In today’s episode I am going to be diving in deep to talk about Methylation. What is it, why it’s important for our health, how to measure it and what you can do to improve it in your body.
Methylation is basically what our B Vitamins are up to in our bodies and the biochemical processes that they are involved in.
A lot of times we hear about B vitamins, like B12 for example or B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 or even B9, which is Methyl Folate.
We know that B vitamins are important for us, they are in every multi-vitamin supplement out there, some people also take a B complex or a pre-natal vitamin which will include a mixture of the B vitamins because they work together. Most of the time we don’t just take one specific type of B vitamin.
If you are deficient in one of the particular B vitamins, let’s say B12 you might be taking extra of B12 but it’s important to keep in mind that these B vitamins work together. So if you’re taking B12 you also want to make sure you are taking all of the other B vitamins as well, so your body has all of them.
Note: there are rare instances, when working with a patient with methylation issues, and they feel worse when they take methylfolate, where I guide them to introduce B vitamins in a specific sequence while addressing other factors that affect methylation.
What is the process called Methylation?
It has to do with those B vitamins coming in contact with other biochemical substances in our bodies and the transfer of a methyl group (a carbon hydrogen group). If we could look closely we would see that these chemicals are being transferred from one substance to another.
Our bodies have biochemical hand-off sequences that occur constantly. And these sequences are occurring in every cell in our body all day long, all night long, every day. And our bodies require the right nutrients for those sequences to happen in the best way possible.
Processes with B vitamins (methylation) are essential to build our neurotransmitters (like serotonin and dopamine) and also to break down our neurotransmitters (like adrenaline when the threat is gone).
Normally we would get B vitamins from our diet. A lot of the essential B vitamins are found in animal protein (B6, B9 and B12), so if you are a vegetarian that’s especially when a B vitamin supplement may be necessary.
As usual, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, we are all such unique bio-chemical individuals, including how we detoxify, which is another process in which methylation comes into play. If our bodies do not have enough of the essential B vitamins, they will not be able to detoxify efficiently, and these toxins will continue to circulate in our bodies causing trouble.
Methylation is also important for protecting our DNA from oxidative stress (I will be covering this in another video).
Some of the symptoms of not having adequate methylation are fatigue, anxiety, depression, headaches, migraines, sleep issues, digestive issues and skin rashes, menstrual cramps, etc.
Often times we are not going to hear about this in the standard doctor’s office. We may get diagnosed with depression and get a pill to work on the symptoms, but the underlying cause is really this process of methylation.
In summary, good methylation is directly related to a better quality and quantity of life. So, the more you can be aware of your methylation, making sure you’re taking enough of all essential B vitamins for your body, it’s going to make a huge difference on your health today and into the future.
How to understand your individual methylation processes?
Here is where it’s important to understand that if you’re taking B vitamins and you are still not feeling well there could be a jam (like a traffic jam) in your methylation processes (the transfer of substances from one stage to the other that we mentioned earlier) so you are not really getting the benefits of the B vitamins.
So, what causes these jams in our methylation processes?
This could be due to a co-factor nutrient that is missing. A lot of these metabolic pathways have additional nutrients that are necessary in order for them to work right. Magnesium for example, this is one of the most common co-factors of bio-chemical processes in our bodies and, at the same time it’s one of the most common nutrients that we don’t have enough of.
Another potential source of a jam is too much stress or toxin exposure, these affect your cortisol and adrenaline levels and they cause inflammation in your body, same with foods that are high in sugar, for example. When you have higher stress and inflammation in your body this could potentially cause a jam in your methylation process.
The same happens with toxins in the environment, if you’re having foods that are not organic and you’re getting exposed to pesticides or if you’re exposed to mold toxins in your home, these could be reasons for a traffic jam for your methylation process.
Also, toxins in your digestion. If a person has imbalanced, overgrowing gut bacteria in their digestive tract, they will be exposed to toxins produced by that bacteria and could get their methylation process jammed. Here I can help you determine if you have imbalanced gut bacteria that needs to be addressed. We can address this by using anti-microbial herbs and specialized probiotics, so you get your gut bacteria rebalanced, and I can guide you through this process if you follow my protocol.
If you have a jam in your methylation process, taking B vitamins could actually make you feel worse, because there is a clogged drain in the system and now the sink is overflowing and this could also cause headaches and anxiety. And I can also help you walk through the steps to figure out how to get rid of all the jams in your methylation process.
I have been helping patients with methylation for the past couple of decades, specially since the MTHFR gene became more well known. If you have MTHFR gene variations this could also influence your ability to make the conversions in the pathway of the methylation process.
In summary, we need to clean the whole system by addressing the causes of the jams and then your body will be able to use the B vitamins supplements enhancing your methylation process and get rid of the toxins more easily, leading to better neurotransmitters, leading to better mood, better sleep and better adrenaline, cortisol, serotonin and dopamine levels.
To learn more about MTHFR gene variations, and methylation, please watch my free MTHFR masterclass. https://doctordoni.com/mthfr-masterclass
A lot of times there is no need to add additional B vitamins. So, how do you know if you need them?
For this it is necessary to monitor your homocysteine levels. Homocysteine helps reveal your methylation activity and how well your body is using B vitamins. It can be measured in blood work, and this is what I consider to be essential information for everybody. And homocysteine levels should be measured at least once a year. You can do this test at a regular lab or you can contact my office so we can help ordering it for you.
If your homocysteine is above 7 then your methylation process has jams that need to be addressed. And this will not get solved by getting more methyl folate or more B vitamins. We need to get to the root cause of the jams in your unique methylation process and clean them out. It’s not about taking another supplement. It’s about helping your body’s metabolism work better.
If your homocysteine is below 6 (which I often see in women who are going through pregnancy and post-partum and breastfeeding because the homocysteine gets used up) then your body needs different nutrients to help it catch back up again and I can guide through that process as well, and make sure you have enough homocysteine.
Only when we see your homocysteine levels then we can act accordingly and solve your biochemistry and the underlying cause for your health issues.
I guide you to address methylation in my online program called MTHFR Reset. https://drdoni.lpages.co/mthfr-reset-evg/
How is Methylation affected by trauma?
Often times a reason that is overlooked for methylation not being efficient is history of trauma and stress. If you have experienced trauma in your childhood or adulthood, very stressful events, betrayal, toxic relationships and toxic environments. it could be a cause of your methylation process not working correctly. This is also something that can be reversed, and I can guide you on how to do it.
When you start working on your emotional, spiritual and energetic healing, as you start working on rebalancing yourself and your life (through a good self-care routine) and as you start clearing out the chemical toxins out of your body and making sure you have adequate nutrient sources, then you will see your methylation process start working efficiently again.
I’ve been helping patients with trauma and stress (by rebalancing cortisol, adrenaline, and neurotransmitter levels) for over 20 years. That is how I identified the 5 most common stress response patterns, which are the variations of cortisol and adrenaline levels after stress exposure. You can find out your unique stress type by taking my quiz here. This way you will know where you stand and what you can do to rebalance your cortisol and adrenaline levels.
If you would like to find out more on this subject, I encourage you to read one of my books, I have written 5 books on stress and trauma. You can find my latest book, “Master Your Stress Reset Your Health” here.
You can also access my Stress Warrior Program here, where I teach you how to optimize your cortisol, adrenaline, and neurotransmitters.
Remember, it is never a one-size-fits-all approach. We must individualize it based on how your body has been affected by stress, that’s how we are going to get the best results.
You can also reach out to me to set up a one-on-one appointment if you prefer.
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