Sandra Miller Dec 2015
Beating Depression with “Root Cause” Approach
Beating depression with B vitamins be something you have heard about. If you read Part 1-B Vitamins The New Prozac? you will have gotten only a glimpse of the importance of some of the B vitamins, how to prepare them to preserve nutrient content and their effect on the body when we don’t get enough. There are clear ties to mental function and cellular energy with most of the B’s. Allow me to walk you through the role they play in a key process occurring every second in your body.
Once you understand the roadblocks to using B vitamins adequately you can begin release yourself from prison of depression, anxiety and energy shortages. More importantly you will be enhancing your genetics and outsmarting the aging process!
Lets Continue with our B’s
Vitamin B 8 Inositol
Even though inositol is listed as an “unnecessary” vitamin, its function tells us otherwise. Just like with choline, it is a precursor of phospholipids which are a necessary component of cell membranes. Inositol is also good for energy, brain function and healthy hair and, in the prevention of fatty liver, which is so prevalent today.
Together inositol and choline make what’s known as lecithin. Lecithin helps us absorb other vitamins like B1 but also, the fat-soluble vitamin A. Being an emulsifier of fats make it a huge helper in gall bladder health. Sluggish gallbladders may respond well to lecithin. Beans, citrus and cantaloupe are good sources from food.
I could donate and entire article to folate because of its huge importance in the body. It is essential for human growth and development. Lack of the proper type of folate can lead to birth defects because of a process called methylation. If your methylation is off, DNA does not replicate correctly. Adrenal function depends on it. So does your nervous system. This process dictates how our body rids itself of heavy metal and chemicals and helps to keep inflammation in check. I am going to give you a mini lesson in methylation in this article because understanding this whole process IS “THE KEY TO REVERSING MOST EVERY MOOD DISORDER.”
Folate donates something called a METHYL GROUP to your cobalamin (b12) to make something called methyl cobalamin. These methyl groups help homocysteine turn into something wonderful and usable. So let’s also talk about homocysteine and methylation for a minute. Folate, B 12 and B6 have something in common that is crucial. You will easily begin to see in a moment how all this comes together. A good understanding of this is necessary so that you can learn how this ties to whether or not you be affected by a mood disorder. Or worse.
Homocysteine- a basic understanding
Some of you may have been tested and told that your homocysteine was high. You may have also been told that this could lead to heart disease. But were you told HOW it puts you at risk, or what it is, exactly? Probably no. It starts with methionine, an amino acid. Methionine donates its “methyl” atom and is converted by an enzyme into SAMe or (S-adenosylmethionine). SAMe is THE MOST important methyl donor made in our bodies.
You may know that SAMe helps to produce serotonin. This works because of the donation of SAMe’s methyl group. Methyl groups from one of several sources must be constantly present in the diet for this methylation process to do all of its jobs. SAMe also gives up its methyl groups for detoxification of heavy metals and chemicals in the second phase of liver detoxification.
After SAMe makes its donation of its methyl group, it turns into SAH or S-adenosylhomocysteine. Yet another enzyme acts upon SAH and removes the “adenosyl” molecule to leave you with homocysteine. Homocysteine then needs a methyl donor itself to turn back into methionine.
Meet your methyl donors
Any guesses what may provides the methyl donation? None other than SAMe, folate, B6 and B 12 .You are still with me right? GOOD! Moving on.
There is a second pathway that can be taken to regain that all important methyl group. Betaine or TMG or( “trimethylglycine”) can also give up its methyl group for the cause. I will be providing some information on TMG because this is what I used to help get rid of my debilitating body pain. Made from beets, BETAINE has other functions such as increasing hydrochloric acid to break down food and absorb b12. Take note that yet again, the word methyl right in its name. A third pathway can also occur as well.
Your body is truly amazing and gives itself options. Homocysteine can also convert to cysteine and taurine (two other amino acids). This occurs with the action of B6 in its active form called “pyridoxal 5-phosphate. Want to guess what active co-factor the right form of B6 has? Yes, you are right! It donates a methyl group.
Here is the Ta Da!
Homocysteine builds up in your body because there are no methyl groups available to restart the methylation process. Building homocysteine leads to inflammation. Inflammation which in turn; leads to disease, poor neurotransmitter production, poor detoxification and poor energy mentally and physically. It can be complicated by genetics but they only load the gun. But they don’t pull the trigger! Why? Genes sometimes have a “workaround.”
Now back to folate.
Folate in its correct form is one of the most important donators of methyl groups that we do not make, but must get from our food sources.
And it is sensitive to high heat so loads of leafy greens that are not cooked to death are critical to life. Literally.
Without methyl groups from the CORRECT FORMS of your B vitamins and folate, you WILL NOT be able to detoxify from chemicals and heavy metals. You will not be able to produce adequate neurotransmitters. And you will increase inflammation and tendency toward just about every disease you can imagine. Your inflammation will increase and can lead to auto-immunity and possible even cancer.
Remember, these methyl groups assure that our genes are doing good things and not bad things. At the very least, you will experience an issue of some sort with mood and memory. These are symptoms that you are probably not methylating optimally. At worst you will get very, very sick from over toxicity. Inflammation is the root of all disease. No methylation- expect inflammation.
If you continue eating crappy processed garbage (that is passed off as food) , one of the first symptoms of under methylation is DEPRESSION and ANXIETY. Depression and anxiety are not diseases of the mind. It is a vitamin deficiency of the most critical kind. It’s a brain-inflamed.
How to get it
So with that explained, you need about 0.5 to 5 mg. per day of folate if you are looking to methylate well and reduce your homocysteine levels. Calves liver, pinto beans, lentils, asparagus and and spinach have a good amount. Add 3 of these daily and you should hit your mark for intake.
Methylation-the key to health?
Since the methylation process takes place billions of times per second and has an effect on everything in the body. It has a major effect on DNA and RNA. Get the wrong form of folate such as folic acid, and you are sacrificing your genetics and that of any children you might have. Even worse, you pass your faulty DNA on to others. It still really pisses me off that doctors tell women to take folic acid and say there is “no difference.”
There absolutely IS a difference and if you don’t think so, look at the chemistry. This would be comparable to saying that synthetic hormones are the same as your own natural hormones. Lies, lies, lies. Folic acid is CHEAP. That is why manufacturers use it. They take your ignorance to the bank. Cleft palate or spina bifida is a great example of a methylation defect in the mother. Birth defects such as mentioned are defects of cell (DNA) division.
Cell division occurs via the methylation pathway. All this pain and suffering is from taking the wrong supplements and/or having a gene aberration that requires specific forms. Bet your doctor did not tell you that!
If you want to kick depression and most other ailments for good, take the correct form of vitamins along with food sources that are not overcooked. I just taught you how to BIO HACK YOUR METHYLATION : ) Here is Dr. Ben Lynch (methylation expert) explain the importance of folate. Dr. Ben Lynch explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzR1NMg0hM
Okay, now back to your B’s. And, the role of genetics.
One more detail item to note about other things that effect methylation. 40% (or above) of the population possess a small “glitch” in their genetics called MTHFR, that do not give any leeway in the type of B vitamins or folate their bodies can use. If you have this, you cannot convert one form to another. I am one of those people. There is close to a 50/50 chance that you are too. You can test for it. Taking steps to optimize methylation can override the genetic influence.
Vitamin B 10
PABA -the natural sunscreen. Vitamin B10, better known as PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) and helps the body to absorb B5. PABA is a great anti-inflammatory and it even provides natural sun protection. You may have seen it in your sunscreen years ago. It has been eliminated from most however, due to topical reactions. More importantly, it is required to synthesize folate and it also aids in red blood cell formation. Lack of PABA could cause premature graying of the hair and early onset of wrinkles. Anti-aging? I would say so!
You can find yours in whole eggs, Brown rice, molasses, spinach mushroom and organ meats.
B 12 the Cobalamins
Since Vitamin B12 is one of many essential B vitamins that plays a role in the creation of red blood cells, extreme fatigue may present itself early in deficiency. They are a group of several cofactors called “cobalamins” Those who follow certain dietary restriction such as vegans and some vegetarians may find themselves deficient. Even supplementation as an assurance can be an epic fail for so many reasons. Now you know why I say
“optimization of health requires that you supplement”
The B12 in most all s upplements sold in stores is synthetic. If you take a supplement, turn around the back of your vitamin bottle. If it says cyanocobalamin, then yours is not the active form. Since this is the form most people take, it’s no wonder deficiency is so widespread. Just throw it away. If you have that funky genetic thing called MTHFR, your body has not been using it well anyway. Here is the most shocking part. It is believed that getting B12 injections is superior to taking B12 orally or even under the tongue (sublingually). That would be quite true if the form used was an active form.
Most B12 injections are none other than cyanocobalamin!
A form that close to 50 % of us cannot use. Notice the CYANO at the beginning of the word. They are robbing you of your precious health. The most active forms of B12 are (in order of importance) Methyl cobalamin , Adenosyl cobalamin and Hydroxo- cobalamin. Look for a combination of the three or a brand that includes at least two of them.
Certain medications can wipe out your supply of B’s. Prednisone, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, metformin, all medications for GERD, some cholesterol medication and even some anti-epileptics rob you of this key nutrient. Other conditions that can affect ability to absorb B 12 are IBS and Crohn’s due to lack of ability to absorb.
Parasites can also steal you B12 and they are more common than you think. Gastric bypass and alcoholism will also drain you of your B12. . Here is a quick link to some medication that may be stealing your B12 like a thief. THE most accurate test for B12 is not a serum B12. Ask your doctor about an MMA test. (methyl-melonic acid).
This is a link to Dr. Ben Lynch N.D’s page on the cobalamins. http://www.seekinghealth.com/blog/b12-methylcobalamin-adenosylcobalamin/
SOME LESS FAMILIAR B’s.
Vitamin B13 (Orotic Acid)
Vitamin B13 is made by intestinal flora to it is not actually recognized as a vitamin. Orotic acid is metabolized B 12 and folate. And assists in absorption of calcium and magnesium. It has been used for premature aging and liver disorders. It is so important to keep our gut bacteria healthy and happy. Root veggies, whey and beef help us make orotic acid.
More commonly known as Pangamic Acid, is a controversial vitamin in America, and has been removed from the B-Complex supplements. Pangamic acid is illegal in the U.S but other countries like Russia, use it extensively. It is used in alternative cancer therapies and many other things. Dimethyl- glycine (DMG) has been used in the United States as a substitute for B15 because it is believed to increase Pangamic Acid production in the body. Trimethylglycine as mentioned before is better utilized according to Dr. Lawrence Wilson in his article here http://www.drlwilson.com/ARTICLES/TRIMTHYLGLYCINE.htmon here in his article.
Pangamic acid is found in pumpkin and sunflower seed, beef blood, brewers yeast and apricot kernels.
Vitamin B 17
If you have not heard of this I would not be surprised. B17 known as laetrile or amygdalin. B 17 has been used in the alternative medicine arena for killing cancer. Doctors who use it will never admit it though. It is illegal to sell or use it. Because it is a natural substance found in the kernel of an apricot and certain sprouts, it cannot be patented so no drug company can make money off of it.
This natural cyanide containing compound is amazing in the sense that it only gives up its cyanide containing compound, only under certain conditions. An enzyme group called beta glucosidase must be present. Any guesses where you can find beta glucosidase? This enzyme group is found almost exclusively in cancerous tissue. Amazingly it leaves non-cancerous tissue unharmed. http://www.cancertutor.com/laetrile/
Fruits are very high in B17 but mainly wild fruits like cranberries and crabapples and of course, the pits of apricots. You can also find it in watercress, sprouts like mung, alfalfa and spinach. Could this be the reason sprouts are so healthy? And for a bit more on B 15 and B 17 http://www.vitamins-supplements.org/pangamic-acid.php
Final note on B’s
The B vitamins are best taken together. If extra supplementation is needed of one specific member of the B group, it can be added. For instance, B7 (biotin) is commonly known for skin, hair and nail health. As long as it is taken along with other B’s however it’s ok to add extra biotin. Do not take biotin all by itself without the other b’s present.
NOT a B vitamin, but it is a methyl donor that supports so many processes in health. Is what I used to fix my methylation because taking the methyl form of B12 can require that we only add it in small doses. I swear by this stuff and within about 24 hours of my using it, my body pain went away and so did my brain fog. here is what I use. Trimethylglycine
Beating depression is as simple as optimizing your methylation, optimizing your gut, and correctly supplementing.