Active B12 therapy and methylation FAQ

Phoenix-RisingAn Index to ‘B-12 the Hidden Story’

When I discovered methylation and B12 therapy, I became obsessed with understanding it (and my startup reaction). I read through the entire ‘Hidden Story‘ thread (maybe 80 hours worth) on Phoenix Rising (and watched all of the methylation videos I could get my hands on). It seemed to me that lots of valuable information was buried in the ‘Hidden Story’ and I wanted to make it accessible to people without the time on their hands (or clarity) to read 2,750+ posts.

So here, I’ve pulled out the discussion that might interest the greatest number of readers. This project got a boost when my wife asked me what methylation was and I could not give her a simple answer (even after being immersed in it for weeks). Unless otherwise noted the author of the answers below is Freddd whose active B12 protocol I’m following. There are other B12 protocols like Amy Yasko, Ben Lynch and the late Rich van Konynenburg’s and where possible I’ve tried to include information about the differences between them.

I’m partial to Freddd because of his remarkable personal crisis and careful experimentation – the true canary in the coal mine. You’ll note that I’ve incorporated a certain amount of repetitiveness in the questions – that’s because I needed motivation to push through startup symptoms and I found it reassuring to read the same answer written several times in different ways! A great big thanks to everyone participating in the discussion and of course especially Freddd, Rich (posthumously) and Cort Johnson for creating and maintaining Phoenix Rising.










What is methylation?

Eric: Methylation is a biochemical process that builds neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, produces energy, processes hormones, builds immune cells, turns genes on and off, synthesizes DNA, produces the protective coating on your nerves and transforms toxins into safer substances. Chemically speaking, methylation describes the addition of a methyl group to a substrate (source material) thereby producing a new chemical. Sometimes instead of simply adding a methyl group, some other atom or group in the substrate is replaced.

Methylation happens in all the cells of your body distributing methyl (CH3) groups to as many as 50 or more other chemical processes in the body. That’s why you can’t be vibrantly healthy if methylation isn’t running smoothly in your body. That’s also why the symptom list associated with methylation disfunction is so long – it includes allergies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, PMS, erectile dysfunction, heart arrhythmia and palpitations, IBS, Crohn’s disease, depression, Seasonal Affect Disorder, MCS, Alzheimer’s, sleep disorders, dementia and countless others.

Methylation depends on a number of vitamins and cofactors which must be present for adequate functioning – those include folate and vitamin B12. Each of these is a potential weak link which may hobble your methylation cycle because of deficient diet, genetic mutation, toxic exposure, high stress, virus, infection or any combination of those. The toxic exposure factor is particularly interesting because most of us think we’re in the clear when we’re not.

You may never have thought about your exposure to toxic chemicals because you don’t work in a factory, but today, just about every manufactured item you touch leaves traces of industrial chemicals in your body. Every can of tuna, every plastic bag, Styrofoam cup, cleaning product and consumer product you touch is introducing chemicals into your blood that were unknown 200 years ago. You don’t even need to touch anything — just get in your new car and drive to OfficeMax to pick up some paper. The air you’ve breathed is full of petrochemicals and they make their way into your bloodstream. Or maybe you have mercury containing dental fillings. That’s all it takes.

There’s not a person alive today that doesn’t have heavy metal levels wildly exceeding those that would’ve been found 500 or 1,000 years ago in humans. That’s a problem because heavy metals like mercury probably have the ability to partially block the methylation cycle. Methylation is catalyzed by enzymes which are fragile and easily damaged by toxins like heavy metals (especially mercury). Here is a more understandable explanation of how Mercury may be related to vitamin B12 written by Christina Bolander-Gouaille:

The monovalent cobalt atom in methyl B12 is readily oxidized by various compounds – for instance nitrous oxide. This oxidation inactivates methioninsyntase (MS) which has then to be formed de novo. Mercury, as we know, does oxidize many compounds, logically also cobalt. lf this hypothesis (which is about to be verified), is confirmed, it means that mercury can block the methylation cycle and thus induce a functional B12-deficiency (folates are not altered). This in turn is one explanation of why symptoms of mercury overload and vitamin B12-deficiency may be identical!

There is also a second possible interaction between vitamin B12, and mercury. Mercury has indeed been shown to impair the Transport of vitamin B12 over the blood-brain barrier which results in a low CSF/serum concentration ratio of the vitamin. Low CSF levels of vitamin B12 (and high CSF-homocysteine levels) have been observed in fibromyalgia (chronic fatigue syndrome), MS and in dementia. High doses of vitamin B12, that overcome the block to some extent, has had sometimes stunning results in these conditions.

The good news is this: your methylation cycle can be easily fired up again regardless of the cause for its malfunction. Your body will begin responding (healing) within minutes to active B12 supplementation which bypasses the blocks caused by heavy metals, genetic errors (polymorphisms), stress, etc. The bad news for some is this: The length of time it takes for you to recover your health will depend on how long it took for you to lose it, and your symptoms may worsen at first during startup.

Still, active B12 therapy has a lot going for it – you can do it on your own without a doctor, the supplements are inexpensive, the risks are low and the results start to show quickly. If your situation is complicated by heavy metal toxicity, there is a solution for that also called Frequent Dose Chelation which shares some of the same characteristics – also possible without a doctor using inexpensive supplements and carries low risk.

What is B12 deficiency and what’s it got to do with methylation?

Eric: Because vitamin B12 plays a critical role in the methylation process which exists in every cell of the body and is responsible for distributing methyl groups to 50+ other chemical processes in the body, a B12 deficiency can cause a tremendous cascade of symptoms ranging from significant nuisances like allergies and headaches to life-altering conditions such as depression, sleep disorders, dementia, Autism, Chronic Fatigue, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

It’s well-established that a deficiency in vitamin B12 is one of the hallmarks of a vast constellation of symptoms grouped together under the label Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). One of the key diagnostics for chronic fatigue is exercise intolerance. That means that if you don’t respond like a normal human to exercise by getting tired, sleeping well and waking refreshed, you probably have CFS and by extension a vitamin B 12 deficiency (and methylation block).

What do those of us cursed with exercise intolerance experience? We pay a terrible penalty for exercising; we become exhausted and may not move for several hours, we get thick brain fog and cognitive impairment, may feel flu-like, may feel anxious or jittery and have difficulty sleeping. The next day, we continue to feel knocked-out and generally function at a low level. That’s what we call ‘crashing’.

Chronic fatigue is the extreme case that probably helped researchers understand the impact of B12 deficiency and relationship with methylation cycle blocks. There are lots of other equally terrible symptoms of B12 deficiency, however, like Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s and then there are others that you may just consider a normal part of life like PMS or depression. Just as there are many ways for B12 deficiency to express itself, there are multiple causes for B12 deficiency.

B12 deficiency can develop from diet (vegetarians are at great risk), heavy metals or supplementation with cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, folic acid and maybe folinic acid, glutathione/precursors. When a person is sitting on the edge, it can be triggered by any stress that challenges your biology significantly – whether by illness, injury, toxins or even a vaccination. B12 deficiency can exist in the tissues independent of blood levels and also in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) independent of blood levels and tissue levels. There are two active forms of vitamin B12, of which, you may have a deficiency of either or both.

The two active forms of B12 are methylcobalamin (also known as methylb12, mb12, mecob, mecbl) and adenosylcobalamin (also known as adenosylb12, adb12, adob12, cobamamide and dibencozide). Chemically, methylcobalamin is a co-enzyme for methionine synthase (in the methylation cycle) whose purpose is to convert homocysteine to methionine. Adenosylcobalamin is a co-enzyme four methylmalonate CoA mutase which feed certain fuels into the Krebs cycle to help make ATP, a critical energy source in your body.

What are the 4 active deficiencies?

There are two active b12s and there are two deficiency symptoms subsets (syndromes) for each one. There is the general body level deficiency of methylb12 and one of adenosylb12. Then in some people there are central nervous system/cerebral spinal fluid deficiencies of mb12 and adb12. These have been detected in folks with CFS/FMS and Alzheimer’s as CSF cobalamin levels at 25% to 50% of that of control groups when a spinal fluid draw is tested.

As this is quite new, relatively speaking, and it takes 3-5 years for each generation of research to build on previously discovered things, there is NO DEFINITION of what constitutes “deficiency” and there is zero distinction between adb12 and mb12 deficiencies. There also are no mechanisms defined as to why some people have these depressed symptoms. Those may come before I die of old age or not. A therapy based on those definitions is probably at least 50 -100 years away. The Japanese are the only ones looking.

In the meantime I have devised a pragmatic way of testing for such deficiencies and am getting close to being able to define the symptoms subsets of each. If you look at the protocol for testing posted earlier in this thread, you will see a 50 mg single dose trial of each kind of active cobalamin. After a person has reached equilibrium in the body a 50mg single dose over a 2-3 hour period will have no effect, the same as in a person who never had any level of deficiency.

Some people, such as myself have a substantial effect from each kind of active b12, distinct and separate from each other. The hypothesis is that enough active b12 penetrates the CSF via diffusion when the gradient gets steep enough. The mb12 starts healing central problems such as neuropsych damage and sub-acute combined degeneration and the adb12 populates the neural mitochondria energizing the CNS, in a very pleasant way giving improved mood, more clarity of thought and so on. Between the two of them it appears to be the final assault on brain-fog. Just remember, neural healing induces changes, much quicker changes than the deterioration which occurred over 20 years or more.

What should healthy people do to prevent B-12 deficiencies? Eric: Avoid taking any supplements that contain inactive forms of B vitamins which not everyone is able to convert to the active forms. Avoid these:

  • HydroxyB12 also known as hydroxycobalamin
  • CyanoB12 also known as cyanocobalamin
  • Folic acid

Take a B complex that contains the active forms (the one I use is by pure encapsulations and it’s available on Amazon):

  • MethylB12 also known as mb12 or methylcobalamin
  • Folate also known as metafolin
  • AdenoslyB12 also known as adb12 or adenosylcobalamin or dibencozide

Before and during times of physical or psychological stress, surgery, toxic exposure, etc, give yourself some extra mb12 and adb12 using the Enzymatic Therapy and Source Naturals Dibencozide sublinguals. Note that if you experience a reaction when you do this, it means you have a deficiency. The Pure Encapsulations B complex doesn’t contain adb12, but that’s OK if you take it separately. Here’s one from Thorne that does contain both b12 forms.

What is the significance of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF)?

Since a substantially reduced CSF cobalamin level has been detected in both FMS/CFS and Alzheimer’s so far regardless of serum level, that is not addressed at all by small amounts of hydroxyb12 or mb12 or adb12 for that matter. The Japanese mb12 research with high doses does address that. Also, the high dose form of the active b12 protocol does address that. Whether that is a genetic concern I do have in common with most CFS/FMS patients or of some other causality is unanswered. And once again, there is a differential effect of adb12 and mb12 in some people at high CSF/CNS penetrating doses, once again presumed by diffusion. This can be easily demonstrated but only after a person has already become accommodated and equilibrium reached at body levels. There is a sudden threshold (indicated by Japanese research) effect when the dose gets high enough and it can happen with either adb12 or mb12 or both separately. The effects of the two active b12s are distinctly different. This does not appear to have anything at all to do with genetic lack of certain enzymes. Other research appears to indicate that there are two potentially different problems, a hindrance in absorption into the CSF and an overly rapid clearance of cobalamins. Some people may have both. This low CSF cobalamin level may turn out to be a smoking gun for CSF/FMS/Alzheimer’s.

What is the overdose potential with active B12’s?

To keep things in perspective, b12 including methylb12, adenosymb12 and hydroxyb12 have no known toxicity, 35,000,000 micrograms IV of hydroxyb12 was given FDA approval for treating cyanide poisoning. It is the most stable of the 3. Rich has pointed out that at some “huge” IV dose it was suspected of causing neurological effect by forming methylmercury in 2 persons with high mercury load. According to a model of it I built using various sources of data, the minimum dose of mb12 size for causing enough circulating methylmercury to trigger minimal neurological toxic damage was about 700mg IV, but that could be 7,000mg depending upon assumptions about what percentage of methylb12 losses it’s methyl group to mercury before it is vary rapidly excreted. Whatever ones assumptions it is a very large dose of methylb12 approximately 50-100 times larger or more of a possible and probable high dose of methylb12.

There are no known “overdose” symptoms. There are no known toxic symptoms except for cyanocobalamin which carries a cyanide group into the body with each molecule.

Some people have had extremely unpleasant startup symptoms of probably many varying causes and chose to stop because of that. Most people will experience startup symptoms, some a multitude of severe seeming sensations. It is said that some 600 processes may all be on hold waiting for the b12. It can be very intense when they all try to start up at once And some things hurt when they are healing. Various people have various hypothesis’ to explain what is happening and they evaluate what is going on in terms of their hypothesis and continue, cutback or quit depending upon their hypothetical considerations. Is it accurate to say no harm can come from trying out this protocol other than some discomfort?

In some hundreds of people who have started and continued this, the only DANGEROUS reactions I have heard of or experienced myself is hypokalemia (Potassium deficiency). Some people think that mobilized heavy metals might be a problem. Unfortunately we are lacking the kind of research that would really answer that question. There was a discussion of mercury and it’s mobilization by mb12. However, everything indicates that it would take huge single doses if IV mb12 to cause a toxic mercury reaction. Further the mb12 mobilization of the mercury allows it to be removed by the liver at a known rate which ought to clear it from the body over several years. Also, while mb12 has been researched for it’s neural protective properties with some substances, that question hasn’t been examined with mercury. There is no evidence at all that the kind of doses we are taking about here can cause a toxic amount of mercury to mobilize and the amounts needed to theoretically do so are 100x more. There is evidence that a lot of the damage mercury causes by remaining in the body is by disabling the usual trickle of mb12.

If there are other possibly dangerous situations they haven’t shown up yet. People with lots of reaction have hypothesized about lots of possible causes. Those that continue, have so far gotten through without trouble, with things normalizing over some months and continuing for more than a year. There is much fine tuning that can be done as things progress. As regards potassium, at least have it on hand. If you have a serum level test even better. Below 4.3 or so start 1 or 2 a day. Below 4 start 2-3 a day. Above that you can wait and see. If you suddenly get spasms while resting or any other sudden muscle peculiarity get some potassium into you. Too much potassium can be a problem also. My first experience with it was 3-4 days after starting mb12, again 3-4 days after starting adb12 and then again 3-4 days after starting methylfolate. If your MCV is above 100 also start 1 when you start the vitamins. I have talked to people who have had MCV at around 92 who have still had it so it may not be completely limited to blood healing but rapid healing in general.

Is it possible to just be adb12 deficient?

It is possible to be just adb12 deficient, but it is usually a blend to some extent. The mb12 affects melatonin production. Many find it advantageous to take all their mb12 in the morning, especially at first. That you have any effect at all indicates that you are mb12 deficient. Taking the mb12 does kind of shake things up. I’ve called it playing 52 pickup with symptoms. It directly affects the brain neurology, activating various sections and affecting neurotransmitters. It’s not unusual having both effects you have had as your brain starts to wake up. It is an aspect of startup. Generally speaking these two supplements with methylfolate will normalize sleeping. B12 deficiencies causes sleep disorders of many varieties. I would bet you will feel better rested too as restorative sleep is restored. One of the effects I had was that while I was deficient the difference between sleeping and waking was opening my eyes. After getting established with the mb12 I was awake during the day and got really tired at night for the first time in decades instead of being all dragged out all the time. Tomorrow just continue your titration taking 3/4 of a tablet. You might try it all at once or not, your choice. Just make each piece last 45 minutes or more if possible. Some found under the upper lip to be best for that and most effective. Right now you are bringing you body level up. Healing is just starting up. As your body level increases, healing increases as there is some proportionality. You need to determine whether you do better with a higher level for a shorter time or a somewhat lower level for a longer time. To heal my neurology I need a very high level constantly. The “wired and then crash” will generally smooth out. That pattern is often indicative of a lack of a cofactor which will be taken care of as things continue. Don’t worry about it, just enjoy the ride.

Who is Freddd?

Eric: In short, Freddd was ill from the time he was a small boy but experienced a severe disabling decline in 1987 which lasted for 16 years until he started supplementing with the active forms of vitamin B 12. This therapy brought about a full recovery over the course of seven years during which time he has helped thousands of others in online forums using his hard earned knowledge of B12 deficiency. Here are a few quotes from his posts: “In 1987 I had a complete CFS/FMS crash that lasted 16 years until I started active b12s. . . Physically rebuilding a wrecked body, helping others recover.” “I was quite totally disabled and waiting to die (as the song goes) when I started the mb12 . . . I couldn’t even manage to cook for the family as I had done for decades. I had some clumsy accidents with knives and didn’t use anything bigger than a paring knife at that point. I’m back to using my French Chef’s knife without accidents now.” “I was totally desperate 7 years ago. My life; everything that mattered, had been taken from me by some horrid undiagnosable disease. I ended up loosing my wife, the childhood years of my children, my business, by social relationships, my friends, my health, my retirement savings, etc to it. I could no longer see well enough to read many days, I had no balance, no energy, constant nausea, feet going numb, loosing motor control of my legs and feet, position sense, etc. If it had continued much longer I would have ended up in a wheelchair in a diaper, unable to read, unable to track a movie, unable to remember. I had congestive heart failure so it was unlikely to continue much longer.

I didn’t have any faith in any of the many practitioners that assured me they had a handle on my situation. Not one did. They all took my money for no results. It was most educational in what is wrong with our medical system. The only practitioner that delivered any results worth his charges was my chiropractor for an old back injury. The pain docs at least relieved my suffering a bit but made clear that they were not out to heal anything or figure out what the problems were.”

I was told for years that whatever ideas I had about “real b12″ compared to cyanocobalamin were wrong. Nothing else was available except liver and I tried 100 tablets of dessicated liver a day. It helped almost imperceptibly and only until I had an increase in pain (car wreck) or got sick. It didn’t improve my health but it did allow the lights to come on for a few weeks or months on several occasions over several years for the first time in my life. Knowing what I do now I should have moved that up to 400 tablets a day. It might have changed my life, given me the 20 years I lost. I puzzled over 100 practitioners, mostly MD’s but not all.”

Yes, I was my own test subject. I was an extreme one. One of the most difficult and troublesome you could find. I’ve been kicked out of more practices than anybody else I’ve come across because I refuse to keep doing the same things that never worked before in the hope of magic. I had more things wrong than any 3 typical people. Most people only have some subset of my problems. Some have additional things. A lot of things cross over, such as the brand and method of use of sublingual mb12 appears to apply to everybody. Being my own subject I could easily perform trials without getting anybody but my doctor to agree. Some people have more sensitivity to specific oils or brands of SAM-e or other things that didn’t affect me. I try to learn from those and include those as well. In presenting this protocol all I can really say is that based on the composite experience of many people doing these things in these ways appears to give the best odds of having beneficial results. I often question people closely, not because I doubt what reactions they had but because I want to know the exact circumstances and details of their reactions.”

What happened in Freddd’s life when he got well?

My health almost couldn’t be better. I will be glad to answer questions that I have missed during my absence and if you post and ask again with a link to your earlier full posts I will get to it quicker than in review of what has happened over the past few months. I am posting a look back on my last nearly 8 years to show you what the stakes are for which we are actually playing; life, health and wealth. These are the real consequences of what we are speaking. One thing I don’t mention below is that my eyes were unable to focus well enough to read books or screens much of the time up to May 21, 2003. My wife had read me THE HOBBIT and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy because I was unable to read it myself. The saddest thing of all is the sheer hell I put her through with 17 years of physical, neurological, emotional and personality disabilities. Those 17 years cost me the years of my children growing up, my marriage, my business, building the solar house I had designed and almost everything I could do. While I have recovered pretty much, what was gone is gone and can’t be reclaimed. I am attempting to build a new business, to rebuild relationships with my children, and have a good relationship with a woman and find some friends, most of whom went their way with others as I could no longer participate, not even to play a few hands of bridge.

While I might say 95% recovery or so across the board with most symptoms 100% gone and some remaining, almost nothing unchanged what does that actually mean in indirect measures? I am rehabilitated. I can work up to and maintain whatever level of aerobic fitness I am willing to give the time to. I can walk 5 miles and do that each day. I can work in the garden with pick and shovel for hours at a time. I can go hiking. I would even consider going skiing again if I had the money and medical insurance as I cant afford to get injured. I’m not in a wheel chair. I’m not falling down. I can balance on one foot. I haven’t had an accident of incontinence in 8 years. I don’t have acid rising into my throat each night, I don’t vomit daily, I haven’t had a cold in 7 years. I haven’t been sick in 7 years except for H1N1 flu last year and it was mild. I haven’t had a pneumonia or two. I don’t have multiple chemical sensitivity any more. I don’t have daily chronic headaches, muscle spasms all over uncontrollably, no more IBS, CFS, FMS etc. I have a life again. Now for the quantifiable.

As my 8th anniversary my 5 star mb12 startup approaches I have reached the 7th anniversary of the beginning of large savings on my medical and pharmacy costs. My pharmacy costs went down about $1000/month of previous costs to that next year and stayed down. Over the next year or so my physician visits fell off more than 50% to the minimum needed to maintain my remaining prescriptions and my tests fell off about 90%. In the past 7 years I have saved approximately $100,000 which is the difference between being homeless and having a place to live. I feel decent at least instead of in continual misery.

Who and where are the people that have tried Freddd’s protocol?

Go read the wrong diagnosis forum which has been running for several years, 2 years with people doing an active b12 protocol. . You will find lot’s of people reporting doing much better and going on their way. Not everybody heals but then this isn’t a universal fix. People are sick with lots of other things too. It only works in situations where there is a nutritional deficiency of the type repairable by the given vitamins and supplements.

One of the things I discovered in myself was that almost everything people were calling “adverse reactions” with methylb12 were nothing of the sort. They were abrupt startup of healing on hundreds of things. I’m healed of most all the things people here are suffering from. You have to choose for yourself what to believe or at least allow as a hypothesis. The hypothesis I follow has lead to a lot of healing for a lot of people. Those who go by the adverse reaction hypothesis and stop the active b12s are still sick. That will be the case here in a year too. Those that continued the b12 despite the startup responses will be substantially better. That might not be true for every single person because there are always exceptions to everything. By and large the explosion of symptoms and changes that can occur with mb12 startup are affecting those symptoms that will heal given a little time. I don’t know of anybody whose startup responses didn’t fade with continued usage with the underlying problems improving. I gave mb12 and/or adb12 to over 1000 people face to face in the first few years after I tried it. Those with no potential b12 deficiency symptoms had no responses at all. Those with a ton of symptoms had 2 tons of start-up responses. Some people who had said “no symptoms” but had startup responses on further questioning said “I didn’t know you meant THOSE symptoms which the doc said didn’t matter”. The results were very clear-cut. About half the people had startup responses and all of them had symptoms. Those that truly had no symptoms had no responses at all, not even subtle ones. Those that said “Oh it didn’t do anything, just gave me more energy and an improved mood” always had a lack of energy and/or a down mood. Those with lots of energy didn’t have more. Those with a good mood didn’t have a change. Those with symptoms, but not of those on the list pointing at b12 deficiencies didn’t generally have any responses either.

Where do Freddd, Amy Yasko and Rich van Konynenburg agree and disagree?

Rich: I understand what your (Freddd) views are about the need to use methyl and adenosyl B12 rather than hydroxo B12, and also your views about the need to use higher dosages of the active B12s. These make particular sense to me for people whose cells are genomically not able to do the conversions, but I agree that this approach will also work for those whose cells can make the conversions, so in that sense, your protocol is a more general treatment than the “simplified treatment approach” that I have suggested for CFS.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, Amy Yasko bases the choice of whether to use hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin on the person’s individual genomics. In particular, she looks at polymorphisms in the COMT enzyme and the Vitamin D receptor. For people who have a greater need for methyl groups, based on whether these polymorphisms are present or not, she recommends methylcobalamin. In choosing the supplements from her overall treatment program for the “simplified treatment approach,” I chose hydroxocobalamin because of my concern about moving mercury into the brain, as I’ve mentioned. I think that inorganic mercury is more of an issue in CFS than in autistic children, with whom she primarily works.

I still haven’t gotten to studying your mathematical model involving mercury. Sorry about that. It may be true that with high enough dosages of methylcobalamin, mercury can actually be removed from the brain, as we have discussed earlier, but I don’t have clinical or experimental evidence to support this mechanism, so for now I feel that I have to remain cautious about the possibility that such an approach could move mercury into the brain from elsewhere in the body.

Freddd: The differences in a nutshell are a difference in philosophy and hypothetical considerations. Rich believes that hydroxyb12 (an inactive form) will correct some of the problems in 2/3 of the people trying it with depleted methylation, and it will, a methylation block he is calling it. I expect a combination of methylb12, adenosylb12, and methylfolate (all active forms required by the body) with necessary cofactors, to work more quickly to greater depth on more of the symptoms for more of the folks with those symptoms and on virtually all the symptoms for some of the folks.

He divides his approach into simplified and full depending upon the number of supplements used. I’ve divided it into essentials, basics (a&d etc) and critical cofactors. The active b12 full program is more complicated than Rich’s as a person has to do a lot of individual testing/trials to come up with the best doses and balance. However, the full program of Rich’s depends upon expensive lab tests. The active b12 program is based on modification by results. Except for the active b12s vs hydroxyb12 we are dealing with basically all the same nutrients with minor differences.

Is it possible to overdrive the methylation cycle with the active B12s whilst at the same time remaining B12 deficient?

My experience of energy production, coming up from a totally collapsed state is that after 16 years at rock bottom, any increase felt comparatively huge and wrong. With each change it felt like there was overshoot and then a new equilibrium was reached and everything normalized again and again. According to some researchers, there are at least 600 processes affected by the active b12s. The neurological effects are profound and can be very disturbing while happening. When feeling comes back from numb, first there is pain, then hypersensitivity and finally relatively normal feeling.

What are the symptoms of methylation dysfunction (under and over)?

Here is a collection of symptoms, signs and characteristics of overmethylators and undermethylators from several sources. A few specific items are footnoted. I found the specific interesting. The consensus as to which is what is a bit fuzzy. Some things like depression show up on both lists according to different people. Many of the symptoms on BOTH lists are active b12 and folate deficiency symptoms. As far as response to b12 and folates are concerned, I’m just including what the sources say, not what I think. The ONLY thing they are all (sources) in full agreement on is response to SAM-e.


High salivary flow
High tear flow
Never dry eyes
Good tolerance of cold
Poor tolerance of heat
Unexplained nausea
Frequent colds and flu
Highly motivated
Hard driving personality
Poor pain tolerance
Joint pain
Joint swelling
Joint stiffness
Excess perspiration
Addictive tendencies
bipolar disorder
Muscle pains
Abundant or excess saliva in mouth
Obsessive compulsive
Do worse on b12 and folates (4)
Shopping/gambling disorders
Oppositional –defiant
Seasonal depression
Inhalant allergies
Frequent headaches,
Vasomotor rhinitis
Allergic skin disorders
Excess stomach acid
High libido
Sparse body hair
Elevated absolute basophils
Extreme internal anxiety despite outwardly calm
Delusion thinking rather than hallucinations
Respond well to SAM-e, methionine, avoid folic acid (1)
Low serotonin
Low dopamine
Low norepinephrine
Prone to hives
High motivation


Elevated serotonin
Elevated dopamine
Elevated norepinephrine
High religiosity
High artistic/musical ability
Self injury
Auditory hallucinations
Absence of seasonal inhalant allergies
Frequent dry eyes
Multitude of chemical sensitivities
Multitude of food sensitivities
High anxiety evident to all
Low libido
Obsessions but not compulsions
Auditory hallucinations
Underachievement as child
Heavy body hair
Nervous legs
Respond well to b12 but avoid SAM-e, inositol, methionine TMG and DMG (1)
Treatment revolves around folic acid, niacin, B12, and a high protein diet. (2)
Panic attacks
Upper body pain Head pain
Low salivary
Low tears
High pain tolerance
Low motivation
“space cadet”
Learning disabilities
Intolerance to SSRI drugs
Low perspiration

If the body actually “exhausts” some small number of micrograms daily (some say as few as 2 mcg), why would we need to take large quantities of B12s?

Rich: A normal, healthy person who has a good inventory of B12 can go for a year or more without taking in more B12, before symptoms show up. It may not last as long in a person with ME/CFS, because glutathione is depleted and is not there to protect B12 from reactions with the toxins that have built up

Freddd: Most of an mb12 dose is excreted via the kidneys within 24 hours. These facts about b12 lead some to believe that more can’t be effective. I, and many others, have experienced the benefits of an excess over the amount exhausted daily. The effect is that the mb12 is instantly available for functioning anywhere in the body without waiting and that appears to happen only when there is enough to mb12 present to be able to diffuse to where it is needed, bypassing the standard distribution system. With the excess I have enough nerve function in my feet to be able to walk normally and not fall down, to sense the position of my feet and legs, to feel a stone in my shoe or a toenail digging into another toe or anything else. Without sufficient excess, my feet have increasing numbness within 3 days and it gets worse from there working up to my thighs and becoming incontinent. Eighteen months ago, before finding the effective dose, I was falling down, unable to sense where my feet were with large totally numb areas in my feet. Right now they hurt like hell, but believe me, that is far better than numb and I am not in a wheel chair. Right now, my feet are more functional than they have been since 1993. It takes 3 x 10mg injected daily to be this functional despite the damage. The actual healing goes slowly but appears to be progressing. I lost the last dead numb area a few months ago and it hasn’t been back. On Cycbl or Hycbl I would be in a wheelchair in diapers, unable to read, unable to type (loss of fine muscle control in my hands), loosing my memory and cognitive abilities. That was close to where I was at 7 years ago, getting very close to that wheelchair. More likely I would have been dead by 5 years ago. I was headed rapidly that direction when I tried the mb12 for the first time. I have no desire to go that far down that path again.

Yes, it gives me expensive urine. However, it is what the mb12 does for me while still in my body that matters, not that it is rapidly excreted. I was told the same expensive urine story when I started high dose vitamin C after 2 years of an incurable urinary infection. The “excess” vitamin C acidified my urine to the extent that the urinary infection subsided within days. In the short time I had it in my blood it also stopped cold my 6 streps a year and cut them down to less than 1 per year. It wasn’t until I started mb12 that the streps stopped completely along with the pneumonia every few years, colds that went to my lungs for months, asthma and seasonal allergies, chemical sensitivities, etc. So “replacement” amount certainly doesn’t indicate “effective amount”.

Rich: For what it’s worth, in my hypothesis for CFS (the Glutathione Depletion–Methylation Cycle Block Hypothesis) B12 is being “hijacked” by reactions with toxins.

It has been found (and published) that glutathione normally protects B12 at an intermediate stage in its metabolism inside the cells, before it is converted to the active forms methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.

Lab testing has shown that glutathione is usually depleted in CFS. In an individual case, one can have this measured by the Health Diagnostics and Research Institute methylation pathways panel. I have seen the results of many reports of this panel from people who have CFS, and most are depleted in glutathione. There is, however, a subset of PWCs who do not have depleted glutathione. In those cases, I suspect that there are polymorphisms in the enzymes that use glutathione: the glutathione peroxidases and/or glutathione transferases. This could produce essentially the same effects as depleted glutathione.

Because glutathione is depleted, it is necessary for people with CFS to take very large dosages of B12 initially, until their glutathione levels are restored.

It is necessary to take both large dosages of B12 and at least RDA levels of one or both of the active folates (folinic acid or 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate, or preferably both) in order to lift the partial methylation cycle block, which will eventually raise glutathione automatically. I think this is the key feature of the methylation protocols, of which there are now several in use, including the one suggested by Freddd and the Simplified Treatment Approach that I extracted from the full Yasko protocol, with the help of a CFS patient. (I should note that Dr. Alan Vinitsky’s protocol uses folic acid instead of the active forms of folate, but he uses massive doses of it, rather than RDA levels. The other methylation-type protocols all use active forms of folate.)

Freddd and a few others on this forum have reported that boosting glutathione or its precursors set them back. I don’t understand this in the light of the GD-MCB hypothesis, though Freddd has reported that he has an inherited mutation in his B12 processing enzymes, and I think that could account for it in his case. Nevertheless, direct glutathione boosting is not part of the Simplified Treatment Approach. We have found by lab testing that when the methylation cycle is brought back up to normal operation, the glutathione level is automatically restored.

Could a severe allergic reaction cause a B12/Methylation issue?

I can only answer for myself and I am by no means an expert on anaphylaxis. In talking to thousands of people over the past 8 years what I have seen is that almost any type of stress on the body can tip some people over the edge into the b12 deficiency and methylation shutdown. We see physical injury is often the key in FMS. Half a dozen viral or bacterial infections have been associated with triggering the descent into CFS. I experienced both of those. I have also talked to people in which the stress appeared to be vaccine because it puts a sudden stress on the immune system, not because it is any specific vaccine.


Should I get injections?

Only mb12 injections will be more effective than sublingual mb12 and then not always due to many problems. Based on 7 years experience, I consider sublinguals to be more reliable than injections which are subject to easy breakdown and loss of effectiveness from light exposure at any point. If 15-20mg of sublinguals don’t produce all the effectiveness you need and you try the 50mg single dose and find substantial benefit, then injections of 7.5mg or larger of MB12 could help. It is better to start with the sublingual 5 star brands as an injection can be totally overwhelming and only some small percentage actually need them. There is a way to tell if you can benefit from injections of mb12 once you titrate up to a large enough level of on the sublinguals that it won’t flatten you. Even a 1000mcg sublingual putting 250mcg into serum if held under lip for 2 hours can floor a person. Also, the sublinguals are in general more reliable due to handling problems such as exposure to light of the injectable. The startup responses can be intense as hundreds of things start happening all at once. Also, other vitamins and minerals can be rapidly depleted in the startup phase, potassium dangerously so. Read the basics and the cautions and then lets discuss it further.

I felt amazing the day after my first shot and also the next day. Then it wore off, never to be repeated with the subsequent shots. Why?

In my experience the usual reason for a one time effect is that a person is out of necessary cofactor(s). For example, if you can’t convert folic acid adequately (half the population) then methylfolate might bring methylb12 back to life as it were. That you had a the reaction at all indicates deficiency. People who don’t have symptoms and are not deficient don’t have reactions to mb12. Another factor could be that you are actually deficient in adenmosylb12 and that you converted OK and that takes much longer to have a response again.

Mb12 is often the main limiting factor. As soon as that is [present the body goes to work repairing itself and promptly runs out of something else and comes to a grinding halt. Many people have demonstrated this over and over. In the earlier posts there is one called “Why B12 doesn’t work” or something like that. It gives all the usual reasons for b12 not working such as you have experienced. A methylb12 injection only lasts a few days before symptoms start returning. Read the ZONEs page that explains the different healing zones and how they relate to dosage types and amounts.

Is it possible that a subcutaneous injection of .15ml of 25mg/ml b12 every second day is not as effective as 2mg or even 1mg of jarrows sublingual?

Yes. For several possible reasons.

  1. Mb12 exposed to room light (not deep red safe-light) during preparation, drawing into syringe or injection.
  2. Original mb12 crystals are not as effective as other batches of mb12 crystals, hypothetically because of minor differences based on the bacteria used to brew it. Different forms are known to be produced but assumed to be the same.
  3. Because of short serum half-life the average serum level is higher with daily doses.


How were the symptom lists compiled?

The symptoms list is compiled from lists from multiple countries for starters for b12 and folate. When there are official health services I used those. I used the Merck manual and other diagnosis guides. The USA lists focus on those things that cyanocbl might help, the UK (health service list) list on Hydroxycbl helped symptoms, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and those in English from Japan. Each country’s idea of what should be on the list is different and no two of the lists are the same. MB12/adb12 work on all the symptoms any other form helps and then a lot more. Then there are things that various folks have that responded to mb12/adb12/metafolin. Then a single line like “peripheral neuropathy” was broken down to symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. The “muscle pain” was broken down to a dozen or so different muscle pains as experienced by me and others that is helped. Then there are often two or more forms of some things including the “sign” as the doctor might describe it and common language descriptions as people who experience might describe it. The purpose was to have people be able to find a suitable description that they experienced or were told by their doctor they have. The greater detail allows a progression to be described over time so for instance both early neuropathy symptoms and later stage symptoms are listed.

My fingernails are flaking and breaking, why?

Rich: Fingernails and hair are composed of the protein alpha keratin. The normal strength and rigidity of hair and nails is due to cross-linking between the long-chained protein molecules. This cross linking occurs by the formation of disulphide bonds between cysteine residues in adjacent protein molecules to effectively form cysteine.

When the sulfur metabolism is operating normally, about half of a person’s cysteine is made from methionine, because in most diets there is not enough cysteine to supply all of the body’s needs. When there is a partial methylation cycle block, however, the entire sulfur metabolism is disrupted, because the methylation cycle lies at the beginning of the sulfur metabolism. One result is that sulfur metabolites tend to drain down the transsulfuration pathway and into the sulfoxidation pathway, and then be excreted. This causes deficiencies throughout the sulfur metabolism, including in cysteine. So then when the alpha keratin is being made for hair and nails formation, there isn’t enough cysteine available. The result of this is that the usual formation of the protein and the cross-linking are disrupted, and the hair or nails are easily broken.

It is also interesting to note that the formation of protein has a higher priority in the body than does the formation of glutathione. This is built into what are called the Michaelis constants for the binding of the amino acids, including cysteine, in the processes of forming proteins and glutathione, respectively. This means that if the hair or nails are falling apart, it is likely that glutathione is also very depleted.

The way to restore cysteine, hair, nails, and glutathione, as well as lots of other things in CFS, is to lift the partial block in the methylation cycle, and that’s what the treatments we are dealing with here are all about.

So why does it get worse before it gets better when you do this treatment? Well, when you stimulate the methionine synthase enzyme by using B12 and folate, more of the homocysteine is converted to methionine, and less goes down the transsulfuration pathway to make cysteine and glutathione. So initially, you have less of these. However, over time the whole sulfur metabolism gets restored, and then the situation with the hair, nails, etc., improves. This can take considerable time, especially if a lot of toxins have accumulated during the time this partial block was in place and the detox system was dysfunctional, because detoxing requires a lot of sulfur. Freddd: I can’t tell you the biochemistry of it as Rich has done. I can tell you what things affected my hair and nails. Before starting on mb12 but on a complete set of vitamins, minerals and various supplements, I had thin, easily tearing nails. They did not flake that I ever noticed. The items that increased the thickness and toughness of my nails noticeably were methylb12, then again 9 months later adb12, then 6 months later SAM-e and then another 12 months later l-carnitine fumarate. My hair also became less brittle and dandruff went away 100%.

I get heart palpitations, what can I do about that?

…both forms of active B12s are important for the heart. What ended up stopping decades of palpitations [for me] in the end was, after everything else was in place and they were still happening, was b-complex twice a day. For the palpitations to come back all I have to do is to cut back on the B-Right to once a day and they are back in 2 days. Going back up to twice a day and they were gone in a day or two.

I have a LOT of neurological/psychological symptoms – terrible memory/cognitive problems, depression, personality changes eg severe rage/irritability, apathy…

Those are primarily methylb12 deficiency symptoms. They can get stirred up when starting mb12 but they do calm down with continued usage. Some of it occurs while healing is happening.

I have burning mouth, neuropathy, beef-red tongue, brain fog, and extreme fatigue.

The burning beef red tongue came and went along with the burning bladder and burning muscles, which took about 10 days to clear and the burning stomach took much longer to clear up. The brain fog took much longer and cleared in half a dozen specific steps; mb12, adb12, l-carnitine fumarate, Zinc, SA mg mb12 sublingual and 50mg sublingual adb12.

My wife has just been diagnosed with some small holes in her retina, and they are going to do some laser work on her tomorrow. Her vision is terrible. Is this a common symptom with the ME/CFS community?

Clearly there are a lot of visual problems with b12 deficiency as you can see from the symptoms list at the beginning of this thread. Age related macular degeneration is also a b12 deficiency characteristic that will be on the next version of the list.

So it is looking like your wife also has paradoxical folate deficiency. I have this from folic acid, folinic acid and vegetable food source folate. I happen to have what I think is a very nice organic garden. When I started eating a lot of greens a couple of months ago the folate deficiency symptoms started popping up again. I have to be careful how much how often I eat the greens and timing with respect to metafolin. She needs to learn to recognize the onset symptoms quickly so it doesn’t go all the way to a crash before she realizes it. Remember, lots of foods also have folic acid added so the problem isn’t going to go away. I’m glad to hear that she is doing better again.

Another person has written me that his retinal problems are improving with enough mb12 and Metafolin. Neurological healing takes sustained action for healing. Setbacks hit neurological damage harder and faster.


If I have many B-12 deficiency symptoms, should I do blood work first or start the protocol?

As damage increases daily if it is happening, if you have to wait it’s probably not worth it, since the tests in no way predict who will or will not have a response to the active b12s. Said response often happens so quickly and strongly that there is no doubt at all that there has been a response. If you have been taking b12 in any form including breakfast cereals, multivitamins, etc, you have probably absorbed enough that you are not “clinically” deficient. As people can be functionally deficient to well over the top end of measurement range, it can only tell you if 2 cars of the body train have tipped over, as it were, and it can’t tell you at all if you have a CNS/CSF cobalamin deficiency.

So if it doesn’t take food out of your pocket, you don’t have to wait and if you haven’t been supplementing then testing might be interesting to know, but it won’t stop anything. There is no answer these tests can give that should override symptoms. Before mb12, no supplement ever seemed to do anything [for me]. After mb12, almost all the supplements did things [for me].

Should I start with very low dosages and titrate up?

Eric: yes, start here but consider going much slower if you’ve been sick for a long time and/or have significant responsibilities and can’t afford any hiccups. Freddd: Definitely some people need to titrate. The standard AMA wisdom is that any perceivable effect from b12 is a placebo effect. It has no Known toxic limits. . . . Taking adb12 and all these things is like accelerating your car from the 5 mph it has been stuck at for 15 years to 70 mph on the interstate for the very first time above 5 mph. 70mph causes more stress on all the systems. Problems hiding for years or broken mechanisms that made no difference at 5 mph could make a big difference, like not advancing the spark. In a shakedown cruise one expects things to go wrong that still need repair or aren’t finished being repaired. We are taking these very broken down bodies and trying to patch them up. Some things probably get stressed in doing that because that part isn’t as repaired as a different one.

What’s changed since ‘B12 – The Hidden Story’ was posted in 2009? Eric

: Reading through 138 pages of posts and this update, this is my take-away on what’s new: Brands:



My skepticism prevents me from trying the protocol… what do you say to that? Fortunately no faith is required. You can perform your own test. In fact I’m tell you what criteria to use to include yourself in as a likely responder or not, and then it is up to you to do the work. First of all compare 100% of your symptoms to the list at the beginning of this thread I believe it is. If you can’t find it I’ll post the most recent revision. First list all of your symptoms by decade of life compared to that list of symptoms based on if present at any time during the decade. Use the list to help spark your memory. Then make a second list of all your symptoms that are not on the list of symptoms.

After you make the lists I’ll tell you what to look for. Then if those things indicate a likelihood of being response to active b12 a single dose of a combo of 5 star mb12 and adb12 (1 of each kind of tablet under lip for 45-120 minutes) and by 120 minutes, if you have ANY perceptible response the probability is approximately 100% that you will respond to the protocol. You see, cycbl or hycbl will have no noticeable response in that time period and usually no noticeable response at all. People without symptoms generally have no response at all as they have no symptoms to change. I have already run this kind of trial on about 1000 people in person and watched their responses after taking their histories. As you will have already had a response to adb12/mb12 before starting the protocol you know without a doubt that you are a responder. Of course there are those who MUST have a certain cofactors to respond, most especially Metafolin, but often that will increase response but it’s lack won’t prevent it 100%. Also there are those whose symptoms are such that they only respond over time. This kind of test gives an estimated 25% false negatives and 0% false positives. It won’t catch everybody who might respond given some time or cofactors, but it catches a large percentage of the worst afflicted.

I need to run 1,000 people again and this time not be so sick as to not track the data well. I need to work out what are the most significant symptoms and combinations. I might be able to narrow it down to the top 50 or so with a little work.

Me, I was totally desperate 7 years ago. My life; everything that mattered, had been taken from me by some horrid undiagnosable disease. I ended up loosing my wife, the childhood years of my children, my business, by social relationships, my friends, my health, my retirement savings, etc to it. I could no longer see well enough to read many days, I had no balance, no energy, constant nausea, feet going numb, loosing motor control of my legs and feet, position sense, etc. If it had continued much longer I would have ended up in a wheelchair in a diaper, unable to read, unable to track a movie, unable to remember. I had congestive heart failure so it was unlikely to continue much longer.

I didn’t have any faith in any of the many practitioners that assured me they had a handle on my situation. Not one did. They all took my money for no results. It was most educational in what is wrong with our medical system. The only practitioner that delivered any results worth his charges was my chiropractor for an old back injury. The pain docs at least relieved my suffering a bit but made clear that they were not out to heal anything or figure out what the problems were.

If you are suffering enough to be motivated to find something to treat your problems, go through the screening exercise and then the single challenge dose. Then do a longer trial only after you have already demonstrated it could work. No faith required but some effort is.

I am ready to start the B12 protocol. I’ve got a cart-full of supplements, what should I take first?

I would not suggest starting everything at once. It can be way to overwhelming and you don’t learn as much.

Ideally I would suggest starting a,d,e,b-complex, calcium, magnesium, omega3 oils, potassium and other basic items if inclined, like Lecithin, chromium, selenium multiminerals etc. The ALA can be started too at this time. But not the critical cofactors. This gives the body a chance to bring any of those deficiencies up to par. After a few days, I would add Country Life adb12. This separates out the mitochondria startup to a large extent. Then after a few days start adding in Jarrow mb12. Be sure to use the brands specified for predictable response of sublinguals as there is a substantial difference in effectiveness by brand. Also method of use is important. Hold under upper lip in front for 45 minutes or longer for maximum effectiveness.

After adding in the adb12, the mb12 and things have stabilized, add in the methylfolate. After that has stabilized add the l-carnitine fumarate. That can have a much larger effect than the adb12 on energy generation. Actually whichever of that pair is added second is usually the most energetic. If the carnitine/adb12 pair is very energetic you may find that the TMG and smooth that out and make it more comfortable.

After all this has stabilized add the SAM-e taking one tablet to begin with and letting that stabilize. Then add another to see if it makes any difference over the first one. Then finally, try the D-ribose. Or the D-ribose can be started after comfort is reached on the first SAM-e. They work on different pathways.

How do you avoid irritating your stomach with so many supplements? Other considerations? Starting all the basics, vitamins and minerals, is not difficult and rarely causes a reaction. The way to avoid stomach irritation with a large number of supplements is this, take them with a meal. Basically eat about 1/3 of the meal. Then take a few pills and a bite or two of food. Do this during the middle part of the meal and get all the vitamins in. Then eat the last third of the meal on top of the vitamins. The meal should have a mixture of protein, fats and carbs to aid absorption and prevent irritation. Taking a lot of supplements with only scrambled eggs for instance can cause nausea and vomiting. Add a piece of toast and fruit and no problem. Most of the supplements should be taken with food. Some should only be taken without food.

SAM-e, l-carnitine fumarate, TMG for instance should be taken 30 minutes or so before food or at least 2 hours after on an empty stomach. Methylfolate appears to be absorbed better without food but with food works ok. B-complex and methylfolate need to be taken twice a day because of short serum half-lifes for best effectiveness. I take a methylfolate with each dose of b12 without foods and at two meals. I can take fewer tablets with more doses with superior effectiveness as the serum half-life is only 3 hours. One other main caution. CoQ10 being taken at the same time as mb12/adb12/methylfolate is started can cause a significant increase in blood pressure. This goes away after some unknown number of months and CoQ10 can then be taken again. It appears to be a problem only in the early stages of healing. Iron, taken within some hours before will block both b12 and vitamin E. I don’t know about oral b12 but the sublingual pretty well gets around absorption problems.

Startup or detox symptoms?

I choose to continue the word “startup” because it denotes the timing so well. Also, the startup symptoms appear to be self-limiting. I have noticed that those who choose to user the word “startup” tend to have shorter less severe reaction periods than those who apply “detox” to the symptoms. Start-up symptoms may indeed include “detox” symptoms and as the toxins flush from the body or are chemically changed the problem leaves. Those who do a start and stop approach appear to have long drawn out problems repeating the same unplesant steps over and over again and not getting past them for long durations. There is a lot of fear wrapped up in the assumptions of “detox”. Fear and anxiety make any of these startup reactions worse.

In my experience with a lot of people those who continue to press on ahead, regardless of pace, get through it. Titration can work in that. But stopping and starting appears to be a strategy that doesn’t work because one becomes stuck in the very worst steps. It’s very obvious that “detox” is a convenient term for certain not understood reactions that have nothing to do with actual detox.

The major startup responses usually come from mb12. The first thing it does, in minutes to hours, is change how the nervous system works. It almost immediately starts restoring lost functionality. This is perceived as unpleasant mostly as all the many neurological (all aspects of neurological system, peripheral and central) symptoms, many of which people were unaware of as they crept up slowly over 20 years, become very apparant. Nerves that had become slowly pretty numb spring painfully back to life and muscles and things start reacting. At the same time cell division picks up as there is now enough mb12 for that to happen and all sorts of tissues start healing. My burning tongue, burning muscles and burning bladder stopped burning in the first 10 days.

While some people attribute these things to “detox” there is very little evidence that is at all common. There are a set of common startup responses that most people have some or all of. So either EVERYBODY with visible or occult b12 deficiencies of a certain severity has “detox” symptoms or almost nobody has them. Those that become concerned about startup responses and call them “detox” and stop the mb12 are just as sick a year later. Those that put up with the startup responses and continue titrating have about a 75% reduction of affected symptoms after 1 year, assuming they add all the needed cofactors. After a year I was quite ready to start rehabilitation which is an entirely different thing. A body inactive for 17 years can become quite debilitated. It took me a year to work up from being able to walk 600 feet to 5-6 miles. At first I increased the distance I walked each day by one house lot along the street. An increase of 100 feet per day for 50 days is a mile.

How long do start up effects last?

With the active b12s and folate, initial startup effects of whatever cause are usually more or less finished in 2-4 months though they may be more intense while occurring. . . As other cofactors are added in additional startup effects often occur, also of up to several months duration typically. Further, neuropsychiatric healing appears to take several months to start and to have a several month unpleasant period quite independent of what the body is doing.

Who Is likely to have a big reaction to active B12 supplements?

Methylb12 does indeed cause major startup symptoms in the severely deficient such as long term CFS/ME/FMS. It affects virtually every one of as many as 200-300 symptoms all at once and can certainly look like a worsening when in fact it leads to actual healing and recovery. The majority see significant results, the most significant being seen in those that have the most intense startup effects who are usually the sickest . . .

People without methylb12 deficiency symptoms have no reaction to mb12 at all. People without adenosylb12 deficiency symptoms have no reaction to adb12 at all. Some people have reactions to both. They are both absolutely essential to the proper functioning of the body, there are no substitutes or workarounds. Using inactive cobalamin pseudo vitamins such as hydroxyb12 and cyanob12 reduces reaction by severely reducing effectiveness limited to what the body can convert, which can range from zero to a couple of 10s of mcg per day.

And not everybody who can convert it, converts both forms. That appears to be how ME gets started, an inability to either convert dietary adb12 from meat into mb12 or a failure to transport it into the cerebral spinal fluid. It’s sad to see so much misunderstanding about these things.

When B12 therapy fails, what are the most common reasons?

1. They take an inactive b12, either cyanob12 or hydroxyb12. The research “validating” their use was primarily for reducing blood cell size in Pernicious Anemia, keeping the serum b12 level over 300pg/ml at the end of the period between injections. They make a statistically significant effect that can be seen in lab tests in a significant percentage of people compared to placebo. They do not heal most damage done by active b12 deficiencies and have little or no effect on the vast majority of symptoms. They may even block active b12 from receptor sites hindering the effects of real b12. They both cause a keyhole effect of having only a very limited amount (estimated at 10-30mcg/day) that can actually be bound and converted to active forms. They in no way increase the level of unbound active cobalamins which appear required for most healing. They do nothing beneficial in a substantial percentage of people (20-40%) while giving the illusion that the problem is being treated and if it doesn’t work, oh well, that’s the accepted therapy. There is no “dose proportionate” healing with these inactive b12s because it all has to go through this keyhole. Some people are totally incapable of converting these to active forms because they lack the enzyme

2. They take active b12 as an oral tablet reducing absorption to below 1%. A 1000mcg active b12 oral tablet might bind as much as 10-30mcg of b12. Again the b12 has to be squeezed through a keyhole that limits the amount and is subject to binding problems in the person whether genetic or acquired.

3. They take a sublingual tablet of active b12 and chew it or slurp it down quickly reducing absorption back to that same 1% and limited to binding capacity. With sublingual tablets absorption is proportionate to time in contact with tissues. I performed a series of absorption tests comparing sublingual absorption to injection via hypersensitive response and urine colorimetry.

4. Of the many brands of sublingual methylb12 only some are very effective. Some are completely ineffective and some have a little effect.

5. For injectable methylb12, if it is exposed to too much light (very little light actually is too much) it breaks down. Broken down methylb12 is hydroxyb12. It doesn’t work at healing brain/cord problems of those who have a presumed low CSF cobalamin level. That requires a flood of unbound methylb12 and adenosylb12 (2 separate deficiencies) that can enter by diffusion. Adenosylb12 from sublinguals can ride along with injected methylb12.

6.They don’t take BOTH active b12s.

7. They don’t take enough active b12s for the purpose. Active b12s have a dose proportionate activity. There is a threshold effect at high levels of dosage when the cerebral spinal fluid is penetrated for some people, especially with CFS/FMS/Alzheimer’s and sub-acute combined degeneration.

8. Lack of methylfolate – This is the number one lack after right b12s are in place.

9. Lack of other critical cofactors. Lack limits healing with most people to some degree, fully prevents effectiveness to a lesser extent.

10. Lack of basic cofactors. Lack limits healing in most people to some degree and fully prevents effectiveness to a lesser extent.

These represent the actual order, more or less I go though these items with people when they say “I’m taking b12, why don’t I get better?” Taking the wrong kind and/or wrong brand and/or wrong method turns out to be the BINGO factor in most people.

Is there a pattern where people on active B12 protocol seem not to notice or accept progress during startup?

Eric: in reading through this massive thread, I’ve noticed a remarkable pattern of which you can see some evidence in posts like these. “Quick update and a question. Wife hasn’t really seen any major improvement. Some of it may be hard to track and she has come off a lot of medicines. The improvement would have to be very noticeable before she would admit it. She seems to be sleeping through the night, despite coming off all her sleeping meds. Some of the startup symptoms seem to have subsided.”

The wife in question had a complete recovery and was out dancing after 50 days:

My wife has been on the b-12 protocol for about 50 days (We haven’t even re-ordered supplements yet). It was rough in the beginning. It was hard to tell what were normal symptoms or start up symptoms or reactions.

She just pushed through and the turnaround has been amazing. We went out Saturday night and partied from 6-Midnight. Not once did she get fatigued. Eyes wide open the entire night. I specifically watched her and paid close attention.

She gets up early and goes to work now. Before, it was a challenge to get out of bed. I could go on and on….” Here’s the 6 month update:

“I just wanted to let everyone know that she has been training for a sprint triathlon (5k run/500M swim/15 mile ride) for about 2 months. The race is in two weeks and she is more than prepared. For practice and on different days, she runs 8k, swims 1000M and bikes well over an hour.

Amazing turnaround from what felt like a death sentence only 6 months ago.”

Does it matter what brand I buy when shopping for cofactors?

On these cofactors some people have noted differences by brand but it doesn’t appear consistent like the mb12 differences. SAM-e is likely the one that will show the most brand difference. I use Nature Made. I have tried several brands and that worked the best for unknown reasons. Jarrow probably came in #2 with a just noticeable difference. The differences were not day and night as with the mb12. I suspect that it is a matter of slightly different forms or maybe just the difference in effectiveness of the enteric coating for my chemistry.

I use the the NOW or Jarrow TMG and find no difference and the Jarrow L-carnitine fumarate, available in several sizes making titration easy.

What is the 50 mg penetrative dose? The 50mg sublingual doses, equivalent to about 7.5-12.5mg injected, is sufficient to cause a CNS response AFTER the body has reached an equilibrium at which an increase causes no additional response. The CNS response is DIFFERENT for adb12 and for mb12. Both are far more subtle than body reactions and are only slightly noticeable generally, and then only if the person has a depressed CSF/CNS level despite a high body level. Some respond to adb12 or mb12 and some to each. As they are different the most information is gained by doing each separately. I can repeat the mb12 twice a day with a separate response each time, but not 3x per day as equilibrium is reached with that. I can repeat the adb12 once each month or two only or there is no response. Metafolin may be needed to have any response. If you are in a state of folate deficiency the dose of b12 will make no difference. Metafolin helps you retain more of the b12 for longer.

I start with 5 and add the other 5 over the first hour. The whole things takes about 3+ hours. The mb12 and adb12 can be done on successive days. I have performed that trial with Country life several times and I did once with Source Naturals immediately after switching, too soon to detect anything but a differential effect. I will repeat after a couple of months on the Source Naturals to see if the smaller doses are effective. Then a few days after the source Naturals 50mg I will do the Country Life to see if there is a differential effect. If there is, I will know that the Source Naturals isn’t as effective for some reason. Right now I don’t know if the Source Naturals will work or not. I know that the Country Life can work.

Could my dizziness be from sensitivity to the fillers or what they use to make the supplements – the Jarrow methyl b12 has some sort of fruit flavour in it…

A lot of people who have healed extensively with these supplements found dizziness to be a temporary effect while going through certain stages of neurological healing. When I was hit the first day of a 16 year crash, overwhelming dizziness was one of the symptoms. It faded a bit over the years and when I started healing flared up again for a while until it healed and went away never to return. People will often progress backwards though a whole series of symptoms as they heal. Methylb12 directly affects the neurology very quickly and causes a whole lot of symptom shakeup as the healing progresses. A person doesn’t want to get off the bus right in the middle of severe dizziness and stay there. Many people have experienced this while healing and found it to be temporary as long as they continued. Sunday: I have been on this protocol for coming up on 4 months now. For the first couple of weeks I felt good (one week even really good). Then I crashed for 2 months, exacerbation of all symptoms including dizziness, PEM, nausea, the lot. It was awful. I was discouraged. I thought it might never, ever end.

The thing is, when I came out of that LONG crash (probably partly helped by acupuncture), I took the first (very slow) 20-minute walk I had taken in half a year. I was able to do other things I haven’t been able to do, too.

Every time I up my dosage on this (I’m titrating very slowly) I crash again. But I keep noticing the reduction of symptoms (using Freddd’s list helps keep track). It doesn’t happen all at once; it doesn’t even have a linear progression. It’s a gradual, spiral effect. I’m willing to pay the price of the crashes because now I’m crashing to get better. Before I was crashing and felt as if I was just getting worse. Sunday: My own titration was slow; I’d read about the awful effects and wanted to go easy, because I was already feeling bad.

Working off of Freddd’s treatment plan (page 1 of this thread), I started with the “essentials” as a foundation, then started adding things from the “critical minimums” list one at a time. B-Right, then adb12 (seemed to have fewer dire effects, and one of my main problems was and is energy lack). I was going to divide the adb12 but the pills are so small I couldn’t physically do it. For me, that was OK, for others, not.

I added mb12 very slowly, since I’d read about its weird (and often none too pleasant) effects on this thread. I started with 1/3 of a 1,000mcg tablet (couldn’t cut it smaller). After the dust had settled, I went up to 2/3, then a whole tablet, then 1 1/3. After this I bumped up my dosage by 1mg until I reached 5mg. We’re talking months, here. My most recent bump-up has been pretty drastic, testing F’s theory that it’s the first small doses that cause the greatest commotion. Well, I have felt like serious crap (OK, occasionally amusing crap) for the last week, but it’s not as bad as I’ve known. And yes, a return of dizziness, orthostatic intolerance, PEM, brain-fog, neuropathies, the whole shebang. That’s what I mean by, it’s not a linear process. It seems you have to get worse to get better.

During the process of upping the mb12 I also started the methylfolate. On the suggestion of David and Velha, I recently doubled my dosage on that, a rough ride but I think essential. I will probably be tinkering with this and the “possibly critical cofactors” for some time. It might have been smart to add the methylfolate before the b12s, as its essential to their action.

The thing about using Freddd’s list of symptoms is that it can remind you that things are changing. For instance, in my 2-month crash all my symptoms were very bad, except my neuropathies. They’d always kicked up during crashes, but not this time. That told me something different was happening. Now my neuropathies are back, worst they’ve ever been as far as extent. I just have to trust that this is another level of healing. It’s a SLOW process for me. I committed myself to 6 months of it and then a reassessment. I’m sticking with that. I may not see 95% improvement on this, as Freddd did, but methylation feels crucial to me.

Lena: I went through the same thing though I did have a long honeymoon with the B12 the first time I tried them. I am on my fourth try. Started a very slow titration the beginning of Dec. 2009. The first 9 weeks never could get off the couch, also nausea every day. I upped my B-right to twice a day and had three better days than 4 worse days, the last 3 weeks nausea disappeared. The last 9 days I have felt better, the crushing fatigue has turned to tiredness. I can sit up for longer periods of time, can drive to the grocery store and do a few errands. Even played bridge for 2 hours and wasn’t exhausted. Can go out to dinner with husband without being totally miserable.

Right now my dosage is:

2 – B-right
1 – adb12
2 – mb12 5 mg
1 – folate

Why can’t I sleep when I take AdoCbl / Dibencozide?

A major clue appears to come from the results with the adb12. Adb12 is really limited. It does only one thing in the body. It occupies a place in the mitochondria and participates in the generation of ATP, the body’s energy “currency”.

Let’s consider what that might mean. Control of metabolism is a multifactorial thing. Let’s suppose that your mitochondria had a 1% occupancy rate by adb12. If a dose raises that to 5%, that is a huge increase percentage wise. Before, your body was saying produce ATP at 100% rate all the time and still never have enough. So the throttle is set for 100%. Suddenly you take adb12. Now 5% are occupied and that 100% throttle now produces 5x more energy. It interferes in sleep and other things. It takes a while for the body mechanisms to adjust back to having that much energy and adjust the throttle accordingly. Switching from anaerobic energy production that produces lactic acid which burns in the muscles to aerobic energy production produces 6x more energy from each reaction.

Coming back to normal is a huge shock to the system and takes a while to adjust. After the mitochondria are 100% charged up with adb12, and this is where much of the body’s working supply of b12 is, in the mitochondria, taking adb12 produces no noticeable effect at all. It appears that keeping it high so that it seems like “too much energy” is what it takes to make the body readjust it’s settings to take account of the new situation over time so that the body can readjust to the genuine “normal”. Having mitochondria producing energy in all mitochondria allows the body to exercise, restores ability to build up aerobic endurance and normal exercise tolerance and to build muscle from exercise and to repair muscles.

When the mitochondria have adb12 in the neurological tissue it also affects how our brains and nerves work. It appears to make differences much more noticeable and increases the strengths of emotions and moods. The balance between mb12 and adb12 and methylfolate, as well as b-complex and other factors appears to affect qualitative aspects of moods and emotions.

I’m struggling, should I step back and start the mb12 at a much lower dose and climb slower?

Try taking all the mb12 for the day before noon, even better by 10 am. That allows the melatonin to be generated in the evening. Serum half-life of b12 that freshly enters the blood is 20-50 minutes dropping to about 4 hours at 12 hours following dose. That means that if you succeed in getting 256 mcg into your blood by 10 AM, there is likely only a few mcg left by midnight. It doesn’t linger long. Only the b12 that is actually in place functioning is felt. As mb12 isn’t locked in place long-term like adb12 is, it keeps getting flushed out and needs daily renewal. Please ask some questions if you don’t understand. Playing yoyo with the doses won’t do what you expect. Your body will adjust more rapidly with a higher dose and not spend most of it retracing the same ground every day. I’ve been through this and walked some hundreds through this. Good luck.

This morning I put the adb12 Country Life under my upper lip for over 45 minutes. No real reaction except a little shaky in my legs. When I compare this to the reaction I had taking B-right for the first time the adb12 was more subtle. Is that normal?

Adb12 lev els off very quickly because the adb12 parks in the mitochondria and stays there a long time. Once all the parking spaces are filled, there is no more change and everything related to adb12 gets steady as long as other cofactors are in place. Mb12 is the main circulating form and is used in every cell that is reproducing in every part of the body. It affects literally everything. Mb12 startup is much more ragged and it requires far more cofactors. It also drains from the body very quickly. A steady-state is reached rapidly at a given level of dose. At too low a dose, there is never enough and so the body never levels out, always playing yoyo. At a higher dose, mb12 is there at 100% of needed places as needed and everything smooths out as all sorts of processes don’t start and stop and start and stop, every day.

Is stopping and starting ok?

Stopping for a few days doesn’t mean starting all over fortunately. The ad b12 that is in place in the mitochondria will all still be in place. The mb12 that has gone into the tissues will still be there. Only the current serum levels will be down. However, you couldn’t possibly reach such a highly depleted state without going months or more without. A person in a state of saturated equilibrium with b12 who can’t feel any size dose in any way, will regain the ability to feel a dose, but only slightly, after 3 days. Those of us who require our bodies to be in a state of saturated equilibrium for health will start to have a slight loss of energy and other deficiency symptoms barely begin after 3 days without. So don’t worry, it’s not a start-over and a single dose will put it back.

I started the Jarrow methyl b12 5000mcg. I put 1/8 tablet under my upper lip – anti-climatic. After about 30 minutes jittery, some dizziness and my left calf very achy.

Don’t be concerned about the size of the reaction. If you had taken a 5mg all at once it would have been bigger. The titration is for comfort. ANY reaction at all indicates that the b12 is doing something. Big immediate reactions indicate that a person has a lot of the functional type things that can correct very quickly. One thing I noticed here was a lot of people appeared to have the expectation of no perceivable difference and were getting upset with startup effects. They do indicate that b12 is going to work. More at one time causes more tissue penetration for a shorter time and hence more startup effects. The important thing is getting that b12 to a saturated equilibrium level to be sure it is available everywhere it is needed. For many people startup effects diminish quickly.

I’ve started back on the methyl b12 recently, after introducing the adb12, just 1/4 of a tablet but have tried to increase to 1/4 (3 times a day) and starting to feel much the same, ‘brain damage’ and dementia like symptoms, not being able to read or think properly, severe brain fog – I’m very worried!

These are all b12 deficiency symptoms of various stages of deficiency and healing. They happen much faster while healing and coming back to normal.

Can Mb12 kick-start methylation too much?

The methylb12 has only a tiny fraction “methyl” which is CH3. That is a total of only 18 out of more than 1335 total molecular weight. Compared to methylfolate or SAM-e or other methylators, Mb12 is very weak and has very little methyl to contribute. Much of the detox mb12 does is combining the cobalamin portion with the toxin and making it harmless and transporting it out of the body. Most of the effect of mb12 is to the nervous system actually functioning better and being more aware of what is happening. Mostly 95% is excreted unchanged within a few hours.

The mb12 reduces inflammation pretty quickly as it restores the ability of the body to make new cells. This shows up with decreasing inflammation, often in less than 10 days. At 1/4 of a 1mg tablet you are absorbing about 15% (in 45 minutes of 250mcg, a total of perhaps 35-40 mcg, which has very little to do with methylation but a whole lot to do with functioning. Even at that pace a lot of empty sites for the mb12 will be occupied pretty soon. Startup can be ragged is all. Don’t let it scare you and it too shall pass and you will be feeling better. You might find that after the 1/4 tablet you can add several more 1/8ths during the day without things changing too much which can speed up that initial “charge-up” period without making it more intense.

Since starting the b12 and 5 methyl folate I’ve started having some dizziness. I’m wondering what supplement I am missing that might be causing this. Could it be low potassium. I’m not taking a potassium supplement. I don’t think this is a potassium situation as that usually manifests in the muscles but I don’t know that for sure. I suspect that as mb12 and adb12 does directly affect the neurology in many ways that changes are occurring. Others have experienced some dizziness during healing and it normally has resolved. I don’t know of any that haven’t. Too much [potassium] is really bad . . . and too little can be fatal. That is really really bad. For people trying to start methylation and succeeding, their potassium will drop and become symptomatic. Titrating for effectiveness [possibly as high as 2,000 mg] and watching for returning symptoms of deficiency for extra doses is required for safety and comfort and effectiveness.

“Normal” levels of potassium do not mean asymptomatic. Various labs call 4.0 down to 3.5 the low limit. I have middle of the night screaming spasms at 4.2 as do others. Too much needs to be watched out for. However, probability of LOW potassium with mb12/Metafolin is near 100%. The probability of actually dangerously high potassium is a minute fraction of that, perhaps 1:100,000 or less, while cell formation is going on without taking huge huge doses. I don’t try to take enough to never have low potassium responses. I just try to keep the episodes down to once a week and adjust my dose to achieve that.

Since starting the ab12 and mb12 twelve days ago, I’ve had markedly more energy and some headache/faceache symptoms almost each time I take or increase the dose of mb12. For the last three days, though, I’ve felt very tired, and I don’t know why that would be. I’m having to lie down more than usual. I don’t have muscle weakness, soreness or cramping – just muscular & general fatigue. Any ideas?

The number one candidate is potassium. A single 500mg dose (nowhere near any possibility of fatality) will tell you in 30 minutes. Number two probability is Metafolin deficiency, then b-complex, magnesium, zinc, SAM-e, TMG, L-carnitine fumarate etc.

A side note on B1, that is one of those b-vits I take additional of. It is vital. If a person is taking b-complex twice a day it reduces the probability that B1 is the limiting factor.

I also take Pantethine, p-5-p and Biotin. The Pantethine makes me feel sick but only when in folate deficiency. Combinations are critical.

I’ve never lasted longer than three days because of immediate noticeable (and unpleasant) increase in muscle cramping/tightness/pain

I get muscle cramping/tightness/pain 3 days after starting mb12, adb12, Metafolin and a few other things. It is relieved in 30 minutes with 500mg of potassium and can be generally prevented by some amount of daily potassium which for me is about 1200mg a day plus occasional additional doses. 99mg isn’t likely to stop it.

I do well on the adenosyl and methyl B12 – nothing but feeling better after a week of start-up symptoms. But the folate makes me sick, sick, sick. I added in 1/2 tab on Saturday, and had a day of extreme fatigue, feeling fluey.

It’s fascinating where the startup reactions are in this whole business. In what I have experienced and observed in many people is that the reaction happens with the factors that are the most limiting ones, the ones the person is most deficient in. The methylfolate is absolutely essential to the proper functioning of both b12s. For instance, the reaction could very well be caused by your immune system starting to work better. Folate is kind of a medium serum half-life component. It takes perhaps 5 to 10 days to reach equilibrium on any one dose. Like the active b12s, the reaction to dose is not linear. The first 200mcg can make all the difference between zero functioning and functioning and may very well make more difference than the next 600mcg combined. As all the processes that it influences have to start up if your body is to function normally, the choice comes down to how fast one goes through the startup process. The startup process at the initialization of using these vitamins is a result of many stalled processes getting started, sort of like a new driver letting out the clutch for the first time. It can be a bumpy ride.

Folate makes me sick – any idea what the reaction is due to – kicking off methylation? With 1/2 tablet?!

Methylation may be involved, but there are hundreds of other things it could be too, and maybe 20 or 30 of them at the same time. And methylation is involved in some of them as in cell reproduction. It has to happen for your body to heal. It’s a good thing, not a terrible thing. As mb12 also provides a methyl source it likely is a functional item as a cofactor doing exactly what it is supposed to do for the body to function. This appears more to me a cell formation type of reaction which could leave you depleted of serum potassium within a few days. That’s why potassium is on the list for initial startup items, to prevent the temporary hypokalemia that can easily happen during the startup period for any of a number of supplements. I would be inclined to titrate it. If you leave it out all together, then the things that have started up will shut down and you have to go through that startup all over again; like losing the same 5 pounds 10 times instead of losing 50 pounds. If you were to continue with 1/4 tablet a few days and let the startup at that level take it’s course, it likely will be different each day. You can choose to interpret it as something causing great distress or as indicating that your body was very deficient of it. Getting hundreds of shut down reactions going again isn’t pleasant and yet there is no way to restore the body without that happening. My experience with myself, my family and hundreds of others like you and myself is that all these things pass, usually pretty quickly, with continued usage.

In my experience the things that kick up fastest when starting these supplements are also the things that correct and heal the fastest. These are functional things that can start correcting just by putting gas in the tank, as it were. The actual healing is one of the things that can get started immediately but takes longer to complete.

Should folate be started BEFORE or AFTER the active B12s?

The explanation is based on the pragmatic results with the internal processes hypothesized afterwards rather than an explanation based on theory and hypothesis in advance of the results. So rather than “what should happen” it’s based on what did happen, over and over.

First, to be clear, the interaction and interdependency between methylfolate, methylb12 and adb12 are extreme. Their deficiency symptoms overlap extensively and are just about impossible to separate. In some functions they provide alternate biochemical pathways. The availability of Metafolin (methylfolate) has made for a reliable folate supplement with distinctive results not available with folic acid.

One of the functions of methylfolate is that it increases absorption and retention in the body of both adb12 and mb12. If a person is severely deficient it makes both b12s “hit harder and quicker” with a smaller dose. In effect it makes titrating more difficult. This has been demonstrated over and over. By leaving the methylfolate to being started after both b12s it also allows one to see if folic acid has been sufficient or not. It spreads out the startup symptoms. It allows one to see the unique effects of methylfolate and to identify the pivot point symptoms unique to folate.

If one is going for maximum startup effect to see if they have any deficiency reactions to b12 then methylfolate should be taken first. If one would prefer to slow down and moderate the startup symptoms then it should be taken after the two active b12s have been established. This is purely experientially based. If one doesn’t have a lot of startup symptoms from the active b12s it might be started within a week.

Methylfolate is a major methylator for the body and priming the pump with it as it were appears to cause gang-buster startup b12 symptoms. Because it was not available I wasn’t able to start it until well after both active b12s and SAM-e and had only very minor startup symptoms with it. I started dreaming again for the first time in decades the very first night after taking it and my angular chelitis started healing immediately and was completely gone for the first time in my life in 10 days. I was injecting mb12 by that time, more than a year into it, and methylfolate allowed twice as much b12 to be injected before showing up in the urine. For some people the need for folate is so severe that they have almost no startup at all from the b12 but a lot when they start the methylfolate. It’s severe lack can cause b12 to be totally ineffective.

How much metafolin per day should I work up to?

…for most people most of the time 800mcg is entirely satisfactory. I did well on that until the glutathione precursor trial. I’m on more but plan to start decreasing in another 2 weeks.

On the L-carnitine fumarate 125mg is quite possibly a good amount to start with. It can be very energetic in reaction. It works with the adb12. Of course you may not have a shortage there and then it will do nothing. For me at least 500mg once a day 30 minutes before food is as good as it gets.

Don’t forget that exercise is an important part of recovery. Start increasing as soon as exercise tolerance develops. Start low and slow and increase slowly. Recovery can take longer than healing.

I am a physical wreck – should I take glutathione?

The mb12 and methyfolate generates glutathione, but not in a quantity so as to disable themselves, the active b12s and folate. My suggestion is to allow the active b12s and folate to normalize the body for several months, during which an awful lot of healing can occur and re-evaluate then. This evaluation is in the midst of all sorts of things being broken down. The tests confirm what you already knew; that things are broken. The epithelial and endothelial tissue damages can be caused by the b12 and folate deficiencies themselves. That’s what those deficiencies do is damage all those tissues. Give them some time. Right now you have started taking action but not gone long enough for that action to show up. Making more changes may be swinging at phantoms that are already changing and may interfere.

B12 deficiency directly damages the muscles, GI lining, veins, heart and arteries lining, skin, mitochondria, neurology, blood, bladder, and all other tissues in the body.

I was steadily increasing my adb12 dosage and then suddenly felt sick nauseous and dizzy, what went wrong?

I think it’s more important to get a good balance of things going than a lot of one thing like Adb12. A single tablet of Adb12 and of Mb12 plus b-complex and all the basics and so on gives the body a chance to heal many things. The higher doses can wait until you see what doesn’t work at lower ones. Balance is important. The balance between adb12 and mb12 plays a substantial but not easily discernible or well documented or explored role.

The exact balance a person needs is not easily arrived at so we try for an approximate balance. Most people find between 1 adb12 per day and 1 per week perfectly suitable when they are taking the mb12, methylfolate and such. Ad b12 doesn’t drain from the body as quickly as mb12. Higher doses may be effective in some circumstances but that has to be tried after a balance all the way around is reached or you don’t know what you are seeing.

Added SAM-e yesterday, 125mg. Effects so far, nausea, increased appetite, drowsiness. I’m guessing I don’t need this co-factor?

I wouldn’t bet on that. If it did nothing at all at 1/3 the typical dose I would suggest 400mg, a typical dose to see the effects. It’s supposed to be effective for detoxing the liver and it augments the effectiveness of mb12 and methylfolate. When one of these things does something noticeable it is usually worth noticing. Clearly it is doing something. So continue until no effect then step it up a notch. The drowsiness and increased appetite are usually good signs. Nausea can often be a neurological change or some liver detox etc. You are on a minimal dose.

Do you have to go through the bad to get to the other side?

I’m not sure. Some of the effect you were having may be an artifact of which you started first and the ratio between them. I was well established on the mb12 before starting. The mb12 is protective of the neurology in a way that adb12 is not. It is unique in this and more of the other kinds don’t produce that effect. I had to go though all sorts of effects as different processes came back to functioning at an uneven rate.

By 3 weeks a lot of symptoms were very much improved. The only thing that worsened after 3 weeks was neurology. Moods and such, irritability, personality changes and such got really ragged for a couple of months about 1 month into it. That happened 3 more times each time I added an important cofactor that caused more neurological healing. Nerves coming back to function produce all sorts of painful and irritating effects before they start working properly.

Is there any particular reason to choose adding l-carnitine fumarate before SAM-e, or to do it the other way around?

There is nothing I can really point to. In the end a lot of people need both and some need neither. In the end you may not be able to tell the difference between them in their actions. They both can increase energy, improve mood, improve tissue healing, improve neurological functioning but for entirely different reasons through different functioning. They both help active b12s to function better.

I have been taking mb12 sub-lingual for 1 month and felt some boost from it early on but now when I take it I get dizzy / light headed for several hours. Is this normal?

The effects you are having appear to be caused by your neurology actually starting to heal. There is no way your neurology can heal WITHOUT noticeable effects. This may continue for several months and might increase and change with methylfolate instead of folic acid and adding adb12 might modify it as well. TMG may also moderate it the effect some. MB12 has the unique characteristic of promoting neurological healing.

This can affect everything neurological and neuropsychiatric including moods, personality, sensations and the like. Sensory hallucinations that are present with deficiency can clear within hours sometimes depending upon how severe the underlying damage is. The “dizzy and lightheaded” is a generally a good sign with taking mb12. It’s on the road to healing based on the experience of many.

For the last two months I’ve been taking sublingual B12 5mg from Jarrow. The first three weeks of taking this I did not notice anything, however for the last five weeks I’ve noticed dizziness when taking the B12 and shortly after, why?

That dizziness is certainly “normal” in the sense that it happens almost universally to people taking the mb12 effectively. As it happens to virtually everybody with any degree of neurological damage and malfunctioning I doubt sincerely that it has anything at all to do with “detox” unless the detox is allowing healing to take place. You are not used to your nervous system having the mb12 it needs for better functioning. It is something that appears to happen as the neurology is starting to be affected and goes away after a while. Methylfolate and other cofactors may will aid the healing and may or may not intensify various other startup symptoms. The SAM-e and methylfolate are both potentially key players in this. I would suggest the methylfolate first and b-complex is critical, calcium/magnesium, C, E, A, D, omega3 oils are critical for nervous system healing. The SAM-e should wait until after the basics are on board including adenosylb12 (Country Life Dibencozide).

Establishing a new balance of nutrients is important. Everybody that heals goes through things like this. This is a common signpost on the road to healing. I have been through that and a whole lot more. If I hadn’t continued and let any of 100 startup and neurological symptoms changes scare me off I would be in a wheelchair with a diaper or dead now. I have walked this path. It is the way through this stuff, whatever the temporary cause. When you have to go through 1000 changes to heal, 999 of them are just different ways to feel wrong. They pass and change to something else as progress is made.

Sunday: My two cents’ worth on the dizziness thing: I’m a little over 3 months into this protocol. For the first few weeks it was like a honeymoon, but then the proverbial excrement hit the fan. Every time I up my dosage of methylfolate or mb12 I have dizziness and/or orthostatic intolerance. The first time (after the “honeymoon”) lasted for two months, with a lot of other symptoms, and was no picnic. I recently re-upped my methylfolate and today just upped my mb12, and am worse in the dizziness/orthostatic intolerance department.

So why do I keep this up? Because, after each round, every time I stabilize, I am measurably better. For me, progress is agonizingly slow. But I notice things such as: I don’t have brain fog all the time. When I do have it, it’s much lighter and doesn’t last as long. My neuropathies are getting better. My energy level is still low, but at least I have some sometimes; I didn’t used to.

The pattern that seems to be – may be – emerging for me is that whatever gets worse gets better – that is, if upping dosage on or adding a supplement increases a symptom, when I finally come out the other side, when I stabilize, that symptom has usually gotten better. I will say, as Freddd has pointed out, that the first couple months or more seemed to be just random symptoms firing off everywhere.

I do think it makes sense to check for metals toxicity, as that would probably change the way you do this protocol, or possibly change whether you do this protocol. But I would also point out that methylation is what allows us to detox (at least that’s my understanding). Freddd makes no secret of the fact that this protocol produces scary nasty awful effects, but I can understand why it still comes as a surprise, because I find this aspect very disheartening to deal with.

I think it’s important to sort out our fears from the facts: check to see if you have heavy metals poisoning, there are relatively cheap tests for this. If you don’t, consider the fact that these reactions may feel wrong because they send us back into the pit of hell, and that is scary.

This protocol reminds me of Dante’s Inferno. When Dante is being guided out of hell by Virgil, they have to crawl over the Devil, who is stuck in this big sort of drain-hole in the bottom, the entryway from hell to limbo (that’s back when there was limbo). At one point, they make a sharp turn, and Dante cries out that they are headed straight back to hell, Virgil is misleading him. Virgil says, in this dimension, directions get confused; while they are heading in what feels like the wrong direction, he knows it is the right one, because he has made the journey before.

I’m lightheaded/dizzy, should I take Dibencozide in addition to MeCbl? What’s the best timing for taking AdoCbl?

The adb12 may or may not make a difference. It is critical typically where there is severe fatigue and brainfog, lack of exercise tolerance, muscles that don’t repair from exercise damage and don’t grow. On the other hand methylfolate can aid absorption and utilization of both kinds. Both on the same day is fine. Even both at the same time seems to work well.

For me the methylfolate was an incremental improvement in a number of areas but not earthshaking. Others may find it quite intense. I find I do best taking the adb12 6 at a time once a week 2 hours after an injection of mb12. It appears that I need to get it into the CSF, and that makes a neurological difference. This amount of and timing of adb12 appears to be a major area of fine tuning and varies perhaps more than anything else which was evident early on. My daughter finds she has to take it every day, but one daily does it all for her.

I want to order TMG from iHerb but I don’t know which one. Which one should I use and what dose I should start with?

I’ve used both NOW foods and Jarrow with identical results. Order the smallest one. If you cut them they swell up with moisture rapidly becoming a mess. So if you cut them, put them in capsules immediately and store in container with desiccant. With sensitivity I would shoot for 125mg or less.

I had more energy the other day and today as well. The problem though, is I’m waking up like 5 hours after I go to sleep, and can’t fall back to sleep…

A study on sleep and mb12 I read a few years back said that less but more restful sleep was often a result of mb12. That is certainly a common experience. I would advise not to get upset about the hours but rather judge it based on how you feel. It affects melatonin production and can take some time to get regularized. MY experience of the first 3 months excluding the time switched to a zero star brand was that it was like 20 steps forward on energy each day and 19 steps fallback by the next morning. Each day though I had an increase in base energy and that is what my body adapted to with a little lag.

Do people tend to get worse before experiencing positive benefits? Do you start out with small amounts and increase?

My lifelong depression started lifting after about 15 minutes after that first mb12 went under my tongue (by the Rolling Stones?). After 1 hour I had enough energy to walk up a flight of stairs normally for the first time in 16 years. However, all my symptoms were perceived far more intensely in exquisite detail. However, as that was also accompanied by the start of brainfog lifting and seemed connected, it wasn’t “bad”. Some aspects were unpleasant. Remember though, many of the things are just changes in perception, an increase of intensity becasue the nerves are suddenly working better, well enough to perceive all the damage. The things that exploded into awareness most were also the first things to heal.

I started with a 1mg sublingual which delivers about 150-250mcg to serum in 45-120 minutes. Over the next 4 months I titrated up to 20-25mg sublingual/day (delivering about 4-5mg to serum) taken in divided doses throughout the day. After 3-4 months of startup it fell off in 1 week as I just took more and more mb12 saturating the system.

The more I took the less effect each tablet had until they ceased to be any reaction at all and everything stabilized. From that point on symptoms got progressively better and milder. After 9-12 months I was able to discontinue or reduce most of my medications. The neurological pain was 99% gone. My allergies and asthma was gone. The burning bladder was gone. The IBS was reduced and as soon as I got rid of milk went away completely.

Before the mb12 I was sensitive to everything and milk was no different. After mb12 it was the only thing remaining. The constant nausea and vomiting was gone. The waking up at night with acid shooting up my throat was entirely gone. I had exercise tolerance back. My muscles started growing with exercise. It took a few more cofactors to finish the job but looking at my muscles now you would never know that they were mere shadows of themselves 7 years ago.

I’ve been producing swamp-smelling urine since I began Freddd’s protocol. Is it the result of some sort of detox, or just one of the supplements itself that causes it?

I can tell you what started for me. It lasted for about 10 days and was gone by the time I got into my doctor at a hastily made appointment. It started about 4 hours after I started L-carnitine fumarate. That first day I dumped about 4 pounds of excess water. My stomach was swollen taut and hard like a basketball. My breathing was impaired and breathing while reclining was very difficult. By the time the smell returned to normal I had dumped 20 pounds of water and my stomach was soft.

I had started the adnosylb12 a few months earlier to good effect. When I added the l-carnitine suddenly my energy level went through the roof and immediately I was able to do 34 minutes on the Nordic Trak at my usual settings instead of 17 minutes as on the day before. I made no other changes. It was a one time occurrence that started to fade after a week and was gone after 10 days. I also started rebuilding my muscles that hadn’t been normal in more than 20 years by that point and had faded away to mere shadows of their former mass.

I have no specific theory about it other than it was related to decreasing edema. By the end of the water dump period I had lost about 80 pounds in all of water weight. My tissues are no longer waterlogged and my blood pressure came down about 50 points.

Is there an emotional impact one may expect with active B12 protocol?

Rapidly changing, volatile, emotions. Also, for me when my neurology started working again I started feeling all the emotions that were so flattened for decades. Also, unprocessed experiences from 30 years back even, all started hitting at once. After recovering to an extent I went through a period of mourning for my life that was long gone. I still have some of that cropping up. The decades of illness and disability cost me everything in my life I used to care about, my wife, my young children, my business, my sports, my interests, even my ability to read for a while. Right now, I am about 2/3 through the first novel I have read in maybe 15 years. I used to read at least 100 books per year, many of therm novels. As I have come back and the neurology has healed I have changed. My wife divorced me and when she remarried she said that he was “a lot like you used to be”. I am not remotely the guy she had married 33 years before.

After several NDEs I was a complete stranger to her and she was a complete stranger to me. After the divorce she didn’t see me in person for about 9 months. When she came over one day, knocked on the door and I let her in. She looked at me and then at the other person there and asked “Where is Fred, I was supposed to meet him here?”. I had changed visually that much in 9 months of healing. The changes were internal as well as external. Dying would have been easier. I’m appreciating being alive again.

What’s the best ratio of the adb12 to mb12?

The only other issue I’ll address before having that answer is in regards to the ratio of the adb12, mb12 and methylfolate. The suggested ratios of mb12 to adb12 that I have come across is in the neighborhood of 3x – 10x as much mb12 as adb12. When another person tried precise injections of adb12 and mb12, when he tried the large doses of adb12 mood and personality changes similar to those of mb12-CSF deficiency occurred. In my injection series of adb12 I approached from a titration point of view. The peak effect of adb12 was reached with 1mg of adb12 injected at the same time as 10mg of mb12. I achieve exactly the same effect with 6-9mg of sublingual adb12 taken at time of injection with mb12 10mg SC. I find that I only need 18mg of adb12 about once a week, whether in divided or single dose as long as taken at same time as the mb12 injection to provide the CSF penetrating diffusion gradient. Several people have needed somewhat larger daily doses of adb12, but not larger than the mb12 to maintain an equilibrium state with the adb12. My daughter does best on a single adb12 daily plus the mb12.

After a complete recovery with active B12’s, my wife changed to a multivitamin and began exercising. Then, she has had a pretty significant “crash”. She is very restless in her sleep, severe fatigue, muscle pain, she is back to going to sleep at 6pm. Any ideas?

A multivitamin has far less of things especially minerals than the individuals because of bulk. So there is less calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc most likely. There would also be much smaller doses of b-complex items, fewer of them and likely no active versions such as p-5-p or pantethine. I also don’t see Metafolin listed and that is a critical cofactor for both kinds of b12.

The way this crash sounds it could be one or more of several things; a running out of a cofactor which is unable to keep healing going, or a change in the minerals balance causing the problems or both. Also another angle is the exercising. IN my case, after 17 years of inability to exercise or even walk very far for a lot of it, I started the cardio exercise at 1 minute and worked up by a minute every other day as able to.

I hit a wall at 17 minutes (Nordic track) until I started the l-carnitine fumarate but didn’t crash, just could go past it. 24 hours after starting the carnitine I effortlessly went to 34 minutes and then had to start working up again. So maybe it has to do with exercise. One possibility is D-ribose which helps restore the ATP after exercise and turns out to be a critical cofactor for some.

It feels as though the b12 stimulates my system until my system becomes exhausted after a few weeks and then shuts down, why is that?

B12 is not a stimulant. It doesn’t act like one. It does largely 3 things; it causes the mitochondria to produce more energy, and there can be holdups on cofactors in that, it causes all sorts of cells to heal which rapidly depletes resources, for example potassium, zinc, C, magnesium, A, E and everything else needed to build cells which is subject to sudden holdups by exhaustion of resources and it improves performance of the nervous system and brightens all the senses. That appears to many people as “over-driven” at first but can rapidly fade to “normal” for the present equilibrium and definitely does not maintain that enhanced brightening for long. You may be one of those who has trouble getting enough b12 into the CNS/CSF.

Am I the only one experiencing more benefits from mb12 than adb12?

Be careful of misinterpreting what you perceive. Adb12 is very different from mb12. Typically a person feels mild startup for the first dose or two only and nothing at all on an ongoing basis as long as equilibrium is maintained. If one doesn’t take adb12 for a month, then mild startup might be perceived. You see, adb12 does two things, occupies the mitochondria which produces energy and helps form myelin. The adb12 stays in the mitochondria once it is there so there is not a regular turnover. Deficiency symptoms of adb12 only come back very slowly, especially the only noticeable effects, the energy producing function. Mb12 on the other hand circulates and is dumped out of the body rapidly, so some people can feel an effect from each tablet until they get to a high body equilibrium. When you can’t feel the adb12 that means it is doing it’s job. You may find that taking one adb12 per week is quite sufficient to maintain body/mitochondria equilibrium. It gets more questionable when it comes to myelin and CNS equilibrium. I have experimented with adb12 from quite a bit per day timed for CNS penetration with my mb12 injections to once per week. Some people say “I need 5 per day” every day to banish brainfog. Some find 1 per day to 1 per week entirely satisfactory.

Why do some people get sicker when they take folic acid or folinic acid?

I have recently performed another test which I decided I needed to do after the experience with Folinic acid. Guess what, more folic acid at the same times as the Metafolin dose with my b12 dose, taken in the form of adb12 with folic acid (Country Life Dibencozide) causes my leading edge folate deficiency symptoms to start coming back in 6-7 days. It BLOCKS the metafolin when taken at the same time (peaks coincide) from being effective. It causes folate deficiency symptoms just slightly slower than glutathione, in sufficient quantity. The Folinic acid at just 1 x 800mcg per day caused leading edge folate deficiency symptoms in 30 days. “. . . I’m 3 days into no folic acid at all. My central nervous system is starting to show more signs of starting to heal again, IBS is gone and cheilitis is healing faster than usual. Very interesting.”

What form of magnesium would you recommend?

Rich: Generally, PWCs are found to be low in intracellular magnesium, so I would tend to go for the higher ratios of magnesium to calcium, like 1:1. For a normal, healthy person, the 2:1 ratio is appropriate, but PWCs need more Mg, in my opinion. Magnesium glycinate is the best absorbed form. Epsom salt baths (magnesium sulfate) are helpful for many, but not tolerated by some, I think because they have sulfate-reducing bacteria in the gut, which convert sulfate to hydrogen sulfide. Magnesium malate has been helpful for many, because it also supplies malate, used in the Krebs cycle. Dr. Cheney for years has used magnesium sulfate combined with taurine as an injection. The taurine counters the pain from the magnesium sulfate, and this gets magnesium into the blood in larger amounts.

What’s better when starting out, one whole 1,000 mcg sublingual or four quarters spread out over the day?

A 1000 mcg tablet is a good place to start. To start out, 1/4 4 times in a day will probably work out better giving a more even serum level than taking the whole 1mg at once. After a few day if you are not having too much start up responses you might start increasing by another quarter each day, going to half tablets per dose when you get to 6 quarters and then up from there. Watch for sudden changes like muscle spasms, mood changes other than improvement, fatigue, weakness, muscle weakness and other signs of potassium levels falling.

Has anyone else had increased inflammation from restarting the methylation cycle?

The Carmen Wheatley “Scarlett Pimpernel” papers I, II and III deal with this very issue. That with b12 there is first an increase in inflammation and then a neutralizing of the nitric oxide leading to a decrease in inflammation. This appears to happen as cell formation picks up with methylation starting up. There is no need to take prednisone. The inflammation will run it’s course and inflammation and pain will decrease. I had a lot of pain which wasn’t controlled by multiple medications. The pain decreased perhaps 90% allowing all but one medication to be discontinued. I had been taking 2400mg/day of ibuprofen. 9 months after starting mb12 the inflammation was gone and ibuprofen made no difference any more. 9 months after starting mb12 I was able to discontinue/taper Dilantin (for neurological pain and some spasm control). 9 months after starting mb12 I was able to start tapering benzos. 9 months after starting mb12 I was able to discontinue albuterol, Compazine suppositories, antihistamines, theophyllin, an anti-narcolepsy med and probably a few more in there. It took about 9 months to reach that point. However, some specific pains started fading by year 10.

What is a reasonable goal for folate dose? I’m currently at 1.1 mg…

That is a reasonable starting dose. Since it is by titration, not “goal” one is doing it by reduction of deficiency symptoms or improvement in healing.. It really depends on whether the person has significant blocking by folinic acid, folic acid or veggie folates or takes too much b1, b2 and/or b3. Anywhere from 1600mcg to 30mg might be what is needed. In the Deplin studies in regards to depression the most effective doses were 15mg and 30mg. The 7.5 mg wasn’t enough for most. I have listed it several times at something like this.

  1. Donut hole paradoxical folate deficiency or insufficiency, up to 2 mg to 6 mg
  2. Folic Acid blockade – 8 mg to 12 mg
  3. Folic acid, folinic acid and veggie folates blockade, 16 mg to 30 mg

And all the above might be increased or decreased by adjusting B1, B2 and B3. Too much of one or more increases the need for methylfolate and potassium and can decrease healing. . . . Several doses of methylfolate work better than one dose for most people. With MeCbl and AdoCbl in the body, and l-carnitine, by the time equilibrium is reached and the folate deficiency symptoms are on the mend no single dose makes any noticeable difference. CHRONIC FATIGUE

What CFS symptoms have been corrected with methylation treatment? What side effects have been experienced during treatment? The following symptoms of CFS have been reported to have been corrected by various PWCs on this treatment. Note that these are gathered from reports from many PWCs, so that not all have been reported by a single person.

1. Improvement in sleep (though a few have reported increased difficulty in sleeping initially).
2. Ending of the need for and intolerance of continued thyroid hormone supplementation.
3. Termination of excessive urination and night-time urination.
4. Restoration of normal body temperature from lower values.
5. Restoration of normal blood pressure from lower values.
6. Initiation of attack by immune system on longstanding infections. 7. Increased energy and ability to carry on higher levels of activity without post-exertional fatigue or malaise. Termination of “crashing.”
8. Lifting of brain fog, increase in cognitive ability, return of memory. 9. Relief from hypoglycemia symptoms 10. Improvement in alcohol tolerance 11. Decrease in pain (though some have experienced increases in pain temporarily, as well as increased headaches, presumably as a result of detoxing).
12. Notice of and remarking by friends and therapists on improvements in the PWC’s condition.
13. Necessity to adjust relationship with spouse, because not as much care giving is needed. Need to work out more balanced responsibilities in relationship in view of improved health and improved desire and ability to be assertive.
14. Return of ability to read and retain what has been read.
15. Return of ability to take a shower standing up.
16. Return of ability to sit up for long times.
17. Return of ability to drive for long distances.
18. Improved tolerance for heat.
18. Feeling unusually calm.
19. Feeling “more normal and part of the world.”
20. Ability to stop steroid hormone support without experiencing problems from doing it.
21. Lowered sensation of being under stress.
22. Loss of excess weight.

The following reported symptoms, also gathered from various PWCs trying this simplified treatment approach, are those that I suspect result from die-off and detox:

1. Headaches, “heavy head,” “heavy-feeling headaches”
2. Alternated periods of mental “fuzziness” and greater mental clarity
3. Feeling “muggy-headed” or “blah” or sick in the morning
4. Transient malaise, flu-like symptoms
5. Transiently increased fatigue, waxing and waning fatigue, feeling more tired and sluggish, weakness
6. Dizziness
7. Irritability
8. Sensation of “brain firing: bing, bong, bing, bong,” “brain moving very fast”
9. Depression, feeling overwhelmed, strong emotions
10. Greater need for “healing naps.”
11. Swollen or painful lymph nodes
12. Mild fevers
13. Runny nose, low grade “sniffles,” sneezing, coughing
14. Sore throat
15. Rashes
16. Itching
17. Increased perspiration, unusual smelling perspiration
18. “Metallic” taste in mouth
19. Transient nausea, “sick to stomach”
20. Abdominal cramping/pain
21. Increased bowel movements
22. Diarrhea, loose stools, urgency
23. Unusual color of stools, e.g. green
24. Temporarily increased urination
25. Transiently increased thirst
26. Clear urine
27. Unusual smelling urine
28. Transient increased muscle pain”

How does methylation disfunction cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Rich: 1. To get an isolated case of CFS (I’m not talking here about the epidemics or clusters), you have to have inherited some genetic variations from your parents. These are called polymorphisms or single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We know what some of the important ones are, but we don’t know all of them yet. This is a topic that needs more research.

2. You also have to have some things happen in your life that place demands on your supply of glutathione. Glutathione is like a very small protein, and there is some in every cell of your body, and in your blood. It protects your body from quite a few things that can cause problems, including chemicals that are toxic, and oxidizing free radicals. It also helps the immune system to fight bugs (bacteria, viruses, fungi) so that you are protected from infections by them.

3. Oxidizing free radicals are molecules that have an odd number of electrons, and are very chemically reactive. They are normally formed as part of the metabolism in the body, but if they rise to high levels and are not eliminated by glutathione and the rest of the antioxidant system, they will react with things they shouldn’t, and cause problems. This situation is called oxidative stress, and it is probably the best-proven biochemical aspect of chronic fatigue syndrome.

4. There are a variety of things in your life that can place demands on your glutathione. These include physical injuries or surgery to your body, exposure to toxic chemicals such as pesticides, solvents, or heavy metals like mercury, arsenic or lead, exposure to infectious agents or vaccinations, or emotional stress that causes secretion of a lot of cortisol and adrenaline, especially if it continues over a long time. Just about anything that “stresses” your body or your mind will place a demand on glutathione. All people experience a variety of stressors all the time, and a healthy person’s body is able to keep up with the demands for glutathione by recycling used glutathione molecules and by making new ones as needed. However, if a person’s body cannot keep up, either because of extra-high demands or inherited genetic polymorphisms that interfere with recycling or making glutathione, or both, the levels of glutathione in the cells can go too low. When glutathione is properly measured in most people with CFS (such as in the Vitamin Diagnostics methylation pathways panel), it is found to be below normal.

5. One of the jobs that glutathione normally does is to protect your supply of vitamin B12 from reacting with toxins. If left unprotected, vitamin B12 is very reactive chemically. If it reacts with toxins, it can’t be used for its important jobs in your body. A routine blood test for vitamin B12 will not reveal this problem. In fact, many people with CFS appear to have elevated levels of B12 in their blood, while their bodies are not able to use it properly. The best test to reveal this is a urine organic acids test that includes methylmalonic acid. It will be high if the B12 is being sidetracked, and this is commonly seen in people with CFS.

6. When your glutathione level goes too low, your B12 becomes naked and vulnerable, and is hijacked by toxins. Also, the levels of toxins rise in the body when there isn’t enough glutathione to take them out, so there are two unfortunate things that work together to sabotage your B12 when glutathione goes too low.

7. The most important job that B12 has in the body is to form methylcobalamin, which is one of the two active forms of B12. This form is needed by the enzyme methionine synthase, to do its job. An enzyme is a substance that catalyzes, or encourages, a certain biochemical reaction.

8. When there isn’t enough methylcobalamin, methionine synthase has to slow down its reaction. Its reaction lies at the junction of the methylation cycle and the folate cycle, so when this reaction slows down, it affects both these cycles.

9. The methylation cycle is found in all the cells of the body (not counting the red blood cells, which are unusual in a lot of ways). The methylation cycle has some important jobs to do. First, it acts as a little factory to supply methyl (CH3) groups to a large number of reactions in the body. Some of these reactions make things like creatine, carnitine, coenzyme Q10, phosphatidylcholine, melatonin, and lots of other important substances for the body. It is not a coincidence that these substances are found to be low in CFS, so that people try taking them as supplements. Not enough of them is being made because of the partial block in the methylation cycle. The methylation cycle also supplies methyl groups to be attached to DNA molecules, and this helps to determine whether the blueprints in the DNA will be used to make certain proteins according to their patterns. The “reading” of DNA is referred to as “gene expression.” Methyl groups prevent or “silence” gene expression. Over-expression of genes has been observed in CFS patients, and I suspect this is at least partly due to lack of sufficient methylation to silence gene expression.

10. Another thing that the methylation cycle does is to regulate the overall use of sulfur in the body. Sulfur comes in from the diet in the form of amino acids in protein (methionine and cysteine) and as taurine and some as sulfate. The methylation cycle regulates the production of the various substances that contain sulfur that are needed by the body. The levels of various sulfur metabolites are often found to be abnormal in people with CFS.

11. One of the most important sulfur-containing substances in the body is glutathione, so now you can see how this is starting to look like a dog chasing its tail! The thing that causes chronic fatigue syndrome to be chronic, and keeps people ill for years and years, is this interaction between glutathione, vitamin B12, and the methylation cycle. When glutathione goes too low, the effect on vitamin B12 slows down the methylation cycle too much. The sulfur metabolites are then dumped into the transsulfuration pathway (which is connected to the methylation cycle) too much, are oxidized to form cystine, pass through hydrogen sulfide, and are eventually converted to thiosulfate and sulfate and are excreted in the urine. This lowers the production of glutathione, which requires cysteine rather than cystine, and now there is a vicious circle mechanism that preserves this malfunction and keeps you sick.

12. That’s the basic biochemical mechanism of CFS. I believe that everything else flows from this. As you know, there are many symptoms in CFS. I won’t discuss all of them in detail here, but here’s how I believe the fatigue occurs: The cells have little power-plants in them, called mitochondria. Their job is to use food as fuel to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP acts as a source of energy to drive a very large number of reactions in the cells. For examples, it drives the contraction of the muscle fibers, and it provides the energy to send nerve impulses. It also supplies the energy to make stomach acid and digestive enzymes to digest our food, and many, many other things.

When glutathione goes too low in the muscle cells, the levels of oxidizing free radicals rise, and these react with parts of the “machinery” in the little power-plants, lowering their output of ATP. So the muscle cells then experience an energy crisis, and that’s what causes the fatigue. Over time, because of the lack of enough glutathione, more problems accumulate in the mitochondria, including toxins, viral DNA, and mineral imbalances. These have been observed in the ATP Profiles and Translocator Protein test panels offered by Acumen Lab in the UK.

13. There are explanations that flow from this basic mechanism for other aspects of CFS. I haven’t figured out explanations for all of the aspects of CFS, but I do think I understand a large number of them in some detail, and I’ve been able to explain enough of them that I believe this mechanism will account for the rest as well, if we can figure out the underlying biochemistry. My 2007 IACFS conference poster paper presented outlines of many of these explanations.

14. The involvement of infections by bacteria, viruses and fungi appears to have two aspects in CFS. First, as mentioned above, infectious agents can act as one of the stressors that initially bring down the level of glutathione and produce the onset of isolated cases of CFS in people who are genetically susceptible. I suspect that the clusters or epidemic occurrences of CFS (such as at Incline Village in the mid-80s) were caused by particularly virulent infectious agents, such as powerful viruses, and the genetic factor is less important in these cases.

15. Second, when a person’s glutathione, methylation cycle, and folate cycle are not operating normally because of the vicious circle described above, the immune system does not function properly. In this case, viruses and bacteria that reside inside our cells and that are always in the body in their dormant, resting states are able to reactivate and produce infections, which the immune system is not able to totally put down. This accounts for the observation that most of the viral and intracellular bacterial infections seen in CFS patients are caused by pathogens that most of the population is carrying around in their dormant states.

16. Third, when the immune system’s defenses are down, a person can catch new infections from others or from the environment, and the immune system is not able to defeat them, so they accumulate over time. Dr. Garth Nicolson has found that the longer a person has been ill, the more infections they have, on the average.

17. Other things that accumulate over time are various types of toxins, because the detox system depends to a large extent on the sulfur metabolism, and it will not be operating properly as long as the person has CFS. The body stores much of these toxins in fat, but as the levels get higher, they begin cause problems throughout the biochemistry of the cells. Many people with CFS have been tested for toxins (most commonly the heavy metal toxins, which are the most easily tested) and they are commonly found to be elevated.

18. The longer a person is chronically ill with CFS, the more toxins and infections accumulate in their body, and the more symptoms they experience. This explains why the disorder changes over time, and why some people become extremely debilitated after being ill for many years.

19. The main key to turning this process around is to help the methionine synthase enzyme to operate more normally, so that the partial block in the methylation cycle and the folate cycle are lifted, and glutathione is brought back up to normal. That is what the simplified treatment approach is designed to do, and so far, the evidence is that it does do these things in most people who have CFS. I recommend that people with CFS have the Vitamin Diagnostics methylation pathways panel run to find out if they do in fact have a partial methylation cycle block and glutathione depletion before deciding, with their doctors, whether to try this treatment. This also provides a baseline so that progress can be judged later on by repeating it every few months during the treatment. Symptoms may not be a good guide to judge progress during treatment, because detoxing and die-off can make the symptoms worse, while in fact they are exactly what is needed to move the person toward recovery.

20. The main question I’m working on now is what else needs to be done to bring people to recovery? I don’t have complete answers to this question yet. Many people may recover from this treatment alone, but it is proving to be a slow process, and we will need more time to see how this will work out. It does appear that people who suffer from illness due to toxic molds do need to remove themselves from environments where these are present. The small amount of evidence I have so far suggests that people who have Lyme disease will need to have that treated in addition. I’m not sure about certain viral infections. They may also need to be treated. We still have a lot to learn, but I’m convinced that the mechanism I have described above is the core of the abnormal biochemistry in CFS, and correcting it needs to be cornerstone of the treatment.


Is there a certain amount of vegetables that’s okay to eat (to avoid consuming too much folic acid)?

As to vegetable consumption, I am experimenting. I know of no way to eliminate them and have any kind of a healthful and pleasurable diet. Total quantity makes a difference. Possibly even frequency during the day makes difference. Pre-loading with Metafolin makes a difference. As I have some symptoms that come and go in days, I can experiment and back off before things get severe.

The b-complex might be better off breakfast and dinner, more like 10-12 hours apart. The sleep will normalize after a bit. Good luck in your experiments and keep us posted with what works, now that you have some rapidly responding symptoms that can alert you.

Freddd: I have this [paradoxical folate deficiency] from folic acid, folinic acid and vegetable food source folate. I happen to have what I think is a very nice organic garden. When I started eating a lot of greens a couple of months ago the folate deficiency symptoms started popping up again. I have to be careful how much how often I eat the greens and timing with respect to metafolin. Freddd: I have to take 1600mcg of Metafolin with each meal as well as 1600-2400mcg 3 other times per day to get barely enough Metafolin to reverse folate deficiency from vegetable food source folates.

Freddd: What comes out in the urine clearly isn’t delivered to the cells. So, on the very first dose of Metafolin the just noticeable amount visible in urine of mb12 doubled. Each time I go into paradoxical folate deficiency the amount of b12 in the urine goes up a lot, some multiples of a just noticeable difference. When I took glutathione with 30mg of mb12 unchanged, the amount of b12 in my urine went up to a level approximating that of 160mg with metafolin. So clearly folic acid, folinic acid, vegetable folate, glutathione and NAC all increase urine output of b12 a lot thereby decreasing the amount available to cells.

Freddd: Based on my own and similar experiences of others, 400mcg of folic acid can block 4000mcg of methylfolate in some people, paradoxical folate deficiency 1. If they also have a folinic problem, paradoxical folate deficiency 2 the vegetable folate in food could block another 8000-12,000mcg of methylfolate. Either of these as well as both of these could block all the methylfolate in the diet and 4000-16000mcg of additional Metafolin. These would also induce b12 deficiencies no matter how much was taken of any kinds.

As a vegetarian, would my requirement for B12 be higher than average?

For a vegetarian, I would also suggest that l-carnitine fumarate may make a knock your socks off difference. That teamed with adb12, mb12 and Metafolin will get the mitochondria back to work for most people with CSF/FMS, restore exercise tolerance, allow muscle repair and building, decrease multiple forms of muscle pain and in general restore the muscles to normal function whereas hydroxycbl does no such thing. 2/3s of b12 deficiency symptoms will get worse and worse the longer a person takes hydroxycbl as it has no effects on them. When the energy starts coming back as the mitochondria are restored to functionality and the nerves start working better a person might feel rather stimulated. That passes. If you back away from it every time it starts, it appears to get worse and worse.

There is something in red meat that has a beneficial effect on me and if I don’t regularly consume it my symptoms get worse. What is it?

Red meat contains mostly adb12 and a little mb12. It also contains carnitine which works with the adb12 for energy in the mitochondria. A single small steak dinner can increase your blood serum level of cobalamin by 400pg/ml (2-4 mcgs). It is this variability with food that is one of the factors of making serum [testing for] cobalamin, or bound cobalamin (since adb12 eaten and digested becomes bound) for that matter reliable only as an instantaneous snapshot of cobalamin.


How does B12 effect thyroid issues?

Hypothyroid is perhaps the most frequent co-correlate of b12 deficiency and B12 deficiency is directly linked to causing Hashimotto’s. There have been a number of people operating on the “thyroid” hypothesis based on the direct effects of increased energy (increased ATP production because that is one of the major jobs of b12). They tested and retested and changed doses and all sorts of things and just screwed it all up. The changes from b12 happen much faster than the the T3 and t4 and tsh tests can catch. You are feeling the most common startup effect of b12, an increase in energy. Generally people who don’t over-interpret do better getting through the startup. People who have all sorts of specific explanations tend to get themselves all anxious and that complicates everything. A good percentage of what happens with b12 is that it causes faster nervous signal transmission and more signal gets through with increased performance. Whether something actually intensifies or if its appearance intensifies or some combination should be considered. Mostly it isn’t what people jump on and the thyroid hypothesis has caused considerable trouble for some. Many of these changes in symptoms are phantoms that one can chase after endlessly and fruitlessly.

I don’t know if your application of thyroid hypothesis on this is correct this time for you or not. All I know is that most who make changes based on the thyroid hypothesis end up not being happy with having made the changes. I am hypothyroid and have been since 8-9 years old. I had lot’s of stimulation from startup with methyb12 and a lesser startup with adb12 and no real changes in thyroid at all.

How does active B12 affect adrenal issues?

Rich: One of the central issues in the treatment of CFS that several of the clinicians and researchers are debating is, where do you start? It’s true that most PWCs have HPA axis dysfunction, and many have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It’s generally agreed that support for the adrenal axis should come before (or concurrently with) support for the thyroid axis. But should the adrenal axis be supported first, before anything else? And if so, should the support be things like vitamin C and vitamin B5, which the adrenals are known to need, or should it be adrenal glandular extract, or things like ginseng or licorice? Or should low-dose glucocorticoids be used?

People seem to respond differently to these various treatments. One school of thought is that adrenal and thyroid hormones should be given in an attempt to normalize these levels. Another school of thought is that there is a more fundamental metabolic problem, and that the body is compensating for it by lowering the adrenal and thyroid output, so that if they are supported first, this will cause more harm than good. Dr. Cheney has emphasized to me that if a person is in heart failure (as are many of his patients), it is not a good idea to support the thyroid first, because this will place a greater load on the heart.

I have proposed the hypothesis that a chronic partial methylation cycle block is the fundamental biochemical abnormality in CFS, and that glutathione depletion is tied to it in a vicious circle mechanism. I’ve suggested that the HPA axis dysfunction results from improper synthesis of ACTH by the pituitary, owing to glutathione depletion in it. I’ve suggested that the Hashimoto’s results from damage to proteins in the thyroid by its own hydrogen peroxide, as a result of glutathione depletion in the thyroid gland, also. I’ve suggested that the diastolic dysfunction causing heart failure is due to glutathione depletion in the mitochondria of the heart muscle cells, lowering the rate of production of ATP. If all of this is true, then treating the partial methylation cycle block should be one of the first things to do. Perhaps 3 or 4 people have reported that their thyroid function has recovered after they started the Simplified Treatment Approach for lifting the partial methylation cycle block, in a couple of cases quite soon after starting. One person has reported that her diurnal cortisol plot returned to normal from being low after a few months on this treatment. I don’t have a lot of measured data yet on this.

I recommend approaching the treatment of the methylation cycle block slowly, so that all the organs will have a chance to respond and make changes gradually. Some people have started with much smaller dosages than those suggested in the protocol of the Simplified Treatment Approach, and have been able to increase the dosages over time. The longest time anyone has been on this treatment now is nearly 3 years. For some, it has taken this long to begin to experience significant improvement, while others experienced significant improvement in a few months.

I understand the desire of people to get well as soon as possible, but I think it takes time to restore the body’s function to normal if the methylation cycle has been partially blocked for an extended time. In particular, I think this has caused the detox and immune systems to be dysfunctional, and the result is accumulation of toxins and infections over time. The rate at which these can be eliminated is limited, and I think that is a major factor in slowing the recovery.

Does B12 stress the adrenal glands? Rich: I just joined the Yahoo adrenal fatigue group and did a search on B12. I didn’t find any comments there suggesting that B12 stresses the adrenals. There were suggestions about supplementing B12 or making sure there is enough in the diet.

A search of PubMed likewise did not reveal any suggestion that B12 stresses the adrenals.

So far, I haven’t found any hard evidence for this suggestion.

Frankly, it doesn’t seem very plausible to me. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient. Every cell in the body needs it, including those in the adrenals. In the hierarchy of treatments for just about any disorder, I would place adequate nutrition near the beginning.

garcia: If you have adrenal fatigue and you detox too fast, additional stress is created for the adrenals.

I feel wired and tired – is that an adrenal problem?

There is a subgroup of persons with “wired and tired”. The lack of ATP for powering the cycle is why I suggest AdoCbl at the same time to ATP going. That often alleviates the the “tired” except that there is no more capacity. Both AdoCbl and L-Carnitine Fumarate appear necessary to cause the mitochondria to grow new ones. I would propose that the sustained effect would be by partial mitochondria startup, because most other MeCbl effects are gone in a few days. The sustained “energy” appears to be ATP startup. One can top off with AdoCbl and that often has a energy startup that fades slowly. L-Carnitine Fumarate is sometimes the one that causes a huge startup requiring titration. Some people have a far more extreme startup and can try a micro-tititration from below any effectiveness. Often people sensitive in a certain way are very bothered by ATP startup and call it over-methylation. This is a difficulty in language when this occurs because if the words don’t convey what is happening. Also, if one is taking only 100mcg or so of MeCbl that is enough to sustain most healing but just doesn’t provide much methyl. AdoCbl doesn’t supply any methylation unless methylation was stalled on ATP block.

How does the partial methylation cycle block affect the digestive system?

Rich: We know from the experience of many PWCs using the baking soda–burp test and salutary results of betaine-HCl supplementation that there is low stomach acid in many cases of CFS. According to the GD-MCB hypothesis, this is due to mitochondrial dysfunction in the parietal cells, which in turn results from glutathione depletion and the partial methylation cycle block.

We also know that digestion is often poor in PWCs. According to the GD-MCB hypothesis, this results from deficient secretion of pancreatic enzymes and/or bile. These in turn result from the lack of sufficient stomach acid to signal the need for the pancreatic enzymes and bile, and from deficiency of glutathione, which is necessary for bile production in the liver.

We also know that there is dysbiosis in most cases of CFS, as revealed by comprehensive stool testing. The lack of stomach acid allows pathogens that come in with the food to survive passage through the stomach and into the gut. In addition, there are abnormalities in peristaltic transport and cleaning of the gut, which allows small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). These abnormalities are likely due to deficiencies in production of serotonin and acetylcholine by the gut, which in turn are due to the partial methylation cycle block.

We also know that there is leaky gut, which results from damage to the wall of the gut. The gut does not have its normal protection against oxidative stress, toxins and pathogens as a result of glutathione depletion. Also, the lack of folate inhibits the production of new DNA and RNA, which are needed for making new cells to replace those that die and are sloughed off the lining of the gut. Finally, the immune system is dysfunctional because of the lack of glutathione and folates, which are needed to support cell-mediated immunity in particular. Glutathione is also needed to control the oxidative stress generated by the immune system when it produces inflammation to attack pathogens.

In the other direction, problems in the digestive system can impact the methylation cycle, folate metabolism, and glutathione. For example, if the digestive system is unable to absorb enough B12, such as because of pernicious anemia or because of celiac disease, the methylation cycle will not have enough methylcobalamin as a cofactor for methionine synthase. If the digestion and absorption of other nutrients is poor, the other vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids needed by these parts of the metabolism can also become deficient. If dysbiosis is present, the gut flora may not be able to produce nutrients that it normally supplies for the body, including active folates. If there is leaky gut, the immune system will be occupied producing antibodies against food proteins, and this will take supplies and energy that may be needed for these other parts of the metabolism.

As a result of this two-way interaction, if the digestive system has serious issues, it will likely be necessary to deal with them directly, while treating to lift the partial methylation cycle block. I note that Dr. Amy Yasko emphasizes this in her full treatment program, in which gut support is one of the early interventions.

Should I fix my digestive issues before starting methylation?

velha508: I have gut issues – which I am currently working on. I worked on my methylation cycle first because

1) I could not think clearly prior to getting my methylation cycle going

2) The methylation block is likely the reason for the gut issues in the first place – that is, contributes to the cascade of events that leads one to end up with dysbiosis (I think anyway). While some may think the opposite is true – once you are in a CFS state your body will not have the energy needed to heal and maintain a healthy gut if you have a methylation block.

3) Getting it going helped and is helping with clearing up my gut issues. With little effort on my part my digestive system has started to come around on it’s own after 4 months on Freddd’s protocol.

I read Myhill’s whole approach about building a house from the ground up and I felt that the foundation was lifting the ‘methylation block’, not fixing my gut… Sunday: I’ve been on the methylation protocol for about 4 months. A few weeks ago, my constant nausea stopped. (Warning: it did get much worse on the B12s before it went away. This seems to be a pattern with my B12 reactions; a symptom gets worse for some weeks, then disappears or is reduced drastically. I still have the occasional bout of nausea, but it isn’t constant. So nice.)

Also, I have started digesting foods more normally, absorbing more of their nutrients. How do I know without extensive testing? Well, for the last year I lost weight no matter what I ate. Now I have started to gain it (never thought I’d be happy about that!). I’m also responding to foods and supplements more as I used to (e.g., I feel a boost of energy after eating protein; my mind clears when take a ginkgo biloba supplement), although I’m nowhere near back to my pre-CFS responses. And my elimination, which used to swing between diarrhea and constipation, is now easy and normal (that got more extreme, too, before it healed).

My experience is that methylation IS the basis of at least a lot of my gut issues. I agree with velha, you might want to consider doing this as the basis of your gut healing, or along with other gut-healing stuff. Or at least just keep it in mind as you proceed. richvank: The best treatment sequence is not easy to determine even if one knows the sequence in the pathogenesis, because there can be interactions.

For example, the development of a partial methylation cycle block may be what leads to the gut dysfunction in many cases. However, when the gut dysfunction has developed, it can lead to poor digestion and absorption of substances that are important to get the methylation cycle running again, such as amino acids. So even though the methylation cycle block may have led to the gut dysfunction, it may be necessary in some cases to work on the gut first. In other cases, the gut may still be working well enough to bring in enough of the essential nutrients, and in those cases, of which yours might be two, fixing the methylation first works well.

Yesterday I had a conversation with Dr. Richard Kunin, the president of the Orthomolecular Health-Medicine Society, a person who has studied methylation issues for many years. He pointed out to me that when methylation goes down, one of the first things to suffer is the exocrine pancreas function, i.e. the part of the pancreas that normally produces digestive enzymes. I did a little literature searching, and he appears to be right. That might be one way (or maybe it’s THE way) that a partial methylation cycle block leads to gut dysfunction.

When you can’t digest food for lack of digestive enzymes, I think the bacteria are going to respond by consuming the food and overgrowing. This may account for low chymotrypsin or pancreatic elastase in some of the stool tests from PWCs that I’ve seen. In the past, I’ve suspected that this might be due to low stomach acid production, which would lead to lack of a signal to excrete the digestive enzymes from the pancreas when the food moves into the duodenum. But maybe the problem really is with the pancreas itself, because of the methylation cycle block. velha: My gut shut down at the same time I became very ill – July/August 09. Digestion just stopped. So, mine has been short term also.

It is hard to say what has helped my gut the most. I can say the I noticed no effect with increasing doses of mB12 and methylfolate (at least not immediate). My gut began to improve in late December. I did a number of things at that time, two being increasing my adB12 (to daily) and carnitine dosages (~4g/day). Suzy: I just wanted to share another possible reason for improvement of gut function on Rich’s or Freddd’s protocol. This abstract shows that oxidative stress can lead to pancreatitis and Rich’s protocol has been shown to raise glutathione in his study.

Superoxide dismutase and catalase: a possible role in established pancreatitis.
Guice KS, Miller DE, Oldham KT, Townsend CM Jr, Thompson JC.

The mechanism of cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis may involve the production of free radicals in excess of the capacity of endogenous intracellular scavengers. These radicals destroy the cellular membranes, releasing digestive enzymes and cellular proteins into the interstitium. Thereafter, a cascade of events, including polymorphonuclear infiltration and complement activation, leads to pancreatic destruction.

The present study demonstrates that superoxide dismutase and catalase reduce the ultrastructural and biochemical injury associated with cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in rats. Pretreatment with superoxide dismutase and catalase 30 minutes before injury did not appear to be protective, presumably because the half-life of intravenous superoxide dismutase is only 6 minutes. This and similar studies suggest a potential clinical role for free radical scavengers in acute established pancreatitis.


Does B12 methylate mercury causing more damage?

Nicola: The answer you will get on the Cutler list is that B12 doesn’t methylate mercury to any meaningful extent, and that some people need lots of B12. I did over 100 rounds of DMSA / ALA before starting this protocol to reduce body burden, but have still had 3 big herxes since September, and have felt much better since. I could barely tolerate the folate either – even 1/4 tablet made me feel unbearably tired and draggy. I have now worked up to 2 tablets and have much more energetic and optimistic. In my experience the things you react most to are the things you need the most.

Freddd: If you were to read Dr. Cutler on the hypothetical methylation of mercury he says that it happens very readily in a test-tube full of high purity substances but almost not at all in the body with everything in a very dilute living system. In vivo can be very different from in vitro.

He also expresses the idea that if it did methylate the mercury easily it would be to a less toxic form such as in fish and that it would be more easily flushed from the body and would be a good thing, an exactly opposite view of what it does from some other people. Everything I can find research wise in vivo is that there is a slight possibility of methylation.

The indirect research, such as the form of the b12 being excreted in the urine being almost totally unchanged and 99% of total dose excreted unchanged in 2 days indicates that there is actually very little interaction. With something like cyanide, or glutathione that reacts almost instantly and strongly with all the mb12 available the changed b12 pours from the system very visibly in urine almost immediately. So whatever is going on if it is b12 and mercury is something that happens at the extreme low end of the scale equivalent to a tuna-fish sandwich. Whether it has a perceivable effect or not I can’t say.

Is there any point in trying active B12 protocol with 6 amalgam fillings still in my mouth?

Rich: I don’t think the issue of whether to remove amalgams before or after treating the partial methylation cycle block in CFS has been resolved, at least to my satisfaction. I will give you the pros and cons as I understand them.

First, it is kind of a basic principle of toxicology that when you are treating a toxicity, the first thing to do is to remove the source of the toxins. That is sort of common sense, and it’s a good idea in general.

However, the toxicity of mercury from amalgam fillings is a unique situation in that the removal of the source of the toxin tends to expose the person even more to the toxin, because drilling heats the filling and raises the vapor pressure of the mercury, which evaporates and is easily inhaled, because the fillings are located in the mouth.

Precautions such as a good vacuum in the mouth and a separate supply of air to the nose are helpful, but there is probably still some additional exposure to the patient from the evaporating mercury.

This situation is compounded by the fact that often the person’s glutathione level has been depleted, partly by having to detox mercury in the past, as well as due to other causes, so if there is additional exposure to mercury, the person is not in a good status to deal with it, because of their low glutathione, and the result can be more serious toxicity, including neurotoxicity due to entry of mercury into the brain. So all of this argues to lift the partial methylation cycle block and thus bring glutathione up before removing the amalgams.

On the other hand, the continued presence of the amalgam fillings will cause continued intake of mercury, which will have to be dealt with by the detox system, so that in a sense one is working against oneself by leaving the amalgams in while trying to increase the rate of removal by the detox system.

Another factor is that mercury can inhibit the activity of several enzymes in the methylation cycle and related pathways, so that it may be difficult to lift the partial methylation cycle block in some cases unless some sort of chelation treatment is done first to lower the mercury levels.

So the situation is somewhat complicated. I guess I find the first argument most compelling, especially since I have read several reports from people who had their fillings removed initially, even with precautions, and suffered because of it. So I guess I think that generally speaking there is merit in trying to lift the partial methylation cycle block and thus raise glutathione before disturbing the amalgams. But I can’t say that I have proof that this is the best approach in all cases.

If active B12 protocol starts heavy-metal detoxification, is there something I can take to neutralize the metals when they are mobilized?

As well as taking the active B12s I also take DMSA on the Cutler protocol to mop up the mercury that is mobilised by getting methylation going. For me, this makes a day / night difference in how I feel. Without DMSA – fluey, fatigued, crabby, depressed: with DMSA – functional, brighter, clear head. Also with DMSA you know that the mercury is being taken OUT of the body, rather than just redistributed as in the case of other binders. I know that some people are against chelation, for reasons I don’t understand, but it has made the difference to me of being able to tolerate this protocol and not.

What is Freddd’s personal experience with Mercury?

The question itself was of personal interest. I had lots of decalcified areas under braces and ended up with lots of amalgams. As the child of a dentist I also played with mercury. I was likely as contaminated as anybody here except those eating a lot of contaminated fish. What was my danger? Since I went through the first few years of mb12 with increasing doses of mb12 and no adverse reactions, though lots of startup symptoms, there wasn’t anything that wasn’t transitory or caused increased impairment.

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  • avatar

    Anna February 18, 2015, 2:54 pm

    Hey Eric,

    I’ve been trying to find an answer to my question regarding mercury but can’t seem to have any luck. Can someone have high mercury levels even if they don’t have mercury amalgams. I’ve checked my dental history and all of mine are composite. I wouldn’t say that I eat/previously ate a lot of fish, maybe once a week? I tested high for mercury (not sure if it was blood or urine) but I don’t understand how. Recently I had been doing pretty darn good, mentally and physically, but then I had salmon, and a lot of it, and my mental and physical state were completely thrown off. Symptoms of anxiety, paranoia, depression, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and food sensitivities all returned. I also wonder if it could have been the histamine in the fish, but the psychological symptoms were akin to when I went on a liquid diet that consisted of lots of sugary jello, juice, and popsicles (all containing high fructose corn syrup which has shown to contain mercury). I’m just lost as to what caused this sudden shift in my symptoms, and very curious if it could be mercury…



    • avatar

      Eric February 21, 2015, 4:21 pm

      Anna, you can absolutely have high mercury without amalgams. You can get it from food and many other sources – get Dr. Cutler’s book :-)

    • avatar

      John Macgregor February 22, 2015, 4:17 am

      It could be mercury you got from fish, corn syrup, vaccines or elsewhere.

      It could also be that you are more sensitive to mercury than the average person, and it doesn’t take much to poison you. I’m in that category, & re-poisoned myself last year by breaking a CFL lightbulb (they contain mercury vapor). Most people who break those probably don’t get mouth ulcers, tinnitus & other Hg symptms as I did.

      If you tested high in blood or urine tests at some stage, that would mean you had been exposed to mercury not long before the test – as Hg doesn’t hang round in the blood or urine that long. It won’t tell you what your body burden is – i.e. how much you have in toto (most is hidden away in organs etc).

      Your symptoms are mercury symptoms – but they are also symptoms of other syndromes, so you wouldn’t want to be definitive about it till you’d either done a hair test & had it interpreted properly, or (ideally) begun some alpha lipoic acid chelation. The reaction to that usually tells you whether you have significant Hg on board or not.

      • avatar

        Anna February 23, 2015, 12:33 am

        Thanks for the responses! I realize my constellation of symptoms can be representative of many things, the mercury sticks out thought because it was raised on my NutrEval test. I don’t remember eating any fish or anything like that previous to the test. The symptoms I’ve had have all been made worse or brought on by either eating fish, consuming foods high in high fructose corn syrup, or taking a yeast probiotic. The test also showed that I’m also VERY low in glutathione, so I wonder if that’s what’s making me more susceptible to the mercury.

        Funny you mention ALA. I took it for a little while and my urine REEKED with a metallic/plastic smell. They say it’s normal to have a sulfur smell, but I don’t think it was sulfury. Not sure if that is a sign or anything. But I did get more depressed and had more down days than up so I stopped it. I reacted badly to Chlorella, felt the sense of severe anxiety/psychosis, and same with selenium. Anyway, I am scheduled to see an integrative doctor in April, so hopefully we can figure something out.

        Eric, I’ll check out his book. Thanks!

        • avatar

          Eric February 23, 2015, 3:59 pm

          Your reaction to ALA is very significant. Please read Cutler’s book before you see any doctor!

  • avatar

    Kaylyn January 8, 2015, 1:37 am

    Just curious how many pure encapsulations complex B plus pills to take? I know that freddds protocol calls for two of the jarrow B right pills, and then in your FAQ it lists pure encapsulations as a replacement, but each brand has different quantities. Are all of the supplements listed here on this page the most recent up to date of freddds protocol?
    I am seeing a thread on phoenix rising (pasted below) and wondering which is more current up to date information, Thank you!

    • avatar

      Eric January 8, 2015, 2:56 am

      Sorry, I don’t know Kaylyn. I don’t use a B complex although I do give that pure encapsulations B complex to my wife. She has taken anywhere between one and three a day…

  • avatar

    Anna B November 14, 2014, 7:35 pm

    I just want to thank you for an incredible job pulling together all this info – it has been incredibly helpful to me as I start to explore CFS and begin treatment through supplements. Thank you so much!!!!!!

    • avatar

      Anna B November 14, 2014, 8:00 pm

      I also wanted to add that after reading your information, Rich van Konynenburg’s protocol, and some of the info on MTHFR.Net, I am slowly starting to add active b vitamins. After doing a lot of research, I started with changing my multi-vitamin about two weeks ago to Thorne Research Basic Nutrients 2/Day – Multiples (I’m a scientist, so research things to death :-) ). I’ve been feeling a bit anxious and wired, so I cut that back to 1 per day, but my energy feels better so hopefully something is starting to work. I’ve had problems with depression since I was 20 (am almost 50 now), but responded well to SSRI’s. I had to change and started Paxil a few years ago and seemed to have inordinate fatigue with it that almost seeemed like CFS (having to take a huge nap every afternoon) – I’ve typically been a very active person -but often with a need to have a rest day after activities or feeling like I would often get sick in the midst of sustained training for sports, etc.. So I started researching. I haven’t done the genetic test yet, but will be getting that done shortly. Since there is a history of mental illness (mostly bipolar of different severities and depression) in my family, I am getting there will be mutations and, at the very least, active folate will help me. But, to me, it doesn’t make sense to take high dosages of that – such as are in the medicines prescribed for depression that are actually folate like Deplin, without supplementing other b vitamins. Since it sounds like a lot of people react to meth b12, I’m going to assume that that’s what I am feeling now. I will titrate and add things very slowly. But basically, my energy level seems to have really improved even in this short time, so I’ll deal with the jittery feelings for a bit and see if they go away (I think I won’t titrate up until the jitters and impact on my sleep go away – does that sound like the right thing to do?). Thank you again for all the time you obviously spent putting together this blog – you did an amazing job and I’m certain are helping many people. Wishing you peace and health!

      • avatar

        Eric November 14, 2014, 9:23 pm

        Very glad to hear you’re responding well to the methylation support! yes, I believe you should hold your doses until the jitters subside. Since it sounds like you have taken some prescription medications on a long-term basis and may have some genetic issues, I’d like to recommend you pay mild attention to the liver flushing I’m currently experimenting with. Make sure to check back in six months or a year. I have a very strong feeling about it… I think it could be a somewhat undiscovered link for people with methylation defects who want to recover their health to 100%. Warm regards, Eric

    • avatar

      Eric November 14, 2014, 9:17 pm

      I appreciate your gratitude Anna, it’s very kind of you to write! -Eric

  • avatar

    caleb October 23, 2014, 8:14 pm

    I thought I posted earlier but it never appeared in the comments. I have beenj sick for at least 7 years that I started noticing the first 3 years was just upper and lower left side abdominal pain, nausea fatigue and dizziness. The last 3 to 4 years with neurological issues nystagmus disorientation confusion vision issues weakness difficulty walking. MY neurologist had me start b12 shots about 3 months ago and only feel a little better, I can feel my ankles more and less crazy but still dementia type symptoms. One thing I saw in here was flattened emotions. Flattened emotions was probe the first thing I noticed then when the neurological issues started happened they weren’t flattened they where gone and still are. I know if it doesn’t resolve its going to destroy marriage. So my question is how long did it take you to start feeling feelings again

    • avatar

      Eric October 24, 2014, 5:56 pm

      hi Caleb, I can’t comment much on the emotions because I have somewhat the opposite situation where toxicity causes roller coaster feelings. Are you sure you are getting the right treatment with your B12 shots? I’d read everything Fred has written about injections carefully and consider sublingual supplementation. Also consider a more complete protocol that might include Metafolin…

      • avatar

        caleb October 24, 2014, 6:49 pm

        Not sure if my treatment is as effective, I have another neurology apt next week. Then in three weeks I have neurolopsycologigst. Apt. I am going to ask if there is more active form of b12 shots I should be taking. She has me on 1000 mcg of cyanocobalamin every three days. Which if I’m correct has both forms of the active b12. My recovery is going slow, will still swear that three years ago when the neurological involvement started is when I started dementia like symptoms.

        • avatar

          Eric October 24, 2014, 8:14 pm

          Well, according to Fred you’re taking the wrong stuff. Just search this page for ‘cyanocobalamin’. In fact, he says that cyanocobalamin can create a B12 deficiency. My experience with MDs is that they are actually dangerous when it comes to chronic health problems. Be very wary.

    • avatar

      John Macgregor October 30, 2014, 4:36 pm

      Yep, Eric is right Caleb – you need to try the active B12s – methyl B12 and adenosyl B12, along with methylfolate.

      There are numerous keys you should try in the lock, and methylation/B12 deficiency theory is one of them.

  • avatar

    Anna October 22, 2014, 2:06 pm

    Hi, I’ve filtered through this page and have gained tons of information that is adding pieces of the puzzle together. I am not quite sure what’s going on with me, my main issues now being good intolerances, brain fog, anxiety, fatigue, aches and pains and the list goes on. It was thought I have a mast cell disorder but I don’t think that it explains the cognitive/psychological problems and reactions I have to my environment. My B12 is elevated and has been since this started and so that’s how I landed researching this topic.

    My question, and maybe the answer is somewhere above that I missed, is how do you know when to stop increasing supplements? And is this supplementation a life long endeavor?

    Thanks for all that you do!

    • avatar

      Eric October 22, 2014, 9:36 pm

      Anna, that is a question I find very difficult to answer. I increased my fish oil up to 12 g a day before deciding to go back down and now I’m at 2 g.

      I’ve been trying to avoid taking any supplement in extreme quantities so I’ve been reducing lots of them. Sometimes it works well and other times it doesn’t. I don’t take any potassium anymore and that was a good change. But when I reduced my iodine, I started feeling cold.

      I stopped increasing my mb12 at 5 mg to work on other things. But feel that I should keep increasing my folate because it is related to my liver troubles.

      Unfortunately, I think there is an element of art and intuition in deciding when to stop increasing. And, we’re all human and bound to make mistakes, so just try to make your mistakes slowly and carefully:)

      • avatar

        Anna October 27, 2014, 1:33 pm

        Thanks for th response Eric. Your answer was kind of what I was figuring. I do have another question. I recently started mb12 at 25 mcg and at first I was getting really tired from it but on day three (yesterday) I woke up with the dreadful wired feeling like electricity was surging through my body. Later in the day it turned into terrible anxiety, nausea, and just out of it. Today I woke up with the same feeling of terrible wired jitters. I’m trying really hard to figure out what could be the cause. Should I be taking methylfolate first? Am I over methylated and if so what do I do about it? I can’t seem to find an answer.


        • avatar

          Eric October 28, 2014, 7:50 pm

          Anna, I’m surprised you got that reaction with only 25 µg! are you taking dibencozide? if not, I think I would try starting with that instead of mb12 as it’s easier in my experience. you could start with an eighth tablet which is about the smallest you can cut.

        • avatar

          John Macgregor October 30, 2014, 4:52 pm

          I have had this “wired jitters” thing very strongly – your symptpms match my picture closely – and in my case it was too much L carnitine fumerate. I lowered the dose from 800mg/day to 400 and it decreased. But didn’t go away. So I went right down to about 100mg twice a day, which seems about right. Yesterday I took 2 or 3 times that by mistake and was awake all night with anxiety.

          The other thing people ventured is that my genetics suggest I can’t have too much m-folate; and it was thought that was causing the agitation. It wasn’t, but others might be different.

          Keep trying keys in the lock, and one will turn it.

  • avatar

    Rob October 15, 2014, 5:32 pm

    I had issues with a short temper as well. Lithium orotate and BH4 helped.

  • avatar

    Brett August 6, 2014, 2:26 pm

    Hi Eric.. I am a guy in S. Florida in the process of overcoming CFS and I wanted to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for writing this guide. I can’t say how helpful it has been. I have tackled some complex topics before but trying to understand the forum threads without your “notes” is completely overwhelming.

    • avatar

      Eric August 7, 2014, 12:02 am

      glad it has been helpful for you Brett, thanks for your note!!

  • avatar

    Cynthia August 3, 2014, 12:12 pm

    Really nicely done Eric. I have linked you through my FB page.

  • avatar

    Pablo July 25, 2014, 1:57 pm

    Mb12 should be taken before, whit our after meals?

    • avatar

      Eric July 28, 2014, 11:30 pm

      doesn’t matter if you use the sublingual…

  • avatar

    Cricket July 21, 2014, 11:08 pm

    I’m trying to figure out how to post on here. Seeing if this will go through. I’m so lost with all of this.

  • avatar

    Lucas July 21, 2014, 1:52 pm

    When I take methyl b12 I fell week and tired!! When I ad folate I fell more tired!!

    • avatar

      Eric July 22, 2014, 1:43 pm

      that’s normal, it should go away Lucas if you keep going…

      • avatar

        Lucas July 22, 2014, 2:59 pm

        I am currently taking 1000mcg of Enzymatic Therapy methylb12, 400 mcg Solgar Folate, and 25 mg B6 (p-5-s).
        I had the MTFRH 6777 Hetero., B12 and folic acid serum levels high. I always tired no matter how much I sleep (I sleep 8-12 hours each night and don’t feel refreshed).
        When I started taking b12 I became to feel even more tired. I will increase the dose until I feel ok, will not give up!
        Our maybe this is because I need the aden. B12 and the L-carnitine fumarate to realy feel good? I will know.

        • avatar

          Eric July 23, 2014, 2:00 pm

          i would’t increase the dose yet, wait till your side effects diminish or go away… also may want to try the LCF and adb12 first too.

  • avatar

    Marco July 11, 2014, 11:26 am

    I have always been under-muscled.
    I have worked out in the gym for years and years.
    Poor results or no results at all from a muscular point of view.
    I’ve always eaten a lot of meat, eggs, cheese.
    If I eat a lot, I tend to become skinny-fat…. always under-muscled.

    And now I’ve begun to think about B12.
    Even though my blood level for B12 are normal.

    I have high MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin).
    Not out of the range, but borderline the upper limit (32-33).
    High MCH levels can indicate macrocytic anemia, which can be caused by insufficient vitamin B12.
    I know insufficient folic acid can be another cause of macrocytic anemia.

    A very strange thing which makes me think:
    I had two Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) by Trace Elements, Inc. in the past.
    Both these tests have detected abnormal high levels of Cobalt (out of the normal range).
    Now…. is Vit. B12 made of Cobalt, right?

    Is it possible a lifelong muscle atrophy with a B12 deficiency (even with normal blood levels)?

    Thank you.

    • avatar

      Eric July 12, 2014, 2:50 pm

      Marco, I wouldn’t worry too much about the testing when it is so easy to try sublingual B12… In theory (according to Fred), if you take some and have a reaction to it, you will know that you are deficient!

  • avatar

    luciana jabor hugueney June 5, 2014, 7:28 pm

    Hi Eric

    I found out about your blog the other day. I haven’t had a chance to read through it yet since there is so much information in here but intend to do so asap. I’ve been following Freddd’s protocol for 2 yrs now and some dosages I take are actually more than even he has taken. I would very much like to exchange information with you and think we might mutually benefit. I’m following other protocols simultaneously. I have no problem with using this public forum for us to share info. but just to get started if you feel inclined please send me an email so that we may rapidly exchange basic info by talking directly. I hope this message reaches you and look forward to hearing from you!
    in health,


    • avatar

      Eric June 6, 2014, 7:51 pm

      glad you found me Luciana:-)

      • avatar

        sophia June 7, 2014, 8:28 pm

        Eric, do you know if it ever gets to a point during supplementation where the body has
        built up a storage reserve of the B12, and we can stop taking the B12 supplements?
        Or does this have to be a daily, rest of life thing? It seems to me that food based (red meat)
        sources of B12 will accumulate in the body, providing a daily source to the body after a while
        even if someone stops eating meat. Thanks for any thoughts on this. I am also wondering if
        taking B12 supplements, and then going off them after a while, will actually make someone
        worse off than they were in the beginning. Thanks. Sophia.

        • avatar

          Eric June 11, 2014, 1:28 pm

          I think it depends on what the cause of your low B12 levels is… If you have genetic flaws as I do, I think supplementation will be lifelong. If you got low because you’re a vegetarian, well you can always eat meat after recovering with supplementation.

  • avatar

    Mae May 25, 2014, 6:39 am

    I started taking methyl B12 a few months ago- only twice a week, 500 mcg. I have chronic allergic rhinitis, and recently my stuffy nose had become worse, and may most probably be due to the methylB12 side effects. I don’t know if I’d continue taking the lozenges, or is this only a temporary phase?

    • avatar

      Eric May 25, 2014, 3:06 pm

      probably temporary, but to work through it you’d want to take smaller doses every day.

  • avatar

    lefti January 27, 2014, 10:39 pm

    Hi Eric,
     I had a few questions.
    1) How long should basics (vit A, C, D, E, b complex, calcium, mag, zinc) be in place before starting methylb12 and dibencozide? Should potassium be started at this point?
    2)When adding dibencozide do you also add the methylb12 or first the dibencozide then the methylb12, and if so how long to wait.
    3) Since the source naturals dibencozide comes in 10mg what is the amount one should start with  1mg (1/10th of the tablet) and do you start with the same amount of methylb12 1mg. Since it appears that many people have issues with the methylb12 could one do 1mg dibencozide and 125-250mcg methylb12 and titrate the methylb12 over several days until you are at 1mg methyl b12 and 1mg dibencozide?
    4) What is a reasonable dose of Calcium/Mag since they seem important in the process

    • avatar

      Eric January 28, 2014, 1:00 am

      1- I couldn’t say. If it were me, I’d feel comfortable with a week. some people like Viking never had to use potassium at all. I wouldn’t mess with it unless you feel symptoms of low potassium. But buy it and make sure you have it handy.
      2- my preference would be to add the adb12 first by itself because fewer people have problems with it and it’s kind of a one time thing. You feel it the first time and usually never again as long as you keep taking it consistently.
      3- if you can cut it down to 1/10, that’s great, but 1/8 is a lot easier. I would go slower with the B12 – 250 mcg every three days is about right for me, but once a week is more comfortable. everyone is different!
      4- there are lots of people who recommend against taking any calcium or making sure you take minimal amounts. I don’t take any at all because if you take a lot of supplements like I do, many of them have calcium in them as a binder. That’s enough for me. I take magnesium to bowel tolerance because it gives me energy – that’s about 2 grams for me…

      Hope this helps!


    • avatar

      Anna January 29, 2014, 11:20 pm

      Hi. I just stumbled across this site and am finding it fascinating.  I’m wondering if anyone has any experience with or knowledge of MTHFR mutations and mercury toxicity. Or anything related to MTHFR in connection to info on this site. 
      I’m in need of info asap!!!!

      • avatar

        Eric January 29, 2014, 11:44 pm

        This is probably a good place to start if you haven’t already read this page:

        • avatar

          Anna January 30, 2014, 12:02 am

          Thank you for sending the links. I read them. Im actually overwhelmed from overload of info. Is there somewhere I can get reliable comprehensive info on MTHFR, mercury, thyroid problems and depression? 

          • avatar

            Eric January 30, 2014, 12:32 am

            Anna, mercury is a proven source for thyroid, methylation and mood breakdown. You can’t change your genes but you can get rid of the mercury, so that’s a good place to start – you might read Dr. Cutler’s Amalgam Illness book next…

            • avatar

              Anna January 30, 2014, 6:26 am

              Thank you!

  • avatar

    Eric December 12, 2013, 4:18 pm


    Swedish physician and researcher, Dr Britt Ahlrot-Westerlund, working at the Karolinska Institute, has investigated levels of specific nutrients, including vitamin B12, in heavy metal-affected patients (and in particular those with multiple sclerosis), since the early 1970’s.  She has specifically studied vitamin B12 levels, mainly in heavy metal-affected patients, and has done considerable work with supplementing vitamin B12 by injection in her amalgam damaged patients with many different disorders, particularly those with multiple sclerosis.  In an article written in conjunction with Heavy Metal Bulletin Editor, Monica Kauppi, Dr Ahlrot-Westernund explains that the administration of relatively high doses of vitamin B12, in the form of methylcobalamin, in the treatment of fibromyalgia, diabetics, MS and amalgam-related disorders, has been gradually increasing in Sweden since the end of the 1980s.  She reports that the results of this treatment are remarkable…

  • avatar

    Kelly November 14, 2013, 4:58 am

    Hi Eric and Stephanie,
    I read Fred’s statement where he said, regarding mercury, that “Selenium neutralizes it and locks it up in place for life and is no hazard.”

    That’s a pretty strong statement, and yes, might be 100% accurate, but I would ask him for some sort of reference to back that up.  Since my last posts months ago, I too am on the fence about chelation, and have read many other theories and case histories as well.  So this isn’t a “Fred-bashing” post, but just one of confirmation.  As mentioned earlier, his precise protocol seems to work for him (most of the time), with extremely high doses of certain supplements, but I’d also look at Ben Lynch’s videos (on youtube) re methylation and when NOT to do it, and his writings as well.

    Also on PR, there’s a woman who goes by the username “Catseye”.  She worked mainly on restoring mitochondrial function, and got a lot better BEFORE she even had all her fillings out (she also has a 5-6 year history of posts on the ProHealth forums), and then looked at all the chelation methods and chose one that you know who wouldn’t look too kindly on.  But it’s worked for her, and she has her life back.  Again, 75% of that came back before she dealt with mercury or added methylfolate.

    p.s. I think the B1, B2 and B3 connection with potassium loss is again a ‘Fred’ thing, due possibly to his massive doses of b12 and folate.  B2 and B3 are methyl “sponges”…they soak up methyl groups, among other functions.

    Folate shares some of the same transporters as thiamine, and a thiamine deficiency alone mimicks ME/CFS, especially when it comes to tingling, twitching, neuropathy, etc..  Some have found they couldn’t tolerate b6 or b12 or folate until they got their thiamine levels up.  JeniB on the FDC (and other) boards has a lot of info on thiamine.  
    Anyway, great discussion, sorry to blab away.

    • avatar

      Eric November 14, 2013, 10:31 pm

      Funny you mention being on the fence about chelation Kelly – I just started back up again after nine weeks off and I’m trying the two hour dose schedule. Really have not found my groove yet and I’m not sure I’m going to. It makes me want to give up on chelation because it is so effing difficult. Probably I will aim to follow Vikings one week a month target and hope it gets easier. If I were on the beach, it be no problem, but trying to fulfill any responsibilities while chelating is a bitch.

      I’ve lowered b1, b2 and b3 but still feel the muscle cramps. Maybe need to give it another day or two…

      Still have to look at my genetics before deciding where to go next in the juggling act with methylation and chelation.

    • avatar

      Stephanie November 15, 2013, 7:45 pm

      Hi Kelly, …for sure, I’m with you, no Fred-bashing intended. More power to him, for overcoming his own issues to the degree that he’s been able to. I think it’s quite human for us to want to generalize our own experience with healing – as if it should apply to others without condition. But there are a number of things Fred discusses that, IMO, shouldn’t be generalized that way… As you’ve mentioned – he’s sharing what has worked for him (at least in some measure)… whereas Cutler does have the background to read the entirety of research papers and interpret that relative to his knowledge of biochemistry and such. So ideas such as “selenium neutralizes mercury – and it’s therefore not a hazard”, isn’t a credible statement, to anyone who’s familiar with Cutler’s work. Of course, selenium is very important and can mitigate the effects of mercury somewhat, but that’s hardly the same as getting the mercury out of your body… I’m apt to go with Andy on the idea that once the mercury is gone, then methylation will “fix” itself and we shouldn’t require megadoses of supplements – if any supplements at that point (depending on how much “unreversable” damage was done)…. I hope to be able to try that theory out for myself – eventually :) 

  • avatar

    Eric November 1, 2013, 1:53 am

    I’m seeing my blood pressure rise into hypertension levels and just came across this:

    According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, people whose calcium is low are at higher risk for developing hypertension. This means when vitamin B12 is taken to excess, you risk decreasing your calcium level and increasing your risk of hypertension.”

    Also listed as hypokalemia symptom here:

    • avatar

      Eric November 11, 2013, 9:25 pm

      How embarrassing! Just discovered that my blood pressure readings were inaccurate – it seems the readings are very sensitive to where the monitor is held… Holding it up to my heart level where it is supposed to be shows much lower readings. Now my blood pressure is low.

      • avatar

        Stephanie November 13, 2013, 1:05 am

        Oh no! That sort of throws a monkey wrench into the works, doesn’t it? Well at least now you know! I would imagine that reinterpreting the results you’ve been getting from your program will yield new and helpful insights :)

        • avatar

          Eric November 13, 2013, 4:06 pm

          It is quite a reversal but I’m happy about it. Today I replaced potassium bicarbonate with potassium citrate and as soon as I can make some new capsules I will go back to potassium chloride…

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 13, 2013, 4:11 pm

            I’ve definitely found the potassium chloride raises my blood pressure, especially compared to the bicarbonate… I still use a little of both – since I think the extra bicarbonate helps me as well.

            • avatar

              Eric November 13, 2013, 5:16 pm

              I probably will end up with a mix also. And may even try out the liposomal idea if I don’t make good progress with Fred’s suggestion to reduce b1, b2 and b3 (he says these cause potassium loss). since you haven’t started chelation yet, you might like to read this recent comment of his about mercury vs methylation.

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 13, 2013, 6:32 pm

            Hmmmm…. So he says, “Too much b1, b2 and b3 overdrive potassium loss and folate need for unknown reasons. When I cut them back my potassium need dropped over 50% and the folate minimum dropped 75%”… and the amounts he’s suggesting you cut back to are quite minimal. I appreciate many of the things Fred has shared but I take a lot of it with a grain of salt, this piece included. His comments about mercury chelation provide further evidence for me. After all, B’s are water soluble (perhaps with the exception of benfotiamine (just ordered some of that, hope it gets here today!). I definitely agree that adequate potassium is important, but the emphasis he gives it relative to all these other factors seems misplaced to me. Especially when it seems likely that he himself is dealing with mercury toxicity (given his history), yet he seems to be dismissing the validity of, and the need for appropriate chelation and the effects of mercury relative to the syndromes he’s experiencing.

            My take is that there are many factors that contribute to muscle cramping besides adequate potassium levels – I suppose I’ve gained a huge appreciation for all the factors that can affect cellular uptake and respiration since the time I started investigating the potassium issue.

            Also, I’m not sure I’m following you (or Fred) entirely here – it will be awhile before I can chelate, that’s a fact… Is the issue that some people are avoiding methylation supplements because they believe it will methylate mercury? I would tend to go with what Andy says on this – that MB12 doesn’t methylate mercury in vivo, so I don’t see it as an either/or kinda thing. I’m quite sure that adding these supps has helped tremendously. Together with the hydrocortisone, I feel I’m better tolerating and utilizing other supplements now (aminos for example – and potassium for that matter!). But what I’m finding is that with this general “upregulation”, it’s important to maintain a balance – it’s not just potassium that might end up being deficient as a result. So I’m attempting to cover all the bases before ramping up to higher levels – to avoid side-effects from any number of imbalances and deficiencies that might be induced or exacerbated. 

            • avatar

              Eric November 13, 2013, 6:57 pm

              I’ve also decided to follow both protocols so can’t say I want to bet on just one or the other. However, if someone with a heavy mercury load can get functional enough to say they feel 100% recovered, that’s a really good place to be and would make it much easier to chelate. I’m worried about whether or not it’s too complex and too difficult for my wife, so if I can get 80% down the road with her through methylation, I’ll be delighted.

              “Is the issue that some people are avoiding methylation supplements because they believe it will methylate mercury?”
              I think many people who try methylation feel the side effects and label it detox and then decide to quit methylation support thinking that they need to chelate first. Personally, if both treatments accomplished the same thing, I would choose methylation in a heartbeat.

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 13, 2013, 7:49 pm

            I can imagine that people have a lot of side effects that aren’t necessarily indicative of “healing”, if they aren’t looking at a wide range of things that I don’t see people broadly discussing on that forum – that, or they’re outright suggesting against supplementing things people desperately need. I’m quite sure it caused me a cysteine deficiency, and therefore a decrease in glutathione conjugation. Also a decrease in thyroid hormone formation – for a deficiency of tyrosine, cysteine etc. I’m going through all the aminos at this point and looking to supplement quite a few in balanced ranges so as not to create further imbalances (I now realize my mistake of supplementing lysine without arginine, for example). Creatine btw is said to give a big bump to methylation by freeing up methyl groups. I couldn’t tolerate it at one time, but now I feel it’s helping in small doses. 

            I’m very in favor of doing everything possible to support overall metabolic function – I think it’s ideal to do that in advance of chelation as much as possible. I don’t have much choice, so perhaps that’s why I’m more focused on some of these issues than a lot of folks at FDC. My sense is that it’s actually too difficult for most people to figure out all the potential interventions and apply them, without the assistance of a very knowledgeable practitioner, and without doing a lot of expensive testing and paying for the supplements etc. There’s also the need to make significant lifestyle changes – like with diet (just figuring out what and how to eat that isn’t making you sicker is a huge thing!). And supporting methylation is certainly high up on the list, seems to me. But perhaps there’s a certain wisdom to the FDC attitude of “just get on with chelation” – indeed if people can manage that, yet continue to limp along for a few years, that’s definitely better than doing nothing – or conversely attempting to earn a degree (or the equivalent) in biochemistry, which of course is out of the question for most people – because we’re too impaired! 

            And I’m quite sure that if one can figure out all those pieces – it can go a long ways towards managing, and even eliminating a lot of mercury-induced symptoms. Yet, my take is that this is nowhere near the same as getting all the mercury out – especially getting it out of your brain. I think a lot of relatively healthy people who no longer have amalgams manage to get most of the mercury out of their tissues by whatever means over time – even using relatively weak chelators. And so the same could be true if you’ve done a good job of supporting your body’s ability to detoxify, taking tons of antioxidants, EFAs etc. But it seems to me more than worth it to go the extra mile to get it out of your brain where it will continue to do harm… We’re still relatively young, but leaving the mercury there for another decade or two is a gamble I personally don’t want to take!

            • avatar

              Eric November 13, 2013, 9:00 pm

              I agree with everything you say Stephanie, but I still can’t wait to hear from you after you’ve started chelating, lol. I say so because I still have not yet worked out the kinks to find a comfortable routine and it’s maddening.

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 13, 2013, 9:53 pm

            I can only imagine Eric… the thought of it is a bit terrifying actually (I don’t blame your wife for not wanting to deal with it!). At least, it’s terrifying to consider chelation without having some degree of financial stability, and a fair amount of time available to manage your health care, and to otherwise avoid chronic stress – physical, emotional or otherwise. I have none of those at this point. I suppose if I can figure out how to create the income to do the dental work, that will also translate into a huge reduction in stress for me in the long run, since I’ve little choice to but to be “smart” about it… That is, creating income that doesn’t require expending enormous amounts of time and physical energy (working away from home is out). My current intention is to do everything I can do to feel better *now* so as to make that a reality… since ignoring it, thinking I can keep limping along while trying to work has not gotten me anywhere, except sicker…

            • avatar

              Eric November 13, 2013, 10:17 pm

              Wish I could help. Have you tried looking for work as an online health writer? I know writing is very competitive and doesn’t pay much but, seems like it’d be a good fit for you…

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 13, 2013, 11:54 pm

            Thanks Eric… I do have an odd assortment of skills which includes a bit of web development… and I also have a number of arcane interests :) I enjoy health education in part because it’s so helpful to me personally…, and I hope to continue studying, if not writing. But I don’t feel I know enough at this point to create the kind of income that would get me unstuck from this situation, although you never know…. I’d like to think that I’ve learned some things from more recent business endeavors that didn’t exactly work out because of my own unrealistic expectations of myself. I have a tendency to think that my health needn’t be a limiting factor. But the truth is it can be difficult to work within a rigid schedule, assisting clients and whatnot… I can’t always focus adequately when I need to, and I find it challenging to consistently manage a lot of details related to long range goals and projects. I know there are ways to minimize those necessities – that can also allow me to make my own health routines more of a priority… so that I stay on top of diet and supplements, get to the gym for a sauna and a little exercise… that kind of thing. These last couple of months have been a kind of reality check for me, as far as my health. I feel I’ve made a lot of progress by putting my focus there and making these changes – and reminding myself how very important it is to get these amalgams out of my mouth and begin chelation. At this point, my intention is to shift my back towards business interests by the beginning of next year… We’ll see how it goes! With any luck 2014 will be the year that I’m at least *amalgam* free, if not yet completely mercury free… that will take a few more years ;)

            • avatar

              Eric November 14, 2013, 1:40 am

              Glad you have a plan – I also got here by deciding to focus on health for a while after having my head stuck in the sand for five years or so. Never realized how far it would take me!

  • avatar

    S.A. October 20, 2013, 7:22 pm

    Hi Eric,
    Thank you so much for your article! I’ve been reading and re-reading over the last few months.  My oldest son (now 15) has a history of sensory processing disorder (dxd at age 5) and Asperger’s (dxd at age 8).  I’ve always thought his physical symptoms were much worse than his “autistic” social/emotional symptoms.  He did much better going gluten free/dairy free, but continued to have muscle atrophy, connective tissue issues, kidney stones, and lots of immune system issues including recurrent shingles.  Finally, last spring he was dxd with severe B-12 deficiency.  He began methyl12 at that time and the doc ordered MTHFR test which proved positive for A1298C. When that test came back we began working with folate, but I’m struggling with my own brain fog/fatigue issues and was diagnosed at the same time he was.  I have not had genetic testing, but will have the 23&me soon. I’m slowly starting to feel much better and haven’t had too bad of start-up. Over the years, my oldest has started several of the recommended treatments as shots in the dark that worked… Epson salt baths, potassium, diets, etc.  Just not what he needed the most: active B vitamins.  His startup has gone well altho we’ve had some bumps. 

    My youngest has not had the severe problems my oldest has but does not recover from infections very well.  Last year at age 11 he got mono and his lymph nodes never went down completely and his energy level has dragged.  I decided to start him on 1mg B-12 and a B complex of active B vitamins.  It has kicked something up in his immune system and his lymph nodes are really swollen and he’s really grouchy and fatigued.  I definitely made a huge mistake not titrating him up and not starting him on some of the other supplements.  His brother’s startup went so smoothly I didn’t think anything of it.  Now I’m rereading some of your posts and realizing my oldest already had several supplements in place to help.  What do you think I should do now for the youngest to get some of this under control?  I’ve been digging through Phoenix Rising site to try to understand the paradoxical folate def and potassium def, but I’m still confused.

    Thank you so much for giving your time to the rest of us!

    • avatar

      Eric October 20, 2013, 7:54 pm

      Hi SA, great to hear about your successes with B12 therapy! I have also just sent off the 23andme, so I’m looking forward to learning about genetics too. As for your youngest son, all I can do is share my experience. I ramped up way too quickly the first time around and got extremely lightheaded. So, I stopped folate altogether for three weeks and reduced my mb12 and adb12 down to very small amounts (250 mcg and 1 mg respectively) and started adding the other support supplements slowly. Since then I have been increasing slowly for the past six months and am now up to significant amounts again… it’s frustrating to go so slowly, but it has worked!

      • avatar

        S.A. October 20, 2013, 8:20 pm

        Thanks, Eric!  I’m glad to know it’s okay to cut back.  I thought I had read that once startup happens it’s best not to slow down, but I’m glad to know just cutting back will help; that it worked well for you.  I think I’ll give him half the B-12.  The B-complex is a pretty high dosage folate plus other b vitamins.  I think I’ll cut that out completely and start a small dose of plain folate in a few weeks to a month. 

        • avatar

          Eric October 21, 2013, 3:43 pm

          My pleasure. My interpretation of Freddd’s comments on the subject is that, it’s fine to backtrack and restart over at a lower dose, but it’s not a good idea to stop completely and restart weeks or months later. I think he says that people who stop and start tend not to succeed. His point of view is that everyone should push hard and get it all done as quickly as possible. However, I don’t think he had the kind of responsibilities many of us do…

  • avatar

    Ann October 14, 2013, 9:07 am

    Thanks for such an interesting site/blog. Fascinating to see so much good information presented so well.
     I usually can doctor myself, but this has me very confused.
    I tested my blood this summer and was shocked to find serum B12 was >1999 with a normal reference range between 211 and 946.
    Folic acid was >19.9.  No mention was made of top range only a deficiency for <3.  Iron was normal as was everything else except thyroid and I am handling that.
     I then stopped taking methylB12 sublingual tablets.  (I used to chew them.)  I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years so I get no B12 from meat. I do eat eggs and cheese and yogurt. I recently started taking one methylB12 every other day again. I need to order another blood test.
    These are some of my results from geneticgenie. I do not have CFS.   I bike ride every day and feel better after doing so, but I have completely abnormal sleep patterns and have for many years.  I am very confused – should I or should I not be on B12 of any kind? Folate? methyl or not? I do take a lot of CoQ10 and ribose. Without the ribose, I have no energy. I notice that without taking B12 I have been getting irritable easier but there could be environmental reasons for that as well. I am thinking I have a cellular resistance to B12 and it is pooling up. Any thoughts considering the data here?
    What is the difference between the 2 vitamin D’s listed here? Thanks for any help and replies I get.

    COMT V158M

    COMT H62H

    COMT P199P

    VDR Bsm

    VDR Taq

    MAO-A R297R

    and more:

    MTHFR C677T

    MTHFR 03 P39P

    MTHFR A1298C

    MTR A2756G

    MTRR A66G

    MTRR H595Y

    MTRR K350A

    MTRR R415T

    MTRR A664A

    • avatar

      Eric October 16, 2013, 11:34 pm

      hi Ann, I wish I could help more but I don’t know anything about genetics yet. Just sent off my 123andme kit, so I will learn soon. However, the one thing I might say is that your need for D-Ribose might indicate a Krebbs cycle issue – you might experiment with other Krebs cycle supplements including magnesium. I couldn’t say whether you need or don’t need the B vitamins. Personally, I don’t think the blood tests are of any concern. Since it is not toxic in any way, I pay attention to how I feel, that’s it…

  • avatar

    Eric August 22, 2013, 10:44 pm

    This is a pretty interesting discussion about whether or not sublingual is better then oral b12.

    • avatar

      Anthony September 17, 2013, 1:41 am

      This is new to me and so much information.  I don’t know if I have this issue or not?  I have had a hair analysis that I would like to post because I don’t understand it at all.  My ratios are way off.  and I have colitis and more importantly, sibo( small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).  Im curious if there is a correlation between the 2?  And what should my amalga fillings be replaced with?  What’s healthy for the mouth?  Thanks so much!  I’m curious to learn about this.  Maybe this is the missing linkbegan recently bought liquid b12 for under the tongue and folic acid pills and didn’t feel great taking them so I stopped. 

      • avatar

        Eric September 17, 2013, 10:54 pm

        hi Anthony, i would highly encourage you to join the FDC group at – you’ll get all the answers you need there!

      • avatar

        Mary November 22, 2013, 1:30 pm

        Anthony, try visiting and going to their “forums” tab, for the forum on B12/methylation – read there about why the form of folate called “folic acid” may be bad (it is a very different form of the actual vitamin your body uses, which is called methylfolate).  Taking methylfolate instead of folic acid is a game changer for some people.  It may be a game changer for lots of people, if the discussions there are any indication.  Also the same forum discusses the forms of B12 – cyanocobalamin is quite different than methylcobalamin.

  • avatar

    Amar August 21, 2013, 12:24 am

    I am COMT ++ and can confirm that I have no tolerance to SAMe, Methylfolate AND MethylB12 aswell. I felt terribly worse on these before I even hat my COMT status diagnosed or even reading Yasko, and I had no clue why as to many good seeming resources where recommending these as having therapeutic values and noone ever mentions that it’s contraindicated with overmethylation defects –> resulted me ending up in the ER because of panic attacks and nervous breakdown! Be careful with methylated supplements I have to tell ya -source: personal experience

    • avatar

      Eric August 21, 2013, 1:04 am

      Amar, I haven’t gone deep enough to understand the genetic variances yet, but I have experienced a nervous breakdown and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone – hope you have found a way forward!

  • avatar

    Chris Pfeiffer August 16, 2013, 9:38 pm

    Eric – Thanks for all your work on putting all of this together and for responding to comments.    How do you manage to do all of this?  Are you working?  How old are your kids? 

    • avatar

      Eric August 16, 2013, 9:46 pm

      Thanks Chris – I am working but, work at home and I’m the boss. I tend to work on the blog in the afternoons when I don’t feel sharp enough to be productive professionally. Kids are 10 and 12 and let me tell you, the summer is difficult, lol. I do often feel torn about how I use my time. The time I spend on this site, I often feel is a good investment in my recovery because it so often turns up some new insight. Often I come back to the site to check my notes too when I can’t remember what happened in a prior round.

    • avatar

      Eric August 16, 2013, 9:52 pm

      There’s a lot more to be said about the time I spend blogging – business has been rocky and we’ve been under a lot of stress, so sometimes blogging about my recovery has been a nice way to stay centered and focused on something deeply positive.

  • avatar

    Chris Pfeiffer August 15, 2013, 11:15 pm

    Have you had any issues with neuropathy or bad matallic tastes in your mouth during your process.

    • avatar

      Eric August 16, 2013, 3:37 pm

      Chris, my wife has mentioned the metallic taste, but I have not noticed it personally. Also have not had any neuropathy issues…

    • avatar

      Expat Viking August 16, 2013, 10:03 pm

      @ Chris,
      I had significant neuropathy issues before chelating but is is now almost totally gone. But I have never had metallic tastes.

    • avatar

      Stephanie October 26, 2013, 9:12 pm

      I’ve been experiencing both as a result of increasing MB12 & M-folate – neuropathy and a metallic taste. The neuropathy in my extremities is the most predominant symptom… at night, feels like my feet are burning.

      • avatar

        Eric October 28, 2013, 3:08 pm

        Odd because my impression is that the B12 therapy is a cure for neuropathy…

        • avatar

          Stephanie October 28, 2013, 8:48 pm

          Yes, it is odd in a way… That’s why I was glad to see some references to neuropathy both here, and at Phoenix Rising. I’m well familiar with the concept of a “healing crisis” where our symptoms become exacerbated when they begin to heal, and that seems to be a common thread in Freddd’s experience and that of others. Most notably, somewhere in your post you shared this: “Most of the effect of MB12 is to the nervous system actually functioning better and being more aware of what is happening.” which I made note of because it seems to describe this phenomenon, particularly in the case of neuropathy. Simply put, there must have been a deadening of sensation and clearly poor circulation – the MB12 is bringing back the sensation. I had also noticed in recent weeks, given the dry fall weather, that my feet became extremely callused and peeling (something I’ve always struggled with), and some of my toenails are beginning to deform a bit, which is a fun new thing – lol. Since starting the MB12 the calluses are much improved… and hopefully my nails will improve with time. And in fact, I’m not having the intense burning and paresthesia when I go to sleep – there seems to be an improvement. I will keep ramping up on the dose and see if higher doses once again bring back the sensation.

          Another sign of B12 deficiency I’ve noticed is the alterations in melanin in my skin. I was researching that the other day, and I see that the white spots (lack of melanin) that can come with age may be related to B12 deficiency. It’s one of those things that creeps up so slowly I perhaps never noticed the degree to which that is the case for me. I also have a lot of the darker liver spots – that part I’m very aware of. In many ways I look younger than my age, but the spottiness of my skin, both dark and light seems beyond what might be “normal” for my age (53).  Anyways, as I examined more closely, in addition to the white spots on my arms and legs, I see that on my hands towards my finger tips, there is a more complete absence of pigmentation (whitening) relative to the rest of my skin. I’m reading that B12 therapy can reverse this, so I’m hopeful that’s true in my case. It was kind of alarming to realize that it’s not only my feet and lower extremities, but also my hands that have some nerve damage and impaired circulation. Someday I hope to be able to return to playing music, and having good nerve function in my hands is obviously important as that goes!

          So thanks again… I’ll let you know of further improvements :)

          • avatar

            Eric October 29, 2013, 3:24 pm

            Didn’t know about those white spots being related to b12. I’ve got many of those also.

            Have you read Viking’s comments on my blog? His primary complaint was neuropathy and he’s had a complete recovery with chelation, high-dose active B12s and iodine.

          • avatar

            Expat Viking October 29, 2013, 9:45 pm

            Hi Stephanie,

            First, if you are the same Stephanie that writes at FDC, I would like to say a very big THANK YOU for your many very high quality comments there. Among other things, you really helped me get a much better understanding of sulfation.

            Regarding neuropathy, Eric is correct when he writes that I have had a complete recovery with chelation, high-dose active B12s and iodine. It used to be quite bad, with paresthesia in many parts of my body and it has taken me about 2 year to get rid of it but it has also been a fairly steady progression with big improvements from the start.

            I did read up quite a lot both before and then during detox and my understanding is that both B12 and also ALA are quite established methods for curing neuropathy, Since I have taken  high doses of both (many rounds of chelation with 200 mg ALA and about 18 months of 10 mg Metyl B12) it is hard to say what did the trick. But my subjective impression is that the B12 had the most significant effect. For a period it had 2 very direct effects: it reduced tingling and it made me sleepy.

            “Simply put, there must have been a deadening of sensation and clearly poor circulation – the MB12 is bringing back the sensation”

            Yes, I think that is correct, i.e. the nerves have been damaged and are now healing. But in addition to this, what can happen is that during the period when your nerves were damaged, the rest of your nervous system adjusted by getting more sensitive to the weaker signals. Then when healing starts, you get a period of various strange sensations both due to the healing itself but also due to the rest of the system being “up regulated” and not used to the now stronger signals. This can result in all kinds of strange sensations. In my case, I got lots of different sensations that are really very difficult to describe.

            That your “feet are burning” may be such a sensation that indicate that healing is in progress.

            In any case, best of luck and I hope that you get better soon.

            • avatar

              Izzy April 20, 2014, 10:00 am

              Today I woke up to this burning feet sensation. I think it is B12 defficiency (or B9?), since right now I am only taking a low dose B complex w/o B9 or B12. I am looking for some advice of how much of each I should take… The lowest I can get from what I have at home is ~125mcg mB12 and open a cap of 300mcg folinic acid and sprinkle some of it in water so this would be an unknown dose (they are really tiny caps). I can also crush my 800mcg methylfoalte tablets and have tiny sprinkles from it (I had it compuonded in sublingual tablets, another dumb move…) Anyway I want to trial the folinic acid first in this round…

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 12, 2013, 7:36 pm

            Hi Expat Viking, Eric and everyone… My apologies for not getting back here sooner to reply further. I’ve been a bit self-absorbed lately (more than usual!) following various leads in my own research and experimentation. Yes – as Eric knows, I’m the same Stephanie that sometimes posts at FDC, and it’s good to know that at least a few people have found some value from some of my posts. I get the impression that I tend to annoy people there as much as anything ;) At the very least, the attempt to convey certain ideas to others helps me better integrate the things I’m learning about…. just as I’m sure that’s one of the benefits for you Eric, in writing this blog… 

            It’s great to know that you’ve healed your neuropathy Viking… I didn’t know about the ALA connection in healing neuropathy – that’s something to look forward to when the time comes to chelate. I’m still a bit unclear as to how neuropathy manifests for me – since there are only a few times in the past that I’ve experienced symptoms that I would describe as paresthesia. It might have been in connection with taking niacin or other vasodialators leading to that rush of blood into my extremities. I’m not sure about this, but I suppose it makes sense that if there’s nerve damage, one may not experience symptoms at all in the early stages – there is simply decreased sensation and this is experienced as “normal” (there’s no pain or anything like that). As you have confirmed, the B12 + folate is bringing back some of that sensation that I wasn’t entirely aware of having “lost”. I’m there must be other signs if this condition is more advanced – obviously people end up losing limbs due to neuropathy – including my diabetic sister just last year. We’re not related by blood however so there’s no specific genetic predisposition indicated – still it’s pretty intense to imagine that. I’m not technically diabetic, but I was diagnosed as being prediabetic all the way back in 2002.  So… I’m very glad to have gained this awareness before any nerve damage advances further.
            I’ve been holding my B12 dose at around 5 mg. / day. In part because I’m running out of it and haven’t ordered more yet :) But there also seems to be some value in increasing slowly – given the fact that this increase in methylation seems to have far reaching effects… possibly creating other deficiencies, similar to the potential serum potassium deficiency. I’m working towards a balanced and well-rounded approach to a number of “systems” – improving deficiencies of aminos for example – I’m taking a fresh look at healing intestinal permeability and related immune factors. But over time, I do intend to increase the B12 and folate (etc) to see how well I tolerate that (I need to avoid the “sleepiness” during the day to be sure), and we’ll see if it brings further improvement. I suspect it will. I do notice the “burning feet” and other sensations somewhat, but nowhere near as intensely as when I first started these supplements. I also notice that my fingers and feet have more “color” in them – pink rather than the pale white… It’s hard to say whether the tiny white spots on my skin will regain their pigment – I’m very curious about that. I’m sure it will take time though – I’m counting on slow and sure winning the race ;)

            Thanks again guys, for the inspiration. Glad things are going well for you Viking, congratulations on having completed so many rounds, and getting up to 200 mg. ALA. It is such a huge help to hear from people who have gone through this and have overcome so many health issues… 
            ATB! ~Stephanie 

          • avatar

            Expat Viking November 12, 2013, 9:14 pm

            @ Stephanie
            “I get the impression that I tend to annoy people there as much as anything”
            Well, I do think that it is a fantastic formum but it is somewhat rigid, i.e. whatever Cutler says is the law. Now, this is fine, you must have rules or forums like that can easily develop in to meaningless nonsense. But it also means that if you do have some points of disagreements with Dr . Cutler, it may be best not to write there. In my case, I really like Iodine and think that it has had a very significant effects. But that is not something that seems to be a tolerated view at FDC. I think that this is quite sad, since so many people there have problems with their tyroid function but if they don’t want to talk about it, i recpect that.

            “I didn’t know about the ALA connection in healing neuropathy”
            In Germany, high dose ALA is a fairly mainstrem tratment for  neuropathy. Typically, they give between 1 and 2 grams per day and this was one reason that I wanted to get up to 200 mg (i.e. 1.6 grams per day) for chelation. If you google, you should find some studies from Germany on the topic.

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 12, 2013, 10:44 pm

            Hi Viking… Yah, I do realize that about FDC, that there’s a fair amount of rigidity so far as sticking to what Andy teaches. Personally, I really appreciate that about the group… it’s no problem to me to refrain from going on about subjects that aren’t really in support of Andy’s work. The unfortunate outcome of that might be the proclivity of humans to perceive dualistically – in black and white / either – or terms, and they therefore reject the overall approach as being dogmatic. I see the guidelines as a practical consideration that help people figure out what Andy has to say on these subjects, without trying to sort through all kinds of conflicting ideas – which is especially important for those who have little background in the topics being discussed… and thus they can’t readily distinguish, or even realize there is a distinction to be made. I’ve experienced the chaos and conflict that this can lead to within many different online groups….
            Still, a group such as FDC will generally tend towards a type of dogma, even if it isn’t intentional. There are certain interpretations and guidelines that are recited over and over which people tend to cling to without entirely understanding the underpinnings that lead to those conclusions. I could cite many examples, but I’ll refrain :) If I annoy people, it may be that I’m sharing information that seems to conflict with these dogmas, and yet I don’t think I’ve shared anything that’s inconsistent or otherwise contradicts ideas that Andy himself has shared. The topic of potassium is a good example… actually it was after much of the “outside” reading I did on potassium (i.e. the book by Charles Weber), that I would eventually find where Andy had made nearly parallel statements, relative to the ideas I brought up. But so often, his findings come as just a single sentence or a few paragraphs buried in an archived post or in AI or HTI. Personally I wish there were a methodology that allowed newbies to integrate certain understandings more easily (speaking from my own experience, given the early misconceptions I had, and continue to uncover), so as to avoid the unintentional dogmas. But it is what it is.
            I truly appreciate that Dr. Cutler has shared his findings, however cryptic and brief they may be. It occurs to me that if he were more the “liberal arts” type (referencing his observation that liberal arts majors, rather than science majors, are being recruited into medical schools) – then he probably would have a body of work, or a type of practice that would be *less* accessible – based on the economics of providing a more user-friendly format. There are truly knowledgeable doctors and practitioners out there, but I’m not in a position to pay for the services or products most of them offer. I can however afford to buy AI and join FDC… that’s how I look at it!

          • avatar

            Stephanie November 13, 2013, 9:34 pm

            Hi again Viking… There seems to be synchronicity at work for me again, given your mention the efficacy of alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy. Funny thing, the last two nights I’ve upped my dosage of vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid with a late-ish evening meal. Mainly I wanted to try this since I stopped taking the AA form awhile back cause I felt I was reacting to it. In the meantime, I used some buffered C but I recently ran out of that. So I decided to go back to the ascorbic acid again, this time at a higher dose (I did perhaps 4 grams with food in both cases). I figured I’m more likely to notice whether I’m reacting negatively to it, or if I’m good with it now (as has been the case with quite a few supplements during this period since I’ve started up with hydrocortisone).

            The first night, I suspected it was interfering with my sleep… Last night, there’s no question that it was the added vitamin C – and as much as anything it was the return of the neuropathy/parethesia, the same as the MB12 and M Folate initially gave me, that was kept me awake for several hours – it was quite intense.

            Still, it seems strange in a way that I only get these sensations from certain supplements and otherwise I don’t have obvious symptoms. But I have to conclude that it’s the antioxidant effect that was causing the symptoms (helping to heal the damage that is – at least I’d like to think that!)… And that it could be working in a similar manner to ALA, even if somewhat less efficient, given it’s only water soluble. In reading some of the research regarding ALA and neuropathy, it does seem that the cause is lipid peroxidation which damages nerves and decreases blood flow. Supplementing antioxidants in general appears to help. 

            This is another case of a supplement I haven’t taken in high doses before merely to minimize cost, but I’m going to continue to experiment with higher doses, since it would seem that my antioxidant status is very inadequate. Problem is that I am also reacting to it a bit (palpitations) – I’m wondering if it’s that this ascorbic acid isn’t the highest purity – rather it’s the cheap [GMO] corn-based variety I got at Trader Joe’s… I may try some of the expensive, tapioca or cassava derived vitamin C. and add a buffer to it. That or magnesium ascorbate, but I’m still curious about the origin of the ascorbate and whether that’s the problem, rather than the acid.

            Anyways,  thanks for mentioning this, I might have otherwise decided I wasn’t tolerating it not guessing that vitamin C could be helping to heal neuropathy. Ugh… now that I “say” that – I wonder if it’s possible that too much vitamin C could become pro-oxidant, and instead I’m causing more nerve damage?? What do they call that, redox cycling? Hmmm… I don’t entirely understand how that works… guess that’s another research project for me. That and I guess I can keep taking it – earlier in the day and see if the parethesia improves, the way it did with the MB12 and M folate…? It is the very same sensations so it kind of makes sense that it’s helping repair the damage… Any insights??

          • avatar

            Kelly November 27, 2013, 4:55 pm

            Hi Stephanie,
            Hope this shows up.  (Weird how there doesn’t seem to be individual ‘reply’ buttons after each comment?)

            Anyway, you said:

            “The first night, I suspected it was interfering with my sleep… Last night, there’s no question that it was the added vitamin C – and as much as anything it was the return of the neuropathy/parethesia, the same as the MB12 and M Folate initially gave me, that was kept me awake for several hours – it was quite intense.”

            It’s my understanding that any doses of vitamin C over 500 mgs may lower b12 levels.  This has been mentioned on several sites, including Ben Lynch’s.  Here’s the interaction:

            “Dr. Ben,
            You stated above that vitamin C destroys methylb12 if more than 500mgs is taken. I can’t find any reference or study that confirms this and believe I have subclinical scurvy, so may need to take high doses of C.
            Do you have a reference for the C-methylb12 interaction?
            Lynch: Hi Dan2 –
            Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 3rd Ed., Chapter 9, Vitamin B12, page 258.”

            Others have asked if this is based on a 1974 study that was disproven later, but I just wanted to tell you that I have the EXACT same issue.  If I take “too much” C, then my feet get tinglier, kind of that stocking-glove surface neuropathy feeling.  But it’s not good to avoid “c” either, and I clearly have some ‘scurvy-like’ symptoms (the corkscrew hairs, etc).  So frustrating and complicated/complex isn’t it?   :)

            I’m curious about Vikings comment about your knowledge about sulfation?  I’d be very interested in hearing what you’ve concluded about what helps, and what  doesn’t…

            Thank you.


          • avatar

            Stephanie November 28, 2013, 2:33 am

            Hi Kelly… It is confusing with the reply buttons… there’s only so many “indent” levels to reply to a specific comment… after that it seems you have to go back to the next level up in that thread, so your comment appears underneath. 

            Interesting about the vitamin C and B12… I’d not heard that before so I searched for more info… Found this on the LPI site (usually a good source of current research findings): “Previous reports that megadoses of vitamin C destroy vitamin B12 have not been supported (46) and may have been an artifact of the assay used to measure vitamin B12 levels (6).” You can go to the link to check the references. Mainly it points to a 1999 study that concludes: “Serum ascorbic acid levels were not associated with decreased serum vitamin B12 levels (or indicators of vitamin B12 deficiency), prevalence of kidney stones, serum ferritin levels, or-among men-prevalence of elevated serum ferritin levels. Serum ascorbic acid levels were associated with prevalence of elevated serum ferritin levels among women. Although the clinical relevance of these findings is uncertain, it seems prudent to suggest that women with a genetic susceptibility to iron overload should consider moderating their intake of ascorbic acid.”

            And in any case, as you point out, we obviously still need vitamin C. I’ve had to learn this the hard way I think – there’s always something that competes with something else – biochemically speaking. And sometimes one is seen as more favorable and we’re apt to conclude that we should avoid whatever opposes it. Estrogen for example…” estrogen is bad, progesterone is good – therefore we should supplement progesterone but not estrogen”… Obviously we need both – they just need to be in balance with one another! 

            I just want to be sure I’m following your comment – you’re saying that YOU have had this experience, of your feet tingling – the “stockings and gloves” parethesias? I wasn’t entirely clear you’re referring to yourself and not someone else (as commented on Lynch’s site or ?). I’d never heard of the corkscrew hairs and vitamin C deficency – that’s very interesting. 

            I suppose there’s quite a bit of follow up as to my own journey… since my most recent post here. In general I’ve been making a lot of changes with my program – adding a lot of new supplements and as much as anything, I’ve been upping my dosages so I”m closer to Cutler’s recommendations for a lot of things. I’ve had a little extra $ to devote to this “project” so as to figure out what will really make a difference for me in the long run. It seems kinda crazy to be taking so many different things, many at fairly high doses, but there’s no doubt that it’s working for me! I’ve been sharing some of my further experiences with the parethesia/neuropathy on FDC (not sure if you’re a member there…? But it’s probably easier to check there for more info, than my trying to duplicate those posts). A couple of the more important things I’ve learned is that likely there is some relationship to arsenic toxicity with these symptoms – in my case. I’ve also started supplementing pretty much every B vitamin individually at fairly high doses – B1 in the form of benfotiamine and also it’s coenzymated form cocarboxylaze is one that’s made a difference for me. This is “sort of” related to the arsenic issue… but it doesn’t “fix” the problem with arsenic. However both arsenic toxicity and a thiamine deficiency can cause impaired carbohydrate metabolism, and this can lead to high blood glucose and diabetic-like complications. If arsenic is implicated, then short of chelation, the best thing to do is avoid carbohydrates that raise blood glucose to any significant degree. At least now that I’m using low dose hydrocortisone, that’s realistic for me, since I’m better able to create glucose as needed from fats and proteins. 

            Part of that puzzle is that arsenic is affected by methylation. Although methylation may not be working so great that it doesn’t re-tox the arsenic rather than allow it to be excreted. Arsenic should be chelated in the same manner as mercury for effective detox, but that’s not doable for me as yet. So the upshot is to not overdo the methylation and be sure that I’m not stirring up arsenic through high cysteine levels – and that I’m not ingesting any significant quantities of arsenic. I’ve been “on the fence” about using kelp powder as a supplement for this very reason. I’ve been off and on with it… since the evidence is inconclusive. But I’m more than satisfied now (given my recent “research” on all of these topics) that it would be very unwise for me to use kelp given my impaired ability to detox arsenic and other metals effectively. In fact, I was using small amounts around the time these symptoms became exacerbated – together with a few doses of N-acetyl-cysteine. The other factor is that I was out of glycine – which is very important for converting cysteine (together with glutamine) into glutathione. So potentially I was creating high plasma cysteine, introducing small amounts of arsenic, and inducing methylation. The upshot is that it’s never good to skip on glycine (just got my order today – yay!) avoid kelp or anything that might have high arsenic (brown rice?) and be conservative with methylating supplements. 

            And… given all of the above, I’ve actually been using a bit more vitamin C again and I’ve not had the really intense symptoms. I still have them, but all in all there is a definitely increase in my well being in many respects. Once again, it seems that balance is the key. In my reading, I did definitely find some evidence that high doses of vitamin C could be pro-oxidant in an anaerobic environment – like tissues with poor circulation. It would simply seem wise that if high doses cause really extreme symptoms (like I first experienced) then it’s probably not a good thing altogether! Another factor for me, is that like most of the supplements I’ve been taking, the doses I started taking at that time were a substantial increase compared to my previous norm. So now, all things considered, even taking a couple of grams of vitamin C with a meal doesn’t seem to produce any highly noticeable symptoms. 

            Anyways – I’d better stop here now that I’m finished with that particular “thought bubble”…. As for whatever info it was I shared about sulfate status… if I recall correctly,  it was basically just restating a lot of things Cutler has explained. It’s usually one of those things that “newbies” often have a misunderstanding about – the different types of dietary sulfur as well as the differences between cysteine and other sulfur metabolites – taurine, sulfate etc. In particular Cutler suggests that people who tend to have high plasma cysteine usually have low sulfate (not always but usually)… Is there a specific question you have about this, that I might be able to answer or point you to a reference? There is a lot in the archives – Moria’s site is a good source of info on cysteine status and the whole sulfur metabolism puzzle.

            Well – do let me know if I’ve followed you correctly about the vitamin C symptoms you mention (these were your symptoms?). Are you still experiencing this? 

          • avatar

            Kelly December 1, 2013, 4:25 am

            Again, I hope this shows up in the right place.  :)
            Thanks Stephanie for the follow-up on vitamin C.  That’s reassuring to know it doesn’t really cause problems with b12.  Kind of makes sense I guess.  I was talking about myself, when it comes to having a reaction from the ‘C’, but you know, when you’re taking so many things, who knows what’s really causing what?  I’m not experiencing it as much lately, but have been varying my amounts of “c”.  

            The “corkscrew hairs”, usually on one’s legs, is a classic sign of scurvy, which is still a problem today.  I have it on about 1/4 of my legs…so perhaps I should increase my ‘c’, but I think it’s also a problem of low blood volume and/or blood “deficiency”, to put it in TCM terms.  Been to a zillion docs, and yet no one can give me a straight answer or protocol.  Sigh…

            You said one thing that’s a little puzzling to me: “Part of that puzzle is that arsenic is affected by methylation.”  I guess I would turn that around and say methylation is impacted by arsenic, but you know, maybe that’s not true.  I’m probably confusing methylation with the krebs’ cycle, which is affected by heavy metals.  

            Totally agree with you about kelp.  There’s a woman here in Seattle who does high-end nutritional counseling, with a focus on classes that teach how and where to collect kelps and seaweeds on Puget Sound beaches.  I can’t remember her explanation as to why they’re so healthy, but sorry…not gonna go for it.  Every time I’ve had kelp in the past I’ve experienced tingling/numbness, especially after about a week, but sometimes within a day or two (with hijiki).  

            I agree as well about glycine, especially if one has other dietary issues or krebs’ cycle issues, as salicylates/phenols deplete/inhibit glycine (it’s my understanding that glycine and bicarbonates are used to detox sals/phenols)…at least that’s one pathway.

            I wish Cutler would lighten up and open up to some of the changing views re methylation, snps, etc.  He says there’s no blood test for plasma cysteine, but there is, from several labs now — Health Diagnostics for one.  I tend to think he overdoes it on a lot of sup recommendations — the amount of vitamin E he recommends (for example) would make me bleed to death.  But perhaps not if I took a lot more vitamin C.  

            Okay, I’ll shut up.  Thanks again, and here’s to hoping we all have a better year.  Thanks as well to Eric for allowing our many posts this past year…

            • avatar

              Eric December 1, 2013, 5:39 pm

              Hey Kelly, I’m delighted to have you posting here.

              And by the way, I take 1200 IU of vitamin E and 3.3 g omega-3 from fish oil every day and recently found out that my blood clotting is still pretty good. Cut myself badly a few days ago and there was blood everywhere but the bleeding stopped pretty quickly in spite of my high-dose supplementation:)

              Wishing us all better health next year too!

  • avatar

    rebecca August 13, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Yes under my lip for 45 min.

    • avatar

      Eric August 13, 2013, 5:35 pm

      well done:)

  • avatar

    rebecca August 13, 2013, 5:18 pm

    Its callednatures bounty, i got it from the drug store until my order arrives and im tak7ng 3 of my multivitamin spread out so all in allmi yhink its a total of 330mcg 8ofmethylfolate.  Im scared to take the full 6 capsules of the multi because of the levels of everything else in there seems so high.

    • avatar

      Eric August 13, 2013, 5:34 pm

      I would just hold tight until your order arrives without jumping to any conclusions… I’m assuming your waiting for one of good/tested brands of b12.

  • avatar

    rebecca August 13, 2013, 4:37 pm

    I am wondering what it means that i havent had any reaction at all to taking 5000mcg of methylb12?  Would that mean i dont have a mutation?  I have taken it for a week now.

    • avatar

      Eric August 13, 2013, 4:48 pm

      What brand is it? Are you letting it melt under your upper lip?

      I’d say it’s too soon to tell. The next step is to add in the other cofactors. If your adb12 has arrived, you could start that next. If not, how much metafolin are you taking? you could probably go somewhere between 800 and 1600 mcg with that…

  • avatar

    Chris August 8, 2013, 9:33 pm

    Did you notice any mention of SSRI’s or LDN with regard to methylation?

  • avatar

    rebecca August 6, 2013, 2:06 am

    It uas 1 mg of methylcobalamin and adb12 maybe thats too muc to take everyday?  I know you said to take abd12 every two weeksh

    • avatar

      Eric August 6, 2013, 2:42 am

      Some people take adb12 every couple weeks but I just read that it’s better to take every day, a smaller amount, of course. I can’t tell you what is too much because that is different for every person – you’ll need to discover for yourself what amount is right for you.

  • avatar

    Diana in CA August 4, 2013, 11:00 pm

    Do you know LCF stands for in the section about adrenals?

    • avatar

      Eric August 5, 2013, 2:14 am

      L-Carnitine Fumarate

  • avatar

    rebecca August 2, 2013, 4:37 am

    So if I take the liver detoxifier and regenerator by NOW foods, that would interfere?  

    • avatar

      Eric August 2, 2013, 7:21 pm

      it has both NAC and glutathione which can aggravate B12 deficiency according to Freddd…

  • avatar

    rebecca August 1, 2013, 3:44 am

    Should NAC be taken as well or does that interfere with methylfolate or methylcobalmin

    • avatar

      Eric August 1, 2013, 2:03 pm

      Freddd says to avoid NAC.

      • avatar

        Kelly August 1, 2013, 8:01 pm

        As does Cutler, for many with mercury or other heavy metal issues.

    • avatar

      Stephanie November 15, 2013, 7:33 pm

      Rebecca – here’s my take and experience… Fred’s advice that no one should be taking NAC or glutathione precursors is illogical (no disrespect meant to Fred however). My experience was that I needed to supplement more of the precursors since I was making more glutathione (thankfully) by increasing methylation. I tend to be deficient in cysteine to begin with so increasing methylation exacerbated that tendency. This was quite obvious from an experiential standpoint – extra NAC vs. not taking any together with the B12, folate etc. I suggest you try it and see… However, some people may have already high cysteine levels, and therefore increasing the rate of methylation may tend to “normalize” cysteine so they may not need to supplement. This is perhaps most likely for those who are chelating… and it explains why assisting methylation can help people avoid extreme “thiol” intolerance (that is, they react to foods containing thiols). 

      • avatar

        Izzy February 3, 2014, 8:07 pm

        It is funny how I always tend to follow Stephanie’s steps. I came here to ask if it is possible that mB12 exacerbates thiol intolerance. I had never seen the need to do a thiol exclusion trial before. But the way I have been alternating between fantastic and fatigued in the past week made me wonder… Same case for DH, apparently. He has been taking hydroxiB12 shots every 3 or 4 weeks for his sciatica/herniated disc pain and I have been suspecting he is becoming thiol intolerant. I will be thankful for any input and apologize for not having read everything on the subject yet.

        • avatar

          Stephanie February 10, 2014, 6:53 pm

          Hi Izzy,

          Sorry it’s taken awhile for me to respond… I’ve been mostly under-the-radar lately (been quite busy as you know)! Likewise I haven’t been able to read most of the posts at FDC lately so I don’t know if you’ve since found answers to these questions? Let me at least try to clarify – if I follow what you’ve written here – I think there might be a misunderstanding. What I was trying to say in my earlier comment is that supplementing B12 and otherwise upregulating methylation would likely *improve* one’s tolerance to thiols. Although to be honest I don’t know the specific pathway that’s involved off-hand (guess I could look it up…) but the idea as suggested by Fred, that B12 is required for the body to create more glutathione, would imply that increasing B12 will decrease cysteine and it’s precurosors (thiols that is) because cysteine is one of the building blocks of glutathione. Does that make sense?

          What I was hoping to point out, is that Fred’s mandate to not supplement glutathione precursors such as NAC and glutamine as a strategy to ensure that your B12 is going towards whatever other pathway he’s most interested in (involving folate I guess) is quite illogical. The result is that one will quickly become low in glutathione and it’s precursors (because it’s synthesis has been upregulated – which for most people is a good thing – most of us need more glutathione!). Again, I hope that makes sense… wish I could think of a clever analogy, but I’ll skip that for now…

          I do hope you realize that it’s quite the slippery slope if you are following my steps! :) But that’s sort of a given in any case – trial and error (self-experimentation) is the name of the game in my opinion. I’ve become more and more comfortable with that and as a result I’ve found myself pretty far outside of the box when it comes to these sorts of “generic” recommendations. If I ever do get around to writing a blog, one thing I would attempt to do is create a sort of flow chart that shows a hierarchy of steps to take (things to try that is). It would reflect the level cause and effect of metabolic dysfunction that begins with chronic toxicities (metals in particular), which  then interfere with the immune system and results in chronic *infections* (of many sorts), and both of those things result in nutrient deficiencies. The toxicities themselves interfere with many metabolic processes obviously (enzyme down-regulation, lipid peroxidation and damage to cell membranes, deranged mineral transport etc.!)… But as well, chronic infections are both further disabling our immune systems and also eating up our glucose, B vitamins, proteins etc., etc. These infections are often in the brain and result in significant neurological issues.

          My observations and intuitive take is that many of us have not adequately addressed the “infection” part. The result is we’re taking high doses of these supplements that are simply feeding chronic, stealth infections. Andy does recommend doing a trial of doxycycline (in the appendix in AI) but I’ve never heard anyone mentioning this at FDC. A trial of doxycycline will reveal possible infections well beyond the issue of mycoplasmas which is the specific issue that Andy cites. I could go on and on with that topic, but I suppose I should write my own blog if I’m gonna do that… I may get to it eventually!

          • avatar

            Izzy February 10, 2014, 10:30 pm

            Stephanie, it’s good to hear from you again. Yesterday I have arrived to exactly this same conclusion and have been thinking a lot about our conversations. What I took for thiol intolerance is probably SIBO instead… Triggered by the Bs, Mg, probiotics, water kefir, sulfur foods and vit D (?)! Just now I am getting the whole picture… HMs+Lyme+Supplements+SIBO=autoimmune+methylation blocks+intolerances+MCS
            I might have to go back to the MD who prescribed me one month of doxy last September…

          • avatar

            Eric February 10, 2014, 10:33 pm

            Thanks Stephanie, I think I will try the NAC/glutamine/glycine mix that Cutler recommends…

          • avatar

            John Macgregor July 20, 2014, 9:57 am

            I’ve done about 3 years of Cutler-style chelation.

            I had the worst thiol reactions of anyone I had seen anywhere including the FDC board. A piece of onion touching some salad that I ate would put me in bed with nausea.

            I began Rich’s Simplified Methylation Protocol on New Year’s Eve last year, and my thiol problems evaporated: onion, garlic, milk, etc etc – no problem.

            Now I can chelate 200mg of ALA every two hours round the clock, often for rounds of 10 days or more, with no sfx other than a a long sleep and a bit of tiredness the day after the round.

            • avatar

              Eric July 20, 2014, 8:36 pm

              awesome John!!

            • avatar

              Marco July 21, 2014, 7:12 am

              Hi John.

              What did Rich’s Simplified Methylation Protocol consist of?

              I seem to have the same thiol problems you had…

  • avatar

    rebecca August 1, 2013, 3:24 am

    Also can you tell me if potassium iodide is the same as iodine like the one that treats breast cancer and other things

  • avatar

    rebecca August 1, 2013, 3:14 am

    Should I take niacinamide or inositol hexanicotinate and do either one deplete the methylfolate?   What is the differnce in those forms or do I need both?  I wanted to take inositol to help with my ocd but idk if the inositol hexanicotinate is the same as regular in8sitol or if that would interfere with the methylfolate as well? 

    • avatar

      Eric August 1, 2013, 8:51 pm

      I take inositol hexanicotinate in the evening with my iodine because it is a cofactor. yes I believe it does knock down your methylation. That seems to be fine if you are using the methylation supports like folate and mb12. When you titrate up, you will find the balance by noticing your energy level and reactions…

  • avatar

    rebecca August 1, 2013, 12:09 am

    Also is methylcobalamin and the one you recommended the same thing or is one betterthan the other or do i need both?

    • avatar

      Eric August 1, 2013, 8:49 pm

      if you are referring to dibencozide, no, they are different. dibencozide is better to start with.

  • avatar

    rebecca July 31, 2013, 4:18 pm

    I cant find a good sublingual vit abd12 can you recomend one and so I take that and then add mb12 sublingual 

    • avatar

      Eric July 31, 2013, 4:26 pm

      • avatar

        rebecca July 31, 2013, 9:01 pm

        So just take 1/8th of that and how often?

        • avatar

          rebecca August 1, 2013, 12:03 am

          Ccan i get healthy amounts of iodine through grey sea salt or is that the same thing aspotassium iodide…i just dont want to take another supplement or can wfford it but wantto make sure i haveit in my diet?

          • avatar

            Eric August 1, 2013, 8:46 pm

            According to the iodine experts, you cannot get the amount you need through diet.

        • avatar

          Eric August 1, 2013, 2:02 pm

          every morning..

  • avatar

    rebecca July 31, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Can I over methylate and is it toxic?  Is taking the active forms of b something that I shouldnt do everyday?

    • avatar

      Eric July 31, 2013, 3:23 pm

      From my reading, there is no such thing as ‘over methylation’ and b12 is not toxic. I take the active forms every day. It is possible to make yourself very uncomfortable if you have a B12 deficiency and a methylation block. Those uncomfortable reactions are part of starting up systems in your body that haven’t run in ages. If you start them up quickly with large doses, it can be unpleasant.

      It’s your choice – start them up slowly and it will not be as uncomfortable, but it will take much longer to get where you’re going. It’s up to you to decide how functional you need to be based on what responsibilities you have in life at this time.

      • avatar

        Mike M July 31, 2013, 3:35 pm

        Dr. Yasko does say in her book that there is a “over methylation” condition, but I forget what the symptoms are. I wouldn’t worry about it with small starting amounts of the supplements, rebecca. However, I would take it seriously that people with the COMT mutation cannot tolerate methyl donors taken directly according to Dr. Yasko. It will cause overproduction of dopamine and norepinephrine. Since I already have a condition that indicates too much dopamine and nor/epinephrine, it’s not surprising that mb12 made me very irritable. This can be handled, though, but it may require taking the proprietary RNA formulas by Dr. Yasko, or it may require more neurological healing before I can take mb12 and methylfolate. Neurological healing can be accomplished through diet, getting the calcium/magnesium balance right, and other things.  Very new to all this, and I have a lot of exploration to do. Dr. Yasko and another naturalpath near me (Dr. Nancy Mullan) recommend having the genetic testing and regular blood/urine monitoring to make sure you are on the right track, but that is all very expensive.

      • avatar

        Mike M August 1, 2013, 1:06 am

        I found it in her book– the term “over methylators” refers to people with the COMT +/+ mutation, which I suspect I have.

        • avatar

          Kelly August 1, 2013, 8:00 pm

          Personally, anything that Yasko says I would take with a huge grain of salt.  Many true autism researchers and others strongly disagree with her.  She does have some clinical studies that she refers to to supposedly back up her claims, but it’s her interpretations of those studies that many disagree with…including Susan Owens and Andrew Cutler.

          • avatar

            Mike M August 1, 2013, 9:18 pm

            Well, if I’m not going to believe Yasko, do you know anyone else who addresses the question of how to treat people with the COMT ++ mutation, who overproduce dopamine and nor/epinephrine? It’s a dangerous condition; I could go into a serious manic episode if I take too high a concentration of methyl donors.

          • avatar

            Kelly August 3, 2013, 12:02 am

            You might try asking Dr. Ben Lynch on his site or on Facebook.  I’m not saying not to ‘believe in Yasko’, just to ask questions of everyone, including Lynch and others.  I tried to ask questions a couple of years ago on Yasko’s forum, but kept getting ‘cut and paste’ replies from her past comments that basically didn’t answer my questions at all.  

            It was only after having severe reactions to methylation supplements based on her recommendations that I started to dig deeper and soon learned that not everything she says is backed up by studies and/or has been misinterpreted by her…

          • avatar

            Mike M August 3, 2013, 2:17 am

            Yeah, it’s really tempting to latch onto a single source of information. At the root of it, I’m frightened that I can’t get better, and that no one really knows what I need. In fact that is absolutely true–no single person knows the whole of what I need. I needed a good therapist for one thing, in order to face the emotional issues that are arising as part of healing physically, and no MD can give me the therapy I need, while at the same time my therapist can’t tell me much about physical healing. I have a good conventional doctor, but he never mentioned B12 or methylation. Dr. Yakso’s has an extremely thorough and comprehensive approach, going far beyond “just take B12,” addressing more of the body than just methylation, but she can’t be the whole story. (If for no other reason, her protocol uses an outrageous number of expensive supplements and is simply out of the question for me.) Dr. Cutler has a good piece of the puzzle, but he seems to address only one piece. What do you do if your problems go beyond heavy metal toxicity, or if you have severe symptoms that need to be managed by other doctors?
            Well, I should say that actually I’m more hopeful than I’ve been in years. I shouldn’t just complain. I’m simultaneously hopeful and anxious. I’m hopeful that I have found something important, but concerned that I can get severe symptoms like mania and insomnia from taking B12, so there is more to the puzzle, and I don’t know where my answers will eventually come.

    • avatar

      Lauren July 31, 2013, 10:18 pm

      If your gut is unhealthy- low HCL, low secretary IGA (very common with poor methylators) and low bacterable and I diet low in fibre- you will find it difficult to pass your toxins- so YES it is a dangerous process and you will pass your toxins from your liver, into your system and not out. So toxicity may become toxic.
      i suggest- before doing any of this- to get a parasite/ secreyery IGA and gut acids test.
      as well as do a gut rebuild And be on digestive enzymes and probiotics for at least 4 months before

  • avatar

    rebecca July 31, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Also is it necessary to take lithium when doing this

    • avatar

      Eric July 31, 2013, 3:19 pm

      I had never read anything about lithium being a cofactor for methylation but just looked it up and I see that Yasko recommends it for people with COMT. Seems to me that is a very secondary issue. I’d ramp up your methylation without it and see what happens…

  • avatar

    rebecca July 31, 2013, 2:04 pm

    If I take thorn multi vit that contains all forms of the b complex but aslo has vit c in it and I read that the vit c destroys the b12 methylclabian so is this not a good multi to take to get b12 im confused

    • avatar

      Eric July 31, 2013, 3:16 pm

      you should just ignore the B12 that is in your multivitamin because taking B12 orally is not effective anyway. you need to do B12 under your upper lip for good absorption.

  • avatar

    rebecca July 31, 2013, 1:18 pm

    So if I take the b complex and dont see any difference then does that mean I dont have a block and I can take foilc acid without it being a toxic build up and if I do need to b complex of methyl then do I need to take it everyday

    • avatar

      Eric July 31, 2013, 3:15 pm

      No, the B complex is just a support for the main actors which are sublingual adb12 and mb12. All the supplements are everyday except for adb12 which can be taken once every couple weeks.

  • avatar

    rebecca July 25, 2013, 4:31 am

    I have not been tested for mthfr but have a lot of the symptoms and I dont know where to start this is all confusing and overwhelming so in short can I just take a bcomplex like the one you stated you take and tI already take vit c krill oil selenium and vit e so is there any other vit I jeed like niacin or potassium I dont have money to buy all theseother things like l carnite or the other ones mentioned so how can I do this please help me understand where to start and the minimum of what I need?

    • avatar

      Eric July 25, 2013, 3:25 pm

      A very safe inexpensive way to start is with just 1/8 tablet of dibencozide daily, letting it melt under your upper lip:

      • avatar

        rebecca July 31, 2013, 1:12 pm

        So is it necessary to take all forms of methyl b like l methyl and 5 methyl?

        • avatar

          Eric July 31, 2013, 3:24 pm

          Not sure what you mean by “necessary”. A good way to start, if you are the sensitive type, is with just adb12 alone. When you can take 1 mg a day, without any reaction, you’re ready to add mb12. Again, it’s good to add one thing at a time.

  • avatar

    Mike M July 24, 2013, 8:14 pm

    So I’ve gotten a lot of benefit (more energy, less brain fog) from dibencozide. Maybe I have a methylation cycle block, BUT… I can’t help wondering if the problem for me is something else. I mean, I can’t see that there is only one reason B12 would have a positive effect on me. Biochemistry is pretty complicated. And B12 is known among the general public as something that gives energy. So it affects people who don’t have a methylation cycle block, apparently.
    If I start the methylation startup protocol, and I experience negative effects, well I wouldn’t assume that means I’m having a startup reaction. It would be great if I’ve found the answer, but in my condition, a lot of meds and supplements I’ve tried in the past have had negative effects on me, and that doesn’t mean they are right for me.
    So basically what I’m asking is–are there other theories behind B12’s effect on energy and brain fog? Perhaps I should be looking at multiple explanations.

    • avatar

      Eric July 24, 2013, 9:33 pm

      Well, it is very very common for people suffering from mercury toxicity to benefit from vitamin B12. Mercury affects so many processes in the body, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Note the quote by Christina Bolander-Gouaille on about how mercury may affect B12 status.

      I have also done some treatments which were very harmful to me – a number of antibiotics and worst of all, antibacterial chemicals for blastocystis – don’t think I was ever the same after that. So I know where you’re coming from, I’ve been there.

    • avatar

      Kelly July 25, 2013, 3:36 pm

      It’s my understanding that dibencozide is the form of B12 that is essential for the krebs (energy) cycle to work properly, so that may explain the benefit.  Reminds me I need to remember to take that form every day.
      Also, mercury inhibits the krebs cycle…

      • avatar

        Eric July 25, 2013, 4:14 pm

        Yes, but it’s not necessary to take dibencozide every day – it goes into the mitochondria and stays there for the life of the mitochondria. From what I understand, most people take it every couple of weeks… I take it every day just to make sure I get an even supply.

        • avatar

          Jill December 17, 2013, 6:54 am

          I have always taken methyl b12 supplements 5000mcq well before I knew I had the gene mutation. I just started taking methyl folate and hate the side effects.  I am confused.  Does the methyl folate help the b12 supplement that I have been taking for years get activated or am I getting side effects from being folate deficient?  Do I continue my regular b12 dose that I’m use to taking and titrate slowly my methyl folate ?  any help is appreciated..

          • avatar

            Eric December 17, 2013, 3:47 pm

            hi Jill, I also hate the side effects I get from folate, but I’m certain they are a sign of deficiency in my case. As long as I keep my folate increases down to 200 mcg and avoid increasing more than once a week, the side effects fade in a couple days. I would continue your regular B12 and titrate folate very slowly…

  • avatar

    Mike M July 23, 2013, 6:16 pm

    I’ve been using dibencozide, mb12, and some folate. I think the most amazing thing is lifting of brain fog. I didn’t really know what life was like without brain fog because I’ve lived with it my whole life. I think it has only lifted 10% but it has given me a wonderful taste of what is possible.
    I may be an unusual case because I pursued many intellectual activities as a kid (math, science, computers) and that strengthened my concentration ability. I feel like a person who has a natural ability to concentrate but is stricken with severe brain fog. I’ve been successful at intellectual activities and never realized how far below my potential I was until recently. I actually have suspected this for some time, but this is the first time I get a taste of the brain fog lifting.
    I had bad insomnia last night and I actually think I went up on the dosages too quickly. I took 1/8 of a 10 mg dibencozide, 1/4 of a 2 mg mb12, and 800 mcg folate yesterday. I’m cutting back to 1/8 dibencozide only and taking some more time with this.

    • avatar

      Eric July 23, 2013, 7:14 pm

      “I didn’t really know what life was like without brain fog because I’ve lived with it my whole life.”

      I hear you – I’ve had brain fog and fatigue for so long, I can hardly remember what it was like to be healthy. Have had some really interesting experiences recently where I thought “hmmm, I like this – maybe this is what normal good health feels like!”

      You definitely ramped up quickly. Whether or not it’s too quick, really depends on what your responsibilities are. Personally, if I had none and I was living at the beach, I would push methylation all the way to the max to get through it faster. But, I can’t do that so I’m taking it pretty slow. Nevertheless, my improvement is really picking up momentum. Yesterday, I was so charged up, I can’t even describe it. And, I slept.

      If I were you, I would consider putting the folate away and not touching it for a month.

  • avatar

    Lauren clarke July 23, 2013, 1:43 pm

    I have suffered from chronic fatigue Sydndrome for 10years now. 
    My secretary IGA is at minimal. I have murcury in my hair analysis. And I am reactive to almost every food. And I am gaining weight On a quick basis.
    i aam dairy free, gluten free, wine free, sulfate free, fructose free, sugar free- and don’t drop weight!
    symptoms- lack of motivation- constantly sick and infected, headaches and fatigue
    i have spent $10,000 on doctors and tests. 
    Where do I start to get fixed- and can you recommend a doctor online or someone in australia- that will fix me.
    As I am getting worse, and im only 25!!!

  • avatar

    Kelly July 14, 2013, 10:35 pm

    Wow.  Thanks Eric for the heads up!  I feel like a fool, especially since I’m just barely halfway through the book when he’s making this proclamation.  I should’ve realized that, sheesh, the story probably isn’t over.
    I am finding some benefit w/my feet and the Thorne ACE, but will definitely take it low and slow and listen to my body more closely.  My digestion is so poor — lost a lot of muscle over the last 3 years and was already underweight — so I was hoping that thyroid would perhaps help, but I should run this by a doctor once I can raise the funds to see a decent one.
    Thanks again.  Let’s hope Daniel can get some help and recover without making things worse.

    • avatar

      Eric July 15, 2013, 12:06 am

      I’m sure he made remarkable progress considering he’s working and runs a company which means he’s able to hide whatever symptoms he still has pretty well… Probably just needs a few tweaks to get back on the recovery train.

      Hope you’ll find some relief soon. I’ve pretty much given up the idea of using expensive naturopaths or MDs. I think I will just try to find a standard MD to give me some standard blood tests to make sure nothing is obviously out of whack.

  • avatar

    Expat Viking June 30, 2013, 2:44 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Very interesting (and a bit sad) comment about Freddd.

    I have done a fair amount of methylb12 and methylfolate and feel that it has helped me a lot. But then I have also done high dose ALA chelation and a lot of iodine during the same period, so it is really a guess what effect (if any….) various supps have had.

    Aside from Freddd’s personal health issues, there seems to be a general thing that we get a lot of “mini cults” in the alternative medicine community. By this I mean that there are forums and groups that find something that seems beneficial (a diet or supplement) and then over time becomes almost obsessed that this is the answer and only answer to all health issues.

    I did a lot of reading regading candida a few years back and that area is full of people that are adamant that they have the one and only solution.
    Having said that, most of these people are also really good guys that honestly wants to help and the fact that they get in to sometimes violent disagreements also brings the debate forward.

    In the end of the day, I think we must all make up our own mind and also simply try different things and see if it works for us.
    Finally, I really, really like Cutler and think that his protocol has helped me a lot but when you look at pictures of him, he seems obese. So he may not have all the answers, either…..

    • avatar

      Kelly June 30, 2013, 4:45 pm

      I agree with everything you say.  Definitely a lot of cultish issues going on, and yes, Dr. C., doesn’t exactly look like the picture of health, and  I think he may indeed be very wrong about ‘folic acid’, instead of folinic or methylfolate.  One of the pracitioners he recommends is in  terrible shape, IMHO, and although I ultimately take responsibility for my decisions, meeting her definitely made an impact, and made me think that chelation wasn’t an answer, or worse, was the wrong answer. She came and spoke to our local CFS group.

      However, I didn’t/don’t know her entire history, so maybe if she was severely poisoned by multiple metals, then that may explain her situation.  

      • avatar

        Eric June 30, 2013, 4:50 pm

        Kelly, I saw a different practitioner recommended by Andy and he told me that after 30 days I could skip the night time chelation doses – how do you like that?!

        I’ve just ignored this advice. I’m still debating whether or not to have any follow-ups with him. He wanted me to do a saliva test and I’ve just been sitting on it because of the cost… I’m sure his next step was to give me thyroid hormone, but I see iodine increasing my temperatures, so don’t feel like I need to take any hormones that are not absolutely necessary.

        • avatar

          Kelly July 14, 2013, 4:21 am

          Wow Eric — have you brought that up with Cutler?  I think he’d appreciate knowing that!  Good to know you ignored his advice.  
          That is a dilemma about hormone testing.  I kind of feel the same way, but have had such pain in my feet that I’ve been experimenting with adrenal cortex extract (from Thorne) and it seems to be helping, whereas pantothenic acid just made me more wired and didn’t help the ‘burning feet’.  

          I’m reading a book ‘The Mercury Diaries’ by Dan Forsyth (sp?), who in hindsight seems like he was in an incredibly hurry to get well (aren’t we all?), so he did a lot of liver flushes and gallbladder cleanses, and perhaps some other more questionable things (but again, haven’t we all?), and then he’d do a round or 2 of chelation, then back to other therapies.  About halfway through I was about to put the book down, he started talking more about using adrenal cortex extract, and then dessicated thyroid, to help him with ‘energy’, as he had to keep working.  He had many trials and errors, but after about a year or two, he indeed found that using both helped his adrenals and thyroid work a lot better, so much so that he had to reduce both supplements, because both had regained function.

          No doubt this was due also to chelating — something that kept popping up in my hypercritical mind(!) as I was reading — but he seemed to make a good point that he recovered in about 2 years, compared to others who sometimes end up needing to chelate for 4-5-6 years or more.

          Food for thought.  ???

          • avatar

            Eric July 14, 2013, 3:48 pm

            Yes, I did tell Cutler but I think he likes to stay focused on helping the neediest people and let things he can’t control wash off, rightly so.

            Those alternative therapies that Dan used are a little too alternative for my taste. If you read his blog, you’ll see that he now has adrenal and thyroid problems which are preventing him from chelating further…

            I’m also in a big rush to recover, but I’ve been through the ringer so many times, over so many years, I’m willing to go slow :D

  • avatar

    Kelly June 24, 2013, 9:08 pm

    Hi Eric,

    I know you have the best of intentions, as does Freddd, but as someone who became agitated and nearly suicidal under his direction to keep pushing, pushing, pushing past what he called “detox” or “paradoxical folate of b12 deficiency symptoms”, I feel compelled to warn you that Freddd is not the expert he tries so hard to be.  In fact, I believe it’s just possible that he’s been suffering from unaddressed mercury toxicity for most, if not all of his life.

    Here are some things I found out after becoming so much worse on his protocol:
    His father was a dentist.  He admits on a post from January 24, 2011, that he was ‘undoubtedly contaminated with it daily, playing with mercury, carefully, but still doing so as a child’, and had ‘a bunch of fillings after braces’.
    The question begs asking: How does one play with mercury “carefully”?

    And from August 24, 2009, debating whether mercury is a problem on the Phoenix Rising Forums:

    “As this is the first time I have closely examined any mercury issues almost everything about mercury that I have written is right here on this thread. What is your serum level of mercury that leaves you with “very high mercury poisoning”? And how do you get that very high level from amalgams? What is the mechanism? I’ve had amalgam fillings most of my life…”

    Another post, August 21, 2009, this time arguing with Rich Van K, talking more about his exposures, but in the same breath, denying that a mercury problem exists:  

    “I too have had amalgam fillings through the years. My father was a dentist. He was, unfortunately often contaminated with mercury such as when a 5 pound jar was dropped. I played with mercury as a child on a few occasions, with demonstrations of how it would combine with various materials such as the surface of a silver coin and how it would not wet non metals. I think that you make overly much of the possible toxicity from amalgams.”
    It should also be pointed out that Freddd got a lot worse while taking NAC, or as he calls it “glutathione precursors”.  Could that be because of what Cutler warns about — that glutathione and NAC are single thiols, and can cause serious redistribution of mercury?  It seems possible to me.

    And also, sadly, if you’ll check some of Freddd’s latest posts, he’s not doing well, can’t tolerate some of his own recommended supplements, and if you’re not aware of it, about a year or so ago he suddenly couldn’t tolerate folate from food.  That’s when I stopped listening to his advice.

    You’re wise to use hydroxycobalmin.  Others have used it fine, and have found it helpful, while many have posted of their problems with methylb12 and methylfolate, which Freddd unfortunately tends to dismiss, directly and indirectly.

    And I’m sure you’re aware of Andy Cutler’s views on all of this.  I’m not sure he’s right either (especially about the safety or usefulness of synthetic folic acid), but you might consider sending him a link to your page.

    Nothing personal Eric. I just wanted to warn you and others about potential dangers, and bring up the possibility that Freddd may have been dealing with severe mercury toxicity all along…

    • avatar

      Eric June 24, 2013, 10:01 pm

      Thank you Kelly for taking the time, I appreciate your heads up and I do think you are correct about his Mercury poisoning although I missed the part about his father. I also came away with that impression after reading everything he wrote about Mercury. Maybe that explains why he still needs high dose B12s. Very sorry you had such a traumatic experience with the supplements. Will definitely keep in mind your advice and will look more closely at Rich Van K’s protocol and compare.

    • avatar

      Stephanie October 26, 2013, 9:30 pm

      Eric, I’ve been slowly reading through this page – thanks so much for taking the time to share this. I get quite frustrated reading at PR ;) On this subject in particular, there are several things that send up red flags for me right off – so your summaries have helped me clarify some of my questions. 

      One is this issue about gluathione precursors… So Kelly’s added insights here seem to explain that in part. As well, I was glad to see that Rich K found his reasoning around this very questionable. For sure, some people don’t need more sulfur e.g. NAC – I imagine that’s especially true if you’re chelating. On the other hand, if one has low cysteine starting out, then it seems to me that upregulating with MB12 will simply make the deficiency worse – and a person will have those symptoms… and that’s clearly not a “detox” effect. In fact, I took a dose of NAC earlier and felt *much* better (I’m not chelating and I believe I tend towards low cysteine). In fact, my body temp never rose beyond 97.5 up until I took the NAC around noon. Within a half hour my temp shot up to 99. I kid you not. Lately, my temps have been fairly normal with other interventions for thryoid (like tyrosine).

      Anyways – my initial take on this is that Fred does share some interesting points. I appreciate the idea of taking a large test dose, and titrating up by 5 mg each week, ideally reaching “equilibrium” each time. I might not have thought to do it that way, but it makes sense. But for me, the success of tolerating the higher doses is dependent upon many other “cofactors” – far beyond the ones Fred makes a point of. I say that based on how different my experience is now using MB12 and Methylfolate – compared to my initial trial of this earlier this year. I had a terrible migraine the first several times I tried it, and flu-like symptoms. Eventually they cleared and I stayed at relatively low doses. Since then I’ve added quite a bit of supplement support, and I’m finding that I’m able to tolerate higher doses with what I would consider to be reasonable “healing” reactions – like neuropathy. a little bit of dizzyness… but also an increase in energy (assuming I don’t skip the NAC ;) If the neuropathy symptoms dissipates over time, I’ll be very grateful for having tried this out – thanks to Fred, Rich and Andy (who suggests likewise) and to you Eric :)

      • avatar

        Eric October 28, 2013, 3:07 pm

        I’m glad it’s been helpful Stephanie! In the beginning, I relied on it a lot, but increasingly find the answers to the questions I have now are not here. Like how to balance pH hen taking so much potassium and magnesium… by chance I figured this outlast week and will comment on the potassium page now.

  • avatar

    Eric June 10, 2013, 5:17 pm

    I’ve discovered that folate is the supplement that I am most sensitive to at this point. Increasing adb12 or mb12 has little repercussions for me compared to folate. I get a reliable lightheaded/brain fog reaction when increasing from 200 mcg to 400 mcg of metafolin. Going to try splitting it up breakfast/dinner today…

  • avatar

    Viking Expat May 26, 2013, 12:11 am

    I have read it all now. Very good summary and very helpful for people that are starting out. You should try to put it úp at PR.
    Interesting about the timing and dose of folate. As I said before, I did do a lot of reading about this about 1,5 years ago. I started at FDC and read lots of debates there that often linked on to Freddd or others. It was really, really difficult (at least for me) to figure out both dose and timing so I ended up with trial and error.
    “200 mg ALA sounds like a lot to me”
    I started at 25 mg and worked up to 200 over about 20 rounds. Since then, I have done about 15 rounds at 200 mg.

    • avatar

      Eric May 26, 2013, 5:25 pm

      “It was really, really difficult (at least for me) to figure out both dose and timing”

      I believe it! I’m sure I’m going to be working on it for a long time too, although I’m happy where I am now. have decided to keep my doses low while I add a little of all the cofactors and then my last step will be to increase mb12. don’t think this is necessarily the one right way to do it, but rather a good path for me considering I’m often more sensitive than most people to medications or supplements.

      “I started at 25 mg and worked up to 200 over about 20 rounds.”

      I’m going to try to increase my ALA next, but probably won’t shoot for 200 because I know I also need DMSA and it feels to me like the doses are somewhat cumulative probably because I have lead. nice to know how quickly you were able to ramp up ALA. but then again, you find it difficult to work while chelating. that’s something for me to keep in mind :D I can’t really do the one week on, and one week off thing.

      • avatar

        Viking Expat May 26, 2013, 6:03 pm

        “you find it difficult to work while chelating”

        Yes, very much so! It is a lot better now and I think that I am getting to the point that things are quite normal during round. But for a long time, I got nothing done on round. Here is a typical example from my notes:

        5 October 2012 (Friday, 9:00)
        On round, 200 mg ALA
        Day 2. Very, very mild sfx so far. But I did get very short tempered on day 1 and then there was insomnia again until 3 am. Also, my temp fell to 36.5. Still, all in all, very pain free and I aim for another long round.

        Late day 2, I feel very emotional in a strange way. Also, I have the same significant procrastination as last round. Maybe worse this time, any decisions seems impossible. Should I go for a run or not? What should I write? It is almost silly, but it really felt very difficult to write anything now. Also feels like my brain is slow. Temp, pulse and stools all ok.

        Day 3. Very pain free. Almost none of the regular sfx. But some strange sensations in my feet. Tip of some toes and upper side of right feet. Something in between tingling and pain. I used to get tingling in my feet a lot but now it has been gone for many months. But this was a very different sensation.
        Day 4. Really no significant problems. But I did get a massive amount of gas today. Maybe because I have been eating carbs or maybe it is the high dose of ALA or a combination. In any case, no other candida type of effects, so I will keep pushing on, aiming for 7 days.  As a general observation, I feel quite OK but I get absolutely nothing done. Just watching meaningless documentaries and surfing the web. I really hope that I get some of the focus back off round. Those 2 productive days last time was the best feeling that I have had in a long time. Finally, I went to the movies today and my misophonia seems to really be gone. As a matter of fact, I realize that it has been gone for at least a few months.

        Day 5. I feel fine and the only problem is that my brain is really slow. I struggle to remember the names of my kid’s friends and have real difficulty finding some words when I think. Also, I am counting and recounting my pills and feel very confused. Still, I think that my system is almost foolproof and that I am taking the right doses at the right time. But there is no way that I can do any work. 2 days to go, but it feels like a loooong time right now. Late in the day, I got the same type of “off” feeling as last round, but milder. Also some light pain in the neck and behind the ears, some short term muscle spasms in many different places and some short term tingling (moves around but mainly groin) . Also some light pain in the shoulders (on and off, both right and left). It feels like the same type of pain as in previous rounds. Temp has been low on and off but pulse and stools are fine.

        Day 6. I feel fine but my brain is still slow. No other sfx mid day. Late in day, mild “off” feeling. Also had some new type of headache: frontal lobe and a feeling like a tight band around head. It was short duration but medium intensity. Temp, pulse and stools all ok but this round feels like a grind right now… Missed 9 am dose (forgot to activate alarm), so round is done now.

        TOTAL ROUND:  6 full days.

        • avatar

          Eric May 26, 2013, 7:09 pm

          “Also, I am counting and recounting my pills and feel very confused.”

          ha! I enjoyed reading about your confusion and laughed out loud about recounting the pills. I have been catching myself standing in front of my row of Dixie cups 10 times a day during the round looking at the clock and the cups to make sure I didn’t forget a dose. Then it becomes such a strong habit I even find myself standing there looking nervously at the empty cups when I’m off-round! I think it was last week too that my wife asked me some question and I answered something like “I didn’t sleep last night and I’m chelating so better not to ask me anything at all for a while…”

  • avatar

    Viking Expat May 25, 2013, 1:14 pm

    Wow! This looks very impressive.
    I am just back from a long trip, but I will read the whole post tomorrow. Also, I will start another one week round of 200 mg ALA then.

    • avatar

      Eric May 25, 2013, 11:55 pm

      Look forward to hearing your comments. 200 mg ALA sounds like a lot to me. It’s odd but I seem to get relatively similar results from DMSA and ALA, maybe because I have led and a bunch of other metals in addition to mercury.


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"...nothing ever goes away
until it has taught us
what we need to know.

-Pema Chodron


My name is Eric - I‘m 46 and saw a doctor for fatigue at 17. I lived fairly normally if a little subdued by lack of endurance at times. But then, 12 years ago I fell into a nosedive after moving to South Florida. Now, I know heavy metal toxicity is a significant source of my troubles along with genetic methylation cycle dysfunction. I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain. Currently doing liver, colon, kidney and parasite cleanses. More about me here.

Timeline and current dosing:

Rounds completed: 28
Total chelation days: 113
Dose: 25 mg DMSA and 25 mg ALA every 3 hrs

* supplements
* hair test
* genetics
* lessons learned

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