Stress-Anxiety- Depression: What are some of the possible silent causes?
Homocysteine and Methylation:
Homocysteine is a part of the body’s methylation process, produced from the amino acid methionine.
Methylation and demethylation is the addition or removal of a single carbon and three hydrogen atoms (called a methyl group) to another molecule. This methylation process is like a light switch turning on and off body processes such as your stress response, energy production and your detoxification ability. If this methylation process is disrupted, many natural bodily functions that keep you fit and healthy can become dysfunctional. Some include;
- Stress and the natural fight-flight response
- Mitochondrial function (energy production)
- The production and recycling of glutathione — the body’s master antioxidant
- The detoxification of hormones, chemicals and heavy metals and the fight against free radical damage
- Genetic expression and the repair of DNA
- Neurotransmitters and the balancing of brain chemistry
This methylation process is highly dependent on co-factors such as B12, folate, and B6. One of the reasons homocysteine can accumulate in the body and cause many health problems is the lack of one or more of these nutrients.
The most common deficiency is folate due to the common genetic mutation that affects folate metabolism (MTHFR).
Other factors that may raise homocysteine levels may be due to:
- Poor diet
- Poor lifestyle choices (i.e. smoking and alcohol intake)
- Some medications
- Other health conditions (i.e. diabetes, poor thyroid function)