MTHFR and the infertile couple: A Chinese medicine perspective

Brandon Horn, PhD, L.Ac, FABORM
Lecture Type: 
Breakout Session
Lecture Day: 
Day 1
Segal Conference Room


Learning Objective:

To understand the importance of MTHFR induced methylation defects in the context of infertility, and how Chinese medicine can work with this.



One of the pillars of Chinese medical diagnosis and treatment is taking into account the patient’s constitutional tendencies. In the past we relied primarily on morphological analysis, pulses, palpation and symptom history to determine such tendencies. While these analyses are valuable, we now have access to even more detailed analyses in the form of genetic screening. In recent years, certain mutations have come to the forefront. One of the genes that is implicated in fertility, pregnancy and pediatric complications is a defect in the MTHFR gene. In this discussion, we will look at what the MTHFR gene is and how it influences fertility, fetal and childhood development from both a Western and Chinese medicine standpoint. We will then examine how Chinese medicine and other factors can be used to help counter negative effects of these mutations. 


1. Primer on genetics as represented through the eight extra channels

2. MTHFR, what it is and how it influences conception and development

3. Supplementation … the good, the bad and the ugly

4. Case management using Chinese medical theory



Brandon Horn, PhD, L.Ac, FABORM
Los Angeles, California

Dr. Brandon Horn, PhD, JD, LAc, FABORM is a lecturer, researcher and clinician in the fields of acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition. He received his bachelor's degree and juris doctorate degree from the Ohio State University, his master's degree in oriental medicine from Samra University and his PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine from the American University of Complementary Medicine, where he currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer.

Brandon is a recognized authority in the fields of infertility and gynecology. He has publications in journals such as Fertility & Sterility, Alternative Therapies in Women's Health, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Journal of Chinese Medicine. He lectures both in the United States and internationally on topics such as the treatment of women with poor ovarian quality, the use of acupuncture to improve uterine receptivity, the use of acupuncture in support of in-vitro fertilization, and integrative approaches to the treatment and management of autoimmune conditions. Venues have included Columbia University, UCLA, LAC + USC Medical Center (Grand Rounds) and Children's Hospital Los Angeles (Grand Rounds).

In researching how to help couples have healthy babies, Brandon developed an interest in fetal development and pediatrics. He accepted a position at Children's Hospital Los Angeles as Clinical Supervisor and Deputy Director of the acupuncture program. He also supervises Master and Doctoral level students working in the Pain, Rheumatology and Endocrinology departments alongside some of the top pediatricians in the country.

In addition to working at CHLA, Brandon is also on faculty at UCLA Medical School where he teaches third year medical students. He also maintains a private practice at the Lotus Center for Integrative Medicine, where he sees patients in the Los Angeles office.

Integrative Fertility Symposium

Healthy Seminars 6th Integrative Fertility Symposium will be held exclusively online. The IFSymposium is geared towards Chinese medicine and naturopathic physicians who have an interest in treating reproductive health issues using an integrative approach. IFS 2021 date TBA

Symposium Location

Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC