Methylation – How Is It Affecting Your Health
Methylation – What’s it all about and could it be hindering your daily life.
I recently did a comprehensive DNA test with MyDNAhealth and was frankly quite shocked to find out that genetically my methylation is severe as it only works at 20-30%! There were lots of other issues as well. I’m genetically prone to inflammation, my detoxification is poor and due to poor sugar metabolism I’m prone to type 2 diabetes. Oh and I have poor fat release capability! So you could look as this one of two ways, either sh*t that’s bad I’m destined for the scrap heap, or wow with all this stacked against me I should be on the scrap heap already. As most of you reading this will have met me. I’m sure or at least I hope I’m sure you’ll agree I look fit and healthy. I might have the odd complaint, but on the whole I have good energy and feel great. So why is this…..could it be something to do with my diet ad lifestyle! YES!!! You see genetics are only part of the picture it’s how we live our lives and the food we consume that makes these genes express or not. Lead onto disease or not. We are completely in control. We may just need a little help in the right direction. If this is you and you’re interested to learn about your DNA health, then read on……
So, back to methylation, what it?
Methylation is a biochemical process involved in almost all of your body’s functions! And without getting into too much technical detail, it is the addition of a single carbon and three hydrogen atoms to another molecule. Think of it as trillions of switches inside your body that control everything from your stress response and how your body makes energy from the food you eat, to your brain chemistry and detoxification.
Methylation controls how we deal with the following: –
Infections and viruses
Cell and organ repair
Having methylation working effectively is so important to overall health and vitality. When
you think that it is responsible for the production and recycling of glutathione, the most
powerful antioxidant we have in our bodies. As well as for repair of DNA,
neurotransmitters needed to balance our brain chemistry, controlling production of T-cell
Immune fighters needed to regulate our immune response.
So considering it it responsible for all this, would you like to know genetically if your
methylation is working optimally? I know I did, and was shocked to find it was so
impaired. We can test this and many other markers with a fully comprehensive DNA
panel. All that’s needed is a swap of your saliva and the completion of 5 simple lifestyle
questionnaires. The panel tests the following:-
Detoxification, phases 1 and 2
Fat sensitvity and over absorption
The test also looks at nutritional requirements and sensitivities
Research has shown that poor methylation is linked with autoimmune conditions. Ensuring methylation is working optimally is important for everyone, but it is especially important if you have an autoimmune condition. The reason for this is that glutathione, that I mentioned earlier is directly responsible for neutralising free radicals, reducing inflammation and assisting in the role of other antioxidants like vitamin C, E and lipoic acid.
Glutathione can ensure that toxins and heavy metals are carried out of the body.
In a perfect world, your body makes its own glutathione from the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamine, then recycles it via methylation using methyl donors like vitamin B12, folate, betaine and other nutrients. Under normal conditions, your body makes and recycles enough glutathione to handle all the toxins you’re exposed to. However, if you have a high toxic burden, or a part of the methylation cycle is disrupted, or you don’t have the Glutathione-S-Transferse, GST gene you could wind up very poorly.
So I said earlier on, despite my poor genetic make-up, I’m pretty much in good health. So now I’m going to share with you some tips on how you can improve your chances of good health through ensuring you support your methylation.
Ways To Improve Methylation
Below are a few all-natural tips to improve your methylation pathways:
1. Eat your greens.
That old chestnut! Here it is again. Another good reason to get them in daily. Eating dark leafy green veggies daily provides you with natural folate (a methyl donor), necessary for proper methylation. Make sure to get a minimum of two cups of these powerful foods daily.
2. Get B vitamins and folate.
B vitamins are methyl donors, especially folate, B6, B12 and riboflavin. Sources of B vitamins include fish, eggs, dark leafy greens, asparagus, almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts.
3. Support methylation with supplements if needed.
If you don’t think you get enough magnesium and zinc from the food you eat, then supplementing is a good idea. Magnesium and zinc, both support methylation. I prefer to use food state vitamins and minerals as these work better than synthetic ones. I can guide you on these and establish the required nutrients specific to your needs as part of your consultation.
4. Take probiotics.
Probiotics have so many wonderful attributes, supporting the immune system, energy and the digestive system. They can also indirectly help support methylation as good bacteria which many of us lack help produce and absorb essential B vitamins. Make sure you get them from a good reputable brand such as Optibac.
5. Reduce stress, alcohol and smoking.
These toxins burden your liver and use up methyl groups.
Boost Your Glutathione
In addition to making sure your methylation is operating at full capacity, you can increase your glutathione levels in the following ways:
1. Eat good quality protein.
Eating foods that are high in the glutathione precursors; cysteine, glycine and glutamate will boost your glutathione. Sources of these important amino acids include organic omega-3 enriched eggs, organic poultry, safe, ideally wild caught fish and organic grass fed lean meat. Nuts and seeds. Beans and pulses.
2. Eat sulphurous foods.
Sulphur is a key component of glutathione, so eating enough sulphur-containing foods is vital. Sources include garlic, onions, eggs and cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress and bok choy.
3. Take protein powder.
Undenatured whey protein powder boosts glutathione levels by converting cysteine into glutathione. If you’re allergic to whey or dairy intolerant, try a hypoallergenic rice, pea or hemp protein powder. Take one or two scoops of protein powder per day in water, juice or smoothie.
4. Take selenium.
Selenium plays an important role in the production of glutathione. Take 200 to 400 mcg per day.
5. Optimize your antioxidants.
Vitamins C, D and E all encourage higher glutathione levels.
6. Move your body.
Besides reducing stress and depression, exercise also boosts your glutathione levels and improves detoxification.
7. Get enough sleep.
Studies show a lack of sleep can deplete glutathione. Make sure you get between seven and 10 hours of sleep nightly. If you need help I have a handout on sleep hygiene I can email you.
8. Take herbs to support glutathione.
Studies show that milk thistle can boost glutathione levels. Take 100 to 300 mg daily.
9. Spice it up.
Curcumin increases glutathione levels in the liver, one more good reason to use this anti-inflammatory spice! Or, you can take a curcumin supplement. Make sure to have it with spice and fat to aid absorption. Just one of the reasons why it works so well in a curry. If you need advise on how to implement this into your daily diet, especially if you have a lot of inflammation, get in touch and we can discuss this further.
Avoiding toxins, lowering your stress, healing your gut and consuming foods and supplements that support methylation and glutathione can enhance your body’s ability to naturally detoxify and heal.
Following these simple guidelines can help to keep you healthy and vibrant for life.
If you have an autoimmune condition and you’re doing everything “right” but it’s still not enough to improve your autoimmune symptoms, it may be worth while ordering some functional testing and getting a specialised protocol from a qualified practitioner to help you heal.
For more information, please feel free to get in touch.
Comprehensive genetic and epigenetic DNA profiles from MyDNAHealth cost from just £199.
Best wishes for a healthy life