What is Methyl-B12 (B12)?
B12 (cobalamin) is a vitamin “family” with five unique family members that each do different things. Out of the B12 family, only methyl-B12 has the ability to activate the methionine/homocysteine biochemical pathway directly which results in more “fuel” to the brain.
B12 works with folic acid to make all the cells in the body. It plays a key role in methylation. Methylation makes ALL of the cells in our body. It is the process of adding genetic material to cells. After conception, the cells in the womb that will later become the fetus are DEMETHYLATED. The process of development depends on methylation.
Increasing evidence is revealing the role of methylation in the interaction of environmental factors with genetic expression in playing a role in developmental issues like autism and ADHD. Differences in maternal care during the first 6 days of life in a mammal can cause different methylation patterns in some genes. Methylation has also been shown to impact inflammation after a child leaves the womb. We know that autism and ADHD are linked to inflammation. Now we are discovering that inflammation, autism and ADHD are linked to impaired methylation.
Methylation is responsible for:
- RNA and DNA (genetic material responsible for every function in the body)
- Immune system regulation
- Detoxification of heavy metals and other harmful substances
- Making GLUTATHIONE (the body’s main detoxification enzyme responsible for removing mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, tin, aluminum and antimony)
- Production and function of proteins
- Regulating inflammation
What connects B12, methylation, glutathione and Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Short answer: Dr. S. Jill James (who has recently received a NIH – National Institute of Health – grant for her research) has shown that children with ASD have impaired methylation and decreased levels of glutathione. Supporting and/or repairing the underlying impairment and deficiency translates into increased social, cognitive and language development.
Long answer: Dr. S. Jill James has also shown that children with ASD have 80% less glutathione in their cells and that 90% of children have defects in their methylation. This means that children with autism cannot effectively fuel the brain and detoxify heavy metals and other harmful substances from their system.
The brain is the only part of the body that has depends entirely on B12 to detoxify. As the the brain is over-burdened with toxic substances, the “wheels” of methylation slow, severely impacting development.
B12 works closely with folic acid. A precursor folic acid molecule must interact with the enzyme MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolic acid) to become 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5-MTHF).
5-MTHF gives the methyl group (the “M” part) to B12 so it can become methyl-B12. Unfortunately, many children have a defect in this enzyme. In a recent study by Dr. S. Jill James, 90% of children with ASD were found to have methylation defects.
*In my practice, 92% of children have benefited from MB12 treatment*
What is the connection between B12 and ADHD?
Dr. Richard Deth is a Ph.D and neuropharmacologist at the Northeastern University. His area of research is focused on impaired methylation and oxidative stress in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Deth discovered the link between dopamine, methylation and attention which has helped Defeat Autism Now doctors understand why B12 is crucial to treatment of ADHD. Children with ADHD have difficulty bring methyl inside cells to support methylation and therefore development – especially in the areas of attention and focus.
What are the benefits of MB12 treatment?
Enhancement in executive function:
- Eye contact
- Normalized behaviours and interaction
Promotion of speech and language:
- Spontaneous language
- More complex sentences
- Increased vocabulary
Improvements in socialization, understanding and expressing emotion:
- Initiation and interactive play
- Understanding and feeling emotions
- Affection and tolerance to touch
Undesired effects to B12 therapy are a good sign of treatment success. They are not uncommon and include:
- Self Stimulating Behaviour
- Increased mouthing of objects
- Sleep disturbances – which can be managed with other treatments
- Aggression, hitting and biting – caused by frustration due to increased awareness
*Side effects can be mild to severe and are considered transient which means they will pass as treatment progresses*
MB12 is a treatment, not a cure. However, many children using MB12 combined with other biomedical and non-biomedical therapies make incredible developmental gains and in a small percentage of children, have had their ASD label removed.
Parents should understand that the maximum results from MB12 therapy occur over years, not months, not weeks. Initial results will be obvious within the first 3-5 week period of time; but MB12’s power is in continued use.