a lot of sense. Actually, my true ability is understanding how the universe works, which may sound a little odd, but I have a number of abilities where you could say the universe speaks to me, like healing, as an herbalist the plants speak to me, animals, all sorts of things speak to me. When I say that I understand how the universe works, the main place that I focus this is on the human body. So I work with a number of people with a number of different types of ailments.
There’s something called MTHFR, which is methylene tetra hydro folate reductase. This is basically a genetic problem. A lot of people have this issue, some tests show that sometimes up to 30-40% can actually be affected. There are two genes, one called C677T, and the other is A1298C. The C677T is fairly common. I myself have it, and actually the other gentleman here does, too! That’s how common it is. So I have been kind of a test case for myself. By the way, this is something that you can check yourself. You don’t need to go to your doctor and pay a ton of money for testing. You can go online to https://www.mthfrdoctors.com/ , I think the test is about 129 dollars. I can tell you if you know you have it, it is a game-changer. Whenever I find anyone that has it, I always say: “congratulations, now you know what’s going on.”
Martin: Anybody who can do the 23andme.com, that is the full genetic picture, and you can send all the raw data in for interpretation, and they can actually tell you what type of MTHFR mutation you have. The whole test is about 100 dollars, the interpretation is another 39 dollars.
Elijah: So I began to read a whole bunch of the symptomology that went on, for example, low vitamin D. I have to tell you, every person I have ever worked with, including myself, has always had very low vitamin D. Vitamin D levels should not go below 60. 40 is not good. I have seen patients with 8 or 9, with really bad MTHFR, they can barely move, they are so sick.
Martin: Vitamin D is actually generated in the body by sunshine. So exposure to the sun is what helps us. In fact, I think for a swimsuit-clad person, 15 minutes in the sun is worth about 10,000 international units of vitamin D3, which I think is about the maintenance dose for a human body.
Elijah: When people are sicker, we actually push it a little higher, but only with testing, and you need to be tested every four to six months. If you’re on a higher amount of vitamin D, it can build up in your liver, and that is not a good thing. So you have to be careful.
Martin: And the more pigment you have in your skin, the harder it is for the sun to penetrate and start making vitamin D3, so the darker the skin, the more sun exposure you need to get.
Elijah: And with MTHFR, part of the problem, which we’re going to talk about, what it does soon, is that it inhibits the absorption of numerous things, including chemical signals. So part of how the Vitamin D is created is by the body getting a chemical signal. It then utilizes available materials. Now we are going to take a side step and talk about three things that happen in the body that are very affected by the MTHFR. The first thing is called cell membrane permeability. How do things get into your cells? With MTHFR, it’s really hard to get things into cells. We have seen people that we have treated for things very simply when they come, but when folks come with MTHFR, it’s a very different game.
When we find a person with MTHFR, we start off differently, because most things just don’t work correctly. With improper cell membrane permeability, what basically happens is things cannot get into the cells. The cell wall itself becomes less opaque, things can’t go through. What also happens is that signals, chemical signals, which tell the cells how to act, become skewed, wrong, and mistaken, they give wrong signals. So with MTHFR, stuff can’t get into the cells. So when we talk about a cure for something, imagine you have one person here, and then you have me, and I have MTHFR quite significantly. For the person who does not have MTHFR, everything will pass beautifully into their cells, it’s not a problem, it goes right through the membrane, like looking through a beautifully clean window. But for a person with MTHFR that window is really dirty. Nothing can get through, or very little can get through. So what happens then is the signal tells the body to do the wrong thing. When that happens, the disease or illness or problem caused is actually called autoimmune disease. It gives the body the wrong signal, the body does the wrong thing, the cell does the wrong thing, and now the body is fighting against itself, and that basically causes horrible illness and often death. We call it autoimmune because the body is now trying to self destruct.
In other words, the body got a signal that something was going on when it wasn’t. It’s like saying: “Hey, there’s somebody coming to your house with guns,” and you know it’s not, it’s your wife with a cup of coffee. But yet somebody tells you that, and you go out, and you think something terrible is happening, so you do something terrible, like attacking your wife. Your body is told to do something wrong. Your brain may be sending the signal correctly, but by the time it gets all the way to the cell, things have changed, become skewed, confused, and as a result, the cells do the wrong thing. So that was the first issue, cell membrane permeability.
The second problem then, is the signal itself, which we just described. The third one is neural toxins, and this is absolutely devastating. When the cell function is disrupted, inflammation rises. People talk a lot about a cytokine storm, which means there is so much inflammation in the body during the COVID-19 virus, that for some people it destroys the tissue of their body, it goes into the cells and absolutely just wrecks it.
When I was sick in bed for all that time, my wife just had mildly low energy, something that a cup of coffee would take care of, and she coughed a little bit for a day or so.
Martin: Yeah, these are great examples of that in the same family, a husband is having a horrible progression of the illness, while the wife is watching in amazement and there’s nothing going on with her.
Elijah: Yes. We actually did an anecdotal observation of eight people, and it was interesting. It’s a very small number, obviously, and it’s not a study or anything, it’s all anecdotal. But in my household, my wife does not have MTHFR, and I do. I got really sick, she did not. In two other households of my patients, the women both have MTHFR, but their husbands don’t. The women both got just as sick as I did, and one of them actually got sicker. Their husbands didn’t notice a thing. In the third household with an adult daughter and an adult mother, they both have been diagnosed with MTHFR, they both got sick as a dog. It’s anecdotal, but it still points towards the fact that all people with MTHFR in this group got really sick, so it is 100% of patients with MTHFR being affected.
Martin: Well, a lot of medical studies are done on a dozen anyway, so it’s not that your number is too low necessarily. The MTHFR is expressed either through one parent (this is called homozygous), two parents (heterozygous), or none. We also have to keep epigenetics in mind. Any gene needs to be turned on in order to be activated. Even though we may have this mutation, it is not necessarily expressed, unless you are living in a lifestyle that triggers it.
Elijah: Exactly! I had hardly any symptoms, until I was actually poisoned by a dentist. I was sick for two years.
Martin: Yes, that was my experience as well. I was fine until I was poisoned with mercury, also by a dentist. So how does it actually work in the body?
Elijah: I am sure many of you have read or heard that Afro-American folks and Hispanic folks have a higher rate of getting the COVID-19 virus, and also a higher rate of dying. I found a study on this, and sure enough, blood folate levels controlled by the body chemistry, and especially for people with MTHFR, those folate levels drop anywhere from a little bit to remarkably dramatic. This study was actually focused on women, but it works the same with men. This particular study I found happened to be done with women, I just want to be 100% clear on all of that. They found that every African-American woman had folate levels incredibly lower than Caucasian women, and Hispanic women fell between the African-American and the Caucasians. So, the lower the folates, the more you are susceptible to being affected by the MTHFR in your body, and it makes you far more susceptible to other problems, it makes you apparently way more susceptible.
Now, interestingly enough, we also have body temperature and sticky mucosa here on the screen. I have found that people with MTHFR all across the board, most of them have some type of thyroid problem, usually hypothyroidism. My body temperature for example, falls at 96.8 with the MTHFR. So if I am 98.6, I have a high temperature, even though I show statistically normal. They have changed the “normal” numbers a bit recently, they have got a little more variation in there now, and I think it’s probably because of the vast amount of people with something like MTHFR, that show lower body temperatures, it’s like 20-25% of the entire population, that’s a big chunk of people that does not have a normal body temperature that falls within what is generally considered normal.
The other thing that I noticed, and this is very interesting, this goes back decades, I knew a person with a live blood microscope, and you could also do saliva tests on it. So they were doing different saliva samples, and then he did my saliva, and he said he’s never seen anything like this. It was the stickiest stuff he’s ever seen. I don’t know anything about that myself, however, I think of it this way: there is a COVID-19 virus floating around in the air. Somebody just coughed all over you, they didn’t wear a mask or whatever. You have low blood folates. You have a low body temperature, which the virus likes. You then have sticky mucosa! With a sticky mucosa, low body temperature, and low blood folates, your body is a perfect place for the COVID-19 virus to live and to thrive! A person without MTHFR has normal blood folates, a normal body temperature, and their mucosa is not very sticky, so they have a place where it cannot really thrive.
Martin: I would say that this has to do with the permeability of these mucosal membranes, right? If your membrane is in good shape, you can prevent the transmission of the virus, so it cannot get in, but if you are challenged in this department, then the virus is more likely to get through.
Elijah: Exactly. With all the people who get sick and die from the COVID-19, the people who were like me, that wish they were dying at the moment, and the people who don’t get hit at all, we are looking at a perfect model. This is what I thought could help. There is no cure for it at the moment, I am not saying I have anything that will cure this, but I have things that may help with MTHFR, but that’s not really the main thing at this point. What I am trying to propose is a three-point system that would allow people to be able to function by knowing your levels of MTHFR. It’s a simple swab test. Imagine lots and lots of people getting the MTHFR test, then we break the results into three categories. The first category for people who don’t have it, or do have it in a very small amount. The middle category for people with a small amount to a reasonably good amount, which is where I would fall. And then the people with serious MTHFR issues.
Now if you put this into three groups, the first group could probably go out and be safe, be careful, wear a mask, but they probably would be okay, because they don’t have the MTHFR. You can find the people who didn’t get sick. The next group would have to be more careful. I wear a mask and gloves when I go out, and all of that, these people would probably be okay to a degree, but they need to be quite careful. The third group, what would be the group that would have the really big problems, and might need to stay home, work from home, and things like that, and be exceptionally careful, until something is developed to help us with the virus. I came up with these seven points, as you can see on the screen, and as people would get into one of those three groups, there are these seven factors you need to consider.
For example, the first factor is the MTHFR. I have MTHFR and I am in the second group. Number two is folates, I have low folates. Then my age, okay, well I am 70, so that gives me points against that also. Racial background? That would have to be found out prior. Medical conditions and prescription drugs, even street drugs, that would be part of the picture as well. Number six is the level of inflammation, and finally substance and food intake. This could very possibly give us a really nice idea of different groups of people for the time being until maybe the vaccine is developed, and this would allow us to have more of an open society.
I imagine that making a vaccine would be very difficult, because of the fact that you are treating three quite different types of metabolic conditions. The drug Plaquenil, that contains the hydroxychloroquine: sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, why? It’s also used for people with lupus who have autoimmune problems. Patients with bad MTHFR appear to be getting better, but they are literally getting better from the MTHFR, and not from the COVID-19.
Martin: Well, I can confirm that from my work with people, it all starts with understanding biological individuality. If you don’t take into account the metabolic dominances and the biological differences, when you are trying to treat people by the numbers, instead of by their individual responses, you’re going to have a problem. The standard model of care that assumes that everybody is identical to one another is doomed!
Elijah: I will be 70 in the fall, Martin, and all of my life I have been able to view a lot, and it has allowed me to correlate data in a wonderful and very profound way. So yes, it’s all very individual, but we can still, I believe, get people into three groups. And really it’s only the people on the higher end of group number two, which would include me, and all people in the third group, that we really have to watch out for. We are still going to need all the social distancing, because the people without the MTHFR can still carry the virus and affect the poor people, like myself, who don’t have that healthy system. So we all still have to work together. But I feel this is a great plan. We’re not trying to make vaccines or anything at this point. This would be step one – let’s get the society sorted out, and then we can just move ahead. All we have to do is treat people with MTHFR.
Martin: Of course, you’re speaking on the assumption that the system is interested in healing people instead of making money. So, what would you have to help people repair the chemical chains and deal with the toxic load?
Elijah: Before we start talking about my formulas, I just want to make sure that people understand this is not a cure for COVID-19, it will not prevent you from getting it, there are no claims for this. If you are listening to this, just know that we are not saying that this is going to prevent you from getting sick. This is still anecdotal. What we have right now that is helpful for patients with MTHFR are our Cell-Ease and Cell-Ease support. But we are in research right now for this, we have learned a lot, and we will have something coming out soon. It’s really complicated, because first of all, you need something to neutralize the MTHFR, or to even get into the cell. Then you need a support formula for that to help that to move through because you can’t put them both in one bottle. It’s just too many herbs. And when you do that, you can’t simply go: “well, I’ll take twice as much.” It doesn’t work that way.
Martin: Okay! On my end of things, we find that the bioavailable sulfur, MSM, is helpful in improving the cell membrane permeability.
Elijah: I can never express the importance of sulfur in a cell! We make a garlic syrup, it is a remedy from old England, it takes all afternoon to make, and it smells like you’re inside of a garlic clove yourself! But the worst part is you can’t ship it anywhere. You can’t do anything with it. Patients would have to come, bring their own refrigerated bags and ice bags to take it home. But I wanted to mention the sulfur, oh my God, I cannot overstate the importance of sulfur to the cell.
Martin: The second thing that we have had a lot of success with is lecithin. Lecithin is the universal emulsifier. And the cell membrane is formed out of bi-lipid layer, and the materials that are needed for that layer are in the lecithin, so when we supplement that, we support the rebuilding of the cells.
Elijah: Very nice, that would also help with neuro transmitting, so that would help to override the incorrect signal by boosting the strength of the neurotransmitter from its actual transmitter head.
Martin: Cool! So any questions? If you have questions, which I hope you do, you can contact us at www.life-enthusiast.com, call us at (866) 543 3388, and you can find Elijah at www.earthfriendherb.com, the number is (831) 325 3300.
Elijah: And a good way to contact me is through email, if you like, [email protected] We get pretty busy often, so we ask if people could text or email us if they want to chat because sometimes I am hard to get on the phone.
Martin: Thank you! Alright, Elijah, this has been interesting, stimulating, and educational! Thank you very much for participating, and I hope it’s appreciated out there in the crowd!