Draining my toxic swamp with methylation supplements

I’ve been following the Fred protocol for more than a year now at the same time that I pursue frequent dose chelation. I am a strong believer in Fred’s ‘startup reaction’ concept and am still titrating up my methylation supplements. Currently I take 4 mg folate, 4 mg adb12 and just bumped up to 6 mg mb12 per day along with all the other supports.

If you read everything that Fred wrote about startup reactions, you’ll see that he is very opposed to thinking about the side effects of methylation as detox reactions. He makes a good point that the side effects prevent a lot of people from getting what they need to heal. They experience the unpleasant reactions and think ‘this must be bad for me’ or ‘I can’t handle this’ and then stop taking active B12s.

Well, I had a very clear detox symptom a few days ago when I increased from 5 mg to 6 mg of B12. Over the past year I had done my B12 increases much more slowly. This time I just felt like I could handle a big jump. I was right – I did handle it well, but in addition to the usual startup effects, I experienced significantly increased tinnitus which is a very common side effect of chelation.

In fact, I experienced the same increase in tinnitus three weeks prior during a DMPS chelation round. So, as a result of this experience, I am personally very satisfied that ramping up methylation is also firing up my detoxification system and helping to drain my toxic swamp. I have always found it remarkable that the methylation startup symptoms are so similar to chelation side effects in my case and now I’m confident I know the reason why.

It has now been six days since my 1 mg B-12 increase and I’m still feeling it. No more tinnitus but still feeling fatigued, overly warm in the evenings, a little bit emotionally overwhelmed, and not sleeping quite as well as I should. Next time, I will go back to my smaller titrations!

What I like about the methylation protocol and one of the reasons I put a high priority on it is that it’s something I do every single day. So my increase in B12 carries through every day whether I’m chelating or taking a break from chelation. I’m glad for this bright spot because I’m not doing that well with chelation and suspect I will have to decrease my doses substantially and/or increase my hydrocortisone a lot.


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  • avatar

    Nicole October 27, 2016, 4:26 pm

    I have been trying to start methylation with an awful reaction to methylfolate…I seem to need a lot more, but it’s pulling all my potassium. I’m not sure how to adjust for it. I’m taking over 4000mcg extra potassium, and it’s not enough. Currently on 1000mg b12 and 200mg methylfolate. Any thoughts on what I could do? Thanks so much.

    • avatar

      Eric October 27, 2016, 7:50 pm

      that must be 200 mcg of methyl folate right? and I don’t think you have your potassium measure correct either because 4000 µg of potassium is hardly anything at all… 4000 mg of potassium would be quite a lot. what are you actually taking?

      • avatar

        Nicole October 31, 2016, 3:27 am

        Yes, sorry! I’ve been needing tons of potassium 4-5000 mg with starting methylation. 200mcg methylfolate is right. I’m wondering if you have any idea why so much. Thx!

        • avatar

          Eric October 31, 2016, 8:08 pm

          you’re not the only one Nicole because that’s how much Fred used and I myself needed 3 to 4000 mg for a while…

  • avatar

    Jordan August 7, 2014, 10:37 pm

    Hi Eric,
    I just found your website and had a question about methylating…. I had a hair test almost a year ago. It showed I had high levels of certain heavy metals. I also deal with constant ongoing fatigue and overwhelming exhaustion. A part of my detox program is taking tmg along with other minerals. I’ve been dealing with adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid for a long time. However, A LOT of my symptoms mimic a b12 deficiency. Both of my blood tests showed large red blood cells, but high hemoglobin, which is not a sign of anemia. So my doctor dismissed it. I began receiving methyl-b12 injections. They contained a full spectrum b and amino acids for liver health. My question is…whenever I would get these injections I felt horrible afterwards. I was extremely tired and very agitated. I’m not sure if I should continue them? They make me feel horrible. Could it be detoxing? Any info would be awesome, thanks

    • avatar

      Eric August 17, 2014, 3:08 pm

      I would advise you not to continue with those injections – people in our situation need to take more control of their treatment. You don’t want to mix multiple ingredients in anything you take. My experience is you need to work up your doses very slowly and individually with methylation supports.

  • avatar

    Keith July 6, 2014, 5:24 pm

    23andme may be $99 in the US but international customers have to pay anything up to an extra $79 in S&H charges!!

    Find out what the extra charges will be before giving your credit card details and pressing the ‘BUY’ button on thr website, otherwise you are comitted to the extra charges.

  • avatar

    Romily June 14, 2014, 11:32 am

    A few things to consider:
    – I haven’t read all your posts but, if you don’t know your methylation cycle defects, consider spending $99 to get a 23andme.com test. They don’t interpret medical data but you don’t need them to. You can take the raw data they generate and upload it to geneticgenie.com and get a free output of your methylation SNPs. From there, the rabbit hole goes pretty deep but you can learn a TON about why certain things are good for you and others bad and how, when possible, to avoid various nutritional landmines. Sounds at least like you have something going on in MTHFR but there are others that interplay and it’s helpful to know.

    – Something that really helped in my detox was Glutathione precursors. You can’t take Glutathione straight up as your digestion will destroy it but, if you take the precursors (600mg NAC + 1,000mg Glutamine) you give your body the tools to make it’s own. Glutathione is very good at mobilizing mercury. Made me sick as a dog for ~5 days (I realized on day 4 I was probably detoxing) but, after a week, I felt better than I had in a long time.

    Congratulations on progress and hope this is of help! 🙂

    • avatar

      Eric June 16, 2014, 9:57 pm

      glutathione precursors have been on my list to try for a long time, thanks for the reminder and caution 🙂

  • avatar

    Moshi May 9, 2014, 10:17 am

    Hi there! I have a question Re: chelation for you, as the expert you are;
    I have been chelating with DMPS only for 3+ months post amalgam removal. On my latest (7:th) round I was taking 30mg DMPS every 6 hours.
    I will now begin chelating with ALA+DMPS, will I then continue to chelate with 30mg DMPS on my regular 6h schedule and add in small amount of ALA every 3 hours? Or should I begin to take 15 mg DMPS every 3 hours with my ALA??? And one more thing – is it correct that the “R” form of Lipoic Acid should NOT be used in the Cutler Protocol? Thanks!!!

    • avatar

      Eric May 9, 2014, 5:35 pm

      Hi Moshi, you never want to make two changes at the same time, so stick to your DMPS schedule every six hours. That’s right, Dr. Cutler recommends the regular alpha lipoic acid, not the R form.

"...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 50 and first 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, Candida 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 Candida and in my fifth year of lowering toxic copper. More about me here.

* supplements
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* genetics
* how to get healthy

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

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