Undermethylated - bad reaction to sam-e

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Hi all,

About 5 or 6 weeks ago I was taking the long covid recovery stack. It consisted of zinc, quercetin, vitamin c, vitamin d, selenium and niacin (nicotonic acid)

I had no idea about methylation before going on these vitamins. I was taking them to boost my energy and hopefully get back to exercising again. My energy is much better and I have no/barely any long covid symptoms now. But they were replaced with a deep depression!

I learnt how niacin soaks up methyl groups so I did a methylation test.

My results are attached. Very low in Sam which could explain the depression.

My practioner recommended a b complex and sam-e supplements.

I didn't want to take the b complex as I've heard horror stories, it also includes niacin which I'm adverse too.

So I started slow with b6 on its own, & some b12 and changed my diet to include more meat and lots of veg for folate. This seemed to be helping. I then one day nibbled a tiiiiny scrap of a sam-e tablet and felt quite anxious, since then the depression is back.

I know niacin increases serotonin and so does sam-e, so maybe my issue is too much serotonin? Does this sound like it could be the case?

I'm now scared to take any supplements at all :( I'm wondering if folate is the answer but I have also read how folate can make depression worse. I'm very confused about all of this
 

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Judee

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I'm honestly not good at figuring out metabolic pathways and what to take. However, I do see that phospholipids are in there.

I have been feeling less down taking fish oil (EPA/DHA) supplements and I don't see that you mentioned taking those so thought I would suggest that.

I think that some doctors do recommend them for depression.

Edit: A long time ago, I also tried Sam-E. I don't remember what my reaction was but I just remember it was not good.
 

gbells

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I'm now scared to take any supplements at all :( I'm wondering if folate is the answer but I have also read how folate can make depression worse. I'm very confused about all of this
Heated high concentration CBD oil is great for depression. 2x/day sublingual, 3 min to absorb. Also light exercise, light exposure and limit sex (neurotransmitters). Eating protein with carbs increases tryptophane absorption which also helps.
 

drmullin30

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@Bru-gee, your SAM to SAH ratio is high but you are low in both so you may be slightly overmethylated or you may have induced a methyl trap by taking SAMe without proper cofactors. This may be why you are depressed. Serotonin synthesis is entirely dependent on methylation but when you have too much it can have the same effect. Niacin on it's own cannot increase serotonin. SAMe on its own will drive anxiety, depression and overmethylation without the correct cofactors. Niacin will stop methylation if taken on its own.

For me, SAMe has never been an option for improving methylation. It usually isn't the best to drive the cycle there but without knowing your genetics, it's impossible to say whether folate or b12 will help or not. I have extremely low serotonin so I use 5-htp as one supplement (among many) to help with my depression.
 
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@Bru-gee, your SAM to SAH ratio is high but you are low in both so you may be slightly overmethylated or you may have induced a methyl trap by taking SAMe without proper cofactors. This may be why you are depressed. Serotonin synthesis is entirely dependent on methylation but when you have too much it can have the same effect. Niacin on it's own cannot increase serotonin. SAMe on its own will drive anxiety, depression and overmethylation without the correct cofactors. Niacin will stop methylation if taken on its own.

For me, SAMe has never been an option for improving methylation. It usually isn't the best to drive the cycle there but without knowing your genetics, it's impossible to say whether folate or b12 will help or not. I have extremely low serotonin so I use 5-htp as one supplement (among many) to help with my depression.

Thanks for the response. I did the methylation panel before taking the sam-e supplement so those results are all based on the niacin. So its Interesting you think I could be overmethylated.

I definitely feel better when I eat meat and veg as opposed to my veggie diet I was on prior. I was quite low in b12. I did a hair analysis test which said I was low in b6 and folate as well, even though blood tests for folate were fine. Not sure how accurate hair tests are though.

What's the best genetics test to see if I should take folate and b12?
 

drmullin30

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What's the best genetics test to see if I should take folate and b12?
I used 23andMe because it's easy and affordable but it's not the best because many Genes aren't profiled. It was good enough for my purposes. There are others that are more complete but also more expensive.

A vague test for the Niacin and methylation, if you feel better taking niacin e.g. less depressed, less anxious and less brain fog then rule of thumb says you are overmethylated. If it goes the other way, you are undermethylated but that's a generalization that doesn't always hold.