Have you heard of Methylation???
It happens billions of times every second and we don’t need to think about it. It’s involved in almost every bodily biochemical reaction. Who we are, how we are and how we balance ourselves is very much in play with how we are able to methylate.
Methylation is the chief housekeeping and maintenance system of the body. I won’t be going into too much of the science of this as it does get rather complicated and I think I will loose you!
A methyl group is one carbon and three hydrogens. Methyl groups are found in many many foods and are the source to add a carbon to molecules like DNA, hormones, phospholipids, neurotransmitters, proteins etc…Therefore, methylation is important for all of what you can see in the green circle. Important right?!
What are some symptoms of undermethylation?
Fatigue is perhaps the most common symptom of problems with methylation. Other symptoms or conditions can include but are certainly not limited to:
+Irritable Bowel Syndrome
+Headaches (including migraines)
Now before you start wondering if you have a problem with methylation and looking to fix it, let’s get some things straight. I am a naturopathic nutritionist and in my opinion simply supplementing with what’s missing is not enough and certainly long term we need another approach. How about focusing on why it may not be working as well as it could…
Man was existing as part of nature. Our genes haven’t changed but now we are faced with:
+wasted valuable stomach space
The four roots of health:
4.Hydrochloric acid and enzyme balance
These are all responsive to the methylation cycle so if the above are good then methylation as a result is more efficient. This is why it Is so important to look at root rather than zoning in too much on methylation in isolation.
For example, if you are deficient in the nutrients needed for the methylation cycle to function such as magnesium and B vitamins then the process will not happen as effectively. You may be deficient in these nutrients because of poor digestion and absorption so we need to go back to improving digestion (amongst other factors) rather than get too tied up in methylation.
Other factors that affect methylation:
+genetics. Up to 40% of the population has a genetic defect in one of the enzymes related to methylation
+poor diet with low levels of magnesium, betaine, B6, B12 and folate
+a western diet can deplete B vitamins and raise homocysteine
+smoking can inactivate B6
+decreased stomach acid reduces absorption of B12
+medication can deplete certain nutrients needed for methylation