Whole blood histamine blood levels, rather than MTHFR positive genetic mutation tests are used by Walsh-trained physicians to determine methylation status.
Genetic testing for MTHFR positive genetic mutations is only half the story. MTHFR may be helpful in some cases, but when managing depression with B vitamins it is very important to properly establish methylation status and thereby know the activity level of serotonin and dopamine. MTHFR genetic testing does not help with this.
This is especially important when managing other mood and behavior disorders besides depression including ADHD, Autism, OCD, anxiety, schizophrenia and psychosis. Histamine not only helps doctors determine if someone is an undermethylator but it also helps establish if one is an overmethylator. Since undermethylators have low-serotonin activity and overmethylators have high serotonin activity, the two conditions are treated separately.
Whole Blood Histamine helps identify true methylation status due to the fact that an intracellular (red blood cell) enzyme maintains histamine levels is"methyl dependent." In persons with low levels of the methyl dependent enzyme, produced by methionine and SAMe then the red blood cell enzyme that lowers histamine will be reduced; and whole blood histamine will be elevated. Histamine levels thereby indicate methylation status according to the research of William Walsh PhD of the Walsh Research Institute. Treatment for undermethylators does not generally include folic acid products, though it might for overmethylators.
Homocysteine is tested simultaneously, because prior to treating high whole blood histamine, it may be necessary to take other supplements to lower homocysteine. The good news is that folic acid is not the only B-vitamin that can be taken to improve homocysteine. For instance vitamin B6 will convert homocysteine into glutathione, the body's most important antioxidant. It can also be converted to methionine, for undermethylators, by taking other supplements. Managing homocysteine is important as it is a marker of cardiovascular inflammation and long term elevations of this amino acid have been associated with brain dementia and Alzheimers.
True undermethylators with mood disorders are not advised by Walsh methylation doctors to take folic acid of any kind. While they may increase methylation and serotonin PRODUCTION they have a more pronounced effect of lowering serotonin and dopamine ACTIVITY.
Once this test is ordered you will received an email with a form to take to Lab Corp plus instructions regarding fasting and supplements etc. They will draw your blood and results will be sent to your email. If you are taking antihistamines, it is advised that you avoid them for 21 days prior to the test for more accurate results. .
Results are typically available within 72 hours. A Lab Corp generated report with results will be emailed to you by Second Opinion Physician. If you have questions, simply reply to the email and you will hear back from the doctor shortly. We are HIPAA compliant and correspondences are encrypted and secure.
Two minute video by Dr Walsh, PhD,
Explains MTHFR, methylation, histamine and why Walsh trained physicians do not recommend folates (methylated or otherwise) for undermethylators with depression and other mood disorders.
Additional Dr Walsh video’s may be seen here. Second Opinion Physician is not affiliated with Dr Walsh nor the Walsh Research Institute.
Genetic MTHFR tests are indicative of activity of folates on methylation, however this gene reflects only 1 of 70 genes that play a significant role in the Methylation (One-Carbon) Pathway. Histamine, specifically Whole Blood Histamine, is a true indicator of methylation status as histamine is broken down and so lowers are reduced by a methyl containing enzyme within red blood cells, methyltransferase. This enzyme is elevated in overmethylators and so they have low whole blood histamine. Undermethylators on the other hand have low levels of this enzyme and so their histamine levels tend to be elevated. More details on whole blood histamine and MTHFR is available here.
Learn more about the Methylation Pathway