What is methylation? In scientific terms it’s addition of a Methyl group to a protein (a methyl group is single carbon and three hydrogen atoms). In over simplified terms it’s the first domino in a series of dominos of the detox pathways. It is a facet in how the body eliminates toxins, repairs cells, manufactures cells and utilizes energy.
Methyl groups control:
- Genetic expression and the repair of DNA
- The stress response
- The production and utilization of glutathione
- The detoxification of toxins like hormones, chemicals and heavy metals
- The inflammation response
- Neurotransmitter manufacturing and breakdown
- Energy production
- The repair of damaged cells
- The immune system and immunity
When the methylation cycle is impaired, any or all of these processes can become compromised, and a cascade of event can occur causing dis-ease and illness.
Methylation and glutathione
Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant, in charge of all cellular repairs. The main focus of methylation is to produce glutathione. Glutathione directly neutralizes toxins, and reduces cellular inflammation, among other important processes. Ideally, the body makes its own glutathione from other amino acids found in food and, then recycles it via methylation using methyl donors like vitamin B12, and folate. When there are a lot of toxins in the body, or a part of the methylation cycle is disrupted, illness can occur.
- Eat Folate rich foods, natural methyl donors flood the body with all the important nutrients needed to methylate properly.
- Take the proper B vitamins for you. EveryBody has different methylation needs and requires different nutrient levels. Discuss with your methylation savvy provider as to what is the best balance for you.
- Be sure to get adequate minerals such as magnesium and zinc. When methylation is impaired the body uses up these minerals as cofactors faster; When digestion is impaired the body doesn’t digest these minerals adequately. Support proper methylation by making sure there are adequate amounts of these minerals in your diet.
- To assist in optimizing digestion, take quality probiotics.
- Reduce stress, eliminate alcohol, smoking and toxins, all of these toxins alter methylation and use up necessary methyl groups.
To support proper methylation naturally boost your glutathione
- Sources of these important amino acids to boost glutathione include organic pastured eggs, wild caught fish and organic lean meats.
- Eating high sulfur-containing foods is vital, try some extra garlic and onions and other cruciferous vegetables.
- Organic Un-denatured whey protein powder boosts glutathione levels by converting cysteine into glutathione. However if dairy sensitive this is not a good choice.
- Include antioxidant rich foods, full of Vitamin C, D and E, they all boost glutathione levels
- Exercise helps reducing stress and depression, AND it also boosts your glutathione levels and improves detoxification.
- Lack of sleep can deplete glutathione. Make sure to sleep well.
- Consider Curcumin! Delicious Turmeric raises glutathione levels. Be sure to take it with a healthy fat for best digestion and absorption.
Typical lifestyle modifications to improve methylation or life in general; include avoiding toxins, minimizing stress, sleeping well, optimizing digestion and consuming a nutrient dense diverse diet. Proper supplements to support methylation and glutathione can assist the body’s ability to naturally detoxify and heal. Please not that for methylation challenges there is no “one size fits all” approach and common recommendations may cause adverse effects in a methylation challenged individual. Always seek a qualified provider to begin your journey to cellular healing.