April 20, 2015

315 Methylation [20 April 2015]

Methylation is an important biochemical process involved in most functions of your body. Methylation is the addition of a methyl group (CH3) to a molecule. In an article published on MindBodyGreen.com, nutrition consultant and member of the Institute of Functional Medicine Michelle Corey lists nine functions in which methylation is involved:
• Stress response
• Glutathione production & recycling
• Inflammation
• Neurotransmitters – brain function & mood
• Detoxification – breakdown & disposal of toxins
• Energy production
• Repair of free radical damage
• Immune response – fighting infections and controlling auto-immune diseases
• DNA repair and genetic expression

Impairment of methylation due to a shortage of methyl groups or the enzymes that facilitate the process leads to many different types of illnesses, as you can imagine from the above list. These include heart disease & stroke, some cancers, certain birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, other inflammatory and auto-immune diseases, and neuropsychiatric conditions.

To help prevent these conditions, or reduce their symptoms, Corey lists some tips for improving methylation:
• Take a B vitamin complex, especially folate; all are methyl donors
• Methylfolate and methylcobalamin are methylated forms of B10 and B12 respectively
• Eat 2 cups daily of dark green leafy vegetables which contain folate
• Take probiotics to improve gut flora which produce and absorb B vitamins
• Reduce stress and toxic exposure (avoid alcohol, smoking, other chemicals)
• Increase glutathione production (see #304 Feb 2, 2015; more on this in a future post)

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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