Methyl-what? (And Why It’s Important)
This week we’re looking at a vital process within the human body that doesn’t get much attention.
This process is critical to your physical and mental health, and many functions in your body depend on it, ranging from your nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems to heavy-metal detoxification and proper hormone balance. It even affects how your DNA controls your body and how aging affects you.
When it’s out of balance, this process can cause a variety of health issues…many potentially serious. But keep it running smoothly…and your mind and body will function at their best.
Most people are unaware of this process…and don’t know how to properly maintain it.
The process we’re talking about is called “methylation”.
What is methylation and why is it important?
Don’t let the word intimidate you…methylation is actually a fairly simple concept.
Simply put, methylation is the process whereby a molecule called a “methyl group” (consisting of one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms) is added to another molecule. In particular, this affects the molecules that make up your DNA.
Think of your DNA like it’s a computer that controls your body. Methylation acts like the switch that turns the instructions from your DNA on or off. Healthy processes stay switched “on”…while potentially damaging processes are turned off.
When methylation works properly, the processes within your body follow the instructions coded in your DNA, and everything works the way it’s supposed to.
Recent studies suggest that properly balanced methylation may be a significant factor in longevity, not to mention overall health. In particular, methylation is getting attention as a potential key to cancer prevention and treatment.
What causes methylation imbalance?
Researchers are learning more and more as times goes on about how methylation works in the human body. Current studies suggest methylation imbalances can result from several factors, including:
- Natural genetic mutations
- Pollutants (especially heavy metals)
- Inadequate nutrition (particularly certain B vitamins)
- Hormone imbalance
Each of these can cause changes to specific genes, resulting in the methylation “switch” for that particular gene being compromised. In turn, other genes that depend on that gene may also be disrupted, causing a sort of domino effect.
What if your methylation isn’t properly balanced?
Again, your DNA contains the instructions that make your body function properly, and methylation communicates those instructions to the appropriate systems in your body.
So…an imbalance in methylation can cause a wide variety of mental and physical conditions, depending on which genes are affected and which systems in the body they control.
Known issues include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Changes in metabolism
- Accumulation of heavy metals
- Age-related physical and cognitive decline
- Hormone imbalance
- Suppressed immune system
- Increased cancer risk
The list only gets longer as researchers continue to learn more.
How can you support healthy methylation?
The best way to maintain balanced methylation is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a properly balanced diet. Get enough exercise. Avoid pollutants. Make sure you have healthy bacteria in your digestive system.
In terms of nutrition, enzymes linked to proper methylation need the following B Vitamins to function correctly: B2 (Riboflavin), B6 (Pyridoxal), B9 (specifically 5-MTHF folate), and B-12. Other beneficial supplements include SAMe (also known as the “universal methyl donor”), Magnesium, and Vitamin D. Because it can be difficult to get these nutrients from diet alone, supplements are often necessary. Renew Youth can make recommendations as part of your treatment regimen.
What should you do?
Hormone imbalance can be both a cause and a result of methylation imbalance. Many of the symptoms of improper methylation…such as lack of energy and issues with mood…overlap with symptoms of hormone imbalance.
At Renew Youth, we can evaluate your symptoms, determine the root cause, and provide a treatment program tailored to your needs.
Is your body telling you something is out of balance?
Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our easy contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.