Those who have MTHFR mutations (especially the C677T MTHFR mutation) learn that methylfolate is critical to take. The issue is methylfolate can cause more harm than good if not started at the right time or tapered up slowly in amount.
There appear to be three types of responses to methylfolate:
FIRST: A person who can jump on methylfolate and feel absolutely wonderful. The only down side they experience is why didn’t they know about methylfolate before?!
SECOND: A person starts methylfolate has an amazingly incredible week where they are happy, interacting and alert. Then the second week comes and they switch to wanting to hide in a room by themselves or literally throw dishes across the room out of anger. Or they may become bed ridden from muscle aches, intense headaches or joint pain.
THIRD: A person takes a small amount of methylfolate and feels all the methylfolate side effects right out the gate.
Methylfolate Side Effects:
- sore muscles
- achy joints
- severe anxiety
Why does methylfolate create such an amazing week and then create such severe side effects so soon after?
It has to do with methylation, pre-existing inflammation and other genetic mutations which exist yet you’ve no idea they do.
This gets complicated quickly so I am going to keep it simple.
If you experience any of the above methylfolate side effects, I highly recommend you discuss it with your physician and get your dose of methylfolate reduced significantly or stopped for a week or two before reintroducing it.
UPDATE November 16, 2013
two three things you can do to quickly quench most of the methylfolate side effects:
- Consider 50 to 100 mg of time-released niacin. This is 1/4 of a tablet. Why? Niacin is broken down by SAMe. This means that excessive SAM is quenched by taking niacin. Niacin also helps break down glutamate and therefore increase GABA.
- NOTE of CAUTION: You may experience flushing for 20 to 30 minutes. This is not harmful and is a result of histamine release. Since you are likely overmethylated, your histamine flush will likely be minimal – especially as this is time-released niacin.
- Consider 1 to 2 capsules of 250 mg of liposomal curcumin to help quench inflammation. If one takes methylfolate before inflammation is controlled, the methylfolate will worsen it. One may consider taking 2 capsules of Optimal Turmeric three times a day during times of inflammation.
- Consider Hydroxocobalamin as it is an excellent sponge for reducing nitric oxide levels. Methylfolate increases nitric oxide levels – which is why it is so effective in reducing headaches, pain, cardiovascular disease risk, thrombosis, preeclampsia, periodontal disease, etc – but at the same time, excessive nitric oxide levels are harmful as they end up producing serious radical damage via nitrotyrosine. Hydroxocobalamin quenches nitric oxide quite effectively.
Questions for you to answer in your comment below – and please do – be sure to state which MTHFR mutation you have:
- What methylfolate side effects have you experienced?
- Did the niacin, hydroxocobalamin and curcumin help you resolve your methylfolate side effects?
- Did you suffer through the initial methylfolate side effects only to come out feeling great in the end? Or worse?
- Did your doctor start you on a 1 mg or more initial dose of methylfolate and that set you off?
- Did your doctor taper you up gradually and slowly on methylfolate? How’d that work for you?