Edition 10, August 2015
Hello and good tidings! It is with great joy that I write this month’s newsletter, as I have fantastic product news. As you know by now, we at Q Sciences ceaselessly strive to be on the cutting edge of nutritional science. We also listen very closely to the feedback we get from our valued IBOs and their clients. When we make product decisions, we take all this into account so that you have the very best products to use and promote.
Tony Stephan devised the groundbreaking micronutrient formula for EMPowerplusTM Q96 20 years ago, and for that stroke of genius we are forever grateful. At that time, there was little or no information available about an important, and rather prevalent, genetic condition that affects the way the B-vitamin folate is processed in the body. I am speaking of the MTHFR genetic defect, and this is an issue that has been coming up frequently. The official name of this gene is “methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (NAD(P)H)”, and those who don’t produce this enzyme run the very real possibility of being deficient in this crucial micronutrient.
- People with the MTHFR gene have difficulty converting regular folic acid into methyl folate in the liver.
- Methyl folate is the active form of folic acid, and it crosses the blood-brain barrier easily. Folate is an essential B-vitamin (B9), and if you don’t have enough folate you can end up with a host of nerve and brain problems, including spina bifida, and an increased risk for dementia.
- We all get some methyl folate in our diet in green leafy vegetables, but not enough for optimal brain and body function.
- Folate and B-12 are responsible for limiting the levels of homocysteine, which is a harmful amino acid associated with an increased risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. The estimates of the prevalence of MTHFR gene ranges from 10-50%, but a realistic figure is one third (33%) of the population. This is huge, when you consider that all those with the MTHFR gene may have their lives altered and their health affected negatively by a chronic folate deficiency. This flow chart clearly demonstrates that without methyl folate, harmful homocysteine will be produced causing increased cardiac risks and a perpetual insufficiency of micronutrient essential to normal brain and nerve function.
How do you know if you have the MTHFR gene defect?
The only way to know for sure is by genetic testing, and this runs about $250. This is a steep price but some folks feel safer getting it done. However, when you consider that 33% of us have the defect, odds are quite strong that you have it – especially if you have a personal or family history of mental or mood disorders, spina bifida, or early onset heart disease.
The best and cheapest way to find out is by taking EMPowerplusTM Q96M and comparing your mood and state of health without it. This is not scientific but for many it is simply worth the peace of mind.
Is the methylation problem with the gene defect all or nothing, or are there varying degrees?
There are varying degrees, which ;are what is known as “polymorphism”, so some people still convert some folate but still remain insufficient, and therefore have greater risks for problems associated with high homocysteine in the blood stream. These include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia), an eye disorder called glaucoma, psychiatric disorders, and certain types of cancer. Estimates are that half of us have some degree of MTHFR polymorphism.
Will taking regular folic acid cause any harm?
Short answer: NO. Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and any that is not metabolized is quickly excreted in the urine, and any that is in the bloodstream is not harmful in any way. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and some imply that taking regular folic acid is harmful, but there is zero evidence or scientific basis for such an assertion. I repeat: folic acid is not toxic. The methyl form may work better for many, but regular folic acid has its points as well.
Why take EMPowerplusTM Q96M with methyl folate and B-12?
Methyl folate and B-12 are the active forms of these key nerve micronutrients, and when taken orally they are rapidly absorbed and utilized by the entire body-including the brain. There is no need for liver metabolism, and while the regular folic acid and cyanocobalim forms of B-12 are generally well received by the body and metabolized rapidly by the liver, you may find that taking the methyl forms in EMPowerplusTM Q96M give you better results. Bear in mind that the traditional EMPowerplusTM Q96 formula is very effective, with 20 years of fantastic results, and the liver enjoys metabolizing micronutrients, as that is it’s job.
The methyl form of B-12 may affect your probiotic biome slightly in comparison to the cyano-form, so make sure you are taking Q Biotics at least three times a week to keep your biome optimal.
Will I notice a difference taking EMPowerplusTM Q96M instead of the regular formula?
Possibly, and if you have MTHFR you may notice quite a difference. From the clinical studies below it has been shown that a higher folate level can have profound effects on mood1, improve migraines2, reduce stroke3 risks, etc. If your don’t have MTHFR you may not notice a difference and you may actually feel better on regular EMPowerplusTM Q96, as the folate and B-12 are more time-released by virtue of liver metabolism. The only way to find out is to try both and see which suits you better.
Not necessarily, but possibly. I would take the same dosage at first and adjust up or down depending on how you feel. It is more probable that you will need a bit less of EMPowerplusTM Q96M, but again, everyone is unique biochemically, and external circumstances, such as diet, exercise, stress etc., can change your requirements. Remember, it is fine to play with the dosages, just do so cautiously and slowly.
If you have any degree of MTHFR gene disorder, you should feel better taking EMPowerplusTM Q96M. If you have been doing well on the regular formula, then I see no need to change, although you may want to try both and compare as part of your own personal research. The most important indicator, as always, is HOW YOU FEEL!
Clearly, this new EMPowerplusTM Q96M product is groundbreaking, and it fully address the issue of the MTHFR gene defect concerns. In reality, this is not a “defect” or even a disorder, but it is just a natural difference in the way people process a key micronutrient. We are still learning about this, but you can rest assured that if you take EMPowerplusTM Q96M you will be getting a sufficient dosage of folate for all you needs. This also applies to pregnancy, as this makes a fantastic prenatal vitamin. Some women may want to take an additional milligram of methyl folate just to be sure, but from what we know about this, neural tube defects (spina bifida, etc) are most likely found in those with MTHFR who are not getting enough methyl folate in their diet or from supplements.
Another thing about EMPowerplusTM Q96M is that the capsule is colored with the herb turmeric, which actually has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects. This is in place of the titanium that is used in the regular formula. This should be another nice selling point for you to share for those who might have concern about the very minute amount of titanium that makes the other capsules opaque.
Stay tuned! There is more fantastic product news on the horizon. Rest assured that we a Q Sciences are constantly at work for you, making sure that you have the best conceivable supplements and other products for you, your family, and your clients.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1J Williams E, et al. Folate status and mood: is there a relationship? Public Health Nutrition. 2008 February;11(2):118-23.
2Azimova JE1, et al. Effects of MTHFR gene polymorphism on the and electrophysiological characteristics of migraine. BMC Neurol. 2013 Aug 5;13:103.doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-13-103.
3LiP1,Qin C2. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphisms and susceptibility ischemic stroke: a meta-analysis. Gene. 2014 Feb 10;535(2):359-64. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2013.09.066 Epub 2013 Oct 16.