More confirmation on the importance of B2 in methylation

bjl218

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From Chris Kresser:

If you follow a lot of health blogs and podcasts, you’ve probably heard of the MTHFR gene.

People with mutations in this gene have problems with methylation and folate metabolism, which can translate into a wide variety of signs and symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Infertility or miscarriage
  • High homocysteine levels
(I won’t go into detail on methylation here, since it gets complicated fast, but if you want a primer, see my podcast called Methylation 101.)

The typical approach to addressing MTHFR mutations has been to take high doses of folate—and sometimes other methyl donors like B12 and B6.

But, some recent research suggests that taking super-high doses of B12 and folate for a long period of time may not be ideal. I discussed this in an interview I did with Dr. Kara Fitzgerald.

That’s why I was really interested to come across research done by Alex Leaf, a researcher for Examine.com. He found some studies suggesting that people with MTHFR mutations may simply need a little extra riboflavin (vitamin B2) in order to make the enzyme work properly.

For example, one study he reviewed showed that in MTHFR carriers, homocysteine levels are only high when riboflavin levels are low—regardless of folate status.

Another study found that taking just 1.6 mg of riboflavin a day reduced homocysteine levels by a whopping 40 percent in people with two copies (homozygous) of the MTHFR C677T mutation.

We’ve been testing riboflavin levels in people with MTHFR mutations in my clinical practice for some time, and it’s not unusual for them to be low.

We’ve also recently started prescribing riboflavin to MTHFR carriers—with good results. Higher doses than 1.6 mg/d may be more beneficial. We tend to use around 25 to 50 mg/d as a starting point, but we will sometimes go higher. The good news is there is no known upper limit for riboflavin supplementation.

Or, we just have them eat more liver, which is very rich in riboflavin. But not everyone will do that. :)

If you have an MTHFR mutation, attending to your riboflavin status is probably worthwhile. If you do that, you may not need high doses of folate or other methyl donors.
 

percyval577

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In my case:

Folate is catastrophy

B12 is helpful to some extend.

B2 is very good.

Here then:
Module1: B7 and a bit later B1 (or/andB2)
Module2: B5 and a bit later B2 (or/andB1)

It is not clear at all why this is. Prerequisite might be: low Mn diet, but higher intake from tea along with vitD.
(Both B2 and Mn are related to mt complex II.)
 

LINE

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I have been doing B2 for 25 years along with B6 and have always been happy. Both are associated with supporting adrenal and immune health. Neurological health is also improved. In addition to the extra B2/B6, I also take a balanced B which contains all the other b vitamins.
 
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Do you have any insight as to how a low homocysteine level can play a role in poor methylation? I see here you mentioned high homocysteine and notice others mentioning high homocysteine, but I cannot for the life of me seem to find information on the effects of low homocysteine, especially when it comes to its role methylation.
 

anni66

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Do you have any insight as to how a low homocysteine level can play a role in poor methylation? I see here you mentioned high homocysteine and notice others mentioning high homocysteine, but I cannot for the life of me seem to find information on the effects of low homocysteine, especially when it comes to its role methylation.
I don't know too much re methylation, but would suspect-
Low methionine , low SAMe ( so prioritising of methyl donor function) , low glutathione.
The body has many feedback loops, so this will be overly simplistic....and perhaps wrong.
@Learner1 ?
 

Learner1

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Simply, homocysteine and methionine recycle each other, and if your homocysteine goes low, the simplest thing to do is add methionine. (My homocysteine went down to 3 and 1-2g methionine daily brought it back up to 6-7, which is optimal.)
 
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Simply, homocysteine and methionine recycle each other, and if your homocysteine goes low, the simplest thing to do is add methionine. (My homocysteine went down to 3 and 1-2g methionine daily brought it back up to 6-7, which is optimal.)
Thanks for the input. Yeah my homocysteine is currently in the 3s right now as well. Did you notice an improvement at all in how you felt after supplementation and raising back to optimal level?

I have very low methylation right now as well and hoping that increasing homocysteine with really help that improve.
 

Learner1

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Optimizing methylation is critical for the many tasks methylation is needed for, including immune function, neurotransmitter synthesis, DNA replication, and detoxification.

It can definitely impact mood, either positively or negatively (depression, anxiety, irritability, feeling like crying for no reason, feelings of well being, etc.) And it can improve energy.

For me, it's a foundation of my treatment protocol, but not a panacea. Other treatments, like hormones, Valcyte, IVIG, and HBOT have helped my overall illnesses improve, but I think they be worked better with proper methylation than if I ignored it.

Best wishes in getting it sorted out.