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Is homocysteine level a good indicator of methylation status?

Discussion in 'Genetic Testing and SNPs' started by Oci, May 9, 2016.

  1. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    I am wondering about the connection between homocysteine and methylation. I have quite a hx of cancer in myself and family. I have had 23andme done and am +/- for C677T.

    I had homocysteine checked 6 months ago and it was 9.7....higher than my doctor would like. He would like me to take MB12 and folate but I am reluctant to do so as I am COMT++ and sensitive to methyl donors. I'd rather focus on getting more folate in my diet.

    I have had the OAT test done and methymalonic acid is low - I believe this indicates that B12 is good. There was nothing on the OAT test (that I could see) that indicated that folate was low.

    I should probably have my homocysteine tested again to see if it has come down.

    Another reason for asking about homocysteine as a possible marker for methylation is for my family members. I wonder if they should have homocysteine checked as an indicator of their methylation. Some of them do not have the $ to do a lot of testing.

    Thanks for any insights you can give!

    ++: COMT V158M, COMT H62H, VDR Taq, BHMT-02, BHMT-08, +-: MTHFR C677T +/-, MAO-A R297R, ACAT1-02, MTRR A66G, MTRR A664A, CBS A360A,
     
  2. Sherpa

    Sherpa Ex-workaholic adrenaline junkie

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    My naturopath says its a decently reliable indicator of methylation function. Also Whole Blood Histamine test can tell.. high histimate is usually poor methylation.
     
  3. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    Interestingly enough I had high homocysteine levels (identified after blood clot incident)... which is what got me put on B12, B6, and folic acid... and while my homocysteine levels DROPPED, my health issues worsened - which is when I started to learn about methylation and figured out that it might mean plenty of vitamins are coursing through my blood but not being utilized. So, I'd argue that without supplementation it might be a good indicator, but with even incorrect supplementation - the test might not be as useful (at least not from my own personal experience for my situation).

    I have also suspected high histimate as well and recurrent new allergies developing, which hopefully are being addressed now that I've got a better handle on methylation and I'm seeing that I can tolerate more things.
     
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  4. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    @Oci Hcy at 9.7 is not awful. Of course it could be improved a little (Terry Wahls talks about it on her book). I know I can improve it pretty fast just by adding a tiny bit of coconut oil to my diet. I verified it by blood tests. (12,7) before adding coconut oil and (8,2) 2 months after taking coconut oil daily (I used it as a spread on my paleo bread slice at breakfast - that was the only change back then). However, my husband is +/+COMT and can't even smell coconut oil :confused:

    Still, another couple of months after that my B12 levels hadn't raised despite being on a Paleo diet (I was avoiding eggs back then - trying the Autoimmune Protocol - perhaps this is why?), so that is when I started supplementing with Bs. Nightmare! If I could go back in time, I would have taken something like twenty micrograms of MB12 rather than 500mcg daily :eek: My Hcy lowered to (6.78), and the excess B12 gave me a thyroid spike and then I became hypothyroid. I think B12 and Folate (which I added later) supps made me B6/B2 deficient (very low lymphocyte count, serotonin syndrome) and then I ended up with low serotonin and couldn't convert T4 into T3 anymore.

    As @PennyIA said above, lowering Hcy doesn't always translate into better wellbeing.

    Bottomline is taking Bs separately was detrimental to my health. Right now I am trying with a Bcomplex again (anemia), but with doses below 0.5mg for each vitamin (and very low MB12).
     
  5. Kompota

    Kompota

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    I have a related question, since the thread is fresh (don't intend to hijack it) and more people would see it.
    I had my homocysteine tested and it was fine - 7.88 umol/L (ref. range 5 - 15). At the same time I had my B12 as Holotranscobalamin (88.9 pmol/L, ref. range 25.1 - 165) and Folic Acid (9.8 ng/ml, ref. range 3.1 - 20.5) tested. Those values indicate a proper diet and proper absorption, but I am fully aware that they give very little clue about their actual "behind the scenes"-function, i.e. how those are utilized within the cells (the methylation cycle). But back to homocysteine - my question is whether I should also test my methylmalonic acid (preferably urine), considering homocysteine is normal ? Isn't it pointless in that case ? At the same time I read that homocysteine alone may not be a very good indicator of methylation problems, since a suspected blockage may occure at different stages within the cycle. So considering this, maybe Methylmalonic acid as the very end product of these metabolic processes should be a more reliable indicator ?
     
  6. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    Hi @Gondwanaland. Very interesting.
    Very interesting, @Gondwanaland. I really wonder why this is?!!! How would coconut oil affect methylation? it must somehow be a methyl donor if your husband doesn't even tolerate the smell.
    I am questioning the theory COMT++ individuals are intolerant of methyls. Some are and some aren't. My Integrative doc is comt++ and isn't and a few on PR also. There must be more to it. I don't know where I stand but am nervous about adding too many methyl groups. On the other hand, I seem to have a histamine problem for whatever reason...sibo? allergies? I don't understand enough about it yet.

    My methylmalonic acid test was low and so I doubt I am low on B12. No evidence of low folate either on OAT test although I don't know what to look for and if it is a reasonable test for folate.

    I am feeling more cautious about adding in supplements willy nilly. Too much is unknown re reactions to them. Some days I think I should just stop all supps and focus on great nutrition...whatever that may be for me!

    I have been taking 5,000 mg (I think) of biotin for oxalate problems (good now) and wonder what biotin is doing to other levels/processes in my body. I also take high dose Iodoral (12.5 mg iodine) because of breast cancer hx and wonder what the down sides are to that!

    BTW CoQ10 will reduce my homocysteine I think as my Hcy levels were lower way back when when I was taking it. But it is a methyl donor too and makes me more anxious. And maybe I don't need to lower Hcy.

    Its all very complicated!
     
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  7. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I suspect hyperinsulinemia plays a role in there (my husband has it).
    0.5mg Biotin for 3 days in a row caused me histmine intolerance, hives outbreak and anaphylaxis. Then I took B6 (3-6mg of P5P daily), felt wonderful for a week and then had serotonin syndrome. Now I am still dealing with B6 overstimulation (almost hyperthyroid, had to drop my hormone replacement therapy). I added B2 to counter-act high serotonin, it worked, but then worsened my hairloss massively. When I take a complete B complex I don't seem to have side effects. I have been trying to figure out what dosages for each vitamin I need. Not easy.
     
  8. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    Hmm...I wonder if the biotin I am taking is contributing to the histamine. And yes, it is 5,000 mg that I am taking compared to your .5!
    Glad that you have found a B complex. Can you share which one? I assume it is a low level one.
     
  9. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    Good questions. I don't have a clue but would like to know. I am considering having methylation testing done ie either Doctor's Data or the other one...Health Diagnostics or whatever the name is at the moment. HDRI I think. I think it very important to know what I am dealing with given my cancer hx especially. Also it feels like I am throwing darts in the dark. My methylmalonic acid was low on the OAT test.
     
  10. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I have it locally compounded, and am still working on ideal dosages... Depending on my needs I add a few grains of single vitamins to it. [​IMG]
     
  11. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    I suspected that was the case. Good luck on finding the right combination! Lots going on in your country these days!
     
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  12. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    BTW I have tracked back that during my oxalate crises my lymphocytes were (transiently) alarmingly low = B6 deficiency.
     
  13. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    So, how much B6 are you taking now? I have been taking 50 mg P5P and 50 of pyrodoxine. Just this week have switched to 2 x 50 mg P5P.

    I am tapering use of zopiclone, a benzo-like sleeping pill. Bad news that pill! All sorts of problems/symptoms with the taper and even after according to the benzobuddies.org forum. That makes it hard to know what is doing what! I have so far not had much of a problem with the taper but am going slow.
     
  14. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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  15. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    I just checked the bottle...it is 5,000 mcg...not 5,000 mg. Can I blame it on brain fog?!
     
  16. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    Exactly. It was just someone's theory, there is no evidence for it and plenty of people have shown it is not the case.

    People may well be sensitive to methyl groups but it has nothing to do with COMT. If you know you have a bad response to them, by all means be very cautious. If it is just because of your COMT status, then give them a go and find out for yourself.

    MMA is specific for vit B12. An elevated value indicates that a B12 dependant enzyme is not working well and thus that a functional B12 deficiency is present.

    It doesn't say anything about any other aspect of methylation.
     
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  17. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    Hi @alicec

    I just posted on another thread http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/very-high-b12-and-folate.44391/#post-721679 but now think it appropriate for here and so will copy here.

    You said: I use the test from Great Plains Laboratory because they have better oxalate markers, but tests from other labs are fine for folate and B12 status.

    Here is a description of the test and an explanation from the lab director.

    Sorry to bother you @@alicec but am wondering if you can tell me which are the markers for B12 and folate on the Great Plains OAT test?

    I think the methymalonic is for B12 - mine is .52 which is low in the range which is good.

    My B6 was on low side and I have added more.

    I don't see anything that tells me about my folate levels. My doc said that if it was not noted on the report then they were fine.

    However he nonetheless is suggesting that I supplement with B12 and folate!

    Arabinose was very high. Need to retest or do a CDSA.
     
  18. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    @Oci
    I just realized something. At the same time that coconut oil lowered my Hcy, it also lowered my lymphocytes. I think coconut oil (and generally a high fat diet) divert B6 to insulin/glucose metabolism, and cause a functional deficiency in its other metabolic activities (like avoiding endogenous oxalate formation, properly absorbing protein and building muscle, lymphocyte maturation, breaking down histamines, converting tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin etc). @Sidereal

    Edit-- BTW I also noticed B6 speeds up lysine metabolism and increases the need for arginine.
     
  19. Oci

    Oci Senior Member

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    Interesting, Gondwanaland. Are you going to continue with the coconut oil? Coconut oil contains caprylic acid along with capric acid and lauric acid. Supposedly they fight candida, bacteria and viruses. But perhaps they also kill off the good bacteria. I was using MCT oil (ie bulletproof coffee) for awhile but think it was irritating to gut. Whatever we take there seems to be pros and cons.
     
  20. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I have just stopped it. I am having to lower my oxalate intake (coffee) and right now I don't need my B6 being diverted to insulin/glucose functions. :rolleyes: I am already missing the methyl donors :thumbdown:
     

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