Understanding methylation

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 an explanation of how Mercury may be related to vitamin B12 (and thus methylation) written by Christina Bolander-Gouaille:

Well, there may well be some important links. 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.

And from LEF, A review of Methyl Magic: Maximum Health Through Methylation by Craig Cooneyon on exercise/sauna:

Cooney also states that moderate exercise is important for better methylation. He too warns against strenuous exercise such as marathon running, which has been found to decrease the levels of choline, among other things. Moderate exercise, however, is vital for improving circulation. Good circulation, in turn, insures better handling of homocysteine. Cooney recommends exercise that is sufficiently vigorous to make a person sweat, and one that alternately dilates and constricts blood vessels in the extremities. Sauna followed by cooling down has a similar effect. Cooney mentions that massage likewise enhances circulation. Exercise also helps us stay slender. In general, the lower the body mass index (BMI), the lower the homocysteine.

Here’s how I got started exploring methylation – with the great video below (thanks Sean) starring Ben Lynch about the genetic defect MTHFR which disrupts methylation. This is a really good primer on the subject of methylation because lots of us affected by heavy metals probably have the MTHFR defect. Of note, the methylation process plays an important role in detoxification. If this video is too technical, you may want to start with the video Methylation Made Easy or if you’re ready to try a methylation therapy, you may want to jump over to Active B12 therapy and methylation FAQ.

Finally, here is the summation of methylation written by Viking that got me started on this journey. Note that I’ve changed the timing of the Folate & B12  dosing based on Dr. Lynch‘s comments in the video (folate-first causes unpleasant side effects):

  • Methylation is a central and vital process in the whole body and if this get’s disturbed, all sorts of things go wrong. Mercury is known to disrupt this process.
  • There are lots of different supplements that you can take to improve this, but the basic ones are: B vitamin complex, folate and vitamin B12. All of these are recommended by Cutler.
  • In my case, B12 acted as a sleeping pill for the first 3-6 months. Really knocked me out, but in a good way.
  • There is a great deal of debate about what exact form one should take of these supplements. Many people on FDC, including me, more or less follow the advice of a person called Freddd, that has a very long thread about this at Phoenix Rising and here. What it boils down to is:
  • The folate needs to be in active form (Metafolin) and the recommended one is this. BUT for it to work, you must eliminate all non active folate (folic acid). Many normal B complex has this and in the US it is also added to some food.
  • One recommended B complex that has only Metafolin is this.
  • Finally, the recommended B12 is this and this. Important: These needs to slowly (minimum 40 minutes) dissolve under the lip or tongue.

 I use all of those and it has really worked. Here’s how to start up.

All of this should take about 2-3 weeks. But if you try it, be ready for some reactions! I got racing heart and palpitations in the beginning, but it soon went away. Just be careful and if you get meaningful reactions, stay on (or lower) the dose until it feels safe.

Word of warning: Cutler says that some individuals can get angry and agitated by B12, so watch out for this and if it happens, stop and do more research.

And, as always, this is just something that worked for me. It may or may not work for others and everybody should do their own research.

Some links:

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  • avatar

    Niki October 28, 2016, 7:14 pm

    It’s possible that I missed this or keep mis-reaingd, what is the connection between B12 and Cobalt? I started a low amount of B12 (at the time it was methyl/hydroxo mixed but it’s no methyls for me now) and my HTMA hair showed off the charts 3 xs over in Cobalt levels… so I was pushing Cobalt out of my body into my hair. I don’t have any metal parts in my body that I’m aware of, my ND couldn’t make heads or tails of this at the time. Any thoughts?

    • avatar

      Eric November 1, 2016, 4:24 pm

      sorry I can’t help you Niki – it has been too long since I looked at methylation issues. I’d recommend looking up what Dr. L Wilson says about cobalt.

  • avatar

    Pabu October 20, 2016, 7:37 pm

    Hello!!

    When I first started the methylation protocol, and added active b12, I notice great change in my mood and ability to control low blood sugar at night. Now, after 5 weeks, I am waking up daily with hunger at 4 am, and can’t go back to sleep. I sleep only 4 hours everyday. Plus, I am shaky all over my body, and my legs are really weak and shaky and I lose my balance when I am walking. Today, I feel to the ground, and could not make myself get up. Looks like a startup. Does anyone has shakes all over their legs, and difficulty with sleeping? I am taking 500 mcg of adenosylcobalamin with hydoxycobalimin based on my genetics. Is this dose high? I don’t want to end up crashing. I was thinking of taking Niacin to help low blood sugar attacks at 4 am and to go back to sleep. Any suggestions or insight will be helpful.

    • avatar

      Eric October 21, 2016, 5:41 pm

      I take 150 mg of niacin at bedtime…

  • avatar

    Jaline October 18, 2016, 6:56 pm

    light grey font on a white background? Seriously hurting my eyes trying to strain here. How about good old fashioned black font??? I couldnt read this… 🙁 I doubt you’ll do anything about it, no one ever does.

    • avatar

      Eric November 1, 2016, 2:51 pm

      I have the font set so they are very comfortable for my eyes. I have a lot of issues with contrast. Maybe you do also. Have you taken Dr. Shoemaker’s visual acuity test?

  • avatar

    whisperingsage April 7, 2016, 7:29 pm

    Thanks so much! I posted this on Facebook, though I’m sure my “friends” think it is all BORING!. I started by reading about MTHFR, and got the 23 and me test for $99. Sure enough I was double positive. However much they love to focus on this as being “genetic” , I’m glad you recognize the environmental toxins have made this change-(some articles say it’s the gut changing Round Up Ready GMO’s). and then I discovered “Epigenetics” gladly started by Joel Wallach (Dead Doctors Don’t Lie ) who just wouldn’t quit researching. His book on this is great by the way and there are many others in the field who don’t give him credit who also write about epigenetics but don’t give the practical options that Joel does.

    I started with the very spendy methylfolate, a year ago, and after years of deterioration and being overweight in spite of constant gall stone issues and a duodenal ulcer, nausea, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroid, (all I think rooted in my retaking childhood vaccines to get into nursing school and the 13 years of chronic IBS D that caused), I began to be hungry (which I hardly was even tho fat) and also began to lose weight effortlesly. I went back to work. Nights. 80 miles from home. For a year. That caused a reversal of my progress. I began to vomit weekly. Then more, occasional black stool, (continued IBS D), then in June I wasn’t able to hold down solid food and went on V8 juice and protien drinks- then I had to quit the job, stomach pain worse and worse. Finally bled out 5 pints of blood and my husband careflighted me to the hospital. ICU 4 days, 5 pints of blood IV, 3 clamps on a 3.3 cm duodenal ulcer- put on prilosec (trying to get off it now). gradual recovery started with a pocket orgonite, Still keep one on me all the time and around the bed. But then the methylfolate wasn’t enough. Discovered MSM through the Mercola sulfur interview with Staphanie Seneff- great interview, LOTS of great info, awesome- Methyl-sulfonyl-methate, you guessed it, methyl groups to work with there, saw sudden improvement of IBS, D about half the time then. Then happened upon a homocystiene book on Trimethylglycine (TMG), more methyl groups- took that- free of IBS D for several weeks. I had been fighting the IBS with vitamins, minerals and herbs (over 50) saw some improvement but just not a cure. Now we have a cure. Able to drop thyroid meds, and adrenal meds, but gaining weight- not hungry like a horse like that incident a year ago and losing weight- but just a normal take it or leave it appetite. I think maybe the gut has been so used to blasting out my nutrients that now it holds them but my set point is not changed. So still looking for more info, but much better. Hair growing, (sulfur), more alert, arthritis easing up, skin improved, strength back.

    • avatar

      Eric April 15, 2016, 3:27 pm

      sorry to hear about all the trauma… you lost me a bit there as to what your cure is but I’m glad you’re getting better! many many people have recommended MSM to me. have yet to try it, but I have used DMSO it’s kissing cousin…

    • avatar

      Elizabeth May 3, 2016, 10:42 am

      Hi. Which one was the supplement that helped you the most?

  • avatar

    kubackjeee October 19, 2015, 8:09 pm

    Hi Eric. How do You think in starting with jarrow b complex 2×1, jarrow mb12 1000mcg, p5p and SAME. i dont know if i need more folate if it is already 800 in b complex. I have a lot of sympthome of under methylation, but also some from over. Can u also tell me one thing, if I have some food alergies recently and a lot of histmine reactions, can it be due to taking md12? currently i am taking normal pill not sublingual 5000mcg at one time for last 4 weeks. My libido went completly down (but maybe that is due to 5htp, and i dont think i need it cause i am still nervous even more). So maybe i am in need for dopamine. But anyway on many pages i have reag that people that are undermethylators react bad to b12 and folate and should avoid it, so i am a little confused.

  • avatar

    Melissa August 2, 2015, 4:04 pm

    Hi Victoria,
    I’m also from TX and dealing with Lyme, coinfections & methylation issues. It sounds like your doctor is running the right tests. Could you shed some light on who helped you?

  • avatar

    Joseph July 11, 2015, 6:43 pm

    I have been looking all over for the related links on what dosages I should take the B-12, and folate. Could you give an idea of where to start?

  • avatar

    Victoria July 4, 2015, 4:18 pm

    Hi, I want to thank you all for sharing all you have on this site. It’s been very inspiring to read your stories and your efforts. I posted the following on the phoenix rising site as I’d hoped for a response, but haven’y gotten any, so now am tryng here. Your site has been very helpful to me! Have been trying to muster enough of my remaining brain cells to write a coherent post. I need advice. To make it short, I was clinically diagnosed with Lyme and possible co-infections almost three years ago. It has been impossible to shake off a terrible brain fog, which is as devastating as the chronic exhaustion and weakness. My wonderful, full, hard-won life as I knew it and loved it is essentially over….It has been like dying alive…I see that many of you here have been through this…

    I went to see an infectious disease specialist this past April 2015 and he found few irregularities in my labs, and no Lyme. Instead I showed a high positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which had gone untreated, and which I must have had years ago as a child in Texas. The lab also identified a unknown protozoa with very thick biofilms in my blood, which the doctor thinks is a cousin of malaria. (Which I apparently caught doing humanitarian work in Mexico among the very poor in October 2012.) But the doctor remarked that I was the healthiest of any of his patients with my illnesses and that my bloodwork looks normal in almost every respect except:
    my platelets are high at 488
    my cardiac proteins are high at 9.76
    my b-12 is high, at 1447
    my folic acid/folate is 19.9

    Well, on my own, about two weeks ago, I decided to start Freddd’s protocol, as so many of my symptoms mirror those of a b-12 deficiency…I started slow and felt amazingly better very quickly — I want to say about 1/3 ‘cured’ which is shocking because three years of treatments have not helped as much as these vitamins did in one week! I increased my dosages over the days as I had no unpleasant side effects except for a sort of dermatitis on my throat just behind my ears and a sort of darkening effect that comes and goes high over my upper abdomen….for the past few days I have stayed at
    methylfolate 8 mg methylcobalamin 40-50 mg dibencozide 30-40 mg in divided doses
    I also got some SAM-e, some P-5-P and some phosphatidyl serine, added that in, and I felt it helping…
    I have been concerned about adding in LCF as I am hypothyroid and take 75 mcg daily…

    meanwhile, I am not sure how to read my folic acid number, or what to think about my high b-12 blood serum…
    and maybe I don’t need the methylfolate at such high amounts?
    i felt increasingly well on this protocol but now have started menstruating and am a little weaker (but returned to a 28 day cycle after having been on a 26 day cycle since I have been ill which feels like a marvel!) The skin on my arms and face which had withered in a strange way is drastically recovering and nearly all my fibromyalgia is gone…my memory feels somewhat sharper, too, already, and my mood has dramatically improved…my short term memory is improving…
    is it possible though that I don’t need the methylfolate and just have a b-12 deficiency caused by my chronic illness? how would I know?

    I have stopped taking my multi-vitamin and my b complex, as I don’t want to take anymore inactive vitamins. I am taking E and C and D separately, and have bioactive forms of the b vitamins on their way in the mail.
    I am also wondering if I sound like a good candidate for the methylcobalamin shots, but they seem so expensive….and I am not sure about where to order for the best deal on high doses…

    any advice concerning labs that might help me isolate my problem better? I need to return to my regular local doctor in a couple of months concerning my thyroid and could ask for them then…

    thank you in advance for any responses…
    victoria

    • avatar

      Eric July 4, 2015, 4:26 pm

      wow Victoria, yours is a very inspiring story!!!

      Have you done the 23 and me testing? if not, that’s where I’d start and then run your results through livewello. That might give you an idea about whether you need the folate also.

      My impression is that the folate and mb12 are closely linked together and I’m trying to boost my folate, wish I could take as much as you are but I have to increase slowly. I’m at 5.25 mg now. these are things you have to experiment with because no test and no doctor is really going to be better than your personal experience.

      As for all the pathogen related stuff, I’m a big believer in oxygen therapy so I would start looking into hydrogen peroxide and ozone. That’s what I’m working on now. Vitamin C is also known to cure Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other viruses. Look at IV or liposomal ( Dr. Mercola has one that is inexpensive and effective).

      warmly,
      Eric

  • avatar

    Samee May 19, 2015, 3:22 am

    Hi Eric

    I love your website and you are very inspiring for so many of us who are struggling with what you struggled with.
    I have been struggling mercury toxicity, inflammation in the digestive system food allergies fatigue you name it.
    I am finally schedule to have amalgams removed and start AC protocol after that.
    I have also done my 23andme and livewello. Unfortunately, 23andme leaves out some genes like shmt that would say about my gut health.

    Anyway, I am preparing for chelation
    With supplements but I am not good at swallowing these things so I probably don’t supplement as I should. My mercury worst symptoms are a terrible bad short memory.
    With chelation and supplements, I am also using an allergy elimination technique that is helping me absorb food (I am celiac/gluten intolerant).

    I have two questions for you. You can just answer what is right to you.

    -Should I hire a doctor to help me with methylation before starting chelation or I can correct using info I find on website like yours? I can use the money for my NAET treatments and chelation.

    My methylation is not that bad but I have lots of red on the NDUF7 genes. I am also hetero for comet, vdr, Mao and 1298c (no 677t)

    -How important is liver and kidney cleanse before chelation?

    Basically, I am wondering if liver kidney flushes and methylation are important before chelation.

    • avatar

      Eric May 20, 2015, 12:32 am

      Well you aren’t supposed to start chelation for three months after amalgam removal, so that’s a good time to do some liver and kidney cleanses in my opinion.

  • avatar

    Helen September 22, 2014, 12:34 pm

    Hi Eric. This site is so great! Exhaustive amounts of information- thanks for all the work you have done! Saving me a ton of time and confusion!!! 🙂

    How do you feel about hydroxocobalmin? Fred says it is a waste of time and ineffective but Dr. Lynch likes it for people who can’t tolerate methylB12. I have heard there are start-up symptoms with methyl if one is deficient and they will pass if one perseveres with it. Do you know if one could bypass those start-up reactions by starting with hydroxocobalmin first?

    I saw that you like starting with adB12 then methylB12. Is that because it gets a baseline in the cell before going to an active form? Dr. Lynch never mentioned adB12 in the above video- do you know if he has a reason for not liking it? Thanks.

    • avatar

      Eric September 22, 2014, 2:50 pm

      i don’t know anything about hydroxycobalmin other than what you’ve already read…

      i think starting with adb12 is a good idea just because it’s low hanging fruit, quick and easy to adjust to. It also has a little bit of mb12 in it which gets you started adjusting to mb12 at the same time.

  • avatar

    Vikram May 22, 2014, 1:10 pm

    Your website is such a good resource!

    Thank you so much – really appreciate the detail you’re putting into your posts. We’re doing similar things for our son with ASD.

    • avatar

      Eric May 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

      thanks for saying so and wish you lots of success with your son!

  • avatar

    rowan May 14, 2014, 7:26 pm

    Overwhelming indeed. Having just bought some thorne research methylfolate, and having watched the Ben Lynch Video, i am now not sure if i should take it as i have both COMT and MAO mutations.
    does anyone know other steps i can make?
    thank you

  • avatar

    Izzy January 29, 2014, 9:28 pm

    Hi Eric, this post and comments have all the missing pieces of the puzzle for me! You have been doing a wonderful job in putting everything together and applying to improve your health and helping others. Thank you so much! I am still struggling to start the basic supplements and a good diet… Unfortunately I don’t have much time to read and worse, to retain what I read. I hope the mB12 is going to change that for me…

    • avatar

      Eric January 29, 2014, 9:47 pm

      So glad this has been helpful! I know what you mean about retaining what you read… That’s a big problem for me also and part of the reason I created this site! Good luck with your titration.

      Where do you live?

      • avatar

        Izzy January 30, 2014, 1:21 am

        This is me: http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/files/hairtest_887.pdf

        • avatar

          Eric February 1, 2014, 3:03 am

          I’m not an expert, but that doesn’t look so bad. Maybe you’re one of those cases where the mercury is hiding and is actually higher. I wonder how your aluminum got skyhigh? Have you found out anything about reducing aluminum? I notice that Dr. Cutler says mercury causes aluminum retention.

          • avatar

            Izzy February 1, 2014, 1:43 pm

            My mercury is hiding, but it’s here for sure. I think my aluminum is high due to a lifelong of antacids, retention from Hg plus the city water supply. I read that malate can be a big help in this case and started eating one apple a day… Then during this past week I read somewhere (I don’t remember where!) that one should avoid malate, citrate and a third _ _ _ate (I forget) for some detail in methylation (which I also forget). I am trying to come up with a way to save information that is relevant to me, I don’t know, I am starting a word document where I will paste everything with all the links. I am completely lost in my browser’s bookmarks. I have also started to write my story from the Hg point of view, since what I put there with my hair test is far from the whole story. I am feeling terrible today, will report at the FDC group the results of my 1st week of mB12. Earlier this morning even the orange seller at the organic food market noticed I am not having a good day. Sorry for rambling here and thanks for your patience and help!

            • avatar

              Eric February 1, 2014, 4:00 pm

              The antacids make sense! Sorry to hear you’re struggling – you might try evernote.com instead of word, if your Internet connection is good. Works for me really well…

              • avatar

                Izzy February 4, 2014, 3:39 pm

                Thanks for the useful tip! Even though I am not technologically challenged, I am having a hard time to learn new tricks lately… Re my methylation, this week I am gonna see my orthomolecular MD and ask for MTHFR gene and G6PD blood tests before the next steps… I am having a hard time with vit C.

  • avatar

    Mike M July 25, 2013, 12:14 am

    I noticed that Dr. V K says methylation is involved in detoxification, and people with a disturbed methylation cycle often have high levels of mercury and other things.  And when the methylation process gets going again, detox will commence. What do you think about not doing chelation therapy and letting the restarted meth. process handle it alone? Or is it a catch-22: perhaps once the mercury is there, it’s impossible to restart methylation?

    • avatar

      Eric July 25, 2013, 1:38 am

      You definitely can get your methylation cycle going again. In reality, I think it’s always running or you would be dead. The point is you can get it running at full tilt again. In fact, every time you get a reaction to methylation supplements, it’s because you got the gears turning faster.

      What I understand is that with enough time, a healthy detox system can clear your body — what it can’t do, however, is clear the brain of mercury. For that, you need to use alpha lipoic acid (ALA) on the frequent dose schedule. And of course the brain is critical because it controls the body in so many ways (think pituitary gland).

  • avatar

    Anna Rayner April 26, 2013, 2:58 pm

    I am so so grateful for this post.  That embedded video is absolute gold for me.  Finally everything is starting to make more sense…. Thank you so much for all your work and research, and for sharing it. 

    • avatar

      Eric April 26, 2013, 3:46 pm

      Anna, I’m delighted to hear it, you made my day!

      I felt the same way about the doctors data article about methylation – a lot of pieces clicked into place. You can’t imagine how excessively high in sulfur my diet was for the past five years, for basically the entire time that I have been living through my health crisis. Now I can see what a tremendous mistake that was.

      And I am getting a boost from the B12/Folate already. So looking forward to titratrating up.

      -E

  • avatar

    MIssus Mercurius April 26, 2013, 6:31 am

    fantastic resource.  Thank you so much for writing.  Need to spend a few hours working through this properly, but this definitely applies to me.  Another minefield to wade through!  

    • avatar

      Eric April 26, 2013, 2:37 pm

      thanks Missus, it is a huge topic. I’m very excited about increasing my B12/Folate up another notch today. it took all the willpower I had to wait three days! anticipating good results:)

  • avatar

    Viking Expat April 24, 2013, 2:24 pm

    Sean and Eric,
    Here is a long but relatively readable summary of Sulfur, Mercury and gluathione and how they relate:
    http://www.tuberose.com/Sulphur_and_Mercury.html

    • avatar

      Eric April 24, 2013, 3:08 pm

      Thanks Viking!

  • avatar

    Seán Ó Briain April 24, 2013, 12:06 pm

    What I found interesting was the impact it has on the production of gluathione. I suspect it may explain why some people with amalgams never have issues, and while others seem to accumulate health problems over time. In short – some people have a better ability to naturally detox than those with specific MTHFR mutations. 

    • avatar

      Eric April 24, 2013, 2:06 pm

      True Sean, but the same thing could happen if Mercury creates the same impact that a MTHFR mutation has. Either Mercury or MTHFR mutation could come first and cause heavy-metal illness.

  • avatar

    Viking Expat April 24, 2013, 7:58 am

    Do you see my point that it’s a big topic 🙂

    I think that you are going about this in a very sensible way. Don’t take anybodys word for anything, but rather read up and ask questions to different people. It’s a slow and fustrating process but it actually leads somewhere.

    Since you are now digging deeper, you may have come across two names that are big in this subject: Dr. Amy Yasko and  Dr Richard Van Konynenburg. Here are some videos from the latter:
    http://iaomt.media.fnf.nu/2/skovde_2011_me_kroniskt_trotthetssyndrom/$%7Bweburl%7D

    There is a total of three videos on that page, please see links in upper right corner. It is from a seminar in Sweden, but don’t worry, he speaks English!
    From Dr Yasko, here is a very good, but quite technical, summary of methylation:
    http://www.doctorsdata.com/methylation.pdf

    Regarding in what order one should take folate and B12, I actually spent a lot of time on that issue myself and the short answer is that it is confusing and that there is no consensus. My understanding is that folates first is some sort of majority opinion, but I could be wrong.
    Cutler recommends 1,6-10 grams of folate per day (page 152, AI)  and 1000-12000 mcg of B12 per day (page 166, AI). 

    When it comes to  consulting a doctor regarding this issue, you may find Teitelbaum’s writings on the topic relevant (from fatigued to fantastic, page 169-171). He is an MD but he argues that most doctors really know nothing about B12 but, as usual, that does not prevent them from claiming all sorts of things. Everybody needs to make up their own mind, but I would rather ask a parking attandant than a GP about this issue, since they both know about as much but the parking attendant at least won’t pretend to be an expert. But then there are, of course, some MDs that are highly specialized and do know a lot about the topic, but in general you have to read so much in order to identify these, that when you are ready you don’t need to ask them anyway. Just my opinion, of course.

    Finally, the whole thing about avoiding folic acis and only take active folate is part of general observation that comes up again and again. Many vitamins and other supps exists in a passive state, i.e. the body needs to tranform it to be able to use it, and an active state, i.e. the substance that the body actually use. For metal toxic people, there is a high risk that the ability to make the transformations is somehow damaged.

    Therefore, I think that in general, it makes sense to go for the active forms, unless there is some strong argument against it. In the specific issue of folates, some people also argue that folic acid may block the receptors for active folate and thereby create a paradoxal deficency. But this is both controversial and complicated and everybody have to make up their own mind how to handle it. 

    • avatar

      Eric April 24, 2013, 2:04 pm

      Yes Viking – the amount of information is staggering! but still, I am looking forward to watching the videos you suggest.

      Something really big happened yesterday evening after I doubled my B12 and folate dose for the first time. I took my second lozenge at 7 PM and around 10 PM experienced a rare surge of energy, strong enough that I had trouble sticking to my bedtime routine. Was worried that I might not sleep but had no trouble in the end. Very very exciting!

      I’m wondering what timing you use for your B12 and folate? I’m thinking of trying to use it to fix my daily 3pm to 5pm crash…

      • avatar

        Viking Expat April 24, 2013, 2:21 pm

        “took my second lozenge at 7 PM and around 10 PM experienced a rare surge of energy”
        To me, this strongly indicates that you are deficient in one, or more likely, both of these supps. As I said before, for me it was a bit like an old rusty engine starting. On and off and not very smooth in the beginning but it was clear that something dramatic was activating.
        Regarding the timing, I used to try to take the B12 about 1 hour before bed time since it worked as a sleeping pill (that effect is now gone and I take it at random times). The folate I would take half at lunch and half at dinner. Same with the B-complex.

        • avatar

          Eric April 24, 2013, 3:08 pm

          I’m hoping for a repeat performance! Wondering if you did your B12 titration during chelation or took a breather… I think you’ve probably mentioned it before but I can’t remember. I’m thinking you probably stopped chelation because you are more methodical and patient than I am.

          • avatar

            Viking Expat April 24, 2013, 3:38 pm

            “Wondering if you did your B12 titration during chelation or took a breather…..I’m thinking you probably stopped chelation because you are more methodical and patient than I am.”

            Well….I may now seem a bit more “methodical and patient” then what was the case when I started out. I did read the Cutler book, then went to make sure that there was no mercury left in my mouth (the fillings were removed 20 years before). The dentist did find a small fragment that I removed.

            Then I built up supps over 2 months before starting with ALA. But at the time, I did a B-complex with folic acid and the Jarrow B12. I did 2 rounds like that and then I found the Fredd protocol and went over to metafolin and the B-complex from Pure Encapsulation.. I did take a 2 week break from chelating then.
            The dose of the B12 was worked up gradually, but I don’t have full details. I think that I went up to 10,000 mcg over about 3-4 week, but it may have been longer.

            • avatar

              Eric April 24, 2013, 3:58 pm

              sounds like you did have some overlap between chelation and B12 titration then. I’m thinking I may just stick to easy DMSA-only rounds for a couple weeks while I experiment with B12…

          • avatar

            Viking Expat April 24, 2013, 4:09 pm

            “I’m thinking I may just stick to easy DMSA-only rounds for a couple weeks while I experiment with B12…”
            Makes sense. I hope that you also will be able to add some fish oil, since that really should be there before going on ALA, I think.

            • avatar

              Eric April 24, 2013, 4:42 pm

              I think it’s a lot to hope for, but believe there is a chance and I will keep trying. Based on Googling, it’s possible the insomnia is caused by the DMAE in fish oil. DMAE happens to be a methyl donor (whatever that means), so there could be a connection…

    • avatar

      Eric April 25, 2013, 12:19 am

      wow, doctorsdata.com/methylation.pdf was a bull’s-eye –  I added many excerpts to the post about the low sulfur/thiol diet. Avoiding excess dietary sulfur looks much more important than I had guessed… thanks,  will give me great motivation to stay on the diet!

"...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."
-Aeschylus

About


My name is Eric - I‘m 48 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 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.

* supplements
* hair test
* genetics
* lessons learned

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

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