What is Methylation?

 

 

Methylation is involved in a number of important biochemical processes in the body, including gene expression, DNA and RNA synthesis, immune cell differentiation, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine clearance, detoxification, hormones, mitochondrial metabolism, phospholipid synthesis and myelination, and neural tube development. It occurs in almost all cells in the body.

It is a dynamic process that requires balance. Many health issues are associated with fluctuations in the process. Some include;

  • Anxiety
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fertility issues
  • Insomnia
  • Neural tube defects

Nutrients and environmental factors involved in methylation?

 

Its status can be impacted by nutrient availability including folate, vitamin B12, choline and vitamin B6. However many other factors can also impact overall status. These can include;

  • Gut health and the microbiome
  • Genetic defect (MTHFR)
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Alcohol
  • Medication
  • Poor sleep
  • Exercise

Folate:

 

The importance of healthy methylation support – Folate.

The key nutrient for supporting methylation, and the folate and methionine cycles, is folate, also known as vitamin B9.

Supplemental folate is available in three main forms – folic acid, folinic acid and 5-MTHF – and their use is determined by an individual’s health status and functional enzyme capacity.

Like any biochemical pathway in the body, methylation requires a synergistic group of nutrients to support each step in the interconnected folate and methionine cycles. In addition to folate, the body requires vitamins B2, B6, B12, choline and serine, which act as cofactors or methyl donors.