L-Methylfolate is a remarkable nutrient for improving the health of so many people. Yet, as the cookie tends to crumble, it can also come with some side effects.
For the best experience introducing an L-Methylfolate supplement into your wellness routine, it’s important to pay close attention to timing and dosage.
More on that.
Responses to Methylfolate: 3 typical scenarios
Luckypants: This is the person who always wins a door prize just for showing up. For Mr. or Ms. Luckypants, starting methylfolate will be a walk in the park. Instant good feels, life is a bowl of cherries, all that. We’re happy for them. But you may be a little jealous if you fall into one of the other scenarios.
The light switch: Methylfolate is WONDERFUL. You’re energized, happy, and downright sociable–like you flipped a switch and stepped into the light. And then someone walks in and flips off the switch and leaves you in the dark. Where you belong. Because you’re angry and may go Hulk if someone looks at you wrong. You lie there, motionless with the onset of muscle aches, intense headaches or joint pain.
Not. Gonna. Do it. You: whoever thought up this “Methylfolate is the key” stuff is pulling the wool over the eyes of the world. It’s not working for you. It may be doing some of the good things the doctor said it would, but those don’t outweigh the immediate badness of the methylfolate side effects you’re feeling.
Methylfolate Side Effects
- -achy joints
- -sore muscles
- -severe anxiety
- -nerves stinging
- -runny nose
You most likely won’t experience ALL of these. Our bodies are all made up differently, so people will experience different combinations of side effects. But any combination, depending on severity, could be a deal-breaker. Replacing one set of symptoms with another wasn’t what you bargained for.
If you experience any of these and the timing is just too coincidental NOT to be directly associated with methylfolate, you should discuss it with a medical professional. The most effective immediate strategy would be to significantly reduce your dosage or take a break altogether, but doing that without professional medical input is not advisable.
If the side effects come back?
The inconvenient truth is, methylfolate just doesn’t work wonders for everyone. If you feel like the costs are outweighing the benefits, then trust your body. If it feels like “enough is enough,” quit taking it.
But remember that one of the key jobs methylfolate is doing is boosting glutathione in the body, which is helping you detoxify, and if you have a significant burden (metals, environmental toxins, BPAs, glyphosate, etc.), then detoxing is not going to be fun. Back down and consider going slower and better supporting your detoxification process.
Why did I have such a successful first week on methylfolate, and then crash the week after?
All kinds of sciencey, body system stuff play into it–inflammation, levels of other nutrients in the body, maybe even other genetic issues you’ve never learned about.
What you really want to know now is how to make it better. So let’s go there.
The quickest ways to put out the fire of methylfolate side effects:
- Exercise mentally or physically. Using your brain or your muscles, you’ll burn through methyl donors, essentially reducing your dose on the fly. Go for a run, swim or walk, chase your kids around the house–MOVE. Try understanding Common Core Math. THAT should burn through some of that extra methylfolate.
- Get some niacin (as nicotinic acid), 50-100 mg (this is NOT the nicotine found in cigarettes and e-cigs nor is it the niacinamide found in many dietary supplements). Niacin is broken down by SAMe, which is one of the big methyl donors. Giving SAMe a job, in this case, breaking down the niacin, helps burn it off.
NOTE: Don’t panic if you feel flushed for half an hour or so. Niacin tends to make you feel warmer than usual.
- Add in Hydroxocobalamin to soak up your extra nitric oxide. Methylfolate increases nitric oxide levels – great for reducing headaches, pain, cardiovascular risk, thrombosis, preeclampsia, etc – but excessive nitric oxide levels are harmful.
- Limit intake of leafy greens until side effects go away. Spinach and other leafy greens also contain methylfolate and nitrates, so you don’t need any right now.
- Get your electrolytes – as methylfolate increases, so does cell division and when that happens, electrolyte deficiency can occur.
- Glutathione – as cells divide with more methylfolate, glutathione levels get depleted. Restoring levels can help significantly. But take it slow–just a few drops at a time.