Optimize Your Methylation With Functional Medicine

Methylation is one of the most important biochemical processes happening to almost every one of your cells. It’s important to understand what methylation is and how it affects you.

Methylation is the addition of a small molecule called methyl group (CH3) to another molecule. This “activates” the receiving molecule. Your body’s main methyl donor is S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe).

SAMe travels around the body giving methyl groups to molecules in need. Once activated, these molecules can now perform their jobs and keep your body functioning properly.

A familiar example of methylation is the addition of methyl group to folate. This transforms folate into its active form known as 5-MTHF (methylfolate). Unlike the man-made form of folic acid, your body can directly use methylfolate in all of the important cellular processes where folate is required.

Why Does Methylation Matter?

Your body needs proper methylation for:

  • Hormone regulation
  • Energy production
  • Fetal Development
  • Neurotransmitter production
  • Maintaining proper homocysteine levels
  • Detoxification & processing heavy metals
  • Making the body’s master antioxidants
  • Production of crucial compounds like creatine, phosphatidylcholine, and carnitine
  • Maintaining proper histamine levels
  • Mental and brain health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Mitochondrial health
  • Reproductive health
  • Liver health

So methylation really matters to your overall health.

Patients with an MTHFR genetic mutation often have difficulties transforming folate into its active form. This genetic mutation affects the ability of the MTHFR enzyme to add a methyl group to folate. People with an MTHFR mutation feel MUCH better when they supplement methylfolate.

Another example of methylation is the addition of methyl group to homocysteine (a marker of inflammation and cardiovascular disease). Adding a methyl group converts homocysteine into methionine, an amino acid.

As the body adds and removes methyl groups from DNA, we begin to see and feel the body making noticeable (and sometimes unwanted) changes.

How To Optimize Your Methylation

We encourage our functional medicine patients to take the proper steps to support their methylation process simply because it supports the improvement of every body system. However, because methylation must be continually maintained throughout life, it must be a priority for patients and functional medicine providers.

According to one study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, methylation declines as you age. The study showed that newborns have considerably more methylated DNA than people over the age of 100, and people in their 20s have levels in between the two, suggesting that DNA methylation slows as you age.

Age isn’t everything though. Daily habits certainly contribute to how your body methylates. Our providers encourage our patients to consider changing habits, dietary choices and lifestyles that hinder their body’s ability to properly methylate. There are several things you can do to support healthy DNA methylation:

  • Avoid tobacco and second-hand smoke.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Eat a healthy, minimally processed diet.
  • Exercise regularly.

Nutrients That Support Healthy Methylation

Your body relies on specific vitamins and nutrients to support health methylation. Methylated B complex provides an active form of vitamins B2, B6 and B12. Magnesium and Vitamin D stabilize the structure of chromosomes and prevents DNA double-strand breaks. Increasing your intake of these vitamin and nutrients may help maintain healthy DNA methylation.

There is Hope For Optimizing Your Methylation With Functional Medicine

Methylation is an essential process that plays a vital role in health and longevity. By testing for imbalances and deficiencies, then creating a personalized plan to optimize your health, the quality of your life will improve. The goal of functional medicine at Kare Health & Wellness is to identify the root cause of health issues and symptoms, which could simply be connected to a methylation problem.

Keri Sutton - RN, MSN, ANP-C, AGPCNP-BC

Keri is a Nurse Practitioner and founder at Kare Health & Wellness. Keri's pursuit of personal answers to her own health issues landed her in the top of Functional Medicine. As she utilized functional Medicine to get her own health and life back, she made it her life's work to bring this empowering form of healthcare to as many people as she can.

About Us

Our mission is to create a safe environment for our patients to share their story and be empowered to take control of their health.  We constantly challenge patients to think differently about their health. We never find contentment in simply being disease free. We want to help patients optimize their vitality of life so that they can strive for things that they thought were unattainable.

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