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Alexa Alene | alexaalene120

Methylation: Critical Biochemical Reaction For Your Health

Dec 17th 2013 at 9:34 PM

If you were to ask almost anyone in the general public what methylation is and why it is critical to your health, you would probably get blank stares and probably comments like; “I don’t have a clue what you are talking about.”

Ask any progressive integrative Health Care Professional (Functional Medicine Medical Doctors, Naturopathic Physicians, etc.), the same question, and they will respond that it’s one of the most critical biochemical processes in our body and that it has a significant impact on our quality of health and the development of chronic, degenerative diseases.
Methylation: What is it?

So- let’s start with some basic biochemistry and a definition of methylation:

“In simple terms, it is a process in which certain chemicals called ‘methyl groups’ are added to various constituents of proteins, DNA, and other molecules.  These are needed to keep them in good ‘working’ condition.”1

Well that is fine, but what does it mean: and more importantly, how does it impact our health?

If your body’s methylation is not working at an optimal level, it will translate into many different health problems and will accelerate your aging process.2

Compromised methylation function will impact negatively on how different genes in our genetic structure function.
What is a gene?

A gene is the basic physical and functional unit of heredity. Genes, which are made up of DNA, act as instructions to make molecules called proteins. In humans, genes vary in size from a few hundred DNA bases to more than 2 million bases. The Human Genome Project has estimated that humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes.

Every person has two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent. Most genes are the same in all people, but a small number of genes (less than 1% of the total), are slightly different between people. Alleles are forms of the same gene with small differences in their sequence of DNA bases. The small differences contribute to each person’s unique physical features.
geneGenes are made up of DNA. Each chromosome contains many genes.3

One of the key genes that can impact our level of methylation function is called the “MTHFR gene” (methylenetetrahydrofolate – and an associated enzyme that it produces: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase).

Okay: enough of the biochemistry! How can it affect our health?

Compromised MTHFR function (typically due to mutations, which we’ll discuss shortly), has been documented to potentially impact the following health issues:

1. Autism
2. Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol
3. Down’s syndrome
4. Miscarriages
5. Pulmonary embolisms
6. Depression in Post-Menopausal Women
7. Schizophrenia
8. Fibromyalgia
9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
10. Chemical Sensitivity
11. Parkinson’s
12. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
13. Pre-eclampsia
14. Stroke
15. Spina bifida
16. Esophageal Squamous cell carcinoma
17. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
18. Vascular Dementia
19. Bipolar disorder
20. Colorectal Adenoma
21. Idiopathic male infertility
22. Blood clots
23. Rectal cancer
24. Meningioma
25. Glioma
26. Congenital Heart Defects
27. Infant depression via epigenetic processes caused by maternal depression
28. Deficits in childhood cognitive development
29. Gastric Cancer
30. Migraines with aura
31. Low HDL
32. High homocysteine
33. Post-menopausal breast cancer
34. Atherosclerosis
35. Oral Clefts
36. Type 1 Diabetes
37. Epilepsy
38. Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma
39. Alzheimer’s
40. Tetralogy of Fallot
41. Decreased telomere length
42. Potential drug toxicities: methotrexate, anti-epileptics
43. Cervical dysplasia
44. Increased bone fracture risk in post-menopausal women
45. Multiple Sclerosis
46. Essential Hypertension
47. Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma
48. Prostate Cancer
49. Premature Death
50. Placental Abruption
51. Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
52. Methotrexate Toxicity
53. Nitrous Oxide Toxicity
54. Heart Murmurs
55. Tight Anal Sphincters
56. Tongue Tie
57. Midline Defects (many are listed above)
58. Behcet’s Disease
59. Ischemic Stroke in Children
60. Unexplained Neurologic Disease
61. Asthma
62. Shortness of Breath
63. Bladder Cancer

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