Methylation is a hot topic right now! If you know anything about functional medicine and epigenetics, your probably curious to know about how to prevent certain diseases.  

So is that what methylation is, preventing diseases?  And how can you know if working with your methylation cycle is the best thing for your overall health?

What is Methylation? 

Methylation is something that we are just starting to understand.  It is a biochemical process that happens inside every cell in your body. But what does that really mean?

It is a biological process that affects every single cell in your body, and you will feel it in terms of mood, energy, sleep, detoxification, and creation of glutathione (our most powerful cell protector and antioxidant), among other things. 

Optimal Health 

When optimal methylation occurs in your cells, it can positively affect how you feel in terms of your energy, mood, sleep patterns, and proper detoxification.  

Basically, every biochemical reaction of the body is affected by methylation.  To name a few of these processes, think of your DNA production, eye health, neurotransmitter production, detoxification, histamine metabolism, fat metabolism, cellular energy, and liver health.    

So, all in all, methylation is occurring all over the body to keep you healthy and alive! 

How Does Methylation Work? 

Ok, so we know that methylation happens in each cell of the body, and that when it works properly it assists with our energy, mood, and detoxification. So what else? 

For the methylation cycle to work properly, you need specific nutrients. 

You first have to eat protein, digest it, and absorb it into the body. Your body then breaks the protein down into methionine, which is one of the amino acids. 

After that, the methionine goes through a process to become homocysteine, another amino acid. Then there is a constant recycling process that happens between the two amino acids methionine and homocysteine. And then….

Inflammation 

If the constant recycling process between methionine and homocysteine does not happen, then too much homocysteine is made, builds up, and creates inflammation.  

This type of inflammation is a risk factor for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and  osteoporosis. It’s safe to say that these types of inflammation can cause serious damage to your entire body.    

So we continue to want to know more, is your methylation cycle something you need to look into? 

Is Methylation Something to be Concerned About? 

Simply put, you can perform a genetic test to understand if methylation should be a concern for you.  A genetic test is a simple determining factor that can help you understand if you have any potential problems with your methylation cycle.  

It is also great to know your genetic profile because around 60% of people in the United States have a genetic mutation that may not allow their methylation cycle to function properly.  

So What Can You Do About It? 

Methylation is essential to a healthy body, but you have to first understand how your body is going to work with it. 

It would not be smart to add any of the supplements listed below without first working with your doctor to first see what supplements would be right for you based on your unique body chemistry.  

Reach out to a naturopathic doctor who knows a lot about how to bring you back to your best health.  

Easy Ways to Support Your Methylation 

Although experts are working to better understand what affects methylation, nutrition does play an essential role in proper function.  

The current research shows that methylation relies partially on the active forms of folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6.  

Eating a healthy diet full of a wide spectrum of food varieties will help to consume the proper nutrients for your healthy methylation cycle.

Here are some wonderful sources of folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6:

Folate

  1. Dark green, leafy vegetables 
  2. Asparagus
  3. Brussels Sprouts
  4. Whole Grains
  5. Citrus

Vitamin B12

  1. Beef Liver
  2. Fish and Shellfish
  3. Chicken
  4. Eggs
  5. Dairy
  6. Nutritional Yeast

Vitamin B6

  1. Fish
  2. Chicken, Turkey, or Duck
  3. Starchy Vegetables
  4. Bananas 

Supplements to Consider

It’s great to know that not only are vitamin B12 and B6 important, but the list of vitamins below could also be helpful.  

If you and your doctor decide that working to improve your methylation cycle is right for you, there are seven supplements you can consider to improve methylation.  

  1. Magnesium
  2. Active Vitamin B2
  3. Active Vitamin B6
  4. Active Vitamin B12
  5. Betaine (also known as trimethylglycine)
  6. Active Folate

Excitement About Methylation 

It is exciting to talk about biochemical processes such as methylation and want to affect them in a positive way by taking the supplements listed above.  

But you can do more harm than good if you don’t get your prescriptions quite right and begin randomly taking supplements.  

A proper and well-functioning methylation cycle is extremely important, but there are many other factors to consider before you and your naturopathic doctor decide to begin affecting your methylation cycle. 

Importance Of Working With A Doctor 

If you are in the right place with your health, and you and your doctor have decided it is right to begin working with methylation, then it can be extremely beneficial for energy levels and detoxification.  

It could also be the right time to begin fixing other health issues such as stress factors and dietary concerns before you start to work with methylation.  

Contact me today if you would like to begin the process of discovering the right application for improving your methylation cycle.  

About The Author:

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National College for Naturopathic Medicine (now called The National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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