I got my ass kicked yesterday by folate. Every Friday for the last few weeks I’ve increased folate by (my standard) one quarter tablet which amounts to 200 mcg. Normally, I feel a little fatigued until evening when I get some serious muggy headedness. But yesterday, it hit me early around 10 AM and lasted until I went to bed. It feels a bit like having the flu with a headache – tired, slow thinking, pressure in the head. Just wanted to curl up on the couch, but I had to get through a busy day including a visit with my attorney.
In the evening, I was feeling exceptionally warm even for a folate day, especially in the face. Fortunately, I slept well and feel much better today. In December, I slept poorly every time I increased folate. Eventually I realized the poor sleep was because I had stopped taking 1 g of no-flush niacin (inositol hexanicotinate) at bedtime. Although I’m feeling much better, I still budget three days to recover from a folate increase.
There are two reasons for the walloping. First, the folate pills are difficult to cut evenly and I think my one quarter tablet increase may have been closer to a one third increase. There are no good reasonably inexpensive tablet cutters on the market and I actually started working on designing one — until I cut my finger badly and gave up. One of these days, I may purchase this one.
Second, I’ve increased my choline intake significantly using sunflower lecithin. Choline is a methyl donor and I think it’s possible that I’m more sensitive to folate now because of that. However, the science is way over my head and I haven’t taken the time to look at it carefully. Here’s what I read that made me think about the choline folate connection – from NIH:
Humans ingest approximately 50 mmol of methyl groups per day; 60% of them are derived from choline. Transmethylation metabolic pathways closely interconnect choline, methionine, methyltetrahydrofolate (methyl-THF) and vitamins B-6 and B-12.
I’m still ramping up methylation on faith and intuition more than obvious, clear results. My body seems to react to folate almost the same way it does to chelators. I experience some unpleasant reactions as I titrate up but they fade. So I keep going up, hoping my body is detoxing and repairing. My guess is that I have accumulated such a backlog of repair over the past 20 or 30 years, that the slow pace of healing makes it difficult for me to sense the improvements on a day-to-day basis, or even week to week, month-to-month.
It’s like moving a truckload of sand one cup at a time. Would you notice that one cup of sand is missing from the dump truck?
Anyhow, I’m now up to 3.8 mg of folate per day. Fred says that healing takes anywhere from 1.6 to 30 mg. Next up, I need to chelate again after taking four weeks off to rebuild my strength after the failed hydrocortisone taper…
UPDATE I: after reading this, Fred PM’d me asking if I was exceeding his recommendations on B1, B2 and B3 doses (max of 30-40 mg for b1 and b2, 100mg max for b3). My answer: yes – I have been exceeding those doses significantly so I’m going to reduce them for three days to see if I feel better. At higher doses, Fred’s need for potassium was insatiable (so is mine). After cutting back on B1, B2 and B3, his potassium demand became manageable and his need for Metafolin dropped from 30+ mg to 4-8 mg being fully sufficient.
UPDATE II: after reducing B1 B2 and B3 doses I feel a little more relaxed with a little less cramping. It isn’t a dramatic change so I can’t be certain. But, I did another folate increase (same 200 mcg increase) and this time it went smoothly. Can’t say for sure whether or not the change in B1 B2 and B3 is responsible – I also was very careful to pace out my B12 sublinguals whereas on the day I had all the trouble, I believe I took them too quickly…