This post is about methyl folate and how it can drive some people crazy. It can literally strip you of crucial DNA. It is possible that it strips DNA at the cellular level while also donating it, according to research done on the Walsh approach.
On the other hand, following a functional medicine approach, methyl folate is thought to spur the production of neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
I personally was prescribed methyl folate by most practitioners I visited as I did my research on the MTHFR genetic mutation and how it can play a role in mental health conditions.
I also did my research on the Walsh approach.
Nevertheless, I stayed persistent on a low dose of methylfolate as prescribed. Supplementing on and off at times and trying other methylating agents as well.
Methyl folate is a large methyl donor and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier for those who are positive for the MTHFR gene. This sounds great and it really helps – at first.
It is advised by many practitioners to supplement with all methylated nutrients for your body to methylate properly, including methylfolate, methylcobalamin, P-5-P, Riboflavin, choline, magnesium, TMG, and others.
On the other hand, in my experience, not everyone can tolerate all of these nutrients, so it’s best to listen to your body.
The amount and dosage of the methylating nutrients depend on the individual.
If at this point if you do not know what methylation is, you can check out the methylation page of my site before delving into this blog. It’ll really give you a greater insight into this blog post.
The Dos and Don’ts of Methyl Folate
Methyl folate is needed by many healthy individuals and those suffering from mental illness. But what practitioners don’t realize is it can also exacerbate or be the cause of mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, or psychosis if prescribed wrong.
Many people can be under or over methylated. If a person finds out they have a methylation imbalance (although many methylate normally), then the WRONG nutrients can potentially actually cause mental health symptoms.
Makes sense right? If it were that common sense, these mistakes wouldn’t be made over and over, by so many practitioners and health-conscious people supplementing with let’s say, multivitamins that include folates, but also include harmful nutrients for their biochemistry.
The B-Vitamin Mistake
It was long known that B vitamins give a boost of natural energy. This sounds exactly like what a person with say, chronic fatigue syndrome, might need. But if this person is undermethylating and has low serotonin, the folate in a B complex, is going to cause their neurotransmitters to fall and strip DNA and methyl groups. What’s an outcome? A fatigued patient now with newly found, full-blown paranoia and psychosis instead.
Take this person to a doctor and they will tell them they have schizophrenia and put them on anti-psychotics ( which also lowers neutroansmitter levels -such as serotonin and dopamine).
But will this doctor even consider the supplements this person is on or ween them off of supplements before diagnosis and medicating to see their baseline? Unfortunately, probably not.
What’s seen more is psychiatrists actually prescribing folates to patients along with medications. This can be dangerous if done wrong.
More practitioners need to be aware of the do’s and don’t of methyl folate, and the dos and don’ts of synthetic folic acid also.
Methylfolate can really help some people. But, it can be detrimental to a lot of people when it comes to mental health.
You can choose natural folate from food sources or folinic acid. You can stay clear of all folates if that’s what your mind and body need.
If you want to check your SNP’s to see if you test positive for a variant of the MTHFR, then I suggest seeking a practitioner at mytelemedicine. They have nutritionists and Naturopathic doctors that can do appropriate testing for you.
Also, remember to listen to your practitioner’s advice. Please choose wisely your supplement protocol. Most importantly listen to your mind and body.