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Folic Acid and MTHFR

Discussion in 'Genetic Testing and SNPs' started by Lotus97, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I found out a few days ago that I'm MTHFR (+/-), but I don't quite understand how folic acid affects me. I made a recovery during a period where I was taking 1600 mcg of folic acid and no other folate and no B12. When I tried taking 100 mcg methylfolate last fall I felt the effects even though I was taking 1500 mcg of folic acid. Now it's certainly possible that taking the folic acid made me deficient in methylfolate which is why I had a strong reaction to the methylfolate, but the folic acid certainly didn't "block" methylfolate as some people suggest. I took 1500 mcg of folic acid 100 mcg methylfolate for 5 weeks and the symptoms persisted. I didn't know what methylation was so I didn't take any potassium, but that still doesn't explain my reaction which was clearly overmethylation. I wasn't taking any sublingual B12 during that period either since as I said earlier I didn't know what methylation was. The reason I was taking methylfolate is because Jarrow changed the formula of their B Right b complex which I had been taking for over a year. I've stopped all my supplements with folic acid, but I still eat food sometimes that has folic acid in it. Since I don't experience symptoms from folic acid do I really need to completely eliminate it? Or is just severely limiting it enough? Also, does it make a difference whether or not I have a DHFR polymorphism in addition to MTHFR. I don't think DHFR has been mapped out yet so we don't really know which SNPs are problematic.
     
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Although your MTHFR is +/- and that isn't great (obviously -/- would be better!), you have to take other factors into account. First is that because you're heterozygous, you have some ability to process folic acid. So folic acid can still help you.

    The 2nd thing is that your COMT is is quite bad - this means you aren't using up methyl groups much in the process of breaking down dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. So you may have enough spare methyl groups floating around to convert as much folic acid as your MTHFR can handle, and maybe enough excess to cause problems if you start supplementing more methyl- products.

    What we don't know in many cases is how much each gene is contributing to each problem. In some cases there is data showing that people with a certain mutation are 15% or whatever slower or faster at some process, but we don't know that for a lot of the SNPs. We might be able to find that info if we read the research papers (when it's not on wikipedia, etc), but that's a bit of a major undertaking.

    So to a large extent it's guess work, but guided by what's known about your genes - you MIGHT need methylfolate and/or methylB12 due to MTHFR and MTRR/MTR, but you MIGHT have a bad reaction to the methyl groups due to COMT. In some cases it might be pretty clear what needs to be done, when genes are homozygous +/+ and there isn't another problem that might make the treatment for one genetic problem cause side-effects due to another genetic problem. But in most cases it just seems to be showing some likely problems, likely treatments, and likely side-effects to get us started.

    So really, pretty much any reaction you have to folic acid, methylfolate, or any various forms of B12 is to be expected to some extent :p
     
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  3. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I went a couple months with just taking hydroxocobalamin and folic acid. Then I gradually stopped the folic acid and gradually increased folinic acid up to 500 mcg. Now I've started taking methylfolate again. I'm starting with a low dose, but it's going ok so far. I guess I don't have to completely eliminate folic acid, but I'll try to limit it. Nandixon said that since folic acid is processed by the DHFR enzyme that could reduce the production of BH4 since BH4 is another function of the DHFR enzyme. That's part of why I stopped folic acid. I don't completely understand or remember why BH4 is important, but other people seem to think it's important. Rich also said folic acid uses up NADPH and many people here are low in NADPH so that's another reason not to take folic acid. Back when I had the reaction to methylfolate I was also taking a lot of betaine hcl which I found out later was the same as TMG. And then b right also had P5P. Probably my reaction to methylfolate was mainly because I was deficient, but those might have been other factors. Maybe a healthy person with MTHFR +/- would be able to convert enough folic acid into methylfolate, but Rich said based on Dr. Pall's research peroxynitrite destroys methylfolate so even if I was converting any of the folic acid to methylfolate I could still be deficient partially to that. Rich also thought because that the methyl trap might not happen in the conventional way. I don't know how much of this is theoretical.
     
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  4. caledonia

    caledonia

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    The thing you want to avoid is excess folic acid floating around unused because that is supposed to be cancer causing. Source - Ben Lynch - if I'm remembering correctly.
     
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  5. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    Dr started me on methylfolate today. 5-L-MTHF
     
  6. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Didn't you post earlier about taking Metanx? If so you've been taking methylfolate for awhile...
     
  7. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    You are right Lotus. I was not having a good day Tues (I could barely walk, used a pole for support) when I saw my Dr and I have easily got confused about all differences between folate, Mfolate, folinic acid, etc. I did some research when I got home on folate (5-MTHF) but it still did not resonant even with Mentanx at the top of the list. As soon as you mentioned it my brain kicked in, just left a msg w/ Dr to ask why she wanted me to buy folate supp when I already take Mentanx (I had backed off on Mentanx to just 2-3 x's per week so maybe the Folate 1mg was for the days I did not take Mentanx). She put me on estradiol mid March and has increased fr .014 to .025 and I told her the last few weeks I noticed depression which I had not had (I make a distinction between depression and just being down from 'dealing with it all'). She wasn't surprised but I was when she said estrogens can reduce B12 (I had backed off some of the B12 since my bld levels had reached a very high level (Dr still not sure my body is using all the B12 even tho at a high level - not sure how to determine that). Also found out the B12 deficiency can prevent SSRIs from working (I spent years and money on various SSRIs that did nothing, I finally gave up and just tried to handle to 'low' times). The only thing that worked was Prozac (I called it my happy pill) it worked about 8 months then I crashed really bad and no SSRI has worked since (I have been off all SSRIs since the 90's). So now adding Bcomplex back into daily regimen. I'm actualy seeing folate (metafolin) in many of the supps I am using. I need to add it all up. Sorry for the lengthy rambling reply.

    Question: Anyone know what the amount per serving is indicated by something that looks like an inverse hg vs mg. I'm assuming it is a smaller amount than mg but want to calculate amounts I am taking but not sure what that value represents. I cant type the letter so not sure how to google it.
     
  8. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Micrograms, also abbreviated mcg. You can type that one :).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilogram#SI_multiples
     
  9. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    Yes I understand mcg. The one I'm trying to get info on is the one that looks like a funny 'u' or inverse 'h' in front of a g.
     
  10. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Did you check the link I included? The funny u is another way of writing mcg.
     
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  11. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    μ
     
  12. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    No I did not, I thought it was different than mcg. Thx Can they try to make it more confusing????? why not use mcg.
     
  13. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    how did u do that symbol - maybe I just answered my own ? - its in the list of symbols?
     
  14. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    I just copied and pasted it. But I looked it up and holding alt while typing 230 on the numeric keypad works (which I'll never remember).
     
  15. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    Just for interest that "strange symbol" is the Greek letter m.
     
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  16. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    roxie60
    Serum B12 isn't a good indicator as to whether you need B12 or not. Even if your serum is high you probably still need B12. Are you taking B12 sublingually?
     
  17. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    Yes I understand that, actually we are quite certain I am still not absorbing B12 very well and my serum B12 is very high now. That is when I got tested for MTHFR. I take MB12 5000 sublingual, Mentanx and now have added B complex back into protocal since I did not realize that the addition of estrogen would further deplete my B12.
     
  18. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    roxie60
    Greenshots said her B12 serum went down after supplementing with lithium.
     
    roxie60 likes this.

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