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EIR Reviews Treatment - Nutritional Supplements 0-9 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) or Metafolin

5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) or Metafolin Maff Hot

https://www.ei-resource.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/250x250s/cc/70/c3/_5mthf_129606590548.jpg
Written by Maff     January 26, 2011    
 
7.4
4566   0   0   0   0

5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) is an important bioactive form of folic acid and a key player in the methylation cycle. Methylation is required for important biological processes such as detoxification and the synthesis of DNA/RNA and the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. 

A common variation in the gene that controls the final enzyme involved in the conversion of dietary folic acid to 5-MTHF means that many people cannot complete this conversion efficiently and are thus more likely to suffer from methylation deficits and other signs of functional folate deficiency.

Supplementing 5-MTHF (sometimes known as Metafolin) theoretically bypasses these conversion problems.   

 

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Editor reviews

I recently had genomic testing which revealed I was homozygous for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in both the C677T and A1298C variants of the MTHFR gene. This basically means that my MTHFR enzyme is very inefficient in the way it converts other forms of folate to the vital 5-MTHF form. As such I decided to try 5-MTHF supplements to essentially "bypass" this genetic block and ensure my body had enough 5-MTHF available to put into the methylation cycle. Important since poor methylation has been associated with both chronic fatigue syndrome and depression from which I have suffered for 20 and 15 years respectively.

While in theory 5-MTHF is an essential supplement for me, in practice things didn't quite work out. I initially felt I was getting some benefit and experienced a minor "detox reaction" and brighter mood when supplementing at 500mcg/day. However it quite quickly became apparent that the 5-MTHF was causing significant digestive upset. My intestines felt very sore indeed and this subsided once I stopped taking the 5-MTHF. I have discovered that all methyl donors (TMG, SAMe etc) cause the same reaction. I have read that digestive upset is common with SAMe supplements but nothing about this with 5-MTHF or TMG so I am unsure whether others will experience the same problems with 5-MTHF or not.

For those suffering from ME/CFS, depression, autism, or other illnesses in which methylation cycle deficits have been identified, and particularly those who know they have SNPs in MTHFR, a 5-MTHF supplement may very well help and therefore be worth a try. Just be aware of your 'gut reaction'!

Overall rating 
 
7.4
Perceived Effectiveness  
 
8.0
Lack of side effects (tolerability)  
 
3.0
Ease of use  
 
10.0
Value for money  
 
8.0
Would you recommend? 
 
8.0
Maff Reviewed by Maff January 26, 2011
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (107)

Great in theory but caused digestive upset

I recently had genomic testing which revealed I was homozygous for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in both the C677T and A1298C variants of the MTHFR gene. This basically means that my MTHFR enzyme is very inefficient in the way it converts other forms of folate to the vital 5-MTHF form. As such I decided to try 5-MTHF supplements to essentially "bypass" this genetic block and ensure my body had enough 5-MTHF available to put into the methylation cycle. Important since poor methylation has been associated with both chronic fatigue syndrome and depression from which I have suffered for 20 and 15 years respectively.

While in theory 5-MTHF is an essential supplement for me, in practice things didn't quite work out. I initially felt I was getting some benefit and experienced a minor "detox reaction" and brighter mood when supplementing at 500mcg/day. However it quite quickly became apparent that the 5-MTHF was causing significant digestive upset. My intestines felt very sore indeed and this subsided once I stopped taking the 5-MTHF. I have discovered that all methyl donors (TMG, SAMe etc) cause the same reaction. I have read that digestive upset is common with SAMe supplements but nothing about this with 5-MTHF or TMG so I am unsure whether others will experience the same problems with 5-MTHF or not.

For those suffering from ME/CFS, depression, autism, or other illnesses in which methylation cycle deficits have been identified, and particularly those who know they have SNPs in MTHFR, a 5-MTHF supplement may very well help and therefore be worth a try. Just be aware of your 'gut reaction'!

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