Methylation is a vital biochemical process that involves transmission of a methyl group (a carbon atom bound to 3 hydrogen atoms, or CH3) from one molecule to another. This simple process affects a multitude of functions in the human body
What does methylation do?
Supports healthy brain function and mental health by regulation neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, adrenalin)
Produces glutathione - the most powerful antioxidant in your body
Helps you breakdown excess histamine
Produces phosphatidylcholine that supports healthy nerve-impulse transmission, healthy brain function and healthy cells
Helps your body produce and regulate hormones
Assists your body in getting rid of toxins and heavy metals
Supports healthy liver function
Keeps the immune system functioning properly, by controlling T-cell production. Helps you effectively fight off viruses and infections. Regulates your immune response so that you don't develop autoimmune conditions
Builds and repairs DNA
What happens when methylation doesn't work well?
Genetic variations or SNPs (Single-nucleotide Polymorphisms) can affect MTHFR and other genes responsible for optimal methylation cycle function. A number of symptoms and conditions are linked to impaired methylation function, such as:
Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Elevated homocysteine levels
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Neural tube defects
What affects the methylation cycle?
Regardless of whether you have a genetic variation that affects your methylation cycle (it's is estimated that 40% of the world population have a MTHFR mutation), there's a plethora of factors that can influence it's function, such as stress, environmental toxins, digestive issues, poor diet (especially diets low in zinc, B12, B6 and folate), folic acid (a synthetic form of folate that is potentially toxic for people with MTHFR gene mutations, it also interferes with folate absorption), alcohol consumption, low stomach acid and a number of medications that affect B-vitamin absorption.