MTRR and Vitamin B12 Impact Your Homocysteine

Over the last few years, there has been exploding information about epigenetics, SNPs, and methylation defects associated with the enzyme called “MTHFR.”  

But there are other kids on the block you know, it’s not just all about methylation. There is another gene similar to MTHFR and it is abbreviated MTRR. The official name of this gene is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase reductase. 
 I prefer MTRR, don’t you?

The MTRR gene provides the blue-print instructions to make an enzyme called methionine synthase reductase. The methionine synthase reductase enzyme tells another enzyme, methionine synthase what to do. Methionine synthase helps convert one amino acid into another. It converts the amino acid homocysteine into methionine. This pathway is termed the “transmethylation” pathway.

If there is a stall here, homocysteine builds up. Some of you have high homocysteine due to an MTRR gene SNP, and you’re not converting it into methionine. Here’s a screenshot of my friend’s SNPs for the MTRR gene, and you can see how some of them are heterozygous (+/-) indicating a potential problem but not severe because none of them are homozygous (+/+).

Genome-JB

Homocysteine can be a neurotoxin and we already know it’s a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.



So MTRR turns on the first enzyme, which then turns on the second enzyme, when then converts homocysteine into something user friendly in the body, i.e. methionine. This MTRR gene activity and enzyme sequences turns on and off as the body needs but stalls out when vitamin B12 is depleted.

When MTRR is mutated, the body develops a problem and may accumulate homocysteine and become deficient in methionine. The SNP doesn’t cause this in everyone. It has to become activated so having the SNP doesn’t mean you have high homocysteine. If the gene SNP is turned on during pregnancy however, it can substantially increase the risk for a child to be born with Down’s syndrome or neural tube defects. That was shown in a “case control” study published in September 2014 of Molecular Biology Reports. The risk of having a child born with Down’s syndrome becomes even higher if you have a methylation SNP to go with that MTRR snp. Genetic testing easily uncovers these SNPs.

Now if you have been paying attention, some of this may sound a little familiar with MTHFR and homocysteine elevations. MTHFR is generally tied to reductions in natural folate, whereas MTRR is generally associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, but it isn’t black and white. Both of these genes require both vitamin B12 and folate or there are cramps in the pathway.  This explains why taking one or the other doesn’t always work.

Just like if you have a problem with MTHFR and inadequate natural folate, problems occur when inadequate natural or coenzyme vitamin B12 exists. Now, to be sure you realize, the forms of B12 commonly sold as “Cyanocobalamin” are synthetic forms of natural B12. Your body must convert that to “methylcobalamin, and then to “hydroxy” or “adenosyl” forms in order to fully use the B12. 

Cyanocobalamin is unfortunately found in most oral supplements, most prescribed B12 shots, and all fortified foods. If you are going to take B12, I urge you to pay a little more to buy the biologically activated forms of vitamin B12 like methylcobalamin, or  adenosycobalamin, or hydroxycobalamin which are harder to find. But the point is, natural B12 (and natural folate) may help you effectively deal with MTRR speed bumps if you have those.

Medications that deplete vitamin B12 are MTRR gene busters. Refer to my Drug Muggers book for the complete list. In the meantime, here are main categories of drug muggers which drain B12 from you. This will enhance a gene SNP in the MTRR pathway:

* Antacids and Acid blockers

* Corticosteroids (inhalers, oral, and topical)

* Multiple types of oral-dosed antibiotics (aminoglycosides, sulfa drugs, cephalosporins, macrolides, penicillin derivatives, quinolones and tetracycline derivatives)

* Anti-convulsant medications

* Metformin

* Oral contraceptives

* Potassium chloride

* Cholesterol lowering medications (bile acid sequestrants)

* Gout medications

MTRR gene speed bumps and compromised vitamin B12 status are linked with some serious disorders. Research shows links with Down’s Syndrome, acute childhood leukemia, pancreatic cancer, Crohn’s disease, congenital heart defects and more.

Now if you thinking what I am, how about identifying the gene defect risk, avoid the drug muggers (switch medication if possible), or at least restore the pathway with natural B12 supplements and consume it in natural foods found in animal foods, meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. If you are vegetarian and trying to conceive, you must work at this before getting pregnant. Cyanocobalamin will not do the trick.
If simple dietary nutrients like coenzyme B12 and folate can stop these genes from turning on and triggering disorders, it may stop a lifetime of illness and struggle.  Is it all about your genes? Heavens no, there are dozens of other factors involved so please compare the symptoms and clinical presentation and see if it matches up. Remember, having a gene SNP doesn’t mean you have a disease, in fact, most of the time a gene SNP does not cause the disease. You have to look at the entire puzzle, not just one piece of the puzzle. Feel free to leave me comments below.

http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MTRR

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24965145

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2015-07-11T06:36:04+00:00

117 Comments

  1. Nancy July 11, 2015 at 7:47 am - Reply

    This information could be tranformational for those trying to conceive. With so many people on vegetarian diets espceically, this information could be so invaluable. Thanks! Perhaps you could so a followup to this article with the exact name for the gentic test which should be done and with the brands of folate and B12 that are effectve.

  2. Beata July 11, 2015 at 8:37 am - Reply

    As always. Great article. Thank you! Could you suggest the brand for bilogilally activated B12, please?

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply
      • Julie July 15, 2015 at 8:18 am - Reply

        Hi Suzy, I have the hetero MTHFR gene mutation and my B12 is super high. My homocysteine is low at 3. Is it possible that my B12 isn’t converting to the active form and that is why my serum B12 is so high?

        • Debi August 3, 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

          Where do you have genetic testing done for the MTHFR etc??? Can you order it yourself at a blood lab or does an MD need to order it?

          • Suzy Cohen August 6, 2015 at 4:45 am

            Any physician can give you a lab order and you can have the blood drawn at a local lab.
            Some people don’t want to wait for their doctor’s visit to ask for this lab so they order the test kit on their own and go to the local lab with the test kit. So YES to answer your question, you can easily order it yourself.
            Here’s my affiliate link: https://www.directlabs.com/suzycohen/OrderTests.aspx
            Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) is the name of the test, click on that.
            You can also do saliva testing with 23andme.com and it will check you for MTHFR and hundreds of other genes but it’s much more complicated than 1 simple blood draw for MTHFR.

  3. Suzi Pringle July 11, 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Thank you for this article. I had found that the regular B-12, even shots, were not helping me. After reading some about MTHFR, I started taking a sublingual form of B-12 and folate which helps. When I got my DNA profile back, I had five SNPs that indicated Homocysteinuria. I ask my doctor to run a test on my amino acid levels. After three months on the methyl B-12 and folate, I have been able to increase my work hours from six to seven hours a day and have a little more energy for chores and errands. First article I have read on this. Thanks again.

  4. William L. Wilson, M.D. July 11, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    You don’t discuss the importance of taking L-methylfolate, the only form of folate that crosses the blood-brain barrier.

  5. Keturah July 11, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Thanks for this very revealing information . Pls how can we get the methyl B12 easily ? Please can you suggest easy clues to getting the better B12 ? Thanks

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      It’s sold at health food stores and online and compounding pharmacies, it’s just not frequently found at traditional pharmacies.

    • Marilyn August 9, 2015 at 9:44 am - Reply

      We purchase ours from iherb online Solgar brand.

  6. Anne July 11, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Very interesting, even though I took the course from Dr. Ben Lynch, it is always nice
    to have a recap on notions learned.
    It would be nice if you could do an explanation like that on the differents enzymes.

    thanks

    anne maisonneuve

  7. Camille Durante July 11, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Thank you for all your informative articles!! I enjoy reading all of your research and knowledgeable articles, especially the fact that you explain them clearly & simply for the average person to understand!!

  8. niki July 11, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

    My ARNP thought my fatigue that is getting worse might be caused by my not getting natural forms of folate & methylcobalamin. She asked me to take 400mcg of folate & 5,000 mg of methylcobalamin for a week & to stop when I felt better in about a week. By days 3-5 I began not only being more exhausted but, feeling worse. When I called in the office she replied to stop taking them and take 50 mg of B3, niacin, instead.
    Why would taking the natural forms of B’s make me worse & how can niacin help?

    (On my own, I ordered an MTHFR test from 23and me. I haven’t done it yet.) It just doesn’t make sense that if I do or do not have MTHFR problems that taking the natural B’s would hurt. I thought you might be able to shed some light on that.

    Thank you!

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      5000mg… My sense is that was WAY too much methylcobalamin, it slowed you down. Should have been less looking back in retrospect, or maybe none at all for the first few days.

  9. cathy July 11, 2015 at 10:53 am - Reply

    My Mother does have the MTHFR polymorphism, my daughter and I have the MTHFR hetero. My Mother is getting the B12 shots. Should my daughter and I be taking that as well? Is there a way to absorb enough via foods? Are there suppliments that would work that you can recommend?

    Thanks so much!

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      You never treat the SNP so no, not unless she has signs and symptoms of deficiency, and a test to confirm it. Eat it, yes.

  10. Louie July 11, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Good Morning Suzy,

    Thank you for the article, My ND did MTHFR test on me and told me that things looked ok.

    I would like to know if there is a chart that can help me to understand more about these genes and how things work.

    Thanks again always love your articles.

    Louie

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:20 am - Reply

      I need to make a chart don’t I?
      I’ll put it on my to-do list.
      You can check SNPedia too.

  11. Jeanette Tucker July 11, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

    I have had two serious DVTs and found out that I have the C667T Gene. As well as taking Blood Thinners, I also take a PPI and now I find that I’m anaemic, even though I take a high quality supplement daily I also have brittle nails, that is puzzling. I have been on a medical merry go round looking for an internal bleed but I feel it has something to do with non absorbtion of minerals. I am grateful for your posts on MTHFR as this makes so much sense to me and I’m having to explain this to doctors who have no idea what this is.

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      The PPI you take is making your nails brittle and making you anemic.

  12. Beth Faircloth July 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Suzy GREAAAAAAAT info….Bless you!

  13. vishva July 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Hi suzy,
    Thank u for all your truly great articles,,,is there a natural form of folate in your
    B complex formula???
    thanks again,
    warmly
    Vishva

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:25 am - Reply

      Yes it’s natural methylfolate, it is NOT folic acid.

  14. Joseph Malak MD July 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Very helpful! Thank you Suzy for putting this in plain English.
    I suspect it has implications in autism, mood disorders, and beyond.

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:19 am - Reply

      Yes Dr. Malak it does, it has STRONG implications for bipolar and schizophrenia as well, and autism for sure. There is more information at mthfr.net by Dr. Ben Lynch. We study this together, we’re presenting in October in Denver if you are interested.

  15. Mary Margaret Davis July 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Greetings,

    Thank you for this article. I’m studying the correlations. Being homozygous for the MTHFR C667T, and now learning about the MTTR, where I am heterozygous for MTRR – A66G, C32295T, G*541A, G12099A, G15734A, –
    Studying – working on getting my homosystene levels down and getting the right type of pathway-friendly nutrition and supplementation. No muggers being taken just bio identical hormones and currently on methyl folate w methyl cobolomine and anti hist etc -I am 55 – would love to consult. Regards. MM

  16. Diane July 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hello ~ do you consider the Rx Niacin TR 500 mg used for cholesterol reduction to be a bile acid sequestriant? Thx ☺️

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:15 am - Reply

      No, it’s just niacin timed-release (TR) 500mg. But that may make you low in folate, those 2 B vitamins need to have a little balance. That much niacin will relatively reduce your folate.

  17. AIC July 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Where can I get the B 12? Thanks.

  18. Mark Scheurer, M.D. July 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Great summary. I think there is a misspelling — “Cayanocobalamin.” Unless that’s a combo with cayenne pepper!

    For my patients with elevated homocysteine, I make sure to check not only B12 levels, but also B12 activity if they are borderline, specifically levels of MMA (methylmalonic acid) which confirm B12 deficiency.

    Also, there are natural supplements such as trimethylglycine which ensure there’s plety of methyl groups around for the enzymes to work, even if the SNPs involved lower enzyme activity somewhat.

  19. Ken July 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    If homocysteine is below 8 and a person is heterozygous for MTHFR and MTRR can we assume the polymorphisms aren’t active? Would supplementing with methylfolate and methylcobalamin still be a good idea?

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:11 am - Reply

      I guess I would assume that myself. Supplementation? Not unless you’re symptomatic for B12 or B9 deficiencies.

  20. jenny July 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this very interesting article, Suzy! I have both MTHFR and MTRR mutations (as well as others) and have a history of blood clots and low B12. It is nice to have someone who actually knows what they are talking about explain it simply and concisely for once. I get so much mis-information from my doctors and have had to rely on my own research to get the appropriate supplements. I appreciate all you do for us!

  21. Mia July 11, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy, just want to say thank you so much for all the shared knowledge. First became acquainted with you from know the cause … which I am also thankful for!

    I have a double polymorphism on my MTRR A66g And on my MTHFR A1298c taking B12 and folate still very low energy and pain from Fibromyalgia. Also 13 double polymorphisms in my l-carnitine production. A lot of gut issues 🙁 After being on Prevacid for nearly 20 years I finally weaned myself off of it very difficult!!! I’ve been off for three months now. I have been supporting my gut with Dr. Ohiras for about a year and a half. Of course I did phase 1 diet and I’m now doing mostly phase 2. With very limited dairy.
    I am trying to wrap my head around all this information it’s like going back to school. Very interesting but also overwhelming. I know I’ve only given you a few pieces of the puzzle but … Any advice would be welcome from you!
    I am getting guidance from a chiropractor who sells PHP products and have seen a lot of improvement but still don’t understand a lot of this! What is your opinion of PHP products?
    Can’t say thank you enough for sharing information!

  22. richard vollet July 11, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    i enjoy your articles. what are you selling?

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:07 am - Reply

      Better health 😉
      What did you have in mind Richard?

  23. Delia Tetelman July 11, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Do you have info on how to choose between these? methylcobalamin, or adenosycobalamin, or hydroxycobalamin

    What’s the right kind of folic acid to take?

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:07 am - Reply

      Methylcobalamin is just fine for most people but if your mitochondria are trash then go for the adenosyl or hydroxy. Dr. Lynch sells this on his site, seekinghealth.com

      • Julie Nealley July 12, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

        I have lyme and several co-infections along with the MTHFR A1298 mutation. I have been on antibiotics for a year and take methylcobalamin B12 and active folate. How would I know if my mitochondria needed one of the other forms of B12 (adenosyl or hydroxy)?

        • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

          If it were me I would assume since antibiotics classically hurt mito. Also,if you crash with fatigue at times, or feel heavy or short of breath.

          • Donna LaCroix July 12, 2015 at 5:14 pm

            Interested in understanding your answer to Julie’s question about which form of B12 to take: Adenosyl or hydroxy?

          • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 6:41 pm

            It’s up to you/her. I can’t tell ya’ll what to take or what to do. I know it seems that way but I’m not a provider nor a doctor, people just think that. I’m just an educator trying to shine a light on healing options, both conventional and non-conventional. So I’m not sure that B12 is even right for her/you and what’s so scary is that some people who take B12 don’t even need it and this will further shut down their methylation. It can cause other problems if you read this thread you’ll see the person with nosebleeds (and their tests show LOW B12 status!)
            B12 can cause a person to crash with extreme fatigue and brain fog.
            One more thing about the forms: Cyanocobalamin is classically sold at pharmacies it’s what most people take, either orally or by injection. Then there’s methylcobalamin which is natural and helpful to myelin. Your body has to convert some of that to adenosyl or hydroxy inside the cell, and a healthy thriving cell will do that no problem. But let’s assume I knew I was deficient in vitamin B12, because I had signs and symptoms, or because I had been a long-time vegan… or whatever…let’s assume lab tests showed it, and levels were tested several different ways. Then… in this example, if it were me, I would assume that heavy antibiotic use was hurting mitochondria, because antibiotics will do that… and that the cytokine fall-out that result from ‘The Kill’ of antibiotics was also hurtful to my mitochondria, so in my hypothetical example, I would prefer the mitochondrial form because it is more quickly utilized and it works inside the cell without depending on a worn body to convert it to it’s mitochondrially active form. It’s good to think about these things and ask good questions for others who are wondering the same thing. Since I can’t advise directly, I am making up an example above (I don’t take antibiotics or B12 or have mito damage) I’m just using myself as an example to help you decide which is best because I can’t directly advise. I hope this makes more sense and help you figure out which is ideal for your situation.

  24. Angela July 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Thank you. Mayo found a brain stem glioma in my daughter MRI. We had just tested her genetically and found she did have gene mutation for the MRTh. I’ve hard they can be related. My question have you seen high B12 with MRTh issues. Her’s test over 9,000. Mayo said not to worry about??

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

      I don’t trust Mayo’s answer. I don’t see patients so I have not “seen” it but you need to get with a Functional Medicine doctor or get a second opinion by someone who understands all this.

  25. Sue Crawford July 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Great information Suzy. Thanks. I am homozygous for the MTRR A66G SNP. Do you know what are the factors that would turn on this SNP? I’m assuming lifestyle factors such as types of food, etc. How do I find out what they are so that I can avoid this? Thanks.

  26. LEA ANN MADISON July 11, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I just personally want to stress that IF you have high homocysteine levels, do what you must do to get it down!! At the ripe old age of 56, I have had one blood clot and bilateral femoral artery occlusions requiring three surgeries. Many doctors may poo-poo this as a non-issue, but I’m here to tell you different. If yours is high, follow Suzy’s advice regarding folate (NOT FOLIC ACID) and the appropriate B12 for your situation. I personally cannot tolerate many methyl donors due to my MTHFR status, so I take hydroxycobalamin and L5MTHF (a bio-available form of folic acid). TRY to find a doctor who ‘gets it.’ There are none within 300 miles of me (that I have found), and many doctors simply don’t have time or interest in becoming educated regarding epigenetics. I urge y’all not to ignore your homocysteine status (it’s checked via blood test). Good luck on your journey to better health!! And thank you Suzy for giving us MTHFR’s a voice.

  27. Nora July 11, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Excellent once again Suzy. I look forward to your newsletter and am never disappointed.

    thanks

  28. Beverly July 11, 2015 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Discovered Hydroxocobalamin at age 57 after viewing Dr. Rich Van Konynenburg’s 2011 Sweden videos on ME/CFS. Was first I had heard of it and I had been in the healthcare field for over 20 years…duh. Felt improvements in typing speed and finger dexterity after several months of Perque SL Hydroxocobalamin, so my curiosity was piqued, to say the least. An internet search led me to the Pernicious Anemia/B12 Deficiency FB page, I sourced Hydroxo injectable (knew I did not have an allergy since had received Cyano injections before without any result, so just thought B12 Deficiency was not the issue, especially when serum showed “over 1500” – sheesh), and have never looked back. I SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO EXPERIENCE THE MULTIPLE LIFE LONG HEALTH ISSUES AND WAIT UNTIL AGE 57 TO EXPERIENCE MY FIRST ONGOING SENSE OF WELL BEING, simply because most US health care providers are totally ignorant regarding this information!!! Also many family members have had debilitating lifelong symptoms of folate/B12 deficiencies, for which the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry has made an absolute financial bonanza… Thank you for bringing this information to light. Only one major MTHFR hetero SNP, but many other MTHFR SNPs that have really not been studied much yet. Many MTRR SNPS, with one being a major SNP (hetero)…..mental health issues, cardiac issues, infertility issues, etc. out the wazoo in my family of origin and extended family, and my family was middle to upper middle class, so we supposedly got the very best of medical care…ya right!!!

  29. Polly July 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Very nice article. You have a gift for explaining things. 🙂

  30. mary July 11, 2015 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Son has MTHFR 677T ++ and 4 Yasko MTRR are +-. He tolerates 5MTHF well but if he takes more than an iota of B12, he gets bad bloody noses. Regardless of whether it’s nasal spray, drops, pills, or injections. He tests that he is low on and really NEEDS B12. We have been to many knowledgeable docs and even consulted with the MTHFR guru. No one knows why the bloody noses or how to address it.

    I feel there must be something missing that we need to address before he can take B12. Any suggestions as to what we could have the docs look for? (He also has CBS699T +-, all Yasko VDR’s are +-, 3 BHMT’s are ++ and 1 COMT is ++). Per Yasko test, his tolerated forms of B12 are methyl and hydroxy. )

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      It is usually a sign of excessive B12, or B12 overdose. It happens sometimes to people who take it with a lot of vitamin C (or citrus juice). Some people who take it with really hot or cold food can have a reaction. I don’t know why. He doesn’t need it I guess (despite the tests you’re taking). Maybe it’s okay to ‘eat’ foods rich in B12, rather than to supplement, but with a reaction like that, it’s telling you loud and clear to stay away.

      • Stephanie Doerr July 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm - Reply

        Hi Suzy and Mary, All four of my daughters and my husband have nose bleeds. It is common for us to have two or three going on a day and they can last for hours. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with Von Willebrand’s. There are so many ingredients that can affect bleeding so I am wondering if it might be an ingredient instead of the B12 that is causing his nose bleeds. I can’t even cut garlic without someone bleeding just from the fumes. And weird enough as it sounds even if they see someone bleeding they will start to bleed. I did the 23andme testing on all of them and hoping to find a snp for their bleeding.

  31. sharon July 11, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    This is not related to latest topic, but I have read your books and want your advice desperately. I am 77 years old. I was put on Armour thyroid over a year ago, but not feeling very good. Still really bad insomnia. Have tried all the natural supplements, to no avail. I have so many concerns. For one, my TSH is Really low, like 0.03 in order to get the free T3 and free T4 in the desired range. My NP says this always happens when on Armour thyroid and is okay. Do you agree? Also, I read where Dr. Mercola says it should be taken twice a day and can be taken after meals. Do you agree with this? I take it once in early morning. I am now alternating 2 tabs with 1’1/2 tabs. I have been tested for thyroid antibodies and that is okay. We did a cortisol saliva testing months ago, and that came back somewhat high but the curve was good. I have been taking ashwaghanda and rhodiola for that. I still wake up every morning around 3 or so and cannot get back to sleep.

    Also, I have swelling in my ankles that worsens during the day and I am becoming concerned about that. I take oral compounded progesterone and wear an estradiol patch. Any advice you could give me would be so much appreciated. I love your books and trust your opinion.
    Thank you.
    Sharon

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      Sharon
      Your TSH going down like that is typical, it happens to everyone.
      Swelling in your ankles needs to be addressed.
      Take your Armour how you want to, so you feel good on it, don’t change anything just because you read it on the Internet by another famous writer, do what makes you feel best.

  32. Fern July 11, 2015 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    I am a compound heterozygote for C677T and A1298C. I am currently taking methlycobalamin and methylfolate. I am still having problems with the back of my mouth and my tongue. My doctor has no idea what to tell me to do. I am at my whits end. I can’t take most probiotics, because they contain folic acid. Any suggestions or ideas?

    • ACurtis July 13, 2015 at 12:48 am - Reply

      Are you able to drink coconut milk and almond milk? You can make your own probiotic. Buy kefir grains online at Amazon, then make your own kefir milk. I make a quart every night, and my, my husband, and my daughter drink it every day. It’s the best probiotic you can take. You can also use cow’s milk; we don’t, because we are allergic to casein. For our almond milk, we buy SILK Almondmilk Original Unsweetened (Don’t buy vanilla; they add other “stuff” to it, and it just doesn’t work right when making kefir) because that specific brand doesn’t contain carageenan, which is hard on the gut/gastrointestinal system.

  33. Dave Bross July 11, 2015 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Interesting that Potassium Chloride is on that list.

    I’ve been using it in the form of “no salt” salt for years, along with sea salt, figuring the potassium was an additional benefit.

    I think I’ll stop now.
    I’m on the elderly side of the age curve and I remember my dad needing B12 shots as he got up in years.

    I’m guessing the chlorine is the culprit? Nasty stuff, the halogens.

  34. Beverly Largent July 12, 2015 at 12:07 am - Reply

    Reading your articles is beyond fascinating! I can’t get enough!

    I have a question. What causes Hypoglycemia?

    IS THERE A CURE?

    You are precious! Thanks!!!!

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      Of course- I think so, why not? Why couldn’t there be? Wrap your head around feeling well and being in alignment with wellness and health. Hypoglycemia is often tied to undiagnosed adrenal exhaustion. Get tested properly for this. Diagnos-TECHs has a good saliva test. You may also need to take a urine test to see metabolites.

  35. Sue July 12, 2015 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Thanks for another great article, Suzy. I’m just starting to learn about the MTHFR defect. If I understood my doc correctly I have an issue only at the 677 site, from one parent. I also am in Stage 3B kidney failure, probably primarily due to taking a combination of Aleve and Aldactone for about 3 weeks last January. No one told me how deadly for the kidneys this combination is. Now my nephrologist has just explained that although this drug combo probably is the chief culprit in the rapid decline of my kidney function, some of my earlier lab values indicate that I had a developing problem over a year ago. I hope all of the people reading this take heed: those NSAIDs are dangerous! But so is the level of ignorance most of us have about kidney function and exactly what its decline means to our quality and quantity of life.

    The purpose of my letter is twofold: to ask if you will consider writing more on the issue of meds and supplementation for people with kidney failure, and to share my experience with your readers who may themselves be facing kidney failure, including those who may not yet know it.

    Here’s my problem: None of my providers will assist me in deciding which supplements are safe for me to take. The PC doc who found the genetic defect says the necessary supplements may be dangerous because of my kidney failure, but doesn’t explain why, or what to do about the defect if indeed the supplements are out of the question. My nephrologist admits to a total lack of knowledge about the safety of ANY food supplements for me, and advises me to avoid ALL of them. It’s astounding to me that in my city, where a major medical research and teaching hospital is located, I can find no doctor who understands my genetic defect and what role it may be playing in my kidney failure, or is willing to help me select supplements that might improve my health and retard the decline of my kidney function.

    Unfortunately this hands off approach and seeming lack of interest in patients who are in kidney failure but not yet seriously ill as in late Stage 4 or Stage 5 (End Stage) seems to be the “standard of care.” Basically they just told me to change my diet, control my blood pressure and wait to get sicker, at which time I will go on dialysis 3 days a week — but not to worry because the $80,000 to $100,000 per year cost will be paid for 100% by the taxpayers. Rather than waiting for End Stage disease I want to do whatever I can to perhaps turn around this illness. Avoiding meds that can further damage my kidneys, and supplementing my diet to help my kidneys recover both seem to be areas where I can take control, but I can’t find very much info to help me do either.

    My homocysteine and cholesterol levels are both high, and I feel certain these issues are related to my genetic defect. The PC doc has suggested Red Rice yeast for the cholesterol since I am afraid of the statin drugs, but she doesn’t know if it is safe for kidney patients. The homocysteine level hasn’t even been discussed. So far, beginning in early March, I stopped eating all white sugar, wheat, corn, potatoes, tea, and caffeine, and have lost 40 pounds, lowered my blood pressure and improved blood sugar management. I cannot overstate the positive effect I experienced from cutting wheat out of my diet. My fibromyalgia is gone, blood pressure fell like a rock, headaches gone, and I no longer need the prescription strength Pepcid I had been taking for 10 years. Even my rosacea improved, as well as most of my allergies! Most of these benefits occurred within the first 18 days of stopping wheat.

    I’ve read that the body can rebuild some of its tissues. It seems to me that with the right changes in diet and lifestyle, and supplementation especially for the MTHFR defect, I should be able to have some sort of positive impact on my situation and perhaps improve my creatinine and eGFR numbers. I refuse to see this as irreversible despite what the doctor tells me.

    Kidney failure affects huge numbers of people, and is affecting lots of people who aren’t being screened for it or aren’t being told when it is uncovered. This seems to be driven by the belief in the medical community that there isn’t much that can be done to change the inevitable course to End Stage, so why upset the patient. And besides, as we all approach End Stage we will be given the “remedy” of dialysis and maybe even a few of us will receive a kidney transplant. Yippeee! Sorry about the cynicism, but this experience has brought with it a very rude awakening about “medicine” in America.

    I’ve come to view kidney failure as the biggest orphan disease we have in America. Other than researching the link between diabetes and kidney disease, or polycystic kidney disease, there doesn’t seem to be much research going on that would be relevant to people like me who have kidney disease but are not ill with either of those conditions. In my more cynical moments I wonder if this is due to the financial boon Big Pharma and the medical industry receives from the taxpayer funded dialysis of millions of people who are trapped by their disease. And more and more of us, even our young people, are being fed into that system every day.

    I hope that you will consider writing more about kidney disease and the difficulties kidney patients face when assessing supplements and drug safety. No one else seems to be addressing this issue even generally, let alone from the standpoint of the methylation defect that may be partly responsible.

    To all your readers, I advise you to INSIST that your kidneys be checked at least once a year, and more often if you are taking any drugs on a regular basis, and INSIST that the doctor review the info with you and explain in detail where you stand with kidney health. I have heard of many people who simply were not told the seriousness of having an elevated creatinine level, and almost no one I’ve spoken to was ever told about the meaning of the eGFR value. In my case, when I inquired about it the first time I was told not to worry, that I was just dehydrated, and sent home. It seems that almost all of the people I talked with about this found about their kidney disease ONLY after they were in Stage 4 where very serious and irreversible damage is done –enough damage that they became symptomatic. In fact, most of those people were sick for YEARS but had no symptoms, a huge window of opportunity during which they could’ve made diet and lifestyle changes that would’ve stopped the progression. I hope my story will help your readers become more aware of the threats our kidneys face from genetic defects, drugs, and other environmental toxins, and become more informed about their own kidney health.

    Rant over.

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      Sue I’ve done that and written remarkable information many years ahead of it’s time when I wrote the book, Diabetes Without Drugs in 2010. It’s on Amazon. There may be other information on kidney health if people use my search box.
      Your sharing provides so much hope for people, and raises awareness, you have been through so much and you’re an inspiration.

    • Mary July 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Oh I am so glad I found this website!! I have been frustrated with my primary care doc because I keep telling her my kidneys hurt and my GFR has been in the 61-80 range in the last 5 months (I’m 37 and not one pound overweight btw, I’ve been a fitness instructor for 10 years) so I am frustrated that she is not taking me seriously when I tell her I feel like my kidneys aren’t working right. After my 2nd test showed my GFR at 61 she had another bloodwork ordered and it had risen to 69 and she said she felt it was much more normal and to let her know if I had any other concerns. grrrr so frustrated!

      Sorry my rant is now over, but i want to thank you for posting this because now I will call her and demand that take a closer look at my kidneys and order an ultrasound to look at them.

      Thank you!

    • Pamela Smith August 10, 2015 at 6:39 am - Reply

      Sue, this “non-treatment” of kidney disease is EXACTLY the same as endocrinologist’s “non-treatment” of Hashimotos disease (which I have). Hashis is an auto-immune disease of the thyroid.

      When mine was diagnosed, I said, “Well, how do we fix this?”, to which my doc replied, “We don’t. We just watch it. And when the disease burns out your thyroid in about ten years, then we can put you on Levothyroxine which you’ll take for the rest of your life. I was flabbergasted!

      Sounds alot like “treatment” of kidney disease, eh?

  36. Adriane July 12, 2015 at 4:44 am - Reply

    Great article Suzy – thank you! My question is since corticosteroids are listed as depleting B12, are people taking adrenal glandular or adrenal cortex extract also being depleted in B12 and need to take more?

  37. Larry Grice July 12, 2015 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Do you have any information on vitamin k2 MK7?

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Please put any kinds of health terms in my search box.

  38. Jaynie Lamb July 12, 2015 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    My husband has a double copy of c776t mthfr. He takes l-methyl folate 7.5 mg daily and a b 12 shot twice monthly. He takes no other medications but he still gets tired and the shot really only lasts about 10 days. He used to take them monthly, then every 3 weeks now every 2. He is 69 about to be 70, works out daily, still works ( lawyer) and eats very healthy. His dr is Russian and very good. It he seems to think we’ve done all we can do. Any other thoughts? He has been on this regimen about 1 1/2 yrs.
    Thanks
    Jaynie

  39. Lynn July 12, 2015 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    My daughter has high inflammation – is that the same as Homocystein (I believe it is from what I’ve read). Problem is everytime she tries to take B vitamins (any of them including L5MTH) she can’t sleep and she gets migraines.
    Question is – would the other forms mentioned above not cause these problems? Seems no one can figure out what the problem is with her – doesn’t lose weight even on a low carb diet (Paleo) and is having more and more health issues, including a rapid heart rate, what sounds like fibromyalgia, and other issues. She has food allergies and is avoiding those foods at this time – she lost 13 lbs in a week – but feels awful. Sounds like a methylation problem among other things. Her alternative Dr. is working with her but we just don’t know why she can’t tolerate B vitamins, or many supplements (they make her sick).
    Why?

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      I don’t know from here. Did you look in my thyroid book? Has she had her TPO antibodies checked? Checked for Lyme? I would avoid the B vitamins if they make her sick.

  40. Janet Marceau July 12, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Dear Suzy, I have just recently been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes but I have been handling it with diet and exercise. After reading your article can you advise me as to what blood tests I would need to have some sort of baseline for any kidney damage that may have already occurred?

    Thanks so much for your articles and all you do to help.

    Sincerely,
    Janet

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Janet
      If it were simple I’d just outline it here, but it isn’t simple and it’s not just about insulin or blood sugar (or leptin for that matter). I’ve written about testing and kidney function in 2 separate chapters spanning approximately 40 pages (total) so I’d like you to get a copy of my Diabetes Without Drugs book, it is a life-saver according to some. It has all the answers you seek, and then some.

  41. Barb July 13, 2015 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much Suzy. I have the MTRR snp and I have recently tested high homocysteine. I asked my doctor that I needed to test for vitamin and mineral levels. Her reply, We don’t test randomly, we test when we see symptoms. Yikes! I was so frustrated! I am treating myself as of now with B12 lozenges, but would surely like to know how depleted my B12 levels are. I know that I can test on my own, but I really need insurance to pick up some of the cost. So, I plan to print this article and hand it to my doctor at the next visit when I ask again for lab testing.

    • Suzy Cohen July 14, 2015 at 4:04 am - Reply

      I understand Barb. You are not the first to say this to me so as a result, I’ve created an affiliate link for consumers to buy their own labs and have them drawn by themselves (at a local Quest or Labcorp), and then you get your results without having to beg or embarrass the physician. Here you go! https://www.directlabs.com/suzycohen/OrderTests.aspx
      Can do the folate/B12 levels for under $100! It’s discounted as you can see because I’m passing over my practitioner discount.
      (Or not… you can certainly do it your way with my blessings)

      • Barb July 15, 2015 at 2:05 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much Suzy, for your help, your knowledge, and your compassion!

  42. cathy July 13, 2015 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    I have been on a basic maintanance dose cortef or hydrocortisone for adrenal fatigue for six months and notice Im getting more fatigued early am and midday.I have the homozygous MTRR a66G snp so wonder if I should be supplementing with B12?Im awaiting a blood test result for b12 but is there a depletion due to this form of steroid hormone?

    • Suzy Cohen July 14, 2015 at 3:58 am - Reply

      There could be, but wait for your levels to come back.

  43. Linley July 14, 2015 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Hi I have recently been tested & found elevated levels of B12 ,3x the average level ! I was told by Dr to go off all vitamins & supliments ( I was only taking a Multi B ) the level dropped about 1/3 but was still higher than normal ! Dr didn’t seem to think anything of this ? Can you tell me why I might have higher B12 levels than average ?
    I take Vitamin C , fish oil , D, Spiralina & milk thistle

    • Suzy Cohen July 14, 2015 at 4:06 am - Reply

      I would investigate further, I would not be alarmed, I would just try to test it again in a few weeks and work on your gut, that is where B12 is made. Probiotics would be helpful and a pristine diet! No junk, no sugar, no yeast, no alcohol.

  44. LESLIE July 14, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

    I have been tested i AM HETEROZYGOUS FOR THE mthfr c677t POLYMORHISM ( c/t). And has the normal or wild -type genottype ofr MTHFR A1298C (A/a). Fininding time to understand all that is quite overwhelming. I keep looking , reading, and eleminating.
    I need to know how much B-12 I should be taking. I bough a product from Nutrabio, in the form of methylcobaamin. It was 1,000 mcg. I took one every other day. Not sure If I flet better or worse. I am currently taking your brand of Vitmin B suzy. Can say I feel better or worse, but at least I am getting those nutirents. what brand of B-12 do you recommend, and how much of it to take would be appricative. Thank you

    • Suzy Cohen July 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      There’s no ideal dose to tell people. For example, my friend takes 4,000 and my husband takes nothing, and two colleagues take 200 and 800 respectively. All feel well on their doses. I wonder if you should just test yourself to see where you’re at. This is one test you can order by yourself: https://www.directlabs.com/suzycohen/OrderTests.aspx You see the part that most people don’t get, and the part I have the most challenge teaching is that having a SNP doesn’t mean anything, it has less bearing on you than your environment, diet and epigenetics (the things around your genes). SNPs don’t always express so you have to look at your clinical presentation, and/or labs and confirm if the SNP has been activated. The less a person takes the better honestly, we just all have to strive to hit the nail on the head and take what makes us feel okay or better. If you’re not sure if you need something you can always break the tablet in 1/4 or 1/2 (or dump capsules) and keep testing and titrating up til you feel better then stop (or feel worse then stop) but again, testing is best. Does this help?

  45. lucille ward July 15, 2015 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy I did the 23 and me plus the genetic genie and I have two (+/+).
    COMT V158M
    COMT H62H

    I am in trouble what does this mean.

    Thank you
    Lucille Ward

    • Suzy Cohen July 15, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Lucille
      Having a SNP doesn’t mean it’s activated, it just mean there is a potential for neurotransmitter issues. People with activated SNPs in the COMT gene may have schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder, or problems breaking down their catecholamines dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Again, having a SNP doesn’t mean you have these problems, nor anything to worry about. You can look more on the Internet, lots of people are talking about COMT.

  46. Chris July 18, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Suzy, you mentioned that sulfa drugs deplete B-12. Would the OTC supplement MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) have the same effect?

    From memory, there seemed to be a striking resemblance in size, shape, color, and taste (ugh!) of MSM tablets as compared with Gantrisin (Sulfasoxazole) which was prescribed years ago for a UTI.

    I have found sublingual Methylcobalamin to be effective in eliminating the experience of Migraine Aura (Ocular Migraine – w/o headache) which was first experienced at a time that I was taking both BCPs and Rx Meclizine for vertigo. When Aura appeared ‘out of the blue’ some twenty years later, symptoms stopped within a couple days of supplementing with B-12. An incentive to keep taking it.

    • Suzy Cohen July 19, 2015 at 5:55 am - Reply

      MSM is sulfur based.
      Sulfasoxazole is “sulfa” based.
      MSM provides natural sulfur, which is completely different than sulfa-based drugs, which can spark allergies for some.

  47. Patty McCallion July 26, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy, I found your weekly column in my local Banner newspaper-I’ve followed many of your leads. I’m 55 and in good shape and in good health but for one thing-occurring mouth ulcers. I’ve just started taking 1000mg of vitamin B12 because I just found this information online and I have tried almost everything. My doctor or dentist can’t seem to offer me any solution. Is there a cure for this? I hope you can help me!

    Patty McCallion

    • Suzy Cohen July 26, 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Patty
      That must be so uncomfortable. I’m assuming you mean recurring ophthous stomatitis as in canker sores…. About 35 years ago I did a science fair project on this in high school where it was well-known that your gut microflora was in charge of oral/esophageal and intestinal health. So I would try probiotics. If you’re already on them, I would try a better brand.

    • June July 27, 2015 at 5:49 am - Reply

      Dear Patty; for years I suffered with canker sores. Lysine gave me some relief, but then I started getting nose & inner ear boils, & head & genital bumps. Drs were mystified ( I was tested for many things including Behects,) which were negative. Two years ago I gave up all gluten & wheat. It took a while, but all those painful sores gradually went away & seem gone for good! After reading Dr Pearlmutter’s books (Grain Brain) I was amazed to learn just how toxic these two food items are, even without positive celiac or gliadin allergies.

  48. Linley July 29, 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy can you tell me why b12 might be high in your blood ? I had bloods done & my level was 4x what they say , was only on a
    B complex vitamin ,went of ALL vitamins for 2 months ,had bloods again & b12 was lower but still double the ” average” ?

  49. Melanie July 29, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy,
    So interesting, I have MTHFR, MTR, MTRR, COMT, CBS(slowing), many many NDUF7 mutations.
    My homocysteine and methionine are high. I would think from Dr. Bens info that it’s a pathway down the line that is an issue. Methy b 12 does nothing, 3 hydroxycobalamins lozenges a day keep homocysteine down to at least 10-12. Interesting.

    • Suzy Cohen August 1, 2015 at 5:04 am - Reply

      A PON1 gene will also keep the homocysteine up there, do you have that gene? You may also be zinc deficient. You need zinc to turn the homocysteine into methionine. Have an RBC zinc drawn, has to be RBC, not serum.

  50. Iamnotsam July 30, 2015 at 1:59 am - Reply

    I was dx’d with C667T (heterozygous) polymorphism and have had elevated homocysteine for years, even taking the recommended doses of bioavailable/methylated B’s. It wasn’t until a friend gave me her unwanted MB12 shots to help with fatigue that I saw a reduction in levels. After a month of no shots though, my homocysteine test was due (checked every 4-6 mo) and my levels were right back up again. My doctor is on board with MTHFR, but won’t script the MB12 injections without evidence of why it’s necessary. Could MTRR cause oral MB12 to be worthless? If not, what could it be? I don’t have signs indicating pernicious anemia (previously tested).

    • Suzy Cohen August 1, 2015 at 5:21 am - Reply

      There are two different pathways for MTRR gene (a short route and a long route). The short route requires zinc and a functional BHMT gene.
      The long route using MTR and MTRR gene requires B12 and so this is why you probably did well with it, it drives the homocysteine back to methionine. It’s basic biochemistry, a little google search should pull up images of this, and he should invest in Dr. Ben Lynch’s pathway planner which shows it clearly.

  51. Susie G August 9, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy. Great article thanks. And an important topic too.

    I am an acupuncturist and I have a nasty constellation of ++ and +- MTRR, MTR and MTHFR SNP’S. Although fit and active and eating very well I started to get sick in my 40s. My doctor was ‘unhelpful’ but because of my training I had the skills and curiosity to find ‘the root cause’ of my problems and treat myself accordingly. I had to …. I lost a grandfather and a brother in their 50s and im convinced that they died of B12 deficiency. I am now flourishing again and all thanks to genetic testing, plenty of appropriate supplementation and the power of the Internet!

    The website given has a wealth of information on B12.
    I would especially also recommend Sally Pacholok’s excellent book ‘Could it be B12 – An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses’ and her 50 minute documentary film (on youtube) called ‘Diagnosing and Treating (or the diagnosis and treatment of) Vitamin B12 Deficiency’. The consultant paediatrician from Florida pictured at deaths door at the beginning of the film looked just like my brother before he died. If medics themselves can get caught out as badly as this think how many ordinary folk’s lives are ruined.

    Suzy …. If you haven’t already met Sally I have a feeling you’d get along and Id be happy to make the introduction for you.

  52. Laura August 9, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Dear Suzy.

    Compound hetero for MTHFR and some hetero MTRR and BHMT per 23andme. Some testing has indicated issues with methylation ( SAH/SAM ratios abnormal). Have autoantibodies to folate, so am prescribed high dose Folinic acid ( Leucovorin) and it has made a positive difference. Prior to Leucovorin, Homocysteine levels were high and methionine levels were low. Now, after a few years homocysteine is below the normal range ( methionine not tested). Is this a good thing, meaning that homocysteine is being converted properly to methionine in the methylation cycle?

    • Suzy Cohen August 11, 2015 at 5:49 am - Reply

      It’s always good to reduce high homocysteine which can become neurotoxic and cardiotoxic. I am never certain about “normal” ranges, so I don’t know if your low levels are too low, or just really good.

  53. Diane August 9, 2015 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy! Great info, thanks! I have high homocysteine and my doc prescribed Metanx. Other than cost, which is steep since it is not covered by insurance, what is your opinion utilizing this as treatment? I have yet to be retested.

  54. Kath August 9, 2015 at 11:13 am - Reply

    I have done the 23&me test and I am GG for A66G and CT for C677T

    Having read this I realise High Homocysteine levels are neurotoxic. Is there a link to this and migraines (I suffer severe chronic migraines and have improved my health a great deal but this is one of my few remaining symptoms I take way too many Naramig and I am desperate to sort out the underlying cause)

    I read that “Currently studies are underway at Griffith University in Australia to determine how lowering homocysteine levels with vitamins can reduce migraine problems.”

    They suggest “supplementation with vitamin B12, B6, folic acid and betaine”
    you mention “Active B12 Lozenges by Seeking Health
    Perque B12” and I can find L-Methylfolate – do I need activated B6? and any suggestions for betaine? or any other suggestions

    • Suzy Cohen August 11, 2015 at 5:45 am - Reply

      I’m not sure what you need exactly because I don’t know the cause of your migraines. They are different for everyone. I wrote a fantastic book on this topic that has cured many people. Headache Free

      The way to know if you need betaine is by taking it and if you get heartburn or pain/reflux, then you don’t need it.
      I like activated B6, don’t know if you need it, it will make more dopamine if that’s what you’re after.

  55. Elizabeth August 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    What if one feels terrible (as in achey) when taking methylcobalamine? Since discovering this, I take hydroxycobalamine. (I am +/- for COMT.) Since I don’t do well with methyl donors (same thing happens with DMG), I have not been brave enough to take L-5mthf and take instead folinic acid 9I am +/+ A1298C). I do take HCL (betaine) with my dinner, but cannot tolerate too large of a dose of that either. I wonder if that is enough to convert the folinic acid?

    Also, I think it is important to note that B12 transports lithium into cells, and this, as best I can understand it, is what drives the COMT process – which is an important process for breaking down some of our neurotransmitters, like dopamine and norepinephrine. If COMT isn’t working right, that could be the cause of a build up of certain neurotransmitters that should be broken down, and that can create a unique set of issues. It is all an interesting connection, don’t you think?

    • Suzy Cohen August 11, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

      DBH runs on vitamin C and copper (but most people have enough copper from diet, I don’t usually recommend a supplement for that unless you take an antiviral).
      Put the word copper in my search box, I wrote about it.
      COMT runs on magnesium.
      If you have symptoms of high catecholamines you may need magnesium or vitamin C.
      Routine testing of folate, B12 and homocysteine can be done to evaluate methylation function.

      • Elizabeth August 12, 2015 at 3:46 am - Reply

        Thank you for your reply. I have utilized recent research from Dr. Amy Yasko in referencing lithium, methyl b12 and COMT. This has been a significant factor for my son who is on the spectrum. http://nancymullanmd.com/mthfr-lithium-dopamine-and-you-who-is-in-the-drivers-seat-around-here/ Also, I believe I said it backwards regarding b12 and lithium. Lithium is actually the transporter of B12 into cells.

        My understanding about vitamin C is that one must have sufficient levels of zinc in order to absorb and use it, and in order to have adequate levels of zinc, one must have adequate copper. When I supplement zinc with sufficient copper in my system, I will get a bloody nose unless I also balance it with copper. It is all a balancing act. (at least it is for me)

        Still not sure why one would get achey from even minute amounts of methyl donors.

        Thank you — I so appreciate your blogs/information.

        • Suzy Cohen August 12, 2015 at 3:52 am - Reply

          Elizabeth, if you are in “overmethylation” and experience pain, niacin (small tiny amounts of plain niacin) is an antidote. But I am not sure if this your issue. Thank you for your kind words.

          • Trish August 30, 2015 at 2:55 pm

            Hello 🙂

            What form is this tiny amount of niacin, please?

            Powder, small tablet/caplet? Slow acting? Quick acting? How much is this small amount, or what amount should be used initially please?

            I get all over body pain when I supplement with the methyl Bs. I have the C677T SNP.

            Thank you!!
            Trish

          • Suzy Cohen September 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm

            Trish, do you have a doctor to help you sort this out? Someone you can make an appointment with and figure out what is going on?
            Because I’m not sure from over here. If it causes you PAIN “ALL OVER BODY PAIN” I wouldn’t personally supplement with them ever again.
            Would use capsule and dump out some of it, maybe 25 mg. I don’t know exactly how much is right for you though.
            No, not slow acting.
            As for the form, it would be the kind that makes you flush.

  56. Mary August 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy, could you tell me if too much B12 is also something to be worried about. A recent blood test result was > 2000 pg/ml (range 187-883). Over the years this has always been the case with me. I wonder is there a blocked pathway which is leaving B12 unused.
    I would love a mention of this on your facebook page as so much information relates to low B12.

    • Suzy Cohen August 11, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      It can be caused by many things, including liver disorders and blood dyscrasias so I would get a few tests.

  57. Dr Sheila Dean August 11, 2015 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Suzy, what a beautiful explanation of MTRR. Thanks for your simple and straightforward style. It makes learning so much more fun!

  58. Sarah August 12, 2015 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know of the Prometheus utility will identify this genetic SNP defect from Ancestry raw DNA data?

  59. Anthony August 13, 2015 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy-

    How are you? Thanks for the info. Question- can I take just the hydroxyb12 or should this and the methodfolate be taken together? I found hydroxylb12 lozenges and the folate is a pill. Thanks so much! Have zero energy, homocysteine is high, dry skin, high oxidation, gut issues, high serotonin, low dopamine…..high clostria numbers…. Thanks!

    Ant

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