Understanding Folic Acid, Methylation, and Related Mood Disorder Symptoms: Insights from Dr. William Walsh.
Contrary to popular belief, methylation status is not solely determined by MTHFR positive genetic mutations, and high homocysteine does not necessarily mean someone is low in folates. Folates, including methylated and non-methylated forms, can improve methylation, but they may lower serotonin activity by increasing serotonin reuptake transport proteins.
Individuals who are undermethylated do not usually have low folic acid levels, and if they genuinely experience undermethylation, they are likely to suffer from mood disorders due to low serotonin activity. A whole blood histamine and homocysteine test can help determine one's true methylation status, and a Walsh Approach can help increase serotonin activity in undermethylators while avoiding folates.
Individuals with MTHFR genetic SNPs' may take methylated B vitamins to improve homocysteine and prevent neural tube defects. But with depression and mood disorders, methylated folates can be problematic.
Dr. William Walsh, the founder of the Walsh Research Institute in Chicago, has conducted educational workshops on epigenetics, depression, and methylation. His research sheds light on the complex relationship between folic acid, methylation, and mood disorders.
2 Minute video. When it comes to treatment for mental disorders, an individual’s overall methylation status is most important. Dr. Walsh explains why genetic testing cannot determine which SNPs are dominant. He recommends testing for the net effect of the various SNPs, which include SAMe/SAH ratio or whole blood histamine.
Advanced Nutrient Therapies for Brain Disorders- William Walsh (Nov 2015)
1.5 hour video recorded at Silicon Valley Health Institute. This presentation discusses the power of nutrients to normalize neurotransmitter synthesis, regulate gene expression of enzymes, and combat oxidative overload.
Symptoms associated with undermethylation and overmethylation:
Low Serotonin Activity
"Normal Folate Depression"
- Chronic depression
- Oppositional Defiance
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
- Psychosis prior to the onset of depression or other conditions.
- Strong willed
- Seasonal allergies
- High libido
- Competitive in sports
- Overachiever prior to the onset
- Protein deficiency and vegetarian diets
- Tends to do better on SSRI medications
- Responds well to antihistamines
Elevated Serotonin Activity
"Low Folate Depression"
- Acute depression
- Panic disorders
- High anxiety
- Schizophrenia with auditory hallucinations
- Dry eyes
- Highly artistic, sociable and empathetic
- Poor response to SSRI medications
- Poor response to antihistamines
- Food and chemical sensitivities
- Not typically competitive
- Builds muscle mass easily