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Basic Methylation Help Please (have read LOTS of posts!)

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Kernel, May 28, 2013.

  1. Kernel


    Hi all

    Hope someone can help please - I have read lots of posts on here after first hearing about methylation but am a bit wary of just jumping in to a protocol without advice. I must confess I am not an ME/CFS sufferer - although I have had adrenal issues in the past. I am a UK male, 35. I have got a bit of help on adrenal/digestion issues on other boards too, which is much appreciated.

    I've been trying to work out some digestive issues (poor absorption suspected after low zinc and magnesium in blood test plus ongoing male fertility issues) and in doing so came across the concept of methylation. I had a standard UK blood test for B12/folate and the results were B12 level was 768ng/L, which appears to be pretty good. But my folate level was 22ug/L, which is apparently rather high. I have been on a Wellman Conception multivitamin for 2 years (which I've abandoned), which contains cyanocobalamin and folic acid. I have been trying to get MTHFR/homocysteine tests here in the UK and am awaiting having these as I see these are recommended.

    In the meantime, after reading details on here I acquired Jarrow sublingual methyl b-12, which I've been taking for about 6 weeks at 1000mcg a day. All generally fine, although for a couple of days at the beginning I doubled the dose and got palpitations. I now take 1000mcg per day in the am plus one potassium pill (99mg).
    A few weeks ago, I added in one (low dose?) pill of Quatrefolic Methylfolate (Dr's Best brand, 400mcg) - even though I'm not sure if I should if my blood folate levels were high - and tried this for 4 days. Each day I took it in the morning and then experienced severe insomnia that night. When I stopped it, sleep returned.
    Finally, 2 weeks ago I also added B6 - initially 25mg standard Pyridoxine. This seemed ok. After a bit more reading, I swapped that for Biocare P5P (50mg) - which has made me unbelievably tired.

    So now I'm confused and not sure what to do. Why was my folic acid level so high (my wife takes twice as much as me and hers is normal)? Is this the 'methyl trap' I've seen referenced on here - even if my serum B12 level seemed ok? Does anything explain why methylfolate makes me wide awake for hours and the P5P makes me half asleep? Is this temporary?

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated. My doctor is very kind but does not know anything about this so I'm having to research this myself and just want to ensure I don't do the wrong thing. I am working on improving my digestion in the meantime and take vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, CoQ10, amino acids, magnesium, fish oil etc. I am very keen not to cause my wife yet another miscarriage so hope that methylation is the key.

    Thank you very much for your help.
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    It's possible that folate and B12 aren't the problem for you. And having excess methyl- groups from supplementing methylB12 and methylfolate can overdrive some processes, creating unpleasant symptoms.
  3. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

    Hi Kernel;
    I suspect you may be experiencing the 'folate trap'. Even with normal serum B12 levels, there can still be a deficiency of B12. ( with supplementation, it has been suggested that one should try to increase levels above 1000.)
    There are many cases of people with B12 deficiency, and elevated folate. ( I'm one )

    It may help to stop folate supps. for a time, ( could be months), to allow the trapped folate to be metabolized.

    The amount of B12 you're taking may be plenty enough, but, some folks have found jarrows to be less effective than it used to be. Enzymatic Therapy brand is more effective now.
    Valentijn likes this.
  4. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Adrenal, gut and infertility issues do seem to add up to methylation issues, so it's good that you're investigating this.

    It's hard to say much more without further testing. Assuming you have MTHFR, then that would explain the high folic acid level. The test reads the amount of (synthetic) folic acid in your blood. If you're taking synthetic folic acid and you have MTHFR, then you won't be able to utilize it and it will end up floating around in your blood. Voila - high levels upon testing, but actually having a functional deficiency.

    The serum B12 test is sort of a guessing game too. You can have signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency while testing either low, normal or high on a B12 test. So it's almost better to just go by signs and symptoms.

    If your MTHFR comes back positive, I suggest getting an HDRI methylation panel to see functionally how your methylation is doing. You can use this as baseline, then retake it later to check your progress.

    Then also get a 23andme SNP test to find out (most) all the other methylation SNPs. This is a roadmap for knowing what supps to take to jump over the mutations and get your methylation working properly again.

    Read/watch the links in my signature starting with the Methylation Made Easy videos.
  5. Kernel


    Thanks so much everyone, really appreciate it. All of the above is really useful. I've certainly stopped the folate and have temporarily stopped the MethylB12 too until I've had an 'active' B12 test and the MTHFR test, which I've now asked for. As you all say, it's a bit confusing as to what's causing what - it certainly seems like I can't process synthetic folate but at this stage I don't know if this is MTHFR or a lack of B12 or whatever. Hopefully the 'active' test will shed more light on the B12.

    Interestingly, I've seen on here and elsewhere people referencing high histamine and pyroluria as possible causes/relatives of methylation issues. I read up on this a bit last night and it almost seemed to fit completely - I have low zinc, low magnesium and low calcium and high folic acid, as well as low-range blood copper. I don't know what my B6 status is but apparently that can be low too. People seemed to suggest those with high histamine should avoid folate completely - and there seems some debate on B12. Hence I suppose I have to wait on the MTHFR tests etc and will try to get a histamine and pyroluria test! It's so useful to see what people say on here because this is a complete minefield to the uninitiated.

    Does anyone have any experience of high histamine? I'm really hopeful this could correlate with what is said above about trapped folate/other issues and using other methyl processes that I can tolerate to unlock it. I've seen B6 and TMG/SAM-E referenced as useful here.

    Thanks again
  6. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    Yes, and with some people, that's the understatement of the decade. I can't believe I read this article at Ben Lynch's blog about six months ago and didn't see myself -- but he lists symptoms he sees of 'side effects of methylfolate', and they match mine to a T. Maybe I had to get worse before I could see it. Anyway, I've posted it on another thread:

    Valentijn likes this.

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