This one may be a new one to many of you, I know I was shocked when I first learned about it, but it made so much sense! You see when you have serum levels of elevated folate combined with low serum B12 it is a sign of methyl trapping. This is NOT the same thing as a folate deficiency to be clear, and supplementing with methyl folate will only make it worse.
Let me back it up a bit. When you have enough methyl folate floating around but your body just can’t use it because it is lacking B12 then supplementing with more methyl folate isn’t the answer. Your body needs to have adequate B12 in order to have methyl folate do its job and donate to the methyl group known as CH3 (to B12 becoming methyl B12). Then the methyl B12 can be used by the methyl group to becoming homocysteine which is in turn used to crate methionine which is then used to create SAMe.
We need proper amounts of SAMe in the body to help histamine be metabolized, to make creatine which supports muscle mass and makes Phosphatidylcholine (super important for our brain, nervous system AND digestion) as well as supporting the metabolism of serotonin and dopamine.
Phosphatidylcholine is a component of the bile that is produced in your liver (we store it in our gallbladder). It is used in our small intestine to aid with dietary fat digestion and absorption, it also helps to prevent gallstones from forming. Those without a gallbladder have no storage area for this, same as bile so you may want to look at supplementing. It is needed by our liver to help distribute triglycerides and cholesterol with LDL into your blood for distribution to your tissues. Without it, cholesterol and triglycerides would accumulate in your liver and cause a fatty liver. HDL also needs phosphatidylcholine to transport cholesterol from your tissues to your liver for bile production and for elimination from your body. Basically phosphatidylcholine helps to prevent cholesterol from accumulating in your artery walls, especially when you are taking K2 as a supplement – that’s like a powerhouse stack. I like to ge mine via food like pastured eggs (one egg yolk contains about 115 mg of choline), grass fed beef liver (5oz of raw liver contains 423 mg of choline). If you choose to supplement there is a good breakdown here.
OK back to the topic at hand…Too much methylfolate and not enough B12 will prevent the methylfolate from being used. It then builds up and becomes ‘trapped’ – this means it can’t be used. It shows on serum (blood) tests as elevated even though on a cellular level it is actually low. This is why I speak about serum values being different than our intracellular levels quite a bit. This means supplementing with a methyl B12 o even things out, although if you are anything like me and have MTR- MTRR mutations then you won’t tolerate this well either, you need more of a adenosyl or hydroxy version.