Maintaining your health with an MTHFR mutation can be tricky…
At Methyl-Life, we’re committed to bringing you useable information to help you learn more about your body’s unique needs and how to meet them.
We’ve been there. And now we’re here for you.
Read on for information about methylfolate dosages. We’ll cover:
- Working with Medical and Naturopathic Doctors
- How to know whether you need a high or low dosage of methylfolate
- How much methylfolate and/or methylcobalamin you should take
- Possible side effects of your dosage
Be sure to read our Methylation Protocol page to see dosage in action!
PLEASE NOTE: We are not doctors and cannot provide any medical advice or recommendations. We simply offer our experience and what we’ve researched and learned from the doctors who make these recommendations.
Get a doctor on board: Methyl-Life on Methylfolate and MTHFR
As with any supplement or medication you take, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional about your personal situation. Check-in with a pharmacist, too, to ensure there aren’t possible interactions with any medications you are currently taking. Do what is right for your body!
If your doctor does not know how much methylfolate you should take, don’t be alarmed. Many doctors don’t realize how significantly methylfolate and/or MTHFR can affect a person’s quality of life. Everyone has different genetic challenges and disease processes that factor into the mix of MTHFR symptoms. At Methyl-Life, we recommend finding a doctor who is familiar with MTHFR. This could be an MD, a naturopath, or an expert who focuses on methylation, nutrition, and MTHFR. Need options? Try here.
Why don’t all doctors know how much methylfolate you should take?
It takes about 18 years for a known medical fact to become a part of “typical medical practice.” We’re just not there with the genetics yet! If you are conducting research on this topic, you are ahead of the curve and may find some early answers to several long-term issues you have been fighting.
In the course of her own research, our founder, Jamie Horn, discovered that there are two schools of thought regarding dosage, in this case represented through an MD (Gynecologist) and a Naturopathic Doctor.
- The MD, Rawlins, talks in terms of the prescription versions of methylfolate available on the market today. These are high-dose options (3 mg, 5.6 mg, 7.5 mg & 15 mg). This dosing has FDA approval and is supported by a lot of research and clinical trials.
- The Naturopath, Lynch, talks in terms of lower-dosage, over-the-counter versions of methylfolate currently available (800 mcg –2 mg). He has found this dosage appropriate for people unable to tolerate large doses due to detox or over-methylation.
Is a high or low methylfolate dosage right for you?
Jamie Horn, the founder of Methyl-Life, has done well with the higher dosage of methylfolate (5 mg to 7.5 mg daily). It works great for her! However, she knows that even though MTHFR is a big and important gene in the body’s methylation pathway, there are at least 14 other important ones.
Some people may have a combination of genetic problems causing them to be careful about how much methylfolate they take. It is also possible they could become over-methylated or experience some negative side effects.
Folks with COMT, CBS, or SUOX genetic defects, for example, may find over-methylation an issue. Similarly, people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia often cannot tolerate much methylfolate at first because it causes an extreme detox effect. This happens because methylfolate promotes glutathione, which moves toxins into their bloodstream so that they can be removed from the body. But these already-burdened systems can get overloaded. These folks often have other protocols they need to start with in order to prepare their system for methylfolate, or they must simply take very low doses of methylfolate. In these cases, B12 in the form of hydroxycobalamin can be one of the supplements they may need prior to taking methylfolate. For folks with CFS or Fibromyalgia should definitely work with a doctor who knows about methylfolate.
If you do know what genetic factors are affecting your methylation pathway (see below), then you might try experimenting with your dosage. Start low and move up slowly until you find your sweet spot.
Finding out what genetic factors are affecting your methylation pathway
Learn more about MTHFR Testing!
How much methylfolate and/or B12 supplement should you take?
Some people may never feel a big change using a methylfolate supplement. For others, like Methyl-Life’s founder, the change might happen right away, or it may take as many as 4 months to notice a reduction in MTHFR symptoms. But even without noticing a difference in your everyday quality of life, there. Are great reasons to take methylfolate:
- Methylfolate reduces some people’s homocysteine levels
- Methylfolate reduces your risk for conditions like heart attack and miscarriage
- Methylfolate can help clear toxins, metals, and BPA out of their system because it boosts glutathione.
- For some, it may help increase serotonin levels
In short, methylfolate can have some profoundly positive effects on people. Here are important things to consider regarding dosage:
- First, start slow and make sure to include B12, as most people need both methylfolate and B12 and tolerate it very well.
- We recommend trying one or all of the 3 active forms of B12 to get the B12 nutrient into the cells (hydroxocobalamin, methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin).
- The high dose for hydroxocobalamin (B12) ranges between 2-10 mg (with many falling in the 2-5 mg and some doctors recommending 10+ mg for folks with certain health issues). If you have COMT mutations, you might need significant doses of hydroxocobalamin.
- Consider our Hydroxocobalamin and/or B-12 Complete products to begin with.
- The high dose methylcobalamin (B12) range is between 2-15 mg (with many people falling into the 5-10 mg category, but some can get injections for 25+ mg) – if you have MTR & MTRR mutations, you might need significant doses of this (I personally take about 8-12 mg a day). Check out our Best Form of B12 page to learn more.
- NOTE: If your blood tests show high B12 levels, you may not be getting the whole picture because there is no good intracellular B12 test available today. They are currently testing B12 levels in the blood, but not how much of the B12 nutrient actually reaches your cells to be used by them. So, even if your levels are high, your body may not be converting the B12; it may be unused in your blood and unable to be transported to the cells for use.
- Finally, introduce methylfolate with just one other B12 product at a time. Hold it for a few days to see how your body does with it. This allows you to understand what your body is tolerating well or unhappy with so that you can make changes accordingly.
- Consider our B-Methylated II or lower-dose Methylfolate only products to start.
- NOTE: If you determine that a high dose is for you (or that you want to try to increase up to higher doses), the range for methylfolate is typically 3-15 mg daily (with many people falling into the 5-10 mg category, but some taking as much as 50-100 mg per day). This is NOT recommended without being under the care of a doctor. Today’s higher prescription level dosing is 7.5 mg or 15 mg. See our prescription products page for more details.
- As you increase your dosing of methylfolate, have Nicotinic Acid or Niacin (not niacinamide) on hand so that if you feel you have taken too much methylfolate and are having an “over-methylated” experience, you can counteract it quickly with the Niacin (try using 50 mg of Niacin every 30-60 minutes or so until symptoms subside).
Possible side effects: what to remember
Remember, these are vitamins! So the number and type of side effects will typically be much lower than they would be for a pharmaceutical drug. But be smart, if you’re very sensitive to drugs, vitamins, and supplements, then do your research, start slow, and talk to your doctor. Also, it is helpful to know that any reaction you have will likely be temporary. As these B vitamins do not stick around in your system, your body will release what it doesn’t use in your urine.
If you have an “over-methylated” experience, Dr. Lynch recommends 50 mg of nicotinic acid every 30 minutes to 1 hour for as long as symptoms of anxiety and irritability are present.
Start your methylfolate journey today with our Methylation Protocol!
Products that may help minimize MTHFR effects