Basically methylation occurs when the body converts one substance into another by donation a methyl group. These methyl groups are the ‘on-off’ switches for cellular activities. This continuous process is the key method by which toxins are removed from the body. Homocysteine, in particular may become elevated raising your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other issues related to methylation disorders include:
- Reproductive disorders
- Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders).
- Chronic fatigue
- Colon cancer
- Reproductive cancers
- Kidney infarct
- Cervical dysplasia
HOW METHYLATION WORKS
Methylation occurs when SAMe (S-adenosine methionine) donates a methyl group. This process converts SAMe to homocysteine.
Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid are necessary to reduce homocysteine and keep the methylation process occurring smoothly.
WHAT DOES MTHFR DO?
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is both an enzyme and a gene;
MTHFR processes folate (folic acid) for our bodies to use. Mutations in this gene result in methylation issues, disrupting cellular function. The 2 main genes involved in this process are MTHFR C677T and A1298C.
Approximately one-third of people have the mutation preventing them from using folic acid. Individuals who have this gene mutation have an increased risk of the above mentioned diseases. This gene mutation can be tested with a simple blood test.
Homocysteine is a toxic amino acid. In high levels homocysteine may result in many of the disorders linked above. Homocysteine is not obtained from the diet but is created by our cells as a by=product of cellular metabolism. Homocysteine levels can be evaluated with a simple blood draw.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT
Supplementation as suggested from testing blood for the levels of folic acid, B12, B6 and homocysteine (which can be ordered by our doctors), especially if you carry the MTHFR mutations.
Lifestyle change involving eating more dark, leafy greens.
IgG4 testing (blood testing) for food and chemical sensitivities, to help eliminate foods that cause inflammation while identifying foods that are good sources of B vitamins.
Crosby Chiropractic works with labs to perform food and chemical sensitivity testing.