Blog Post

MTHFR & Vitamin B12

If you have mthfr gene mutations it’s vital that you understand the importance of the role that vitamin B12 plays in the condition and which B12 is best for you because when it comes to vitamin B12 all are not created equal, especially for those with mthfr.  Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is required to come from out diet, it is estimated that modern food production practices over many years has lost upwards of 75% of its vitamin B12 values, this is a big problem for anyone and this potentially represents an even bigger problem for people with mthfr gene mutations.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency symptoms & MTHFR

The usual symptoms for a B12 deficiency include:

  • Poor hair condition
  • Eczema or dematitis
  • Oversensitive mouth to hot and cold
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Lack of energy
  • Constipation
  • Tender or sore muscles
  • Pale skin

But its important to understand that when it comes to mthfr conditions that vitamin B12 works with other B complex vitamins especially folic acid or folate, therefore the following symptoms of folate deficiency can also be a big indicator of a B12 deficiency such as:

  • Anaemia
  • Eczema
  • Cracked lips
  • Prematurely greying hair
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Poor memory
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor appetite
  • Stomach pains
  • Depression

What this means is your vitamin B12 levels can look good on paper after you have been to the doctor but this doesn’t mean that you are able to use that B12 properly if you have mthfr gene mutations.

Because vitamins B12 and folate team up and work with each other and the fact that all other vitamins and minerals are affected by their relationship means that you can have any of the mthfr symptoms that are the direct result of multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can’t be resolved by taking common multi vitamin and mineral supplements.

Vitamin B12 and homocysteine

When you have mthfr gene mutations you lack the enzymes responsible for the conversion of folate that you eat into the active form 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate, this important reaction is then directly involved in the utilization of vitamin B12 which is vitally important in the processing of homocysteine.  So, if your vitamin B12 is not working properly because your folate metabolism isn’t working properly this causes homocysteine imbalances which is considered a serious health problem for anyone especially for those with mthfr gene mutations.  If you are positive for mthfr a good homocysteine reading should be between 7 – 8 umol and vitamin serum B12 levels should be above 500 – 800, if this is not the case you should seek a mthfr treatment.

Which B12 vitamin is best for MTHFR

Most people are aware of the benefits of having B vitamins in terms of taking nutritional supplements and more often than not people who take vitamin B complex supplements may be doing themselves more harm than good when it comes to the mthfr condition.  Most B complex supplements have two problems that dramatically affect those with mthfr gene mutations these include:

  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin b12 as cyanocobalamin

Folic acid is a synthetic “man made” form of folate which actually interferes with the absorption of real folate in those with mthfr, this makes life much harder for those with the gene defect increasing the deficiency of the already reduced ability to absorb and use folate.

The “cyanocobalamin” version of B12 is made from cyanide which over time may have toxic effects, this form of B12 is not ideal and for those with mthfr gene mutations, it can more often than not be harder for their body to use vs other forms of B12.  This  synthetic “man made” form of vitamin B12 has low biological activity, this means that it has to be converted in the liver to become a more active form so it can be used, those with existing gene mutations may have more trouble breaking down the cyanocobalamin version of B12 which is not ideal.

The best type of B12 vitamin for mthfr is very much dependent on the following:

  • Which type of mthfr gene mutation you are diagnosed with
  • The symptoms you experience with mthfr
  • Your family history of disease
  • Your homocysteine balance
  • If you are a smoker or have smoked in the past
  • Your blood pressure
  • Your diet
  • Your mental status

Its best to consult your mthfr practitioner about which form of B12 is best for your condition.  Here are some of the forms of vitamin B12 used in cases of mthfr gene mutations:

  • Methylcobalamin (an active form of B12)
  • Hydroxycobalamin (a nitric oxide scavenger)
  • Adenosylcobalamin (energy production)

Depending on the type of gene you have been diagnosed with will depend on which B12 vitamin is right for you and in some instances taking the wrong one can cause unwanted symptoms, this is because there are often other mutations involved such as COMT (Catechol-O-Methyltransferase) that don’t respond well to certain B12 supplements.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and methyl trapping

People with mthfr gene mutations often have hidden B12 deficiencies which causes the active form of folate 5-methyl THF or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to become trapped, this is known as the methyl-folate trap, when this happens taking the mthfr recommended supplements can cause serious harm and should be avoided until the underlying reasons for the B12 deficiency can be addressed and the right type of B12 can be prescribed.

MTHFR & Vitamin B12

As you can see there are many reasons to consider B12 vitamins in the proper treatment of mthfr conditions, this vital nutrient can make a big difference to the outcome of a persons overall health but it is important to get it right.  Vitamin B12 is not the only consideration but it does play a big role in how you respond to mthfr treatments.  Because vitamin B12 works with almost every other vitamin and mineral directly and indirectly getting it working for you is vital in the proper treatment of mthfr.

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