Methodical Progress and MTHFR

I’ve been gradually adding in foods to see what I do and don’t tolerate.  I’ve had a few bumps along the way, specifically when I ate some nightshades. The following foods seem to be thumbs up so far:

  • Meat (all kinds)
  • Eggs
  • Coconut (all forms seem to be ok – I’ve had coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut milk, and coconut aminos)
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Carrots
  • Apples

I’ve decided to start adding whole fruit into my diet again, starting with having one apple every day for the last 4 days.  I wasn’t sure if the fiber in the apple was going to cause me problems so I’m starting slow (and so far, so good).  My plan is to gradually add and see at what point my blood sugar and/or mood start to struggle.  Watermelon is the next one to try.  So why am I adding sugary fruit?  Well, I’ve been noticing loose strands of hair on my shoulders and and shirt a lot lately – I’m not sure if I’m losing hair because my thyroid is suffering (my high reverse T3 would suggest that this is indeed the case) or perhaps because of the physical stress associated with losing weight.  In any case I would like to test the hypothesis asserted by Ray Peat that diabetes is not caused by sugar – rather, it’s caused by high PUFA consumption.  As I’ve been losing weight I’ve been presumably detoxifying some of the stored PUFA, and I’ve been avoiding it in my diet.  If what Meme wrote was true, then I should be able to tolerate more sugar and eventually be CURED of diabetes.  Wouldn’t that be something?  Now, that would be worth blogging about.

On another topic, I’ve been learning more and more about MTHFR mutations and their impact on health.  According to 23 and me I’m heterozygous for the MTHFR C667T mutation (as is my daughter) while my husband is homozygous. I’ve been taking methylated B vitamins as part of my Nourish Balance Thrive protocol, but I wanted to see what would happen if I started them on something similar.  Here’s what we’ve found so far:

  • Husband (homozygous for MTHFR C667T) – Started him on Methylfolate and he got really mellow.  He described it as his adrenaline being turned off.  I added Methyl B12 and he got irritable for several days in a row (unheard of for him).  I was starting to take it personally, and then I remembered reading that people who also have a COMT mutation (he does) don’t always tolerate methyl B12 well.  So then I swapped that out for hydroxy B12, and he’s doing well on this.  I’m interested to have some basic testing done in a month or two and see if it’s affecting anything for the better.
  • Daughter (5 years old) (heterozygous for MTHFR C667T) – Started her on a methylfolate and methyl B12 lozenge.  She was doing great on this.  She became calmer and less interested in television, more interested in playing quietly.  I always knew she wasn’t an “easy” kid, but now I think this mutation may have been causing her to run a little hyperactive.  Well, this went so well that I tried to add in a multivitamin that also had methyl folate and b12, in addition to some other things she may need.  She started having nightmares almost every night.  Huh? I checked the label and the form of B6 in the multivitamin is Pyroxidine Hydrochloride – not the P5P (bioactive) form of B6.  I remember hearing/reading that B6 can be related to dream recall and too much or the wrong form can cause nightmares.  So we stopped the multi and she’s back to sleeping through the night most nights again.  Still continuing on with the folate/b12 lozenge.  I’d like to find a kid’s chewable vitamin that has the P5P form of B6, but so far I haven’t found one.  B6 doesn’t get as much press as the folate and B12, I guess.  Or maybe it tastes bad so they don’t put it in chewable vitamins.

Here’s another twist on the genetic whirlwind I’ve been researching.  I put my genetic data into Nutrahacker, which is free for some reports, including one that tells you which substances/supplements to use and which to avoid, considering your genotype. I found out that B2 in its active form (Riboflavin 5′-Phosphate, or R5P) can be helpful for lowering blood pressure in people with my genetic profile.  So I got some and have been trying it for the last few days.  There’s already some in the multivitamin I take but the supplement by Thorne includes an additional 36mg per day.  Well today, after taking this for 2 or 3 days, my blood pressure dropped from around 136/84 (medicated) to 118/80 (medicated).  Something shaved off almost 20 points from my systolic BP.  Unprecedented.  Hoping its the R5P.  I’d like to stop supporting Big Pharma.  I’d rather support Big Vitamin.

18 thoughts on “Methodical Progress and MTHFR

  1. Glad to see that you’ve finally caught up with the genetics wagon, via 23andme, etc. I knew that that would make an enlightened difference for you. I know the COMT++ monster more than I’d ever care to.

  2. I’ve been interested in it all along but time allows for only so much research at once! What are you doing to address the COMT monster?

  3. For sure….it’s overwhelming! I’ve gone your route, (post Peat) working with an integrative Naturalpath DO. I had about 60% improvement then plateaued, frustrated, having spent thousands. I knew my genetics a year ago, but although my Dr helped with certain supports, he really doesn’t know enough about tough combinations of SNP’s and methylation enhancement, and accompanying detox fallout. He would try things with me, because they worked in the past on his other patients, only to trigger awful reactions in me, and then not know why. Classic Yasko style, along with CBS and wicked COMT symptoms, I developed glutamate overload. (Now THAT’s a monster! You know the well meaning advice: “eat gelatin every day, and bone broths to heal the gut….and ferments….blah, blah, blah”. Sure, and end up with the glutamate overload mother of all monsters. Finally, now I know better!)
    I ran new labs through her site, only to discover that my Dr had actually contributed to the problem by over supplementing certain nutrients and not appropriately rechecking with subsequent labs. I’m now working diligently through the Yasko protocol. COMT is only one of my issues, that I have learned to respect by absolutely limiting methyl donors. All things MUST go in a certain order. I’ve had to learn how to balance and reduce my glutamate, how to initiate my “short route” around methylation until the “long route” can be triggered safely, replenish deficiencies typical of this problem (lithium, molybdenum, potassium, etc). Things will later be added in very, very slowly. Major probiotic rotation is a must, of course. I still have a mountain of info to learn in this marathon of methylation recovery. My symptoms can get wicked, with my worst being severe chronic fatigue. When you aren’t methylating fully, detox pathways are further impaired. Testing shows my metals accumulation, which of course feeds bacteria, which drives endotoxins, which jack neurotransmitters….you know all this stuff.
    I am thankful to finally have a full picture, with a logical course of action, and a support system via a chat room that I’ve joined. Even with all that I’ve been through and learned, in that world, I have just now begun to scratch the surface.
    The heartfixer link that the previous reader shared is def a good one that I’ve used. I’m using Dr. Yasko’s testing and supplement resources because they work. She went through all of my labs, making notations on my photos my own Dr provided supplements, indicating which ingredients were inappropriate for my SNP’s. She also notes on all lab results, listing which supplement to use to specifically address each abnormal bio marker. You can read about her, watch oodles of YouTube videos….even read the naysayers who don’t believe in her. I’ve read it all. Bottom line is that she coined the term ‘methylation’, was the first to define and map it, and has me getting relief the further I go (along with 7,000 others who are following her protocol and interacting on her chat room). And that is all I know so far. 😛

  4. Wow! That’s diligence. I’ve been reading some things on Yasko’s site and she’s masterful for sure. Your endorsement makes me want to read more from her. I heard one guy (Dr. Kendal Stewart) say that CBS is only a big deal if you’re homozygous. What do you think of this?

  5. I’d say, instead of deciding the relevance based on what someone else says, I would instead confirm by assessing the tested bio markers, which will indicate if, in fact, CBS is up regulating. In my case, I am not homo. I am hetero for for two of the three CBS genes that were measured. My bio markers indicated that I was up regulating, but more recently, have improved.

    Yasko Excerpts:
    CBS (cystathionine-beta-synthase): regulates the enzymes that help to convert homocysteine into glutathione, a major antioxidant. Specifically, certain types of mutations in the CBS genes will produce more sulfur end products from the methylation cycle. In particular, individuals who have the CBS (+/+, or +/-) the homozygous or heterozygous variants may want to limit intake of sulfur-containing foods (like crucifers, garlic, and supplements, such as MSM as well as medications like DMPS.) Both the CBS homozygous and heterozygous mutations also have a higher risk for ammonia detoxification issues. (This mutation can also indirectly affect an enzyme called G6PDH, which has negative effects on blood sugar metabolism, red blood cell formation, and blood vessel stability, leading to easy bruising, bleeding, and broken blood vessels.)
    Indications of CBS Upregulations
    Any of the following values on test results may be indicators for the CBS upregulation. Changes in these values shown by periodic retesting after you begin to layer in methylation support for second priority mutations will also help you track your forward progress with CBS.

    UAA Test:
    Elevated taurine
    Elevated ammonia
    Decreased citrulline
    Decreased methionine
    Elevated phenylalanine
    OAT/MAP Tests:
    Elevated hippuric
    Decreased fumarate
    Elevated phenyl lactate, phenyl acetate, phenylethylamine
    Decreased oxaloacetate or decreased oxalates. (Secondary to decreased oxalate you can find elevated hydroxymethylglutarate and elevated hydroxybutyrate. Elevated ammonia requires more urea cycle function, depleting oxaloacetate from the Krebs cycle. Imbalances in oxaloacetate can lead to an increase in the level of hydroxybutyrate.)
    Low CO2
    Low creatinine

    Indications that you have addressed the CBS upregulation
    UAA Test

    Decreased ammonia
    Increased creatinine
    Decreased taurine
    Increased sarcosine
    Secondary to increased oxalates:
    Increased beta alanine
    Increased beta amino isobutyrate
    Increased carnosine
    Increased anserine

  6. o.m.g. Is there any way to do this without the help of Amy Yasko herself? I mean, who else knows this much about this stuff? Well, and you now. I guess I have my work cut out for me. Feel free to throw more SNP language around in the comments. It’s helpful.

  7. I don’t believe that anyone knows this stuff as well as Dr. Amy. If I had known better, I would have begun on her site, where she has one of her key explanatory books posted, for free, chapter by chapter. I like this particular book of hers, over her latest, which I had ordered in hard copy. I would read it, take screenshots and notes, which will allow you to compare bio marker scenarios to your own labs that you’ve already paid dearly for. I would know that if my labs were old and outdated, that I must expect to run more, to track progress. Running labs through her site (holistic health) costs the same as anywhere else, with the huge added benefit of her hand written notations and supplement recommendations, which she does on all labs, FOR FREE. I believe that’s what has naysayers calling foul, especially competitors who resent her free services, undercutting their own clinics. And yes, her work encourages the use and purchase of her own supplement lines from her partner site, but it has simply made sense for me to be able to have a one stop source, where ingredients have already been thoroughly and accurately aligned to prevent he pitfalls of SNP issues. It also makes it easier to follow her lab notations, with common, specific supplement names from her site. It removes the element of a potential supp ingredient derailing me, leaving me scrambling to determine what went wrong. If you do run labs with her, be sure to know what to include prior to submitting the lab, in order to reap the full benefits of her free service (your own prior labs, your own current supplement regime. She has a person who you email directly, who collects and prepares all of this info for her just prior to your lab processing. I almost missed this process, not knowing.) Join the chat room for a blow-your-hair-back level of detailed info, anytime. You do not have to run labs to join and start learning. Dr. Amy does not take patients on anyway. She used to, but in order to overcome a 5 year wait list, she decided to educate the masses, via site, YouTube, books, and support chat room. This allows her to do daily notations on labs and oversee the chat room (along with skilled moderators). Be forewarned, her notations repetitively state, due to all the liability flack, “in my opinion, always defer to your doctor’s recommendation”. There is only one doctor, in Cali, that I know of that 100% follows Yasko protocol with each of her patients….I don’t recall her name, and I do know that she has a wait list and is, of course, very pricey. I was able to get my own dr to be willing to be on standby, while I do this protocol, available should I need him. He was perplexed, not knowing what else to do with me, so finally conceded that I should go ahead and try it her way. Best wishes to you….time for me to get back to my book study. I’m just coming through stage one of my slow, steady recovery and have to focus on what to do next.

  8. I recall reading a while ago that it doesn’t matter which B6 version you use and the cheaper popular form is as good as any. In addition, most studies with vitamin B6 use the hydrochloride form.

  9. Hi Lanie…just to clarify, I think there’s more layers to the Diabetes issue than simply PUFA. I’m pretty certain that rogue gut flora plays a big role too, simply my opinion based on my experience with the raw garlic protocol (also the reason I still avoid starch most of the time). Additionally, I think too much cortisol is a factor, again, based solely on my own experience. I’m not a researcher/scientist and I don’t work in the health care field, what little I know is merely my own observations. There may be more factors involved that I’m unaware of, but these three for sure: PUFA, gut flora/endotoxin, excess cortisol. I’ve noticed that supplementing with extra B vitamins helps tremendously and I use the methylated forms, but I know absolutely NOTHING about all these genetic markers you guys are talking about….it’s waaaay above my head :-/

  10. Thanks for all the great info. I’m still a little scared by how complicated this all is. B vitamins seemed like a no-brainer, but once you start using all these words with -ine at the end I feel my blood pressure rise. Looking forward to reading more from Dr. Amy.

  11. Unlikely knowing that you can cure type 2 diabetes in 10 days flat…cant be PUFA.

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