Stomach Acid, Absorption, Methylation & Fertility - Printable Version
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Stomach Acid, Absorption, Methylation & Fertility - Horse - 05-28-2013 08:22 AM
I very much hope you or your forum might be able to help me please - I was referred to this site by some users on curezone (where I had actually read a number of your posts in the past which I found very valuable and was hoping to find you!)
My wife and I have been investigated for recurrent miscarriage (3 times) and I'm desperate to try to improve my health here. In amoungst various tests on my side (male, 35) which are largely normal I was found to have low zinc and magnesium (surprising, despite mag citrate supplements for years) and very slightly low (borderline) calcium. This ties in with a history of digestive issues when I was younger (took PPI meds between 19 and 24) and for the last couple of years I've had gas/bloating and a bit of a coated tongue too. But I have not taken any acid blockers for the last 10 years apart from for 1 month about 5 years ago. In a similar vein I had a history of severe stress/anxiety 8 years ago but have been largely fine for last 6 years and have again taken no meds. But I suppose I never really felt like I fully 'bounced back' from acute stress many years ago - I still get tired easily and occasional palpitations.
After due research, I believe my issues probably relate to low stomach acid/malabsorption (I'm trying to work out if I can get tests for these in the UK) - despite no antacids for a good few years and no heartburn at all. I have undigested food (vegetables) in stools sometimes. After lots of research on here and elsewhere, I suspected low B12 might be an issue due to connections to both digestion and miscarriage. I got tested (I'm in the UK - normal NHS test) and my B12 level was 768ng/L, which appears to be pretty good. But my folate level was 21.9ug/L, which is apparently rather high and indicative of something not processing. After a bit of reading, I sort of gather that folic acid can be really high if the body's not using it (a folate trap or something?) I've been taking Wellman Conception for 2 years which contains synthetic folic acid plus the cyano form of B12 too, so that would account for the intake but I haven't taken any other folic acid and don't eat fortified cereals.
My sperm analysis tests have revealed an erratic but low-ish count, satisfactory motility but poor morphology (1%), despite a battery of antioxidants, fish oil, vitamins etc for many months. As time goes on, I'm convinced this relates to poor gut function - which is either hereditary and/or from residual stress. I wondered if you had any advice to give on how to get my system firing again and digestion working properly? I gather 'methylation' relates to B12 and folic acid but am not sure how to proceed. Do you think that this digestive/methyl block could be at the heart of the fertility/slight tiredness issues? I am otherwise active and fit and live a very healthy lifestyle with minimal alcohol and no caffeine. I am negative on 2 tests for h-pylori and take probiotics every day.
Thank you very much indeed for reading this long post (apologies) and for any help anyone can suggest.
RE: Stomach Acid, Absorption, Methylation & Fertility - James - 05-28-2013 11:23 PM
(05-28-2013 08:22 AM)Horse Wrote: Hi James
B12, folic acid (folate) and vitamin B6 are all needed to produce the methyl donor SAMe for the body.
Part of the problem could be that you were on the proton pump inhibitors for so long. B12, B and folate are all dependent on sufficient stomach acid for absorption. Therefore, proton pump inhibitors block the absorption of these and other nutrients such as zinc. The production of more stomach acid is dependent on methylation as well as zinc. By inhibiting the absorption of B12, B6, folate and zinc the proton pump inhibitors therefore interfere with the body's ability to form stomach acid, which further inhibits the absorption of nutrients to form more stomach acid. So it is a vicious cycle. See:
Although, if taking the B12 orally another possible issue would be pernicious anemia in which a person lacks intrinsic factor for proper B12 absorption.
In this case they are better off using a sublingual B12. The B12 though should be in the form of methylcobalamin, which is the active form, rather than the inactive cyanocobalamin.
And because the low stomach acid interferes with the absorption of the nutrients needed for methylation the loss of stomach acid leads to hypomethylation, which can lead to a whole host of problems including heart disease, allergies/asthma, poor immunity, less ability to repair tissues, lower energy, etc.
Low stomach acid also leads to the bloating and heartburn:
Low levels of zinc can reduce sperm counts and motility.
Not sure what is going on with the low magnesium. It may help to know what kind of test they did to determine this. In other words was this a blood test or a hair analysis?
Being pre-acidified the magnesium citrate should absorb well even in the absence of sufficient stomach acid.
As for the palpitations the low magnesium levels can contribute to this:
I prefer magnesium malate though since it is also well absorbed but does a better job of raising adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels.
As for the miscarriages there can be different reasons for this as well including a weak cervix, something stimulating uterine contractions, thyroid disorders, diabetes, detection of the fetus by the mother's immune system, uterus abnormalities, PCOS, infections, etc. I don't know what tests have been run on your wife and what the results were so it is hard to say what is likely causing this problem repeatedly.
RE: Stomach Acid, Absorption, Methylation & Fertility - Horse - 05-29-2013 08:38 AM
Fantastic, thanks very much indeed James, much appreciated.
I've had a recent test for intrinsic factor and apparently that came back ok. I didn't realise that B6 was compromised by low acid too.
The low magnesium was a blood test - as was the reading of low zinc and low calcium. Copper was borderline. Everything else was fine.
My wife does have - as you suggest - immune system overactivity that possibly detects the baby as a 'threat' but this is being treated by specialists so apparently should no longer be an issue. My concern is that my sperm has DNA damage linked to the poor morphology.
I came across a few articles last night regarding histamine, pyroluria and low methylation and in certain areas high histamine seemed to describe me pretty darn closely, eg: http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1245658 which I then cross-referenced with various articles saying similar.
Does this sound viable? I had a blocked nose for years which was amazingly remedied by Vitamin C, and I have the low zinc, calcium and magnesium coupled with high folic acid and react weirdly to B vitamin complexes - all apparently signs of high histamine etc. Plus, until supplementing zinc, I had lost some hair on my legs. I don't know what my B6 status is (except that P5P makes me feel exhausted). I've seen TMG referenced as a big help for this - and I believe you sometimes advocate this for methylation/stomach acid.
Thanks again, really appreciate your insight. If high histamine = hypomethylation = poor digestion etc then I hope I can fix this!
RE: Stomach Acid, Absorption, Methylation & Fertility - Anderson - 05-31-2013 01:12 AM
Would B vitamins present in water/milk kefir be already acidified and thus absorbed even in the absence of stomach acid?
RE: Stomach Acid, Absorption, Methylation & Fertility - James - 06-04-2013 08:18 PM
(05-29-2013 08:38 AM)Horse Wrote: Fantastic, thanks very much indeed James, much appreciated.
Methylation is important for a number of things. In fact there are over 4,000 methylation reactions that occur in the body so this could be the problem or at least part of the problem. Low zinc though can also interfere with stomach acid formation. Trying a methyl donor such as TMG though is not going to hurt.
RE: Stomach Acid, Absorption, Methylation & Fertility - Horse - 06-11-2013 02:12 PM
Thanks James, much appreciated