What are symptoms of over methylation?

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  • #3500 Reply


    I read that niacin is good to take with over methylation. How would I know if I am experiencing it? What are the symptoms? I also have the CBS mutation so I think I need to be extra careful with over methylation.


    #3503 Reply


    Hi Mary
    Here are two of Dr Ben’s articles that should set you on the right track:



    It really is worth working through all of the articles – and the comments too, there is much extra information sprinkled throughout.

    All the best, Allie

    #3506 Reply


    Thanks Allie! Wow, I think I am doing many things wrong. First I am taking 500 mg niacin twice a day as part of an iodine protocol. That much niacin must be really causing under methylation. Dr Ben also commented that taking niacin AND methyl folate at the same time is like putting one foot on the break and another on the gas. Weird thing is that i feel worse when i dont take the niacin. I was taking that much niacin and started 7.5 mg methyl folate and 7.5 mg methyl b12. I had terrible muscle pain, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and an ezcema breakout. Stopping the b12 and methyl folate only really helped decrease the muscle pain. I\’m wondering if being under methylated has similar symptoms to being over methylated. It gets complicated because I have the CBS mutation as well so who knows, maybe I need that much niacin from the excess methyl groups. This is confusing!

    Dr Ben also stated that starting methyl folate before inflammation is under control could increase inflammation. Maybe that is why I recently had a flare up of a rotator cuff injury and sciatic recently.

    Thanks for the links.


    #3523 Reply



    I am not an expert but part of your problem is that you are probably taking too much methyl-folate–yes too much—I know that in my case and supposably in the majority of other cases methyl folate should not be more than around 1 gram of methyl folate and around 5 mg B-12 (well this applies to A1298C issues atleast for B-12) that is probably why you feel better when you take the niacin because it is normalizing the “overmethylation” —–I remember Dr. Ben saying something that there are those cases where people have developed issues or “antibodies” I believe to milk and this can cause issues with needing more methyl-folate than most people, a lot of times this is the only reason to really need high amounts of Folic Acid and the need for Deplin is because of a small percentage of people that have developed anti-bodies and don’t know it.

    The medical proffession has a very poor understanding of MTHFR and don’t realize that high dosages of methyl-folate can actually be dangerous—-actually cause overmethylation.

    #3537 Reply


    Hi M. Yes I was taking way too much methyl folate and ended up getting the muscle pain from it. Now I’m only taking 400 mcg of methyl folate in my b complex and no additional niacin. . I made some changes the last 2 days and feel so much better! Significant actually! I take 500 mg acetyl-L-Carnitine first thing in the morning and i doubled my dose of molybdenum (for CBS mutation) I also took 1 mg methyl b12 but will switch to hydroxyl b12 tomorrow because my order just came in the mail. wow, I’m really excited. My head feels so clear! Headache and burning eyes are gone! I even felt more “into” my job today as well. I’m trying not to get too excited because I’ve had many “ups” that quickly turned into “downs” so we shall see…


    #3935 Reply

    Sandra Dwan

    Mary S ~

    I wonder if you could tell me how you were tested for your CBS mutation?

    I finally got my doctor to order the testing for the CBS, COMT, MAO A gene mutations and took my order to the lab and they looked at me as if I were from outer space.  They had no clue what those were nor how to tube the blood, order the test, etc.  Any suggestions?  I would love to have this done and was so happy to have the blood order but now don’t know where to go to get it done.  What lab did you use?

    Thanks so much ~


    #3957 Reply


    Hi sandy

    I had the 23andme test done because I was doing it on my own.  It was a saliva test.  I’m not sure what the options are if you have a doctors recommendation.

    Just an update on my post above.  My improvements were very short lived.  I’m back to feeling crapy again.  :( getting the right balance is so hard! I’m making some of dr Lynch’s recommendations one at a time and my mood and allergies are better but no change in the tight sore muscles, Heavy head, fatigue, or burning eyes yet.  I’m thinking about trying some niacin today.  Maybe I’m over methylated? It seems like the role of niacin is the most confusing for people based on the posts I’ve read.



    #4039 Reply


    If your lab is Quest or one of the major ones, they do test for MTHFR, but I doubt if they test for CBS, etc. Your best bet is to get either the Yasko methylation panel or do 23andme.com.  Yasko is blood. I don’t know if you need to get blood drawn or if it is a simple prick test or what. 23andme is saliva.



    #4063 Reply

    Dolores Seames

    I get the heavy head, fatigue and burning dry eyes, and sometimes headache.  Not fun.  Mostly in the afternoon and evenings, so thankful to feel better in the mornings, most of the time.

    #4064 Reply

    Dolores Seames

    I haven’t been able to handle any methylfolate, so I don’t think my above syptoms could be over methlylation.  I also have a lot of muscle aches and pains.  Maybe I should try to take a break from the B12 to see if anything changes.

    #7621 Reply

    janis bell

    Just thought I’d clarify that Yasko testing uses blood in order to test COMT. I don’t know if that is included in 23andme as lots of advancements have occurred since I did the Yasko nutrigenomics panel in 2007.

    For the muscle aches and pains, take magnesium. When you overmetnhylate, there are high stress hormones and, I think, high excitatory neurotransmitters. In any event, even if you are no longer pushed into this state from supplements, you’ll have depleted nutrients from the period of stress, and magnesium is a good relaxer of muscles. Also, niacinamide binds to the same receptors as benzodiazepams and can help with relatxation.

    #7689 Reply

    Kelly Richards

    Hi guys definitely have niacin around if your are being treated for methylation issues. It levels you if you have too much methyl folate. If you go from feeling good to crap take a small amount to level you. I take 1/4 tablet with my supplements and it keeps me from overmethylating. It makes treating this condition very easy. I recommend to all.

    #7690 Reply

    Kelly Richards

    oh yeah, watch out for the niacin flush, which happens when you take more than 1/2 tablet. Don’t worry it is just your capillaries dialating and may actually be beneficial for detox. Google it, very interesting and niacin is super good for you anyway : )

    #376650 Reply


    Try Potassium. It worked for me. I have traveled a long road trying manage Candida and mold Infections, Hypothyroidism, Adrenal fatigue, and now Under Methylation. Addressing my issues of Under Methylation seem to tie everything together. It explains allergies, asthma, and now recognizable poor adrenal function that have plagued me since childhood. Since taking methylfolate and hydroxyl B12 I have been able to cut my Thyroid medicine in half and I have been able to cut out many of the supplements I had to take to feel near normal.

    So now to how potassium helped me. After starting methylfolate I felt great for a very short time. Then I noticed my right knee was pretty swollen and my left was a bit achy. I then started to notice increasing muscle cramps in my legs and feet, I may have had cramps elsewhere but my legs(especially my quads) got so bad that they were my focus. I then began to get odd nerve sensations and mild brain fog. I didn’t want to stop the methylfolate as I knew that it was helping, but I couldn’t take it much longer if I couldn’t control the side effects. After researching things I decided to try Potassium as I didn’t consume much in my diet and my symptoms matched potassium deficiency. I started with Potassium Glucanate and increase my diet on foods with potassium. Very quickly I noticed some relief of my cramps. I started with about 500mg in the first day taking over several doses. I then increased to 700mg, then 1000mg, and then 1500mg daily. The cramps went away but then I noticed my knee was still swollen along with my feet, hands, and my stomach felt bloated. I did some more research and figured out that Chloride was the 3rd electrolyte. Chloride is the only negative charged electrolyte, as Potassium and Sodium are positively charged. Chloride helps in many functions one of which is fluid retention. I decided to take Potassium Chloride to solve this issue. Very shortly after taking Potassium Chloride I noticed the swelling going down. I currently take 1500-2000mg of Potassium Chloride daily(usually dissolved in water at about 500mg per 24ozs to make it easier on my stomach)and have no cramps and no bloat. It has helped me a lot. I had a personal best time on a 20 mile road cycling segment and came in first amongst the intermediates of the group I ride with. This after only being back on the bike a few times after missing the last few months. My legs felt strong with no cramps and I felt ready for more the next day.

    I believe that when you begin taking methylfolate that it awakens processes in your body that were running slow. This creates a greater demand for other nutrients to run these systems that now want to power up. I think Potassium’s value and necessity is very much under-rated in our society. I suggest you do a little research yourself and decide if this may be something you think could help you. I don’t know what if any genetic issues I may have as I have not been tested. Therefore, I can’t say how this may effect people with certain issues. Although you would need to avoid this protocol if have Kidney disease. One article I do recommend was by Joe Vialls – Potassium Deficiency Scam. I thought he may be a bit of a fanatic at first. But the more I read, the more it made sense. Hope this helps. Good Luck.

    #376656 Reply


    Thanks Alex. I do have muscle cramps, stiffness and various aches. Also a very high pulse. No fluid retention and my blood pressure is good. I also have adrenal fatigue and was told to be generous with sea salt. I even mix some in water and drink it. I’ve been hesitant to try potassium due to its relationship with sodium, but I wonder if I do need more of it. I wonderi if Neutralize from seeking health would be beneficial. It has potassium and sodium bicarbonate.


    #376721 Reply



    Some of you might have seen my previous posts on FB, so I don’t want to repeat too much of my story, so I will try and provide a short version if possible. :) The last several years I’ve been doing down hill. Not even really knowing it, other than realizing that I wasn’t getting as excited about things like I should be…I also had some anxiety/nervousness, and some OCD, but never knew it was any big deal just part of who I was. I was mostly happy and enjoying life, until 2 years ago…I hit rock bottom out of the blue. I had some event while driving my car, felt like my brain turned off then on, and I was filled with adrenaline, shaking and had massive fear/panic…This went on for months!!! Then turned into severe insomnia, then depression….I got most of the anxiety/panic under control using a amino acid mix and co-factors, but my depression lives on in the form of low moods, not enjoying life, low energy, brain fog, heavy head feeling, tight band around the head, etc…..

    My amino acid mix consists of Tyrosine, Mucuna (l-dopa), choline, pantothine, MSM, (I did have 5-htp in the mix but thought I finally had enough serotonin built up…Co factors such as Methyl B12 and some 5-MHTF (folate).

    I seem or seemed to be under methylated, yet have some symptoms of over methylation. I have HIGH amounts of unmethylated B12 in my blood from having B shots, and some what elevated Folate levels, but I DON’T have the two common mutated MTHF genes. So, why isn’t B12 getting used up, why has my body been hanging on to it for over a year?

    I recently added DMG to my mix, along with Methionine. I thought it helped but then had some bouts of bad Anxiety…I stopped the methionine and 5-HTP at that time. I continued to feel slightly better, ups/downs, then I started to add more 5-MTHF (folate) and some methionine again. Felt a little mood increase, then upped my 5-MTHF some more, from 1mg, 2mg now 3mg, and was feeling more stable, but still having some dips mostly in the afternoons, then I added some more methyl-b12, and felt maybe a bit better, then increased it to 4mg, with 3mg of 5-MTHF, with the DMG, and the Methionine, now I’m feeling worse, mood low, energy low, slight mental fog, etc…. I’m also taking Betaine HCI for digestion, which is the same as TMG. So, did I become over-methylated? Can that cause depression? Or, is the lower mood caused by too much 5-MTHF which I hear can happen if you are under-methylated/high histamine, I think maybe because those people have the mutated MTHF gene, but I was tested and don’t. So, is 5-MTHF good for me or not? What caused my worse mood, the Methionine, DMG, 5-MTHF, Methyl-B12, along with the Betaine-HCI, or…?

    I’ve had various tests, last December I had high/normal histamine, high/normal homocystein, and I have HIGH cobalamin (B12) that never methylated, it’s been high for over 1.5 years. No one can answer me why…I know that 5-MTHF lends a process to convert cobalamin to methylcobalamin, but if that were the case, then the 5-MTHF I have been taking previously should methylated it, unless something else is using up my Folate. So, it would seem I’m under methylated, from these tests results, but, not sure if what I’m taking is helping or not. I also have symptoms of over methylation, so it’s confusing.

    I’m like you Mary, I will have moments or part of a day where I feel pretty good, then the next day or later that day I slump. Something will seem to make me feel better, but then it doesn’t last. So, you start to wonder if what you are taking is helping or making things worse, and I get hesitant to keep trying whatever it was….I know it’s common to have ups/downs while you are becoming stabilized, like if you were taking a SSRI, but at some point you should reach steady state, if not, then something else must be going on. I do believe I have some adrenal fatigue, but the Endo doctors all say my adrenals and thyroid are fine, but I have symptoms of adrenal fatigue and low thyroid. From what I understand is that you need to treat the adrenals first, then thyroid. I guess low thyroid symptoms can be from adrenal fatigue. I tried some iodine wanting to help my adrenals and got WAY over stimulated. Which I guess can happen if you have adrenal fatigue.

    Anyway, I just wonder why I have not reached steady state…I’ve been on the Amino Acid mix for over 6 months now. I have had some improvements, but either I’m not taking enough of something or too much of something that is preventing me to reach steady state.

    Some times I will start to feel that tingly euphoric feeling in my brain, like somethings lifting, and my mood might feel a bit better, feel a bit more relaxed, and I can even force that feeling some times by listening to music that moves me, or think of some fun/good day dreams, something that makes you happy, and I can feel that light feeling in my head that feels good, but it doesn’t last but moments, like I stir up some serotonin or dopamine then run out. I feel ta times I’m close to steady state, but it just doesn’t stick…..

    Some things that have really helped me with the anxiety/panic are Taurine, Kavinace, Theanine (I think, as it’s supposed to help make/boost gaba), etc…I also take some Tryptophan at night to help with sleep but doesn’t seem to help much, but hoping it will help keep my serotonin levels up as I don’t like 5-htp. My anxiety and panic are mostly very low, so when I get these low moods, dips, I can tolerate them better, when I had them both the low moods and anxiety, yuk that was almost debilitating.

    I have used Niacin the flushing kind, which has seemed to give me a slight mood & energy boost, etc…I only take 50mg or less, haven’t tried much more. I’ve read that people might take it for depression, and I’ve read that doctors use it for POW’s with bad anxiety, panic and PTSD. So, why does it help? I know it’s supposed to help burn up methyl-donors so if your are over-methylated it can help. Does it only help if you are over methylated, or can it help if you are under-methylated at low doses? Does it help if you are deficient in Niacin? I know that Tryptophan can convert to 5-HTP or Niacin, so if you are not getting enough Tryptophan due to poor diet, inflammation in the gut, celiac, etc… then maybe you need both serotonin and niacin. Not sure….

    So much information and variables out there, and trying to find the right mix for yourself is not always easy. Especially when your symptoms are not so cut and dry and fit into different categories.

    Wow, I talked a lot here, I hope you don’t mind. I’m open to suggestion for myself, and whatever feedback you might have, as I love to read other people’s experiences on products as that helps me know what to maybe expect and or want to try next….None of my doctors seem to know much about all this methylation stuff. They know how to treat things with folate and B12, and amino acids, but they don’t seem to take into consideration methyl defects which everyone should be tested for before stating treatments, or whether someone is under or over methylated.

    I forgot to mention, the last couple of months, off and on, I’ve had muscle cramps, not to the point of charlie horses but close, and spasms, all in my calves. Not sure if this is from over methylation causing low magnesium or potassium…I have had high calcium blood levels before, not sure why. not sure if this is an indicator that I have low magnesium…(It can signify a parathyroid issue, but previous tests show it’s fine). I’ve taken magnesium from time to time, originally when I had b shots there were a combo of Magnesium and B’s. First shot I got, I slept like a BABY, so good that when I woke up I thought this nightmare I had been living for a year at the time was a dream, but then reality set in. Then the next couple of shots didn’t help me sleep but just relaxed me. Then after that they never helped. Then eventually I felt worse on them. Now, some times magnesium supplements seem to over stimulate me, and if I take them at night I might not sleep as well. Not sure why. I have heard that when you are low on magnesium, and start taking it you can get stimulated for a while as you are turning things on in your body that weren’t firing as well before, or something like that….But eventually it should calm down. I did have another magnesium sulfate shot without B’s, and it didn’t seem to help either way. I didn’t sleep good that night, (not that I sleep good anyway with my insomnia)…

    I am sleeping a bit better than I had been, I fall asleep most of the time, unless I feel over stimulated in the brain which happens now and then. I can be tired but my brain is wide awake like I had tons of coffee, must be adrenaline, and nothing no matter what I take will help me sleep better when I feel that way. Some times I might dose off around 1am for a couple of hours then wake up. Anyway, when I do sleep, I still wake up at 1am, or 3am, some times fall back asleep some times not. And none of my sleep anymore lately is refreshing….Rrrrrrrgggggggg…..

    Thanks for listening.


    #376775 Reply


    Mary – From what I have researched, unless you have Kidney disease it appears to be impossible to have too much potassium in your system. It is possible to have too much sodium in your system though.. I wonder if it is possible that with adrenal problems that low sodium levels are caused by low potassium. It may be that the body is unable to hold sodium because it dose not have adequate potassium levels. Low potassium does cause muscle cramps, especially in the legs. Low adrenal function also causes muscle cramps, especially in the lower back and legs. Not sure if connected completely but it is a strange coincidence.

    MichaelG – You say the doctors told you your Adrenal and Thyroid functions were normal. What were the test results? What are your Neuroadrenal levels for Serotonin, Dopamine, 5-HIAA, GABA, Taurine, Glycine, PEA, Testosterone, DHEA, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine? Also have you done a saliva cortisol level test to measure your levels through the day? Cortisol is important in adrenal balance and Thyroid function. What are your Thyroid levels for T4, T3, and reverse T3. If T3 is towards the low end and reverse is towards the high end then there could be conversion issues. RT3 will use the same enzyme to convert to T2 as T4 needs to convert to T3, leaving you low on the T3 needed to energy to your cells. This enzyme comes from Selenium, so you may want to look at supplementing this mineral to aid in your Thyroid conversion. The fact that you were responsive to Iodine and Tyrosine leads me to believe there is something going on with your Thyroid function. One simple way to get an idea whether you are having adrenal, Thyroid, or problems with both; is to measure your temperature. Take a morning Basal temp under your armpit for 10-15 minutes as you wake-up before you get out of bed. Then take your temp 3 times during the day orally with a liquid thermometer. First time about 4 hours after waking then every 4 hours for the other 2 times. Do this for a few days and keep track of your temps. Your basal should fall between 97.8-98.2 and the 3 oral temps should average to or within about 0.4 degrees of 98.6. If you are having Thyroid problems your body temperature will never get to or near the 98.6 degree mark during the day. If you are having adrenal problems and Thyroid is fine, then your temp will be low in morning and rise as your adrenals come to life mid-day, then drop off in the evening. If it is a problem with both this can be a more complex. You may be over doing it with the Methylation issue, B12, and adrenals; and if you do have some level of Thyroid problems then it may hold back all these processes. As you aid your Thyroid you may find you need less Adrenal help and you may find methylation issues may improve. I supplement selenium, Lugols Iodine, and also take small amount of desiccated pig thyroid (Nature-throid). The amount of Thyroid meds needed has decreased for me since beginning the methylation treatment protocol.

    As things pertain to your Methylation issues. If your Histamine and Homocystein levels are high I would think you are under-methylated. You may just be trying to do too many things to address the problems and it is being counter productive. I at one time took most of what you are taking with some positive results. I now take the Neurological Health Formula from Holistic Health, Folapro, and activated B12. The NHF has TMG and other ingredients to increase methylation. This has eliminated my need for all the other things and given me more balance with my Histamine levels. I do take some SAM-E to help this at times also. Not sure if this may work the same for you.

    You take Betaine HCL for digestion. Have you been checked for Candida other kinds of systemic infections. Candida will lower Serotonin levels in the stomach. It can also cause many other problems and symptoms. Also, I have not aware of any research that has been able to show that Betaine HCL is able to act as a methyl donor like Betaine(TMG). I have tried both and did not notice any benefits to methylation with Betaine HCL. As with the Niacin, for me it feels good with a little, but too much and I experience problems with my allergies. This tells me I have gone towards under-methylation again. And I believe high calcium levels are common in under-methylation. The NHF mentioned earlier contains Zinc that can help to lower calcium levels, and also other ingredients to help raise Glutathione levels in the Thyroid.

    Hope this may help you. I have just started into the methylation aspect of things, but I have a lot of personal experience with Adrenal and Thyroid issues.

    #379229 Reply


    I was recently diagnosed with MHTFR .. was wondering how similar symptoms are to pregnancy symptoms. Feeling muscle ache, bloat, and gassiness. Started level II of the methylfolate on dec 18. Also have adrenal fatigue diagnosed in Oct. and have had hypothryroidism since 2009.


    #379408 Reply

    Dave Christensen

    I am a homo 677 under-methylator and I take the methylfloate B-12 pink mini tabs. I love them! I was curious if it was possible to take too much. So I used myself as a guinea pig and gave my self large doses of methylfolate and other methylation boosters. I finally got too much. If I took too much before I went to bed at night my head felt like it was in the microwave and was racing. Like electricity dancing in my brain like if someone put tinfoil inside a microwave and turned it on! It was very uncomfortable. ☺ I found that niacin made it a lot better in a very short time. I never had any other bad results than this discomfort.


    #383040 Reply


    I have histamine intolerance which gives me asthma. I am concerned about taking the niacin flushing tablets if I end up over-methylating, as I read that the flush is caused by histamine release, so is this likely to give me asthma do you think?

    #400998 Reply

    Anita S

    MaryS – I was reading your posts and your symptoms sound a lot like mine. I also experience crazy ups and downs, painful BURNING eyes, fatigue and unexplained soar muscles. I would love to hear more about what you are doing.

    Like you, I also have mutations that I am homozygous for in the CBS catagory, the COMT catagory and the MTHFR catagory.

    I spent 2 weeks on a low dosage of methylated B-vitamins in a lipid form and felt great. Then I increased with a methylated multi B-vitamin and started taking Niacin.

    The result was CRAZY mood swings. I think I’ve literally been crying or on the verge of tears most of 2 weeks. I’ve felt angry and anxious. Plus, I can’t sleep and my eyes are BURNING. The eye pain is so bad that it wakes me up at night and I have to tie something tight around my face as I sleep so that my eyes don’t feel like they are going to pop out of my head. The crazy thing is that I also get this feeling that I’m detoxing something and sometimes after a wave craziness I’ll actually feel better. It’s all very confusing.

    #474183 Reply


    The Seeking Health Optimal Multi has both Niacin and Methylfolate together. Won’t they cancel each other out?

    #491555 Reply


    Hello. As I read the posts, I see my symptoms in them. I am (+,+) for MTHFR A1298C, MTRR A66G, MTRR A664A, BHMT-08, CBS C699T, and SHMT1 C1420T. I have food reactions with Dairy and Gluten. I get bloating and intestinal inflammation terribly at times, and ongoing constipation. This seems to lead to headaches, fatigue, and muscle pain.
    As has been said, when you feel good, there’s nothing like it in the world, but it’s hard to hold on to. I know I’ll feel better off and on, but when you’re feeling bad it affects everything you do and everyone in the family. I’m trying very hard to control this, but it’s difficult when you can’t get a doctor to order blood work to test levels. The response is that insurance companies don’t like to pay for that kind of testing without really good reasons, and most doctors don’t understand methylation issues enough to see that there are very good reasons for it. Is there some way to have testing ordered from a phone consult, and have it done locally? The tests are very expensive and I don’t understand why as bad as I feel with this and as long as it has been going on, why it can’t be justified. Any help is appreciated.

    #577601 Reply


    Hi Anita,

    I have the burning eyes and trembling thru out my body. What levels of the Methyl B12 were you taking while you were feeling good, and did you space them out thru out the day? Do you think the burning eyes could be from low potassium/magnesium?

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