“Methylation takes place over a billion times a second in the body. It is like one big dance, with biochemicals passing methyl groups from one partner to another.”
(The H Factor, Dr.James Brady and Patrick Holford).
One can under and over methylate. I have just discovered that I have the MTRR mutation. In other words, I have an issue with my methylation. Last year I felt in particular out of balance and started to take a iron/folate/b12 supplement and it helped me enormously. I did not reflect on it more than that I was a touch anaemic (which I have been all my life). But then, i started to digg in to my 23andme data and found that I am MTRR A66g +/+, which apparently affects the recycling of B12 in my body.
Digging further into this matter I learned that MTRR generates the methyl-B12 needed by MTR and other methyl-B12 requiring enzymes in the body. Blood B-12 levels may be normal, but if MTRR is (+/+) or (+/-), methyl-B12 formation will be compromised. This can cause homocysteine levels to elevate, causing the cells methylatio capacity to be compromised. Feeling rubbish in other words…
What is B12 ?
Copied from Dr Yaso’s material: Vitamin B12 also called cobalamin can include hydroxyl B12, methylB12, cyanoB12 and adenosylB12.
- Methyl B12 can be used in the body, though it cannot be tolerated by everyone. Those
who get jittery from caffiene, coke, or tea may not react as well to methyl B12. Many adults don’t do as well with methyl B12 in spite of their nutrigenomics and so it is fine to choose an alternate form
- Adenosyl B12 is a special form of B12 that is important in the energy cycle in the cells of your body. It is important to have adenosyl B12 but it is not as versatile as other forms of B12 so it can be used in lower doses.
- Hydroxycobalamin, or hydroxyB12 is a unique form of vitamin B12, which is more easily converted to the form that is actually used for reactions in the body. This might cause you to ask, why doesn’t everyone use high dose hydroxylB12 in their formulations? Well, Hydroxycobalamin (Hydroxy B12) is more difficult to work with, harder to keep in an active form and more expensive than some other forms of B12, such as cyanoB12. For this reason, many other products do not contain hydroxyl B12 and instead use cyanoB12.
- CyanoB12 contains a cyanide molecule. So when you take cyanoB12 your body must first turn it into hydroxyB12 in order to use it, and then must find a way to get rid of the toxic cyanide molecule. We all know cyanide is a poison even if the rest of the B12 molecule is good for you. The body actually uses up hydroxyB12 in order to detoxify cyanide. So, not only is cyanoB12 not the form your body ultimately needs, but taking higher doses of cyanoB12 may actually deplete your stores of hydroxy B12. So why would anyone use cyano B12 if it can be toxic? Well, in low doses it may be helpful for the eyes, but for the most part cyanoB12 is used because it is much less expensive, and a form of B12 that is easier to keep stable.
What should I take: So the key is supplementing with B12. But from Dr Yasko I learned that depending of which COMT or VDR mutation you got, you respond to different forms of B12. In the table below, you can see a person like me should take a mix of B12 but with less methyl groups.
Dr Yasko, in her Genetic Bypass booklet, goes into details what one should consider if the different mutations. For me that means supplementing with methyl B12. What an amazing book by the way.
Sources and inspiration:
Dr Ben Lynch
Dr Amy Yasko