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Methylation: New Treatments Beyond the MTHFR

Coffee with Dr. Stewart Podcast
Podcast Air Date: May 27, 2018

Listen in as Dr. Kendal Stewart discusses methylation, beyond the MTHFR, and why it holds the key to our health and how to treat it naturally.

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Kara Stewart-Mullens: Welcome to season 5 of Coffee with Dr. Stewart. This show will provide our listeners with up to datemedical information from a leading neurotologist and genomic specialist. I invite you to sit back, grab your favorite beverage or cup of coffee and let’s have Coffee with Dr. Stewart.


Good afternoon everybody. Welcome to Coffee with Dr. Stewart. I am your host Kara Stewart-Mullens. We’re here on a beautiful, beautiful day in Austin, Texas. Hey Dr. Stewart.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Kara, how are you?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: I don’t even go into a big spiel any more. We just get straight to saying what’s going on.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Oh not much, Memorial Day weekend.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right? I do have a question for you. What do you think about this butter coffee?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Butter coffee?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Uh-huh.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You’re talking about…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Like for the ketogenic diet and…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure. Yeah, that’s something that has been created a long time ago. Actually it probably is a pretty good idea, it has MCT oil in in.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Which is coconut oil basically and has butter, but it’s usually grass-fed or organic butter.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. That’s what I was reading about. Well since you’re a coffee drinker and…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: It’s actually called the bullet proof coffee…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Recipe and it gives you energy. The thing about having oils in your diet, you get very satisfied and so if you’re ever making smoothies or other things like that, putting a little MCT or coconut oil in there or something with a little bit of like almond butter or something, you’ll be much more satisfied.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Sounds like a really thick coffee (laughing).


Dr. Kendal Stewart: It really isn’t as much.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. I haven’t tried it yet. I just wanted your thoughts since you’re the coffee connoisseur.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well, yeah, it tastes pretty good. Only you can’t really taste it.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Oh, okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: It’s just getting those nice oils in there so you get a little satisfaction.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Interesting. Okay. Well I thought I’d throw in a coffee question there for you.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: I like your hat, by the way.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Thank you. I have a pink hat on today. Alright.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: It says Cabo on it.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Mexico. Viva la Mexico. I love Cabo. Anyways. Okay. So 2014, our second episode of Coffee with Dr. Stewart in season 1…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Was on methylation. So methylation back then was like MTHFR, it’s so hot, oh my gosh. Have you had an MTHFR? We talked through it. People still listen to that episode. I was listening to it this morning…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And I’m like I don’t know how much has changed, to be honest. I mean methylation is methylation, right?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Absolutely.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So let’s just start, as always, I like to start with you, just giving the definition because I…this is four years later. What has changed? What is the definition still the same in your eyes?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well hopefully what’s changed is that methylation is not MTHFR only.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Well yeah.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? And so that’s what everybody talks about and the MTHFR, I have literally hundreds and hundreds of patients who don’t have an MTHFR who have a major methylation problem. And that’s because, you know, the conversion of all vitamins into their forms that are absorbable in the different tissues require several enzymes in order to be processed. And so the thing is, is that we have to understand that we’ve got to check all of those enzymes to get a good idea of how much effect it’s had on the patient. Now methylation itself is very simple from a chemical standpoint. It’s just the ignition of a methyl group and that’s a carbon with three hydrogens.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And basically it just changes the polarity of the molecule which means it actually takes it and makes it a little bit transportable…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And you’re talking about the vitamin itself?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Mmm-hmm. Through fat-soluble membranes.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So the difference in methyl folate versus folate, folate is water soluble. Methyl folate is a little bit water soluble, a little bit fat soluble, but what’s happening truly in chemistry is that in regular folate transport, we use what’s called an active folate transporter.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: But on the nervous system, on the immune cells, on the mitochondria, we use what’s called a reduced folate carrier which means that in chemistry, adding a methyl group reduces the folate and what that does is it changes its characteristics of where it can go and where it can’t go.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. Well let’s back up here because people that have never heard of methylation, there’s going to be people that listen to this…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Methylation is responsible for over 250 biochemical processes in the body.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Yeah. The term methylation is well, a lot of times we isolate it. We methylate a lot of things. We can methylate everything from DNA all the way to vitamins.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And so methylation is used for a whole lot of different things. The thing is, is that it does different things in different settings and most of the time when people are talking about methylation deficiency, what they’re really talking about is vitamins.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: When people are talking about over-methylation or too much methylation, you’re usually talking about DNA, you’re talking about methyl groups and neurotransmitters. Okay? So…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. Well I wanted to point out, because for people that aren’t familiar with methylation, a methylation genetic weakness that we can find, you know, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, panic attacks, sleep problems, OCD, obsessive compulsive, defiance disorders. I mean…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Yeah. Methylation doesn’t cause those.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: But methylation can be involved in those situations.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And how so?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So what happens is methyl folate, in particular, is used for almost 100 different reactions in a cell. Okay? And what we’re talking about here is called methyltetrohydrofolate…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: 5MTHF?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Right. And the L isomer, so if you see an L in front of it, it just means levorotatory which means left handed versus D which is right handed and we use the L form in our body and we…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Correct.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Can’t use the D form. And so what happens is we use this for the production of dopamine indirectly. We use it for the production of serotonin indirectly. We use it for the Krebs cycle which creates basically energy for the mitochondria.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: We use it for detoxification status, for the conversion of some of those enzymes and we also use it typically for healing and health of the nervous system. So those are the main categories that we use L methyl folate for.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: When you say enzymes, are you talking about the genes?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Yeah. Well the genes code for…so genes are DNA and then what our cell does is it actually then creates RNA from the DNA and the RNA goes out into the cytoplasm outside the nucleus of the cell.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So DNA is inside the nucleus if you ever know anything about cells.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Which you probably (laughing)…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Well we’re talking to patients here so…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Right.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: If I’m lost, they might be a little lost.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: If you go back to biology, we’ve got a nucleus and then we got this cytoplasm.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? And in the nucleus, we keep the DNA. Now DNA is really unbelievable because really if we stretched it out in a single cell, we would have 200 yards of DNA inside of our nucleus. It’s just folded on itself.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Of course it’s a strand that’s microscopic so it’s folded on itself, but it’s inside the cell. Now what happens is you create RNA and then RNA goes out into the cytoplasm and codes for a protein.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? And that protein can be an enzyme. That protein can be a metabolic substrate. A protein can be anything to do with cell membranes, cell functions, structure and so you have to understand that this is all a balance. Now here’s the problem. We can study DNA very easily because it stays the same.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: RNA, which we’d love to study, breaks down really fast. And so trying to study it in a cell is really, really impossible unless we actually stall the cell…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: When we’re trying to do something with it. And then studying proteins is another area that we’re really interested in, it’s called proteomics.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. And so how does this relate to enzymes and methylation that you were talking about?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay. So enzymes convert one thing to something else.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And so creating…taking folic acid, which I tell people is kind of a water soluble vitamin, the difference in the nervous system is its actually covered in fat, so water and oil don’t mix very well. So typically we have to have a different carrier for methyl folate for the nervous system, for the mitochondria. Now a conversion from folic acid to L methyl folate requires four enzymes and five major steps.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Genetic steps?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And those are enzyme steps, not genetic steps.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Genetics code for the enzymes.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Got ya.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So looking at the genetics, we can tell how good the enzyme works. So some people’s enzymes work really well, some people’s enzymes work really crappy.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So there’s an interruption in that step?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well not interruption because you wouldn’t be alive if it was interrupted…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Completely…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: But it would actually make it less efficient.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. Give us an example. Like, take me, for instance.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay. So when we look at a genetic test and methylation for folate, we look at the FLOR mutation which actually tells us how efficiently we can transport folic acid into the cell.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So when that doesn’t work very well, we find high folic acid in the blood.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Just because it can’t even get into the cell…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. Because we have people that call and say, “Oh my folic acid is over 20 and…”


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Super high.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: “I should not take the methylation product, but…”


Dr. Kendal Stewart: That’s exactly wrong.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: That’s exactly wrong.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? And then we have the dihydrofolate reductase and then we have the MTHFD1…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And that actually handles two steps and then we finally get to the MTHFR that everybody is talking about.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Now I can tell you that I see deficiencies every single day and most of my patients in those first four enzymes.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: I have that.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Double C677, that’s an MTHFR…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well, that’s MTHFR, but…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And FLOR1…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Yeah. And you also have a dihydrofolate and you have an MTHFD mutation.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: That’s wonderful.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So by the time you get to the MTHFR, you’re already screwed.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: For lack of a better…that’s a medical term, by the way.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: (laughing) Pardon Dr. Stewart there.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You’re already in trouble.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And that’s why I had so much trouble in my 20s…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Like and when I started getting older, my methylation need…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Actually your methylation need was the most…you had way more trouble in your teenage years.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Well that’s true.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? Because…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Because I was growing, I needed more…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You were growing. You needed way more and so we created the bucket theory. Which the bucket theory kind of takes all these complex processes and kind of puts it in perspective. So we use methyl folate first for energy. It runs the Krebs cycle which actually creates the energy for mitochondria.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? And the second one we use it for growth hormones. Growth hormones do not make you grow, they were named wrong. They’re called somatomedins.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: What they do is they deliver nutrition to your cells. So fats, proteins, cholesterols, minerals, all the things except sugar which is delivered by the insulin pathway. And then we have the immune system which typically gobbles up and then lastly we make dopamine and serotonin. So we make these four buckets and we show clinicians how to analyze the four buckets to kind of get an idea. So what we ultimately want is enough supply to do everything in our cell.


The problem is if we don’t have enough, our cell will shut off certain functions and it will only protect certain functions. Do you understand?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And so if dopamine and serotonin are the last steps…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: For your brain…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: If you don’t have enough, then you’re going to have a child who’s low in dopamine and low in serotonin or adult who’s low on dopamine and serotonin and they have stuff like ADD and anxiety, etc., etc. and those are all the symptoms you were listing.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Make sense?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. The sleep problems as well, I had terrible sleep problems.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So if we pour in more, in essence, take a supplement of it, then what happens is we can turn those pathways back on and people get better from those types of situations.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. Let me get back to…I’ve heard you say in past lectures, the percentage of people today that have a methylation problem.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: What would you think…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: It’s cultural. I mean certainly fair-skinned, fair-eyed Anglos and Latinos have it a lot.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And what would you say the percentage? 70%?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well it depends on how you want to define it.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? If they have…so I have never seen anybody with a perfect methylation profile.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Ever?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well never, but I’m skewed. I don’t see healthy people.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? So I see sick people.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: But we see a lot of genetic reports.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: We see a lot of genetic reports, even some in some real reasonably healthy people, but I’ve still never seen a perfect one.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. So we’re all mutated?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well absolutely.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Most likely?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Now I’m sure there are people out there that are…just never go to the doctor or…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And they’re fine?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And they’re fine, but the thing is, most of us have one of those mutations. Now the problem is some of those mutations, like the MTHFR677, is much more severe. So is the FLOR2 or 1, those are much more severe than the other…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Parts of the methylation process.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: When you say severe, what do you mean by that?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Meaning they affect the outcome more. You produce less methyl folate with those two mutations.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So no matter what I put in, if I put high doses of methyl folate…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: No, if you put high doses of folic acid…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Oh, okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Do you understand? So we have to convert the folic acid to methyl folate. So you…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: I would have a very hard time converting that?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You can’t convert it because your enzymes can’t convert it. So if our enzymes can’t convert it, what we do is we go past it and we put in methyl folate.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Yeah. It always surprises me when I see a lot of supplement companies out there that still have folic acid…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: In their supplements even though the OB/GYN…the pregnancy community has said do not take folic acid with your prenatal.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well the answer is they haven’t said that at all.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Well they did in 2014 on a news report.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: They said beware.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Beware?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? But the answer is that they…all prenatal vitamins have at least folic acid, but now we’re seeing more people where we identify that we need methyl folate instead.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Now folic acid is not toxic.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Don’t ever read that.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: That it causes cancer in high doses?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well there are stupid papers out there like that.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So what happens if folic acid is high in the blood, what that means is it’s not getting into the cell, so the cell is not working right.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: I always say the cell is starving.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: That’s correct. But it’s high the blood, so we correlated high folic acid with cancer.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: But it really is because they didn’t get the proper nutrition?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: They didn’t get the folic acid into the cell to make it function right.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: See? That’s a good way to say it.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So this is where I say did you know every car wreck I’ve ever seen has tires with it? So if I’m correlating car wrecks, I will find that all car wrecks have tires; therefore, if we build cars without tires, we will not have any more wrecks.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. It sounds silly.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: It’s stupid. That’s how stupid your comment on folic acid sounds.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: (laughing) Got ya.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You understand?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Alright. Well on that comment, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with Coffee with Dr. Stewart.


Commercial Break:

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Kara Stewart-Mullens:

Welcome back everybody to Coffee With Dr. Stewart. We are here talking about methylation. It is so common, right, Dr. Stewart? The genetic problem?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Absolutely, mmm-hmm.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So tell us, you know, everybody always asks, “What does Dr. Stewart tell his patients when he finds out they have a methylation problem?”


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: What do you tell them?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well first of all, when I’m listening to people, they’re telling me symptoms, but I’m thinking chemistry.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? So I’m not just thinking symptoms. Most doctors, when they hear a symptom, they’re thinking medication for the symptom.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: What I’m thinking is what do I need to put into the body to overcome that symptom down at the foundation principle? And so what we’re doing when we suspect a methylation issue, we are hearing symptoms from the patient, “I’ve got anxiety, I’ve got ADD, I’ve got…” and to me, its dopamine insufficiency or serotonin insufficiency or fatigue. You see?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And what’s happening…I just recognize that we have a problem with methylation. Now methylation, the way I explain it to patients is very simple. You know, folic acid and B12 are water soluble vitamins. The problem is the nervous system and immune system and your mitochondria, which are your batteries, are covered in fat.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And they’re required for every cell…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And how good do oil and water mix?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Not well.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay. And so there’s never been a bubba that’s ever missed that question.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: A bubba (laughing)?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Yeah. A redneck.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? And I say that with affection because we’ve all got rednecks in our family. Okay?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: At least me and Kara do. Anyway, so the thing is, what we have to do though, is we got to find out how good are you at converting your water soluble form to the one that can actually get into your nervous system and immune system. And most people that I see, who have those symptoms, have a deficiency in it. Now ultimately, I never like to guess, so we would always recommend that you get a genetic test.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And that genetic test is really important because when we do genetic testing, we know for sure exactly what we’re dealing with in the person individually.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Not with all people with methylation. All people with anxiety, some will have a way worse methylation problem than others.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Some will have more inflammation than others. There’s lot of things going on in all these symptoms. And so a genetic test always helps us. Now if you can’t afford a genetic test and you want to know very simply whether you have a methylation problem, you measure folic acid…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: In the blood?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: In the blood, in the plasma, okay? And it will typically be greater than 15. And most of the time it’s actually greater than the test measures which means all the folic acid is just floating around in the blood…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And not entering the cell.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: What about B12, is that the same concept with that, with the blood work?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: B12 is a similar concept, but in B12, the body has to absorb it and it has to use three major enzymes. One is called haptocorrin or TCN1, it basically binds it in your saliva in your mouth…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Carries it to the stomach. Then the stomach has to produce something called gastric intrinsic factor. And that binds the B12 there to make sure it tolerates the stomach…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And then gets down and then we have to transport it using TCN2 which is transcobalamin 2…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And these are all genes you’re talking about?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: These are all genes and proteins and what happens is that then takes it not only into the blood, but also transports it to the cell and delivers it. So if we have weaknesses in those, we can’t take regular B12, cobalamin, from food and transport it through our gut and absorb it very well.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Well you used to always talk about, you know, methyl folate and B12…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Bioactive B12, always together.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Of course. Well they have to be together because one is oil and one is gas.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. For the car?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: For the car.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Unless you’re driving a Tesla or something…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So you need both to function?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You need both. Now B12 is not quite as important to acute medicine, like acute changes, but it’s ultimately important for health and tremendously important to your blood cells, to many enzymes in the body, to the production of methionine, which then feeds the methylation of all of your neurotransmitters which are important, and, you know, just has a lot of different uses in the body. So you always have to have both. Now, luckily, the folic acid enzymes are affected much more in genetic reports than the B12 enzymes as a whole.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: But the thing is, you’re never going to know whether you’re affected or not unless you check your genetics.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So, you know, we make products with methyl B12…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Methyl folate…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: You know, you make them for us.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: We’ve got the Methylation Complete, the sublingual. Now that really makes sense with the B12 going down…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Through the saliva to the stomach…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Right. And typically you have another co-factor called pyridoxal 5-phosphate…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: P5P is in there.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: P5P which is B6 and that one is not as methylated as the other ones, but it’s a very specific form that you have to have in order to help these vitamins work too.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Co-factors?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Co-factors.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So tell me your thoughts around the Methylation Complete and our cream, the Methylation Pro because you’ve got all those in there.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well what they have is every component.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Every component for what? Methylation?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: For all these co-factors. They’re all the B vitamin components.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So when you look at the pathways and chemistry, you’ll find out that one enzyme uses methyl folate, one enzyme uses methyl B12, one enzyme uses P5P and so that’s a whole chemistry discussion that we don’t need to have. But basically in the folate…let’s say the detoxification pathway is a great example.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: The production of glutathione from methionine requires all three forms of those vitamins to be present.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And so if we’re going to make a product, I love…I’m an all or none guy. I might as well put everything in there. Now there are really few people that can’t tolerate this much of this or that. That’s not really how we build it. The problem is I don’t want to have to sell you three bottles when I can sell you one.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And we call that a compression model.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. Well it makes sense.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: I don’t want to put on three different creams that have different ingredients…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well it’s not that. It’s also a cost issue…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: It is.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Not only hassle, but a cost.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Because these nutrients aren’t cheap.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: No.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Tell us like what your process is, your protocol, when you find out that somebody has a pretty severe methylation problem.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well typically in the protocol, we used to think that you would methylate first, that was a bad mistake.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. Why?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well because if there’s a lot of inflammation in the body, you’ve got to turn that inflammation down first.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.

Dr. Kendal Stewart: Because when you put methyl folate back into the body, you’re going to feed not only the immune system, but the nervous system, the mitochondria, you’re going to feed it all. So if you’ve got these immune cells already going crazy and you put extra gas in them, they’ll go really crazy on you.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Oh. So someone has an immune…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So a lot of people said, “Oh my gosh. I over-methylated.”


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Yeah. You knew I was going to ask this, the over-methylation that you can’t stand because it’s not correct.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well not in the form of methyl folate.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? Now over-methylation is a thing in DNA where you methylate too many strands…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: That’s a totally different topic.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Completely different topic, but it’s not a symptomatic thing.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Because people think, “Oh my gosh, I took this methylation product and I’m…”


Dr. Kendal Stewart: I felt like crap.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Yeah, and I felt like crap.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well that’s because you didn’t do everything in the right order. My analogy for this is very simple.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: When I was in college, I wanted to make a spaghetti sauce. I called mom, I said, “Give me the recipe,” and she gave me the recipe…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And it’s good.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And I made it and tasted terrible. Okay?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: (laughing) Why?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And so I called her back and I said, “Mom, that was the worst recipe I’ve ever seen.” She goes, “What did you do? That’s how I always make it.” And what we figured out is I didn’t brown the onions and the garlic first.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: So I just threw everything in the pot and it tasted crunchy…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. Raw?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And sharp and raw and nasty. Understand?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Yeah.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Make sense? So elegance, putting things in at the right time, you have to understand how to do this right because the way we approach nutritional medicine, there is an art to it too, to make sure we do everything at the right time and the right place. And so just because you took methyl folate and felt bad does not mean that you’re never going to be able to take methyl folate…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: It means you didn’t follow the first step first.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Well and also we have different levels. We have a methylation starter which is a lower dose…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Sure.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Of methyl folate and B12.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And, you know, the body does not like rapid changes.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. And you’ve always said that.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You can’t drink out of a fire hose.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: You can’t drink three cups of coffee and never had coffee before.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: No. Or a fire hose. You can’t get a sip out of a fire hose.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: No.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Okay? And that’s kind of what some people’s approach to our…if some is good, then more is better.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So you have people out there that go to get their genetic results, see the DNA results from the companies that offer those kind of results to consumers and they are looking at their MTHFR and all these genes for methylation, what would you advise them?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: I would advise them to get professional help…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Because you got to understand these things, whether it’s a nutritionist, whether it’s a chiropractor, whether it’s an MD, DO. Now most MDs don’t know nutrition very well.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: They’re coming around slowly to…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: I know. I’m just…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: With your help. We had a lot of MDs at your last workshop. It was good.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Right. So the thing is, you just need professional help because you need to understand the elegance. You don’t want to dabble in this stuff.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And the way you’re teaching a lot of the doctors is to look at the inflammation and…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You have to.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Try and hold…get that under control and then proper methylate.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: You have to.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: But if someone is having a deficiency issue, it’s not going to hurt them to take a methylation product, if it makes them feel better.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: As long as it’s not too much.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And as long as it makes them feel good?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Right.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: So what would you do if someone was to get a methylation product like the Methylation Pro, they had kind of a negative effect to it, they don’t have their genetic results. What would you tell them?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Get a genetic test.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: (laughing) Get a genetic test. It’s so…


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well, the thing is with nutritional…here’s the other analogy. What I tell people about genetics is so simple. Let’s say you’re going to make a vegetable soup. You’re a smart lady. You’re going to go straight to your fridge, you’re going to see what you have so when you go to the store, you’re only going to buy what you need. Because doesn’t it make you mad when you go to the store and you skip the fridge and you buy everything and you come home and you find out you already had carrots, you already had some celery. Now you’ve got too many of those. It makes you mad that you wasted your money on them.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: And that’s what genetics does. So genetics is not cheap. I mean it’s not ridiculous, but it’s not cheap.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: No it’s very affordable.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: But it makes…it tells us what you need and, more importantly, it tells us what you don’t need so that you’re not wasting your money on stuff you don’t need because if I don’t have a genetic test, I have to put you on everything because I don’t know where the problem is.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right. In regards to the inflammation, let’s just say somebody is really stubborn and is like, “I’m not going to get my genetics, I don’t want to know.” For the inflammatory part, what product would you recommend before?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well typically what we will use is low dose Naltrexone and PEA. Naltrexone is obviously…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: What about Immune Restore? Would that be one?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Well Immune Restore is really touchy because that can actually stimulate and calm so there’s some funny things going on there, but I would certainly use some hemp oil or other things like that.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay. Anything else that would be helpful for calming the inflammation down before they start to methylate?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Some people use fish oils and some people…you really want to get rid of the source. They’ll change their diet, some people check for chronic infections, make sure they don’t have yeast, etc.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Right.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: I call that whack a mole, okay, because…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: You’re trying to figure it out.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: The thing is you’ve got to really impact the source of the inflammation and getting rid of the source meaning an infectious agent is a smart thing, but ultimately what happens with most of those people is that they have a weakness in their immune system, shut off system, so you can’t really turn the inflammation down very well. So you have to go do it for them.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: And, you know, the one thing that’s interesting. When you finally kind of get the inflammation under control and you start a methylation product, I have people that say, “Oh, okay. I’m doing good. I’m methylating now.” And then they stop and then they come back a week later and go, “Oh my gosh. I feel terrible. I should have never stopped that.” Why is that?


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Can you stop putting gas in your car?


Kara Stewart-Mullens: No, you can’t.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Where do you run out? So here’s what I tell teenagers and I love analogies, you can obviously tell. I’m like what happens…you’re going to be driving soon, we’re going to forget to put gas in your car and what’s going to happen? They’re like, “Oh, you’re going to run out of gas.” I said, “Do you run out of gas in a good place or a bad place?” And they usually get it. Some of them don’t, but usually it’s a bad place, a place you don’t want to be. Okay? That’s exactly what methylation is.


Kara Stewart-Mullens: Okay.


Dr. Kendal Stewart: Now there are certain times of your life you need it more. Obviously the teenage years up until about 23 to 25, you need a lot more methylation or folate and methyl B12. And then after the age of 60, you need a whole lot more because as we age, we chew up more…


Kara Stewart-Mullens: You don’t want to decline. Alright. Well, Dr. Stewart, thank you so much for your time today. If you have any questions, please visit Neurobiologix.com or you can listen to more episodes at coffeewithdrstewart.com. Thank you and everybody have a blessed day.


Speaker:

This show is intended for general information and entertainment purposes only. Dr. Stewart serves as the chief science officer and lead formulator for Neurobiologix and advises you to consult with your own medical professional and any information given during this programming. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition.