folate deficiency

  • Medicine Messes Up Your Methylation

    You're methylating right now! This means you're turning folate (vitamin B9) from your food, into something else called SAMe. It's the process called "methylation" and SAMe is your body's head honcho, the CEO if you will!

    SAMe stands for S-adenosylmethionine and drives hundreds of chemical reactions in your body. If you ate a salad for lunch, you're turning that folate into SAMe as we speak. Well, let's hope because SAMe helps you get rid of poisons. The biggest mistake you could make is thinking that methylation problems don't apply to you because you don't have the gene mutation, what we call the genetic snp (pronounced "snip"). Nothing could be further from the truth. As a pharmacist, and a Functional Medicine practitioner, I assure you that your medicine has the capacity to mess up your methylation! Then poisons back up.

    Don't think you make poisons in your body because you eat well and exercise? Wrong. Your cells churn poisons out as metabolic waste products probably a million times a minute! You better hope and pray your methylation pathway is up to snuff because if you don't methylate, toxic by-products build up all over your body. This equates to pain, depression, inflammation, elevated homocysteine, cognitive dysfunction, depression, higher risk for neural tube defects and much more discomfort. If you have the genetic snp it's a one-two punch for health problems galore.

    So in summary, medications hinder your methylation pathway, whether or not you have a snp. These are the primary offenders:

    Cholestyramine. This is a bile acid sequestrate used for reducing cholesterol as well as reducing Herxheimer (die-off) reactions. It is a drug mugger of folate and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D, A, E and K. Remember, no folate, no methylation!

    Birth control or hormonal replacement drugs with estrogen. these drugs are known drug muggers of magnesium, B6 and B2 (riboflavin); that puts the breaks on methylation. Started 'The Pill' recently, and now you feel down in the dumps? This could be why.

    Proton Pump Inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, others). Lowering natural acid production in the stomach reduces levels of magnesium, and critical B vitamins. Snp or not, your body simply cannot conduct methylation adequate levels of these nutrients!

    Antibiotics like amoxicillin, sulfamethoxazole, doxycycline and dozens more. Antibiotics kill your intestinal microflora (what you call your probiotics). Without the friendly gut flora, you cannot produce vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin). You also cannot activate riboflavin or folate so therefore, your methylation is blocked.

    Ibuprofen. This is a drug mugger of folate, so it blocks methylation directly by stealing your folate.

    Blood pressure pills like ACE inhibitors. These drugs (enalapril, lisinopril, etc) cause added zinc excretion. You need zinc to conduct methylation.

    Nitrous oxide. Been to the dentist lately? If you got NO gas, then no methylation took place for awhile!

    There are hundreds of other medicines that hinder your ability to methylate, snp or not! You may not have your genetic details or tests yet, so here are clues to poor methylation: Nerve pain, numbness or tingling, chronic fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, depression, mood swings, attention problems, cervical dysplasia, miscarriage, brain fog, weakness and lots of allergies.

  • The Food—Mood Connection

    The Food Mood Connection Jacob Teitelbaum

    THE FOOD—MOOD CONNECTION PLAYS A MASSIVE ROLE IN HOW WE FEEL.

    The nutritionally depleted wasteland we call the Standard American Diet is causing widespread nutritional deficiencies, along with an epidemic of anxiety and depression. The solution is simple, and it's NOT more Prozac. Instead, simply eating a diet high in fish, meat, fruits and vegetables, and low in processed foods and added sugar, can help you feel dramatically better. To make this easier, low cost nutritional and herbal support can also give people their lives back, without the toxicity of psychiatric medications.

    Here are the key ones, which I take myself each day to turbocharge energy and optimize health, while also leaving me being a calm, happy soul:

    1. B vitamins and folate. These are critical for proper brain function. Research has shown that supplementing with vitamin B1 improved mood, likely by increasing a brain neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. It also decreases anxiety. A side benefit? Improving memory at the same time. Vitamin B1 deficiency was also shown to worsen learning disorders in young children, and increase aggressive behavior to the point where some had to enter a mental hospital. This problem resolved with vitamin B1 supplementation. Vitamin B2 has been associated with decreasing risk of postpartum depression, while also decreasing migraine frequency by an astounding 69 percent! B12 and folic acid have also been shown to be helpful for depression. Ignore the RDAs, which I call Ridiculous Dietary Allowances, and instead take a 50 mg B complex each day. Make sure that some of folic acid is in a form called 5MTHF.
    2. Magnesium is critical in hundreds of reactions in the body, and deficiency is present in the majority of Americans. Low magnesium will put you on a hair trigger for anxiety, as well as for pain. Take 200 mg a day.
    3. NAC, which our bodies use to make the critical antioxidant called glutathione, has been shown to be helpful in a wide array of psychological problems. For day-to-day supplementation, I recommend 250 mg.
    4. Vitamin D* deficiency is associated with many autoimmune problems as well as with depression. As this is the "sunshine vitamin," the insane advice to avoid sunshine has triggered an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Take 1000 units daily. To make this simple and low-cost, all of the above can be found for about $.60 a day in a single drink called the Energy Revitalization System by Enzymatic Therapy. Another key cause of depression and anxiety is deficiency of omega-3 fish oils. Unfortunately, it takes seven large capsules a day of most forms to get the proper therapeutic effect. A simpler low-cost solution? A special form of pure omega-3's that have been vectorized (which is another way of saying that they remain bioidentical) can be found in a product called Vectomega by Terry Naturally. One a day replaces seven fish oil pills.
    5. Got depression? Repeated studies have shown that a special highly absorbed form of curcumin called CuraMed (also by Terry Naturally) 750 mg 2x day was more effective than antidepressants in head on studies. In addition, instead of the side effects of the medications, curcumin is associated with side benefits, including less pain, optimizing immunity to decrease cancer risk, and likely lower risk of Alzheimer's.
    6. For anxiety, it is not necessary to be addicted to Xanax. A special herbal called AnxioCalm, two twice a day, was shown to be as effective at restoring calm as the Valium family medications after six weeks of use. With no addiction or side effects.

    This simple regimen can leave you feeling fantastic, at lowcost. Give it six weeks to see the full effect. It can also safely be combined with mood medications. It's easy to feel calm and happy—naturally!


    *Editor's Note: We strongly recommend you visit GrassrootsHealth.net to learn more about Vitamin D, its importance, how to determine what dosage is right for you, and most of all, why it is so darn important you have sufficient levels of Vitamin D. Did you know serum levels greater than 40 ng/ml are associated with > 65% lower risk of cancer?1 Or that serum levels of 40-60 ng/ml may provide a significant reduction in breast cancer risk? Or lower risk for type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and much, much more.

    GrassrootsHealth is a nonprofit public health research organization dedicated to moving public health messages regarding vitamin D from research into practice. It has a panel of 48 senior vitamin D researchers from around the world contributing to its operations. GrassrootsHealth is currently running the D*action field trial to solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic worldwide. Under the D*action umbrella, there are also targeted programs for breast cancer prevention and a ‘Protect Our Children NOW!’ program to stop vitamin D deficiency where it starts, in utero.

    End Notes:

    1. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations ≥40 ng/ml Are Associated with >65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study