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Methylfolate SIDE EFFECTS...

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by dannybex, May 30, 2013.

  1. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    From Dr. Ben Lynch's website:


    "Methylfolate is a remarkable nutrient yet it can create significant side effects.
    Those who have MTHFR mutations (especially the C677T MTHFR mutation) learn that methylfolate is critical to take. The issue is methylfolate can cause more harm than good if not started at the right time or tapered up slowly in amount.
    There appear to be three types of responses to methylfolate:
    FIRST: A person who can jump on methylfolate and feel absolutely wonderful. The only down side they experience is why didn’t they know about methylfolate before?!
    SECOND: A person starts methylfolate has an amazingly incredible week where they are happy, interacting and alert. Then the second week comes and they switch to wanting to hide in a room by themselves or literally throw dishes across the room out of anger. Or they may become bed ridden from muscle aches, intense headaches or joint pain.
    THIRD: A person takes a small amount of methylfolate and feels all the methylfolate side effects right out the gate.

    • irritability
    • insomnia
    • sore muscles
    • achy joints
    • acne
    • rash
    • severe anxiety
    • palpitations
    • nausea
    • headaches
    • migraines"

    I experienced many of the effects on the list in the third category when I was first (overprescribed) folates and b12 in late 2010, early 2011.

    And I can now certainly relate to the 'second' category. Of course I'm not sure that my currrent state can be completely explained by too much methylfolate (or folinic), but I'm very close to being bedridden...can hardly walk without severe pain in my feet...so I'm cutting waaay back, if not stopping the methylfolate for now.

    More at the link:

    http://mthfr.net/methylfolate-side-effects/2012/03/01/
  2. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    lol, definitely the third category for me. I've been taking folinic for a couple of months and now I'm trying methylfolate again. I'm considering the possibility that different brands have a different effect based on Adreno's experience that he posted in another thread. Mainly that he felt anxiety with Quatrefolic and calm with Metafolin. Since Quatrefolic is what I took initially I'm first trying Thorne's methylfolate from their b complex. It's a glucosamine salt so I wonder how similar it is to Quatrefolic. After about 5-6 days of Thorne's I'm going to try Quatrefolic again. The last time I tried it it was in a b complex with a lot of folic acid. Since I'm MTHFR another possibility I'm considering is that my reaction was due to the build up of folic acid that I'm not processing. If I don't tolerate the Quatrefolic then I'll try Metafolin and compare results. It could just be that I was sensitive, but I would like to know if anyone besides Adreno has tried both Metafolin and Quatrefolic.
  3. LaurieL

    LaurieL Senior Member

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    When I started, I already felt so bad, that I wouldn't know how to categorize my "person" status. I already had most of the symptoms anyways. o_O But the headache, I don't think I will ever forget the intensity of the headache.

    You know, what blows me away? When I was a little girl, my doctor hounded me to take B12 and folic acid. For reasons I don't care to explain in the here and now, I have been on one side of ill for many years, off and on...... And these same symptoms expounded here, and the headache I experienced, are the very same I experienced as a child. And those symptoms were the reason why, as a child, I refused to go near vitamin B anything and snub folic acid. And I maintained that aversion for over 30 years.

    LaurieL
  4. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I've heard of a few other people getting headaches from methylfolate as well. The strange thing is that they said they were able to tolerate methylfolate initially, but then got the headaches later one. It's usually the other way around. That they get the symptoms initially and then they gradually subside. Both of the people this happened to were taking very high doses of methylcobalamin (5-20 mg). This could just be a coincidence though.
    dannybex likes this.
  5. Victronix

    Victronix Senior Member

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    My experience has been that the majority of those symptoms go away with enough potassium, like over 1000 mgs. Particularly the severe anxiety -- that's clearly a part of low potassium for me. I got it with B-12 also, the same experience. It's a mind altering level of anxiety where I literally feel dissociated and am shaking all over.

    Solution? Potassium. If I take enough, and keep taking it regularly, I never even start to get that anxiety.

    What I've experienced that is unique to mfolate relative to mB-12 is the specificity of the muscle pains -- highly specific and focused, not broad aching or anything, but so isolated that I often think at first that I've pulled a muscle, or a tooth must have a cavity, etc.

    Also an unusual focus on the neck and shoulders in terms of the muscle pains. When I was in the first couple of weeks of mfolate I had to get a special chair at work which I could rest the back of my head against because of the neck pain. It has totally gone away now.

    Getting a hoarse voice was also unique to mfolate for me, and it happened literally within minutes of taking folinic acid and also mfolate. I suspect this is connected to the vagus nerve, but that's just speculation.
    dannybex likes this.
  6. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Rich thought excitoxicity from methylation could also be due to a drop in glutathione in the brain (specifically the astrocytes)
    I believe this is the study Rich is referring to
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22281935
  7. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Aside from low potassium or glutathione as a cause for symptoms from methylation, Alex had another theory which he blogged about:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?entries/is-the-fatigue-in-me-an-eicosanoid-phenomena.1320/
  8. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I agree that of course these symptoms could come from anything, or a variety of things, and potassium is often the culprit -- although is it lowered from methylfolate (or folate) or b12?

    And yes, Rich's theory was that excitotoxicity was due to low glutathione, but that glutathione could/would be raised by b12 and folate. He also included other supps as well (esp a multi), but tended to stress the b12 and/or folate...and I wonder in hindsight if he missed or overlooked some of the other crucial nutrients that folate or b12 might displace?

    Just as one example, thiamine -- which was shown in that other study to use some of the same receptors as folate, but was blocked if folate was high. Thiamine is critical for proper krebs cycle function, whereas folate isn't. So could excessive folate worsen krebs cycle function? Also thiamine deficiency can lead to excess lactate, which Lotus mentioned in a different study above...

    What I find interesting is that Lynch found these patterns repeatedly in the many patients he's seen. And the symptoms, when taken together, seemed somewhat unique -- anxiety is a pretty common symptom of course, but combined w/irritability and outright anger, and with wanting to just hide in their rooms, combined with worsening pain, so much so that one feels they're heading to a bedridden status...those seem pretty specific, and at least to me, very relatable. And he says all resolved or diminished in his practice when niacin was given, and methylation slowed down.

    Methinks the B vits are more complex than we previously thought.

    ???
    jenbooks and Wayne like this.
  9. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    If we look at the right side of the yasko chart, is it possible the homocysteine and/or methionine are low and just can't keep up with the increased demand required once methyfolate is added? This screws up the whole process because methylfolate is crammed in without all the ingredients.

    I'm wondering amino acids might be lacking do to the poor supply from various receptors(orifices or however that stuff gets in) that get infected and inflamed in the gut/brain. But I know so little at this point It is kind of a wild guess.:confused:
  10. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I agree about addressing nutrient deficiencies (starting, but not limited to the basic vitamins and minerals), but supplements can get expensive so I understand why Rich only recommended a low dose multi. Also some people have certain mineral and/or vitamin toxicities and there are various contraindications such carnitine and hypothyroid.

    Rich actually spoke about how overdriving the methylation cycle caused the drop in glutathione. He also addresses the potassium issue.
    (from multiple posts which is why there is some duplicate information)
    Jarod likes this.
  11. Victronix

    Victronix Senior Member

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    I'm still just inching along at increasing the mfolate dosage but only by tiny amounts. And still, much is an unknown. The potassium need is currently all over the map, sometimes intense, other times not at all. There is definitely a brain chemistry effect for me since being on mfolate -- I feel a little more confident, a little more aggressive, a little sooner to notice when something isn't fair to me . . .I feel changed. But also lately my memory is AWFUL . .. could be estrogen or who knows what. My synthroid dosage is increased in the past 6 weeks and that can create confusion if it T4 goes too high, but I checked my labs about 2 weeks ago and they were perfect. Perhaps they've changed. I'll have another test soon enough.

    Within the 2 week window after increasing the mfolate dosage very slightly I have mild euphoria on and off and need a lot of potassium at a fairly level amount, increased with exercise or stress or heat. Now, entering the 'after the 2 week window', I have some increasing muscle pains and muscle stiffness in the neck and lower legs that potassium does not seem to alleviate -- could that mean I need to increase my B-12? Could I need more potassium but in a different way (the overt potassium deficiency signs are far decreased now, but when I take more it doesn't really seem to change anything)? Does it mean I need more mfolate? And other questions -- what about recent mood swings? Is that just the recent life losses combined with the New Moon? Questions questions. I also started drinking some alcohol, tiny 1/2 cup per evening amounts, but then I had a headache that was happening every day and had to stop. The headache has gone away but some of the muscle stiffness remains, on and off. Alcohol has some health benefits but wipes out my ability to retain nutrients it seems, certainly for B-12.

    Anyway, so, sorting through things. Today I've had almost no potassium, but I do have muscle pains and stiffness and numbness in my feet. I will just have try some things, trial and error. Fredd's word of advice was if something isn't working, just double the dosage of whatever you think may be at fault. That's actually worked in the past.
  12. PhoenixDown

    PhoenixDown Senior Member

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    There's a 4th scenario, it did nothing (for me at least). Tried taking it with Methylb12 & L-Glutathion, still nothing.
  13. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I seem to experience more brainfog from increasing methylation.
  14. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    dannybex
    Someone actually asked Rich the same question you were asking (and also had an alternate theory which caledonia also suggested - the "CBS drain" ) This is from Gesalt
    Rich didn't respond to the CBS question although he has said that in the methylation study he did with Dr. Neil Nathan the CBS drain resolved itself after 6 months. Hopefully Caledonia will comment on this because she knows more than me.

    This is Rich's response to the question about a drop in glutathione during methylation (it does sound like it's somewhat theoretical based on his response, but I'm sure he had good reason for his theory).
  15. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    It seems Rich did comment on the CBS issue in another thread
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...ggestions-for-cbs-mutation.18675/#post-284941
  16. caledonia

    caledonia

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    This is complicated. I assume we're talking about not really methylfolate by itself, but the combination of methylfolate and B12?
  17. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Last fall I experienced symptoms from just a little bit of methylfolate and no B12 except for a low oral dose. I was also taking a lot of betaine HCL (which is supposed to be the same as TMG). My guess is I'd still have experienced the symptoms even without any B12 or TMG/betaine.
  18. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I had something similar happen, although I had only good effects (improved MCS). I was taking a Thorne multi with has methylfolate/folinic, and oral methylcobalamin.

    There is also the possibility, that even though you're not taking a B12 supplement, that you still have some B12 stores in your body that the methylfolate could be combining with. Rich suggested this to me as a possibility.
  19. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I was taking a 200 mcg of methylcobalamin orally (just not sublingually). It was Jarrow's so I don't know if it was the good batch or bad batch since I got the b complex at the end of the summer. I think B12 taken orally has a higher absorption rate at lower doses and also if someone is deficient (which I probably was). That's interesting that those helped your MCS. I've been recommending supplements to my parents and my dad has MCS. He's taking methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin now. I will hopefully have him taking methylfolate soon also.
  20. caledonia

    caledonia

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    MCS is due to lack of glutathione. For every toxin molecule you encounter, your body uses up one glutathione molecule to deal with it. If you don't have enough glutathione, you experience symptoms from very tiny amounts of toxins that you would normally experience only with very large amounts of toxins. You do folate and B12, build up some glutathione, and the MCS improves.

    This is how I gauge if I'm making glutathione or not - is my MCS improving or getting worse?

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