Methylation is one of the body’s most important and most common chemical processes. It’s also a very intricate process that is absolutely central to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
You can think of methylation as the body adding a stamp to parts of DNA, or to a vitamin or an enzyme, and by adding that stamp called the methyl group it actually changes the function of that gene, vitamin, or enzyme. In the case of DNA, methyl group can actually turn genes on or off. This can be referred to as gene expression. The way in which methylation affects our DNA is incredibly important, and one of the reason is because many of us have genes that predispose us to certain diseases. But by turning these genes off, they are not expressed, so we may be able to actually reduce our risk of developing certain diseases, by optimizing our methylation.
Methylation is essential for the optimal function of almost all your body systems. The methylation cycle is a major part of the biochemistry of sulfur and methyl (CH3) groups in the body. Using the electrical charge specific to the task on hand, methyl groups attach themselves to a variety of toxins and other harmful molecules in the body so they can be neutralized and expelled.
Some Functions of Methylation include:
- Turn on and off genes
- Process chemicals, endogenous and xenobiotic components (biotransformation)
- Build neurotransmitters (norepinephrine→ epinephrine, serotonin→ melatonin)
- Metabolize neurotransmitters (dopamine, epinephrine)
- Create protective coating on nerves (myelination)
- Build immune cells (T cells, NK cells)
- Process Hormones (estrogen)
- DNA and Histone Synthesis
- Produce Energy (CoQ10, carnitine, creatine, ATP)
- Build and maintain cell membranes
Why is methylation important?
Detoxification – Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification system by converting insoluble or fat-soluble toxins, into water-soluble compounds. This process alter the toxins in a way that allows the body to identify them as toxins, and then to eliminate them promptly through the bile and the bloodstream where they are removed by the kidneys.
Neurotransmitter Synthesis and Utilization – Problem breaking down, neurotransmitters may cause issues such as Parkinson’s, Seizures, Insomnia, Panic Attacks and Rage to name a few. Methylation is part of the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin.
Genetic Replication – Methylation is an essential step in the formation of enzymes and proteins. This process is called genetic transcription. It involves first making a blueprint (copy) of the DNA, called RNA. Then the body uses this blueprint to put together the exact protein that is necessary.
Telomeres Preservation – This is an exciting new area of anti-aging research. Healthy function of telomeres requires adequate methylation which is the chemical process of donating a methyl group to the genetic material of the telomere, epigenetically marking the telomeres for proper function. Adequate supply of methyl donors is needed for telomeres to work properly.
Conversion of Homocysteine into Methionine – Methylation is involved in converting amino acid homocysteine, which is unsafe when in excess, into essential amino acid methionine. Then methionine is converted to many different amino acids in various biochemical pathways. About 1 in two of the earth population appear to have genetic variants of the MTHFR enzyme causing them to have some difficulty synthesizing homocysteine into methionine. This can be a factor in Cardiovascular Disease, Fatigue, Exhaustion, Mental Illness such as Depression, and many others. However, this problem is not due to defective DNA and can be corrected. Often toxic metals such as mercury and copper, zinc and other nutritional deficiency may be interfering with the genetic transcription of the RNA from the DNA.
Hormone Regulation – By assisting the liver in detoxification, methylation is involved in balancing the hormones which helps reduce the tendency for cancer and for many other health conditions related to a hormone imbalance.
Reduces inflammation – Methylation reduces inflammation by Removing Toxic Load, Balancing Hormones, Synthesis and Utilization of neurotransmitters and many others.
Helps Protect the Mitochondria – Methylation helps biochemical adaptive energy production by protecting the mitochondria. Without adequate methylation, a person can becomes exhausted.
Restores the Level of SAMe in Many Parts of the Body Including the Spinal Fluid – SAMe (S-adensylmethionine) is a common chemical found in the body. It functions as a methyl donor once it has been restored to functioning by the action of methyl groups. It helps to prevent depression and it has a variety of other mental and physical effects on the body.
Requires for Synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 – Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance found in every cell of the body, it is necessary for heart health and energy production within the mitochondria.The synthesis of CoQ10 requires adequate levels of SAMe and other components of the methylation pathway.
To some degree methylation is involved in most body functions including; Detoxification, Immune function, Maintaining DNA, Energy production, Mood balancing, Controlling inflammation…… This is why compromised methylation can cause or contribute to almost all health conditions. Unfortunately, most people today suffer from methylation collapse which manifest itself in declining health, premature aging, and untimely deaths.
Some of the Signs and Symptoms of Methylation Collapse include:
- Depression/Mood disorders
- Premature Aging
- Suppress Immune System
- Digestive problems
- Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Miscarriages, fertility, and problems in pregnancy
- Cardiovascular disease,
- Addictive Behavior, including alcoholism
- Autism and other spectrum disorders
- Bipolar or manic depression
- Allergies or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
- Multiple Sclerosis and other Autoimmune Disorders
- Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism
- Chronic Viral Infections
- Low T cells or reduced NK cells
- Sensitivity to medications
At Parkinson’s Clinic INT we successfully use integrative therapies to restore health and well being by optimizing methylation. Optimizing your methylation process is the first most important part of getting you well.
To find out how we can help you, please contact our office at 972-248-0780