Methylation is critical to countless functions in your body such as: thinking, repairing DNA, turning on and off genes, fighting infections and getting rid of environmental toxins to name a few.
Methylation Defects are tied to Many Conditions
- Frequent miscarriages
- Bipolar or manic depression
- Allergies or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism
- ADD or ADHD
- Lyme Disease (tick borne illness compounded by MTHFR)
- Chronic Viral Infections
- To name a few..
Your ability to methylate helps you process toxins and hormones. For example, estrogen… you make it in your body, and you also get it from chemicals in your environment and food etc…if you can’t break down estrogen and get it OUT of your body, you could develop all sorts of disorders.
Methylation also plays a role in making and breaking down various neurotransmitters, epinephrine and melatonin. If there’s a problem breaking neurotransmitters down, the excess may cause insomnia, panic attacks, and anger.
Such as sufferers of Mold/ Pollen/ Hay Fever, Digestive problems, brain fog, cardiac disease, Children with autism, anyone with a seizure disorder, neurological condition, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, severe Lyme disease, chronic infections, immune deficiencies, diabetes, food allergies, fertility issues, miscarriages, chronic fatigue, anxiety or any psychiatric illness. Or if you are extremely sensitive to medication, you may have a methylation problem, too.
Problems in the methylation pathway are not always genetic traits. In any case, it may cause a deficiency of methyl-folate leading to a deficiency of glutathione. Glutathione is known as the ‘master antioxidant’ of the body. Low levels of glutathione can look like chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease states, multiple chemical sensitivities, and progressive diseases like ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, etc.
About 50 % of the US population has a MTHFR defect.
MTHFR are C677T and A1298C. You may have any combination of these mutations depending on the genetic makeup of your biological parents. Or you do not have the defect at all. You can do a simple lab test to determine MTHFR snps, or more comprehensive genetic testing helps you find other areas of concern.
Because people with a methylation difficulty have trouble eliminating poisons, these build up in the body and contribute to many health concerns. If a body can’t methylate properly, you cannot use and absorb vital nutrients needed to keep cells healthy and protected.
Things that Interfere with Your Methylation Pathway include
- Poor diet, poor probiotic status, digestive issues, medications, medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases, and other things that may cause nutrient deficiencies.
- Taking medications that deplete vital nutrients. (like metformin, antacids, PPIs, steroids, estrogen-containing drugs and NO)
- Drinking alcohol stops methylation and depletes glutathione
- Stimulants like coffee and metabolism boosters use up your methylation pathway nutrients too quickly
- Lyme disease, and the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria feeds on magnesium and uses the magnesium to make biofilms and hide. Low Mg reduces your ability to methylate.
- Taking poor quality nutrients that deplete methyl groups
- Heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, copper, or arsenic, etc.
- High levels of acetylaldehyde, a neurotoxin released by Candida
- Anxiety or a lot of stress.
Medications that Make MTHFR Much Worse
- Acid blockers and Antacids deplete your probiotics, and suppress your ability to make B12 and absorb minerals as well as reduce immunity.
- Cholesterol-binding drugs rob the body of essential vitamin A, D, E and K, and reduce absorption of nutrients from food.
- Nitrous oxide it inactivates an enzymes
- Niacin in High doses will deplete SAMe and reduce B6. BUT can be used good if you are over-methylating!
- Birth control and menopause hormones rob the body of necessary folate
- Sulfa-containing antibiotics inhibit the enzyme DHFR which makes methylation problems.
- Metformin robs the body of methyl B12
- Do not stop ANY medications without discussing with your prescriber
Start in the Gut with High-quality probiotics, which are incredibly important to people with a methylation problem to optimize gut flora and minimize candida.
- If you’ve taken an antibiotic for more than a week, you are low in probiotics.
- If you have had your appendix removed, you are deficient in probiotics (and thus at higher risk for Candida).
- If you drink a lot of coffee
- If you have recurrent vaginal yeast infections
- If you have a lot of flatulence
- If you crave sweets or have a white coating on your tongue
A (bad) word about FOLIC ACID
Folic acid, is not what your body uses. Natural folate comes from the foods that you eat. The body uses methyl-folate, or L5-MTHF, not folic acid.
Anyone with a methylation defect should avoid Folic acid at all cost in the diet, supplements, products etc.
In fact ALL B vitamins should be methylated from this point. Using a CYANOB 12 can actually result in the production of cyanide!!
What else can you do?
- Contact your local MTHFR EDUCATED doctor
- Repair cell membranes
- Consider methylation support needed to maximize your health
- Avoid foods containing enriched folic acid, preservatives, poisons, pesticides and artificial anything
- Minimize or avoid any form of alcohol
- Take high quality supplements provided by your doctor to minimizes oxidative stress
- Do a lab test or 23andme
Genes are just switches, they can be turned on and off with your lifestyle.
We are not victims to our genes!