Break on through to the other side?

brainfog2Sometimes supplements crucial to our recovery cause unpleasant “startup reactions”. I’ve learned that through my research on methylation and my experiments with the supplements. Starting yesterday I made the bold decision to to try to break on through to the other side of my brain fog reaction with vitamin B6. Let me explain.

Here’s a sample of what Freddd teaches which encapsulates my thinking about B6:

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.

Hit play on the video and let’s continue.

What Fred describes is what I’ve experienced with methylation supplements. At first, they energized me. Then they made me lightheaded. The lightheadedness will last for about two weeks. When I increase my dosage or add a cofactor like carnitine, I get lightheaded again and the cycle starts over. Here’s a great couple of testimonials on this process.

Yes, I realize this is potentially dangerous thinking if you’re wrong about the supplements you think you need. Many people object to being told they need to push through unpleasant reactions. It may not work for everyone and it may not be the right time in your situation to make one of these pushes.

That being said, I’ve come to the conclusion that vitamin B6 is probably a critical linchpin for me and I’m going for it. Nowhere have I been able to find any reference for the idea that B6 is one of those supplements that might respond to this sort of “break on through” treatment. But, here’s why think it might work:

  • B6 is a methylation cycle support
  • Andy Cutler recommends 50 mg several times a day
  • HTI page 114: “Having a high ratio of calcium to phosphorus along with a low ratio of sodium to magnesium suggest the need for supplementary vitamin B6″ and page 118: “high hair zinc and also low hair magnesium are signs that more vitamin B6 may be needed.”

And finally I’ve always thought that when I discovered the key(s) to my recovery, I’d feel calm and sleep deeply. in fact, the unpleasant reaction I get from B6 has a little bit of this color. It clouds my brain a little bit like Valium or GABA does. If I didn’t have responsibilities and need to work, I probably wouldn’t object very much to it. So perhaps if I take it for a few weeks, the feeling will fade to something really nice.

I started two days ago with 25 mg mixed in water and it didn’t affect me much. That night I slept deeply and was surprised and confused by my nighttime dose alarms. The second day I decided to jump up to 50 mg with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that’s when the brain fog really hit me hard. But, I slept easily and deeply again which rarely occurs for me two nights in a row. So, I have some promising signs.

Then again, I’m always changing too many things at once. I’ve also been significantly increasing magnesium, increasing iodine and increasing my 30 second sprinting intensity.

I’m going to give myself three weeks to break on through. That’s until July 24. It feels like a momentous challenge, but then most of the time I’m overly worried about everything… and maybe that’s because I need more anxiety-blocking B6.




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  • avatar

    martine February 9, 2015, 5:34 pm

    Eric: Have you tested for Pyroluria?

    • avatar

      Eric February 9, 2015, 9:29 pm

      yep, i don’t have it..

  • avatar

    martine February 9, 2015, 4:59 pm

    Hi Eric:

    I simply can’t believe it! I have literally been taking 50 mg of P5P for about a week and I swear I have noticed a MARKED change in my brain fog. I too have been doing Cutler Protocol on and off, have Methylation issues and years and years of hormone, pituitary, energy and particular,y cognitive issues. I just checked in to see how you were doing and what you were up to these days , and BOOM…B6. Coincidence? Interesting that Andy recommends B6 50 mg several times a day. Didn’t know that. I’ve been conservative so far. And, yes, my sleep has improved a bit. (I’m perimenopause too!) Thanks for posting this and hope it works for you!

    • avatar

      Eric February 9, 2015, 5:29 pm

      Glad it has been helping you Martine!! I’ve gone back to regular B6 but it didn’t really solve any big problems for me…

  • avatar

    Expat Viking July 4, 2013, 6:29 pm

    I agree with everything you say about “startup reactions”!

    Also, what Freddd writes about B12 is also to some extent valid for most other supps recommended for chelation. My own opinion is that a strong reaction to small doses may well indicate att you are very deficient and that you may need a lot more. But, as you point out, this is a sensitive topic and everybody needs to make up their own mind. Many of the side effects (and I have a fair amount of personal experience…) are really good signs that real healing is taking place and I think that this focus on eliminating side effects may be a bit counter productive. But maybe this is just because high doses have worked quite well for me……..

    • avatar

      Eric July 4, 2013, 7:05 pm

      It is so common to read people saying “oh, I can’t take x, y, or z because it gives me ________.” and in fact I’m one of those people who’s been saying things like that for a long time! I do think it’s an important sign too when the supplement is something that is known to be pretty harmless in even large quantities and beneficial for most people.

      Of course, that brings up the question of fish oil for me which puts the fear of God into me.

      Actually, my reactions when I exceed my tolerance for fish oil and vitamin D are terrible. Both can knock me on my rear. So I know both sides of the coin.

      • avatar

        Viking Expat July 4, 2013, 7:54 pm

        In my case, the two most common “startup reactions” have been rapid heartbeat and “knock out” tiredness. Of these two, the first is much more scary but the second is far more disruptive to any kind of production. In addition, there has been quite a lot of other sfx.

        Regarding the fish oil, have you considered trying to take a week off and then try a higher dose? Maybe try 5 grams in an day and see what happens? I have also had lots of insomnia (mainly before chelation) so I know that it is very unpleasant. But maybe it won’t be so bad if you can plan for it and make sure that there is nothing to prevent you from sleeping when you finally do fall asleep. 

        During some time, I would be so unable to do anything during chelation that I stocked up on TV series ahead of the round and then spent several days sleeping and watching TV. That may not sound very nice but it really was not that bad but only because I had made certain that there would be no pressure on me during those days. 

        • avatar

          Eric July 4, 2013, 8:40 pm

          I can see where the rapid heart beat would scare you! I also don’t mind the side effects as long as I don’t have to accomplish anything. Since we run our own business which has been ailing for years, it’s hard to know too to what degree it’s okay for me to “check out” and for how long. Might already be pushing the limits…

          That’s an interesting idea to try doing 5 g of fish oil in a day. Might try that sometime if circumstances permit. For now, I’m going to keep titrating up. I’m calculating that I may hit my wall on the next increase or the one after that. If not, then my tolerance may be improving.

          • avatar

            Expat Viking July 4, 2013, 9:07 pm

            Have you read a lot about fish oil? Aside from making sure that there are no metals in it, the big issue (as I understand it) is to make sure that it does not go rancid. I have seen claims that this is actually very common in many products.
            When I started, I read some discussion about different types over at FDC and this seems to be what the majority uses :
            It turns out that it actually comes from Sweden and I did read up on both the product and the company that makes it and as far as I can tell, it is as good as it gets. They use a blend of vitamin E to prevent the oil from going rancid and this was formulated by some serious academic  types and seems to really work. Also, I think that it is by far the most sold in Sweden, even if it is quite expensive.
            I have been taking around 10 grams a day for the past 18 months. It has been a significant cost but I feel that it has been worth every penny.

            • avatar

              Eric July 4, 2013, 9:22 pm

              I haven’t read much about it recently… based on your comment, I think I should open one of the fish oil softgels that I am giving my wife to see if it’s rancid. When we run out I’ll switch to the Eskimo 3. Also going to switch to enzymatic therapy’s B12 when I run out of Jarrow.

              One advantage I have with fish oil is that it won’t cost me as much as you. 10 g, wow!

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

"God, whose law it is that all who learn must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."


My name is Eric - I‘m 49 and saw a doctor for fatigue at 17. I lived fairly normally if a little subdued by lack of endurance at times. But then, in 2002 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 and Lyme disease. I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain. Currently going after Lyme and co-infections. More about me here.

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"Battles are won in their darkest hours. Wars are won by learning something from each battle."

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