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These Vitamins Are Absolutely Essential for MTHFR.

The Methylation pathway seems relatively minor. Your body moves a 1-carbon group around. Big deal. And yet, it ties into the major processes of cellular energy formation, waste excretion, neurotransmitter formation, antioxidant recycling, and utilization of key nutrients. This can lead one to believe that folate is the most important nutrient in the universe, but the truth is – there is another vitamin that is necessary for MTHFR. A whole group of them! In fact, we need all the B vitamins for methylation to happen. So let’s take an in-depth look at not only the pathway but also the other nutrients (outside of the main player, folate) which are necessary.

the MTHFR lifestyle matters because of the way these cycles all interconnect.
the MTHFR lifestyle matters because of the way these cycles all interconnect.

The Methylation And Folate Cycles In Gory Detail

The image below shows the methylation pathway and the folate cycle in all their glory, with the cofactors necessary showing in color (click on the image to see a bigger version because it’s eye-crossingly small). You will notice that although folate, which we’ve spent eons talking about, shows up twice, riboflavin, which we haven’t even mentioned yet, is in there four times. With MTHFR issues, it’s easy to start to think it’s all about folate. The truth is, B vitamins function together. MTHFR folks need other B vitamins. Folate doesn’t ever function in isolation and before someone with an MTHFR issue even begins to supplement folate, they should supplement the B vitamins that aren’t directly involved in methylation. This is B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B7.

This is why MTHFR folks need other B vitamins.
This is why MTHFR folks need other Bs. It isn’t just about folate.

With MTHFR issues, it’s easy to start to think it’s all about folate. The truth is, B vitamins work together. MTHFR folks need all of the B vitamins, and they should start the other Bs before they even begin to supplement with folate (B9) or cobalamin (B12).

Dr. Amy Neuzil,

What About The Kreb’s Cycle?

I’m pretty sure that is a question that no-one has actually ever asked, but still. The Krebs Cycle is how your cells generate energy and so we kind of have to discuss it because without the kreb’s cycle, your cells have no energy and if your cells have no energy, you don’t either. Turns out, the feeling of no energy is a common issue for MTFR folks, so this really matters. Take a look at the full cycle below.

Folate isn't the only vitamin you need! You need all the B vitamins for MTHFR
As you can see, the various B vitamins in this cycle don’t even include folate – although the folate cycle does join up, so MTHFR folks aren’t out of the woods yet. This figure was taken from: Kennedy, David. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. Nutrients. 8. 68. 10.3390/nu8020068. and adapted with color.

If Folate is MTHFR’s Wife, Riboflavin is the Other Vitamin For MTHFR. Riboflavin Is The Mistress.

In fact, Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is actually a cofactor in the MTHFR reaction itself. Meaning that if you are low on riboflavin it doesn’t matter if your MTHFR is working perfectly, it still isn’t going to happen. For this reason, MTHFR folks need riboflavin just as much as we need folate. Maybe even more so.

Start The Other B Vitamins First.

It may sound counterintuitive, but when you’re starting on your MTHFR journey, it really matters to do things in the right order.

  • Step one (as we’ve discussed) is eliminating the toxic folic acid from your diet and supplements. It’s a good idea to start up an MTHFR lifestyle here too – get a little cleaner, take out as many chemicals as you can, and generally start to avoid toxins.
  • Step two is to incorporate food sources of natural folate.
  • Step three is to add a B vitamin supplement that has all of the other B vitamins, but not any form of folate or cobalamin because MTHFR folks might have different reactions to those and so it’s nice to add them separately. At this time, I believe the only one on the market is B Minus from Seeking Health
  • .After this we can try to optimize your dose of the different types of folate, as well as the different types of cobalamin to make your health perfect.

If You’d Like To Order:

Please note this is an affiliate link which pays me (Amy) for the referral. Thanks!

It’s easy to forget that nutrition is best when it isn’t just bits and pieces, but rather a complete and balanced diet and supplement routine. Preferably, diet. In an ideal world, we would get all of this from our food, but of course, it’s the real world and sometimes we need to supplement. Regardless, don’t get so hyper-focused on folate that you miss the rest of the B vitamins. B vitamins for MTHFR are all necessary – these are your basic building blocks..

If Folate is MTHFR’s Wife, Riboflavin is MTHFR’s Mistress.

– Amy Neuzil,

Thanks for listening and join us next week for a deep dive into MTHFR and glutathione, the master antioxidant.

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MTHFR is a common genetic mutation that can contribute to anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, infertility, and more serious conditions like breast implant illness, heart attack, stroke, chronic fatigue syndrome, and some types of cancer. If you know or suspect you have an MTHFR variant, schedule a free 15-minute meet-and-greet appointment with MTHFR expert Dr. Amy today.

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Amy Neuzil
Amy Neuzil

Dr. Amy Neuzil, N.D. is a leading expert in MTHFR and epigenetics, and she is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellness for their genetic picture. She has helped thousands of people overcome health challenges using a simple, step-by-step approach that starts with where they are today. Dr. Neuzil's unique approach to wellness has helped countless people improve their energy levels, lose weight, and feel better mentally and emotionally. If you're looking for a way to feel your best, Dr. Amy Neuzil can help. Contact her today to learn more about how she can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

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    • Hi Casey,
      The research is pretty limited in terms of dosage. the US RDA for Riboflavin for adults is 1.1 – 1.3 mg daily, and the bulk of the research I’ve seen with MTHFR is done near that dose. This study, for example, shows a significant impact on DNA methylation in C677T mutants at a dose of 1.6 mg per day. Most of the higher quality supplement lines provide a much higher daily dose in their multivitamins and supplements – companies like Thorne Research or Seeking Health. Those are generally in the range of 10 – 15 mg per day, but it is honestly questionable whether we get any additional benefit from the high numbers, or if customers just assume more is better and so it helps the companies sell more supplements. I tend to use the 1.6 at the lowest threshold and so look for 2 mg + per day, but actual research on *best dose* hasn’t happened, so this is a combination of the available research and my own sensibilities. Thanks for the question!

  1. Your link for the B vitamins from Seeking Health did not work. I copied the link and tried doing a web search, but it wants me to have my health care provider to add me as a patient before I can order.

  2. Amy,

    When would you recommend adding a B12 after starting the B minus supplement?

    What are some signs a body doesn’t work well with the added B12?

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