Researching methylation is a fascinating area of study that ties together many different systems of our body. While MTHFR, COMT, and MAO genes are very well-known, they are other lesser known genes that impact our health as well. In this video I am sharing with you my latest research into a gene called FUT2 (fucosyltransferase 2). The reason this gene is important is that it controls a very important process in our body. FUT2 controls the production of a special prebiotic called 2’-fucosyllactose (2’FL) which has wide-ranging effects on our gut, our brain and our overall health.

The FUT2 Gene Overview

The FUT2 gene is important because of how it influences who and what lives in your gut. It controls whether someone is a “secretor” or “non-secretor” phenotype, meaning whether or not you produce the prebiotic known as 2’FL. 2’FL is great stuff for our healthy bacteria, as they are literally fed by this sugary molecule. At the same time that 2’FL feeds our good bugs, it acts as a decoy for bad bugs allowing pathogens to be passed harmlessly into the stool instead of attaching to the gut wall. Obviously anything that helps feed the good bugs while helping us to remove the bad bugs is something we want.

Like most genes however, FUT2 is a double-edge sword that can help in some ways but also hinder you in others. As the video highlights for you, the FUT2 gene can increase the odds of having Crohn’s disease and leaky gut, but at the same time it can protect you from H. pylori and the Norovirus. Research shows that 20% of the population is +/+ or homozygous for the FUT2 “non-secretor” gene. These individuals have unique characteristics which differ from the other 80% of those with higher functioning FUT2 genes.

FUT2 genes which are +/+ homozygous can cause people to be deficient in the important 2’FL prebiotic. This impacts the quality of the mucous in our gut and the quality of the breast milk in nursing mothers. 2’FL is really found in just two places – the lining of our digestive tract and the breast milk of lactating mothers. Mothers who have low function FUT2 genes have different breast milk than women who do not the same FUT2 genes. This difference in breast milk leads to a difference in gut bacteria when we are babies. Then as we grow up into adults, these FUT2 genes still impact us because they change the quality of the mucous in our gut. This can predispose us to leaky gut, even when we have low stress and a healthy diet!

FUT2 Impacts Bacteria, Amino Acids and Neurotransmitters

Since FUT2 genes help to feed our healthy bugs, people with FUT2 issues are often lacking in certain types of bacteria, esp. Bifidobacterial species. When FUT2 genes are present, we can’t produce 2’FL on the lining of our gut very well. This leaves our good bugs without their favorite food and can lead to bad bugs taking hold. Research has shown that FUT2 feeds the kinds of bugs in our gut that produce amino acids like tyrosine, tryptophan, and lysine. So FUT2 people cannot feed the bacteria which help to produce these key amino acids. Therefore, people with low FUT2 function are lacking in those amino acids, and can suffer from chronic depression and anxiety, chronic fatigue, obesity, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other health issues.

When the gut doesn’t produce amino acids for us, we develop problems that can impact all systems of our body.  Our hormones, neurotransmitters, muscles, immune system and gut lining are just a few of the areas where we utilize amino acids.  We literally cannot live without amino acids, and with Glyphosate and GMO Foods (Thank you, Monsanto!) poisoning our digestive systems everyone is at risk.  Many people with FUT2 problems develop hormone issues because our body uses peptides (aka amino acid chains) to send signals from our brain to the glands in our body.  If we don’t have enough protein/amino acids in our body due to FUT2, GMO-foods, antibiotics or all three, then we will definitely have a problem.

For example one thing I often ask my patients is whether or not they have cold sores or Herpes Simplex issues (type 1 or type 2).  The answer to this question helps us understand if they have enough lysine in their body.  Since FUT2 genes helps us to have lysine in our bodies, those people with FUT2 issues typically are going to be lysine deficient and struggle with chronic virus issues like EBV, Herpes, etc.  Lysine is necessary for the body to be able to use B6 which is used in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout our cells.  Lysine is also necessary for the immune system to help kill viruses, and it is also used in the production of carnitine.  Carnitine is essential for our body to burn fat and protects our blood brain barrier.  Therefore if  you have FUT2 problem that is untreated, then you have a lysine problem, a viral problem, a fat-burning problem, and mitochondrial issues because of a lack of carnitine.  That is just one of the side effects of this gene issue.

There is also some research that shows people with poorly functioning FUT2 genes are able to absorb B12 more easily, which helps optimize your methylation cycle.  The thinking on this is that since H. pylori is less likely to take hold in people with FUT2 genes, there is better function of intrinsic factor in the stomach which helps us absorb B12.  Again, each “bad” gene that creates a problem also provides some benefit, and in this case higher B12 levels is a definite advantage.

Our gut produces the amino acids that our brain and nervous system need to function optimally. I have shown in previous videos that many issues conspire to disrupt our gut’s ability to feed our brain these essential amino acids. From over exposure to antibiotics, eating highly toxic GMO foods to suffering from chronic digestive problems like GERD, IBS, diarrhea and constipation, many people have a poorly functioning and leaky gut. Now we must add the FUT2 gene and its 2’FL prebiotic to this equation as well. Sure, it seems complicated (and it is) but that doesn’t mean you cannot come up with a simple plan to help heal your body. That is what my work at BeyondMTHFR© is all about – the more we help educate the more people can benefit from this incredible science!

In Summary

Understanding FUT2 may not be as popular as other genes like MTHFR, COMT, MAO, etc. but is still an important gene. We are hearing more each day how important the gut is to our overall health. At the same time, we have millions of people suffering with gut and brain problems that conventional treatment doesn’t seem to help. Many mood and behavior problems start in the gut, and FUT2 is a major player in this area. Looking at FUT2 genes, and at how they influence our gut bacteria and brain function, can help those with chronic gut-brain issues find relief.

Recommended Supplementation for FUT2 Genes

If people with FUT2 genes don’t have enough 2’FL, then logically it makes sense to provide their digestive tract with additional 2’FL. This would act as a fertilizer for the good bugs and help to offset the negative effects some people experience as a result of their FUT2 genes. There is only one produce to my knowledge which directly addresses the FUT2 issue and the lack of 2’FL. The product I am recommending has been developed by Metagenics and is called Ultra GI Replenish. This product has effective levels of 2’FL in each serving, along with many other ingredients that help fight leaky gut.

Ultra GI Replenish – The most common recommendation for patients is to start slowly, taking 1 scoop once per day for a few days then working up to 2 scoops twice per day. This can be continued for several weeks or months, or as needed to manage leaky gut symptoms and support FUT2 genetics.

 

All supplements in this nutritional protocol can be purchased online through Dr. Rostenberg’s online pharmacy. Getting the supplements shipped to your door is very easy. Just follow the instructions below:

These supplements are available from our Metagenics web store and we extend a 20% discount plus free shipping to all new patients who order online. We also give you free shipping and 10% off all recurring orders. You will find our prices are competitive with other outlets.

Just click on “Create an Account” in the top right corner to get started. The practitioner code is RedMountain.

Metagenics batch tests every single raw ingredient. Meaning, they test every batch, every time before it is processed into a supplement. I’m not aware of any other company that puts that kind of expense and effort into product quality.

 


 

For More Videos on MTHFR and Digestion I Recommend:

The Gut Origins of Methylation Problems

MTHFR and SIBO – Part 1

 

In Health,

Dr. Rostenberg

By studying the current peer-reviewed research, Dr. Rostenberg has discovered powerful, natural strategies to optimize gut and methylation function to heal the body.  He can help you uncover the genetic or root causes of your health problem and find a natural solution!  If you would like help healing your leaky gut to improve your methylation cycle and reduce/eliminate your symptoms, please contact Dr. Rostenberg at Red Mountain Natural Medicine today. Phone 208-322-7755. Email redmountainclinic@gmail.com. Website http://www.redmountainclinic.com

†This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

†The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

†In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk.

 

6 Comments

  • October 29, 2017 Reply

    Angela

    Would someone with a homozygous mutation need to take the Ultra GI product indefinitely? Would taking a lysine supplement or eating foods rich in lysine help? Would taking a probiotic containing Bidifidobacterial species help one make 2’FL? Thank you for your research

    • November 9, 2017 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks for your comment. Those who have a homozygous FUT2 mutation need FUT2 support more than other people. I wouldn’t think about it from the point of view of do you have to take it for the rest of your life. What you want to do is feed the good bacteria with a product like Ultra GI Replenish. Once you have taken the product every day for 2 or 3 months, you’ve really saturated the gut with the 2’FL molecule. After that, my advice would be to take it occasionally once or twice a week just to keep making sure you are feeding the good bugs. Unfortunately there is no probiotic species that produces 2’FL. 2’FL is something our own cells either make or don’t make; gut bacteria don’t produce it to my knowledge. Hope that helps!

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • November 21, 2017 Reply

    Leah

    Is the ultra GI product safe for breastfeeding? Would it pass through the mother’s milk to her toddler, or would the toddler need the supplement themselves? I am homozygous and my husband doesn’t have the mutation at all. My daughter has horrible tooth decay, a white coated tongue after breastfeeding, and reflux…I suspect my milk isn’t helping her gut and mouth enough. Thanks for your help!

    • November 27, 2017 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hi Leah,

      Thanks for your comment. The Ultra GI Replenish product is safe for breastfeeding. It is also safe to give to Toddlers directly in a smoothie, although you will use a smaller dose. For example, if an adult is to take 2 scoops into one shake, then a toddler would use 1 scoop or 1/2 scoop only in their shake. It sounds like your daughter will benefit from this type of support. Hope that helps!

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • November 28, 2017 Reply

    Huzaifa Khanani

    Hello Dr. Rostenberg,

    I came across your youtube video and website. I am a chemical engineering student studying biotechnology and doing research on FUT genes. I just have a quick question. Is FUT1 or 2 produced commercially as medicine. If not, then what commercial applications does it have?

    Thank You
    Huzaifa Khanani

    • December 3, 2017 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hello Huzaifa,

      Thanks for your comment. I do believe the FUT2 product is produced commercially as medicine. Remember the FUT2 gene isn’t the component we are interested in; we want the product that this genetic pathway produces. In this case what we want is the fructooligosaccharide called 2-Fucosyllactose (2’FL). 2’FL is man-made and is available in certain baby formula as well as the Metagenics Ultra GI Replenish medical food. If you research who owns the patent on this compound you will likely be able to find who is the main manufacturer. Hope that helps.

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

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