The health of the gut determines the health of the body
What happens when the beneficial gut bacteria become imbalanced? When the small intestine is overwhelmed with bacteria (diagnosed as Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth – SIBO) it can have major impacts on our methylation cycle and can make methylation problems (MTHFR mutations) much worse!
Individuals with MTHFR mutations have defects in how well they recycle homocysteine and how well they convert folic acid and natural folates into Methylfolate (the active form)
Folic acid found in fortified food, processed food and Folic acid made by gut bacteria (very significant when you have SIBO) interfere with the intracellular absorption of the natural folate (found in your green leafy vegetables).
Folic acid and folate both enter the cell through the same receptor. If there is an excess of folic acid, it is harder for the natural folate to get into the cell. Imagine if you have a genetic mutation of this specific receptor (SLC19a1). The more folic acid you have inside your blood stream, the less often folate will get to the receptor. In other words, there is competition between folic acid and folate, and when folic acid is elevated, it wins the competition to enter the cell but at a much slower rate, resulting in intracellular folate deficiency (and this is where the folate is really needed not in the blood stream).
SIBO can be caused by antibiotics, proton-pump inhibitor drugs, chronic leaky gut, ileocecal valve dysfunction, and chronic stress.
Having a SIBO problem predisposes you towards having a methylation problem. If someone has SIBO, then treating SIBO and restoring gastro-intestinal health has to be the first place you start when dealing with a methylation issue.
Without enough activated folate in your cells, it is more difficult to heal, to repair your cells and to detox
To address SIBO, I believe you need to treat the gut AND support methylation (MTHFR enzyme activity) at the same time. Supporting methylation is achieved by Methylfolate and Vitamin B12 (usually MethylB12) supplementation; best taken as lozenges (Bypassing digestion) or as an injectable form (IM or IV)
I see SIBO patients with methylation issues every day at my practice. If you want to know more about how to improve your health if you have SIBO, schedule a complementary 10-minute phone call P: 310-451-8880