No, this blog hasn’t turned into an episode from the show Breaking Bad. I’ve never even seen in person the more insidious substance that drives that program. I’m talking about methylated B vitamins here, which are crucial to conquering MTHFR. I’m not planning on telling you how to dose in this post, but I was pretty confused about what to do when I first learned I had MTHFR and, like you might be, I wanted to know how much and what to take. A number of supplements are recommended across the different websites covering MTHFR and today I will share my own personal experience so far with some of them.

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First off, forget about folic acid. If you’ve recently found out that you have a MTHFR mutation, one of your first lifestyle steps should be to eliminate foods fortified with this and other B vitamins from your diet (the linked post will talk more about this). It’s basically garbage for you and could even be harmful. Those of us with MTHFR can’t process synthetic folic acid into a form our bodies can use. We need the active, bio-available forms of the B vitamins. An important thing to remember, however, is that not all people with MTHFR will do well on the methylated vitamins. The reasons for this are complicated and outside the scope of this post to discuss, but many people, in addition to their MTHFR mutations, also suffer from problems related to other genetic mutations like CBS, COMT, MAO-A, etc. and they have bad reactions to the methylfolate. Or perhaps your gut needs healing (try these tips) before you can get your methylation going. I highly recommend doing your own research on this or working with a knowledgeable health practitioner. I can’t even begin to discuss these because MTHFR is the only genetic issue I’ve had myself tested for at this stage. As I did not have any bad reactions to the supplements I have no reason to test for any more at this stage. For me, MTHFR is enough to work on!

I made some common mistakes when I first started with the methylated vitamin supplements, mostly because I hadn’t yet seen this item on methylation dosing or the comments. I didn’t start with the methylcobalamin first. And despite going slowly when increasing the amounts I was taking, I kind of rushed to start taking other supplements at the same time. Luckily I didn’t have seriously adverse reactions to anything, but I certainly wouldn’t follow the same steps again if I was beginning a supplement regimen today. I’ve posted this before on my Facebook page, but this video is a must-see for anyone beginning to take supplements for methylation.

My first step in treating my MTHFR was to take methylfolate (B9), methylcobalamin (B12) and Pyridoxal-5-phosphate (B6). I followed Dr. Lynch’s advice and increased the dosages slowly, doubling every three days. Being compound heterozygous, I probably didn’t need as much as I was taking. The first two weeks I felt amazing and then the following week or so I began to have symptoms of overmethylation: anxiety, heart palpitations and irritability. I immediately took niacin and cut back my dosage of these. In the meantime I had also introduced a few other supplements: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), curcumin (turmeric), vitamin E, CoQ10, quercetin and milk thistle. I was already taking probiotics, vitamin D3, magnesium, vitamin C and EPA/DHA.

The only supplement that really didn’t seem to agree with me was the NAC. Taking the daily recommended dose made me feel exhausted. So I now take only half the daily dosage every other day and have noticed a definite improvement in my mood and a reduction in headaches with this dose.

Tomorrow I begin to finally see specialists to discuss my current treatment program and to have additional tests run. I’ve been waiting awhile for these appointments and have had the benefit of getting started on supplements before I see the doctors. Hopefully I’ll be able to unravel more mysteries. My current big health issues are my short luteal phase, relatively low basal body temperature and the chronic tinnitus that I’ve had since April when my homocysteine was at 9.4. That’s not good for my age and certainly not for getting pregnant, which I’ll discuss more in my next post.

Over to you – what are you taking for your MTHFR?

Seeking Health, Inc

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6 thoughts on “My Meth

  1. Barbara

    Thanks for your article. Your links were really helpful. I’m a 53 year old woman and just found out I’m homozygous A1298C, after reading about MTHFR and wondering if it isn’t the cause of some of my health issues. I’m on blood thinners for life for repeated clots, have daily anxiety (like hanging by my fingernails anxiety), all four grandparents died of heart attacks, and I have high cholesterol. I was on a PPI, which was probably aggravating my vitamin B deficiencies, so now I’m off that but have GERD. My doctor started me on B-12 a month ago because she noticed levels were low, but I really have no clue about what else to start on. I think I need some blood work done to see what is low and what is high and what my homocysteine is. The problem is I am the first patient my doctor has tested and I can’t find a doctor on my insurance plan who sees patients with MTHFR. I’ve decided it’s because there’s no money in it for the docs, sadly. Thanks again for your post.

    Reply

  2. Mel

    Hi Andrea!

    Just found out I am compound heterozygous as well – I am in the middle of week two of starting my supplements. I am starting slowly, just one capsule of my new multivitamin that contains the methylated B’s. I am taking only (approx) 133mcg of the methylfolate in this dosage – and was OK the first week, nothing truly outstanding to report, but the last couple of days my anxiety levels have been through the roof. I am reading a lot about the help of a small dose (50mgs) of niacin. My question to you is – insight and experience with the overmethylation side effects (namely the anxiety and irritability) – did you find adding the niacin in was indeed helpful? How long until you noticed an improvement with the niacin? Also, how long did you wait between increasing dosages, and would you notice the overmethylation at each increase? Is it expected that at a certain point there would no longer be the need for niacin or if it’s needed at the beginning, is it needed always (based on your experience)? Just trying to get a long term picture of what could possibly expected, based on someone with the same mutation’s experience of supplementation.

    Thanks much!

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      Hi Mel, I don’t think I will be of much help to you because niacin totally causes me to crash. I don’t take any more than what is in my prenatal vitamin. It doesn’t take much to make me feel bad…

      Reply

  3. Michael (NW)

    Hi,

    I am not MTHFR, but I am MTRR, MTR, NOS, CBS and VDAK, etc…. I’m taking Methly-B12, a co-enzyme B complex, vitamin D, etc….

    My co-enzyme B complex has about 400mcg of Methyl-Folate. And I’ve been doing fine with that. A few weeks ago I added 1000mcg Methly-Folate because my doctor said this would help increase BH4 production (actually she wanted me to possibly take 10,000mcg). Anyway, first few weeks I was fine, then about a week ago, I started getting SEVERE insomnia again. Felt wired all night long. Not sure if it’s the Methly-Folate or not. It could be. Not sure if it’s good to be taking more Methly-Folate if I’m not MTHFR defected. Not sure if I’m over methlyating or detoxing more or what.

    About a week after starting the increased Methly-Folate I added 400mcg of Chromium to help stabalize my blood sugars etc.. They weren’t that bad, but chromium definately gives me more energy (mental) and mental clarity. But, I tried chromium about 2 years ago when I was a lot more ill, and it made me feel good, but gave me SEVERE insomnia, couldn’t sleep. So, not sure if the addtional chromium is causing my insomnia issues now or not. The first two weeks were fine. So first I added more Methly-Folate, then Chromium, then I added 500mcg of adenosylcobalamin form of B12. That is supposed to increase energy in the cells, etc..I started this 5 days before the severe insomnia.

    So, I stopped the chromium, and adenosylcobalamin, and I might stop the methly-Folate (1000mcg) next. Maybe drop it down to 400mcg additional. Not sure.

    I do have adrenal fatigue, and I think I might be over stimulating them some how with these supplements.

    Anyway, just wondering if methly-folate could cause severe insomnia in those who don’t have the MTHFR mutation?

    Thank you for any insights.

    Michael

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      I suspect that it could, Michael, but I’m not a health practitioner or scientist so I can’t say for sure. From what I know about adrenal fatigue it seems that could definitely be playing a part. Perhaps someone else can chime in here and advise you.

      Reply

      1. Michael (NW)

        Hi Andrea, I do understand that you are not a health practitioner or scientist, just looking for insights, suggestions based on people’s experiences, knowledge, etc….. 🙂

        I see that you had symtoms of overmethlyation, although our methylation defects are different, did you figure out why you had this experience? Have you tested for other methlyation defects like CBS, etc…? Do you think inflammation or detox were suspect?

        My inflammation should be low due to everything else I’m doing and I’ve been detoxing with glutathione, chlorella, wheat grass etc….I might just be creating more neurotransmitters like Norepinephrine, that are stimluated and maybe don’t need. I do take 500mg of Phenylalanine (precursor to tyrosine) or sometimes just 500mg Tyrosine and some mucuna to help balance my dopamine levels with my serotonin levels. I take Tryptophan for increasing serotonin and it has been working wonderfully. 5-HTP was too stimulating to me for some reason.

        Thank you,

        Reply

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