After reading Everyday Asperger’s blog post here about the MTHFR gene and methylfolate I got in the car almost immediately afterwards and drove to the late night supermarket to hunt for methylfolate. Being a supplement I thought I had a slight chance of it being available. No luck. Only folic acid. We then went further afield and looked for the all night pharmacy. We drove past it but couldn’t see it as it was too dark. We took a chance and drove to another pharmacy that we thought might be 24 hours open. It wasn’t. Although a disappointing result I felt victorious. I had taken action to find something to aid in my combat tool kit for depression and general mental health.
Day 2 in the search was little better. The first pharmacy said no immediately but recommended another pharmacy down the road. We wandered a little further. No stock but they could order it from the States. I got their contact number and said I would call if i didn’t have any luck. By this time I was tired of looking. It was suggested to me that calling ahead might be a better use of time. A sensible suggestion. But sometimes you just want to run around like a headless chook.
Day 3 I called back the pharmacy and ordered methylfolate (Metafolin). I was in a pharmacy, another one and asked about methylfolate. The pharmacist there hadn’t heard of it, but she showed curiosity and a willingness to learn. She said she would look it up and I also mentioned the MTHFR gene too. She initially thought I was looking for folic acid but I said no, not everyone can absorb it.
I am very surprised at the lack of access to methylfolate. I cannot wait to try it and see if it helps me. I am very hopeful.
I waited patiently…
The order arrived four days later. I got a phone call from the pharmacy I was in the car in time before it closed for the day.
Two weeks later….
I feel like my head is clear and I have more energy and want to be active. I feel brighter. The difference after taking methylfolate (Metafolin) is dramatic. At the same time I am slowly improving my diet and eating more vegetables especially ones rich in minerals and vitamins. I have self diagnosed this need for folate. If I want to confirm that I do in fact have a mutant MTHFR gene then I can order a gene kit. See below if you want to find out more about your DNA.
Four weeks later….
I am really beginning to feel like my old self again. Enjoying being me again. Energy levels much greater than without folate. Will look at adding Methylcobalamin Vitamin B12 to my daily routine.)
So what is MTHFR?
methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (NAD(P)H)
For detailed information go to Genetics Home Reference.
MTHFR Support Australia (40 minute recorded youtube talk with visuals)
What is Folate or Methylfolate? Is it the same as Folic Acid?
‘Folate is Vitamin B9 and is NOT the same as folic acid. (Folic acid is synthetic and is not found in nature.)‘* See the number of transformations that folic acid must go through in order to be useful to the body. However if you have a mutant MTHFR gene then folic acid supplements won’t ever help. Folate supplements on the other hand can be absorbed into your body right away without the need to transform into something else before being useful.
Folate = L-methylfolate = Metafolin = 5-MTHF = L-MTHF = L-5-MTHF = MTHF
How is FOLATE labelled?
‘Calcium salt based:
L-MTHF, L-5-MTHF, MTHF, L-Methylfolate
Metafolin®: Merck, medical food (NeevoDHA, Metanx, Cerefolin and Deplin)
Extrafolate-S®: Gnosis, dietary supplement available over the counter
Generic/racemic formulas, dietary supplement available over the counter
Glucosamine salt based:
Quatrefolic®: Gnosis, dietary supplement available over the counter’**
How much do you need daily?
800mcg folate is recommended daily. You might see results with 400mcg folate.
*MTHFR Support Australia
To check whether you have a mutant MTHFR gene you can order a DNA Kit from 23and Me.
Cost is US$99. You send them a sample of saliva and they return a printout of raw genetic data. You will not find out about future health issues or your likely time of departure.
Note: I am not a medical professional. This blog post is for information purposes only. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.
London Grammar – Metal and Dust