Why MTHFR Is Only A Part of Methylation

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MTHFR is methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. Some of us have a gene SNP (singular neucleotide polymorphism) or gene SNPs that are not working correctly. People with MTHFR have trouble converting folic acid into the bioavailable form of folate. This can cause many health problems which a few I have listed on the home page. MTHFR plays a role in the production of glutathione along with many other genes that we are finding out about.

In order to get the MTHFR gene to start working again, other enzymes should be addressed. I found this out the hard way. When I found out about MTHFR, I was given the correct forms of active b vitamins along with a few other supplements and I felt good at first and then became very ill again. I can tell you about the panic attacks, days of not sleeping, excessive unhealthy energy, the feelings of my bones  and muscles being crushed and horrible onset of adult acne. These were some of the signs I had when I was put on the active b vitamins and sulfur based supplements without looking at other critical enzymes that play a role in the production of glutathione.

In my experience of learning the hard way, gut health should always be taken care of before methylation will work at it’s full potential. PH balance, parasites, bacteria and mold are just a few things that will disrupt gut absorption. Also adding a healthy organic diet, avoiding foods fortified with synthetic b vitamins which cannot be converted well if at all when there are MTHFR gene mutations involved and going gluten free and casein free.

I was put on a generic “one size fits all” protocol for MTHFR. Most doctors that are prescribing protocols for MTHFR do not look into other genes that work along with MTHFR and some serious consequences can occur.

The CBS GENE:

Cystathionine beta synthase gene mutations can cause serious problems when one is put on a “one size fits all” protocol for MTHFR. I was put on 70mg of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (vitamin B 6), MSM, NAC, milk thistle, glutathione and whey protein. All which are sulfur based and can cause serious problems if CBS is not supported and working efficiently. I was fine for a few weeks and then the pain, anxiety panic and illness kicked back in. I started reading some of Dr. Amy Yasko’s work and realized that I must have other genetic defects besides MTHFR on this methylation pathway. CBS was just one of the defects. I could not afford her genetic testing so I tried to go to a geneticist to be tested for CBS and was told that there was no need. I finally saved enough money to order 23andme. From that test I found that I was heterozygous for the C699T mutation and homozygous for the A360A mutation. Now I understood why I reacted negatively to all these sulfur based foods and supplementation. The supplements that create glutathione were getting jammed. I like to call this methyl trapping. After much research, I put myself on a low sulfur diet for 3 months and started supporting the CBS gene with ammonia free molybdenum, carnitine and yucca root. Since then, I can now handle sulfur foods and other supplementation very sparingly. When sulfur is not breaking down, ammonia builds up so I use the molybdenum to support sulfur and the carnitine and yucca root for ammonia support. Some people do find butyrate works as well. Twice a week I am using a magnesium citrate/calcium supplement and charcoal to mop up the ammonia in my body. Now CBS is working well for me.

COMT GENE: 

Catechol-O-methyltransferase helps to break down norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. It will also cause estrogen dominance. I call this gene the panic disorder hell gene when high doses of methyldonors such as l methylfolate and methyl b 12 are given. I am homozygous for COMT V158M, H62H. I am also homozygous for COMT rs id 6269 and heterozygous for COMT rs id 10995990. I clearly have trouble breaking down these catecholamines. Knowing what I know now, I remember the day my panic disorder was triggered and it all makes so much sense now that I look back. In 1994, I went into anaphylactic shock from a non steroidal anti inflammatory  (classic mastocytosis) and was given epinephrine. Panic disorder set in that day. About eighteen months ago I was given 6mg of l methylfolate and told to take 5mg of methylcobalamin in sublingual form, the panic disorder got so intense after a few months, I thought I was going to die. So knowing this, I have cut back to 800mcg of folate manufactured by Quatrefolic which is twice as potent as l methylfolate manufactured by Metafolin. So it is like taking 1.6 mg a day of l methylfolate by Metafolin. I have removed the methylcobalamin and have replaced it with 2000mcg of sublingual hydroxycobalamin. Panic attacks that I am having now are less and less. Maybe once a month instead of five times a day.
I am told that if VDR Fok, Taq and/or Bsm are present that it will usually cancel out the methyl donor sensitivity. I do not have any of these VDR mutations.

These are just a few of the genes that play a role in methylation but are very critical to treat  when addressing  MTHFR. So for all of you doctors and nutritionists who think you can still put everyone on a “one size fits all” protocol for MTHFR, know this, YOU CANNOT! Our DNA is part of what makes us all different so why are doctors still putting people on the same protocol? And no more excuses about testing. If Amy Yasko’s test is not affordable for the patient, 23andme is helping many heal. There are also plenty of resources out there to read the raw data.  I read raw data daily and at a very affordable price.

The end result of treating MTHFR is methylation. So if methylation is working, glutathione is being created. If glutathione is being created, you will then remove toxins and metals from the body. Many people who are wanting answers and guidance are coming to MTHFR Support on Facebook to interact with people who are knowledgeable about methylation. https://www.facebook.com/mthfrsupport

 
 

Comments ( 21 )

  • Chris

    Hey Sterling – after supporting CBS with diet and supplementation, you said you can tolerate some sulfur…

    Do you mean you can tolerate some methyl groups, or some sulfur supps?

    • Sterling

      I tolerate sulfur groups. My molybdenum is so high now I’m actually toxic. I do have CBS A360A +/+ and CBS C699T +/-. COMT V158M +/+ and COMT H62H +/+ seem to be expressing badly. I react fast and severly to methyl groups.

      • Sara

        Sterling,
        Where did you find out about the various genes and cofactors that influence them? As an NP I find the reports I have gotten frustrating because I cannot determine how to use them to customize therapy. I appreciate any input.

        • Istvan

          I highly suggest you contact Sterling so that she can teach you how to address the SNPs. From there it is up to an experienced practitioner to treat the person as a whole. One of the best quotes I heard from Dr. Jess Armine is: “Treat the person not the snp.”
          It is up to the practitioner to determinewhich SNPs are expressing. He/She not only needs to learn the possible interactions of SNPs, but understand the functions, mechanisms of the gene/enzyme.
          If you would like to be listed as a practitioner on our website then please contact Sterling at beclotaware@gmail.com so she will be able to teach you how to read the Variant Report.

  • John Miller

    great info on comt and cbs genes. please expand this. this is why i havent gone ahead with methyl vitamins. i did the 23andme and had you analyze the raw data. but i really dont know which other ones to take into account. i wish you could expand on the other genes’ implications. i should talk to a guru like lynch, that is on my list, to find a guru.

    • Sterling

      Hi John,

      you can join us on MTHFR Support on Facebook where I have 2 doctors, 2 nutritionists and an occupational therapist who answer many questions. I really wish I had more time to explain but right now Im pretty busy. Hopefully in the next few months I can start writing again. Yes Dr. Lynch is amazing.

  • Dr David Newman

    Is there a workable flowchart for methylation showing all the snip’s, sequence of downstream relationships, etc?

  • Pingback:Our 23andme Results | Operation: Miracle

  • I just found out through 23andme and your report that my 13 year old daughter has MTHFR 677C/1298A; COMT H62H; COMTV158M; BHMT (3 of those) and CBS C19150T (heterozygous) and CBSCG99T (heterozygous). I cried at first. So much to think about in her health future. I am so grateful for your post here because it gives me a place to start working. I am a single parent and can’t afford to pay a naturopath to work with her. I am excited to have some answers to help her and maybe change her future with this powerful information.

    • Sterling

      Please feel free to post in our forum to one of our practitioners. I feel this area may help many. There are MD’s that do this too. Dr. David Berger in Tampa FL listed under find a practitioner. He does do phone and/or Skype.

      Sterling

  • Mary

    Hi I have a 36year old son who has been steadily getting sicker since he was a teenager. He is so sick now he is in bed most days and cannot work any longer. Through a local Naturopath we both got blood tests and got saliva tested through 23and Me. His test came back positive for the MTHFR variant. His blood work showed he is sensitive to eggs gluten dairy fish and yeast. He was given a list of supplements that totaled over $280. We both were told to take the methyl B12 and to figure out the diet rotation and research on our own now. I am so confused and afraid to do anything for fear of my son or I having a reaction to one or all of these supplements or foods. He is too sick to do anything on his own and I am barely hanging on myself. I thought we were going to get support but all I have are test results and no idea what to do or how to do this on my own. I worked in a nutritional therapists office for 4 years and this is way over even my head.

    • Hi Mary,

      We have multiple practitioners under the find a practitioner page. If you cannot find one in your area, there are many that do phone and/or Skype. Cynthia Smith located in Illinois will work with your practitioner.

      Sterling

  • Daniel

    Seems like useful info, but it’s difficult to read the text on your website using the Chrome browser for Mac. Too thin, too light gray, not enough contrast.

    • My son is working on getting the fonts darker. We are getting a new theme.

      Sterling

    • I agree with both points. Very useful information, could be a little easier to read. MTHFR seems to be the hot topic lately, more and more people are looking into it every day, I’m sure they will find this article as helpful as I did. Well done!

  • Mcathsmith

    Has anyone worked with Dr. Greg Celaya in Thousand Oaks. I have so many of the mutations (too many to mention) and I am in way over my head. I’m hoping Dr. Greg Celaya will be able to “manage” my issues better than I can. I was wondering if anyone else has had success with him. I’m dealing with: low neurotransmitters, anxiety, occasional depression, estrogen dominance, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Lead, Thorium and Uranium Toxicity. What I’m currently doing: gluten-free diet, Natural Dessicated thyroid, L-5 Methyltetrahydroxyfolate, and methyl b-12 (though after reading your article, Sterling, am wondering if I need to be careful with these due to me being heterozygous for 3 of the COMT variants and am heterozygous for the CBS A13637G variant.),and bioidentical hormone creams. I’ve gone off all vitamins/minerals and hormones for several weeks because I want to get a baseline viamin panel (Spectracell labs) and hormone panel (Diagnostechs), then I will add back in once Dr. Celaya sees me and he can put me on a more “managed” protocol. I’ve been feeling like I’m just doing the “knee jerk” reaction to vitamins and finding I’m overlapping on a lot of B vitamins. Also, trying to manage my thyroid is causing complications. Hopefully Dr. Celaya is the right man for the job. :-)
    Thank you for all you do, Sterling!!!

  • John

    Hi,

    I’m just wondering. I took a multi B last year and found my B6 was 350H should be highest 110. Also I took Methyl B in Jan and felt weird and tested it recently, my B12 used to be 375 serum and B Active was 99 (at the edge of the high), after a few days of Methyl B12 and 3 months later my B serum is 500 which is good but the Active B12 is 128H.

    Also previously my B3 was high in the 24 hour urine test.

    B1 and B2 are in normal levels.

    Folate was higher, but folate doesn’t have a high range limit.

    I’m just wandering, are these suggestive of something blocking the pathways?

    I have MTFHR Hetero

    Also my Beta Carotene is pulling in the blood with other Vit A analogues also high while Vit A itself is in normal range.

    My Normal Vit D is ok, but the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D is also high (235) on tests and I have not taken Vit D for more then 6 months.

    I have Hashimotos Antibodies

    • This is what nutritionist Shawn Bean said.

      235 vitamin d 125 suspect major lyme or confection

      Shawn Bean

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