Reposting about MTHFR and Candida Overgrowth

My MTHFR favored source……….

See these links for important information.

Methylation Inhibited by Candida’s Toxin

Repairing the digestive system and optimizing the flora should be one of the first steps in correcting methylation deficiency.

There are countless reasons for this; however, the focus here is the relation between methionine synthase and acetylaldehyde.

One must first understand what methionine synthase is and why it is important.

Methionine synthase: What is it?
The critical enzyme which utilizes the substrate produced by the MTHFR enzyme, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, along with the cofactor, methylcobalamin.

Methionine synthase: Purpose?
The purpose of methionine synthase is two fold:

  1. converting homocyteine into methionine.
  2. converting 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate which is then used to make other forms of folate which are needed to produce and repair DNA

Methionine synthase: How does it work?
By donating a methyl group to homocysteine from 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Methylated homocysteine becomes methionine and since 5-methyltetrahydrofolate donated its methyl group, it now becomes tetradhydrofolate.

Tetrahydrofolate proceeds down the folate pathway to produce nucleotide bases which are used for DNA repair and production.

This process can be limited in those with MTHFR mutations because those with MTHFR mutations have a limited ability to produce 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.


As you can see from the image above, if methionine synthase does not have 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or methylcobalamin available, it cannot function.

If methionine synthase is limited in function, elevated homocysteine is a likely result along with reduced folate levels.

This limitation may be bypassed by supplementing with vitamin B6, methylfolate, methylcobalamin and betaine.

This works quite well typically but there may be other aspects which must be addressed in order to optimize the function of methionine synthase.

Enzymes do not work well if they:

  1. lack the active substrate such as methylfolate
  2. lack cofactors such as methylcobalamin
  3. are exposed to inhibiting compounds such as heavy metals, solvents, chemicals, toxins

Points one and two have been addressed.

Point three has not yet.

Methionine synthase has a few potent inhibiting compounds and one is produced from Candida

Candida albicans produces a toxic byproduct called acetylaldehyde.[1]

Research cites:
“Acetaldehyde-induced inhibition of liver methionine synthase activity is thus proposed as the most likely explanation of the reported in vivo effect of ethanol upon methionine synthase.” [2]

Acetylaldehyde is also a byproduct of ethanol.

Let’s make this very clear.

What are the major symptoms of a hangover?

  1. headache
  2. foggy thinking
  3. irritability and/or depression
  4. fatigue
  5. soreness
  6. sensitivity

What are the major symptoms of yeast overgrowth?

  1. headache
  2. foggy thinking
  3. irritability and/or depression
  4. fatigue
  5. soreness
  6. sensitivity

What are some major symptoms of reduced methylation?

  1. headache
  2. foggy thinking
  3. irritability and/or depression
  4. fatigue
  5. soreness
  6. sensitivity

When approaching anyone with a MTHFR or methylation defect, it is critical to take a thorough history and examine the digestive system first.

Commonly, when I work with individuals experiencing MTHFR or methylation defects, I ask:

  • History of antibiotic use in the last 5 yrs?
  • Steroid use?
  • Flagyl?
  • Take a potent multistrain probiotic?
  • Digestive symptoms? Constipation, diarrhea, IBS, etc?
  • Itchy anus?
  • Lichen planus? Leukoplakia?
  • White tongue coating?
  • Desire for sweets?
  • Recurrent vaginal infections?
  • Nail fungus?
  • Weak immunity?
  • Fatigue level?
  • Cloudy thinking?

These are often present in those with yeast overgrowth.

You now know that acetylaldehyde inhibits methionine synthase and now you must do something about it.

Recommendations for reducing yeast overgrowth (and eliminating an inhibitor of methionine synthase):

  1. Eliminate soda, sugars and simple carbohydrates
  2. Support the immune system with selenium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E
  3. Reduce the reproductive ability of candida albicans with biotin and saccharomyces boulardii
  4. Reduce the production of acetylaldehyde by using oral xylitol products
  5. Support beneficial bacteria growth by supplementing with a potent multistrain probiotic.
  6. Utilize antifungal herbs and nutrients to eliminate yeast.
  7. Support elimination of acetylaldehyde with molybdenum, vitamin C, NAC, glutathione
  8. Improve intestinal motility with chia seeds, hydration, magnesium and reducing intake of dehydrated foods
  9. Eat meals with quality protein and vegetables.
  10. . Eliminate biofilm with specific enzymes to eliminate recurrent yeast overgrowth
  11. . Support methylation with methylcobalamin and l-5-methylfolate

Find many of the above recommendations here – in the Yeast and Candida Overgrowth section.

Given the complexity of the topic of methylation, this is one consideration out of many. There are many variations on how one must approach elimination of candida overgrowth depending on their genetics, lifestyle, age and current symptomatic picture.

The point here is to educate you that methylation is more than just genetics and vitamins – it is also significantly affected by your internal environment.

UPDATE on Sept 19. 2013: The writer over at Magnesium Advocacy Group made an excellent point about the need to support acetylaldehyde. While I mentioned acetylaldehyde inhibited methionine synthase, in my haste, I did not tell you how to eliminate the acetylaldehyde – which – sadly – is a mistake. I was so excited about the connection between methylation and yeast that I forgot to tell you how to mend it. Stupid right?

Read this article on how magnesium is essential to elimination of acetylaldehyde – keep in mind that magnesium is not the only nutrient needed to support acetylaledyde elimination but it is a big player especially since many of us are deficient in it.



Further Reading:
Cobalamin-Dependent Methionine-Synthase

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