Nov 13, 2010
There is growing evidence that homocysteine is associated with a number of diseases and
that levels increase with aging. Even moderate homocysteine levels are associated with birth defects (neural tube defects), increased heart attack and stroke rates, higher cancer rates and higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS. In most people, high homocysteine levels go hand-in-hand with deficiencies in combinations of vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B-12. Large doses of these vitamins are often required to return the homocysteine to safe levels.
The functional form of B-12 is methylcobalamine. Most cheaper brands are made
from cyanocobalamin, which can be useless in a number of people, especially those with chronic illnesses. The dose is 1,000 micrograms to be taken three times a day, with or without food.
The dose for folate is 800 to 1,000 micrograms a day, with or without food. This combination is a powerful weapon in preventing cancer, especially
those of the colon, breast, and prostate.
A defect in a gene responsible for producing an enzyme, known as methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). two alterations in the MTHFR enzyme. a special form of vitamin B12 injections — methyl-B12.
The enzyme defect tells us that the body is unable to convert vitamin B12 to the activated form of B12, which is methyl-B12. the methylated form of the vitamin B12.use the shots
daily for 30 days.
MTHFR is an enzyme in our body that is responsible for folic acid and homocysteine metabolism. Folic acid is a B vitamin and homocysteine is a compound naturally
produced in the body. This enzyme helps the body activate folic acid and break down homocysteine. Problems with the enzyme cause a myriad of other issues, including
autoimmune disorders, cancer, and heart disease. Everyone should have their levels checked at least once.
the importance of folic acid. Folic acid is part of the B-vitamin family and is known as vitamin B9. It is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells.1 Folic acid is needed, too, for DNA synthesis, as well as red blood cell production and function. Inadequate folic acid intake has been shown to cause anemia, heart disease, stroke, and various cancers, including colorectal, cervical, esophagus, stomach, ovarian, and breast cancer.
Deficiencies of folic acid in a pregnant woman can be disastrous. It can lead to malformations of the baby’s spine (spina bifida) as well as skull, brain, and neural tube
defects. Most Americans do not ingest adequate amounts of folic acid.
The importance of adequate folic acid intake has been recognized by the U.S. government. Flour is now fortified with folic acid. In addition, the FDA has mandated that breads, cereals, corn meals, and other grain products contain additional amounts of folic acid.
The main thrust of the additional folic acid in food products is to prevent neural tube birth defects in newborns. The good news is that the additional dietary folic acid has resulted in a 25 percent decline in neural tube defects in the United States. However, it is thought
that most people in the country still consume inadequate amounts of folic acid.
Homocysteine, meanwhile, is an amino acid produced in the body from another amino
acid, methionine. Research has shown that elevated homocysteine levels are associated
with an increased risk of many health issues, including heart disease, stroke, peripheral
vascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, inflammatory bowel disease, aneurysm, kidney disease, and erectile dysfunction.
Research has shown that for every 10 percent rise in homocysteine, there is a corresponding rise in the development of heart disease.4 Homocysteine may cause
atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, by a variety of means, among them by oxidizing LDL cholesterol; by inducing injury to arterial endothelial
cells, which form a thin layer on the interior surface of blood vessels; by decreasing the amount your body can use of endothelium-derived nitric oxide (important to blood
flow); and disruption of the clotting system.
Although there is some controversy around the idea that elevated homocysteine causes atherosclerosis, there also is a 25-year history of research pointing toward the
relationship between elevated homocysteine levels and the development of cardiovascular problems. You should have your homocysteine levels checked at least once a year.
Other reasons why there would be problems trying to lower homocysteine levels.
That is where the enzyme, MTHFR, comes into the story. MTHFR helps the body metabolize homocysteine. It does this by converting folic acid to its activated form, methyl folic acid (5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate).
This conversion activates folic acid and allows it to be used to help metabolize homocysteine to the amino acid methionine. Without this enzyme, folic acid cannot be
converted to its activated, methylated form and, therefore, homocysteine cannot be metabolized to methionine. The end result is that homocysteine levels may rise and start to cause atherosclerosis and oxidative stress, as well as other problems
MTHFR also is the central point in the methylation pathway. That is where a specific chemical subgroup methyl (CH3) is added to various vitamins and
compounds such as folic acid, vitamin B12 and others. The shuttling of the methyl groups is important as it helps the body produce energy, maintains in optimal condition
your immune, neurological, and hormonal systems, and protects your DNA from damage.
The methylation process occurs in every cell in the body. To achieve your best health, it is important to ensure the optimal functioning of the methylation system.
One in Five Has This Dangerous Problem
A simple blood (or salivary) test can ascertain whether you have an altered form of the MTHFR enzyme. Medical research has shown that abnormalities in the enzyme can
result in elevated homocysteine levels and an increase in heart attacks, stroke, neural tube defects, and psychiatric diseases, including depression and schizophrenia, as well as cancer. As many as one in five people have been reported to have a variation in the MTHFR enzyme. this enzyme defect in my
office for approximately one year. such problems are common. Many of these non-responders. For example, these are the patients who have low vitamin B12 levels yet
do not respond positively to vitamin B12 shots. Most patients (around 80 percent) feel significantly better with vitamin B12 shots. Yet, approximately 20 percent of patients with low B12 levels (less than 450 picograms per milliliter, pg/ml) report no change in
their status with B12 shots. These are the patients in whom MTHFR problems are more prevalent.
Experience has shown that more than half of these individuals have alterations in this key enzyme.
So, what is the solution? First, check for MTHFR abnormalities. The test can be done by most local labs.
Iverson Genetics Diagnostics (www.iversongenetics.com) offers the test for a very reasonable price. If you have a variant form of the enzyme, there are a couple of important
things you can do.
First, problems with this important enzyme can be passed from parents to children. It is important to check family members of positive individuals. If you are positive, it is important to take the correct supplements to help your
body overcome this blockage. Taking the correct forms of folic acid and vitamin B12 are crucial to treating this condition. These forms of B vitamins bypass the defect in
the enzyme’s pathway and provide the raw materials for the metabolic machinery to function optimally.
Instead of taking regular folic acid, you want to take the methylated version (activated) of folic acid — methyl folic acid. The same holds true with vitamin B12 — take methyl
B12. A few other key nutrients can also help this process, including choline, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and dimethyl glycine (DMG). A formulated product, DMG Complete, that contains these ingredients in the amounts necessary to help optimize the metabolic
capabilities of those with MTHFR problems. You can order
this product by calling (877) 898-PURE (7873).
Defects are very common. supplying the correct form of B vitamins and other nutrients can help the body bypass the inherited genetic defects that can be present. It is important to have your blood screened for MTHFR alterations and to take the correct supplement if
you have a problem.