Updated: Mar 5, 2020
Everyone is talking about Methylation and the MTHFR (read mother fuc..r ) gene these days, so what’s all the fuss about? Methylation is an essential process happening in your body on a daily basis. It affects normal cell growth and repair, detoxification of toxins from the body, metabolism, and is particularly important for the brain and the chemicals that influence moods.
Children with spectrum and attention disorders have been shown to be more susceptible to methylation issues than neurotypical children. This creates higher levels of environmental toxins, oxidative stress and inflammation in the body that further hinders neuronal development in the brain and puts them at greater risk of autoimmune disease.
Some people with methylation issues (under-methylators) produce less than normal amounts of the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can cause severe mood disturbance such as depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, sleep disruption, mood regulation, addiction and memory problems.
What causes problems with methylation to occur?
A number of factors can influence your process of methylation in the body including food and environmental toxins, genetics, stress and sometimes even over supplementation with the wrong nutrients.
How do we test methylation status?
Gene test: Your genetic susceptibility can be easily checked by a Naturopath via saliva or blood looking at the infamous MTHFR and other biochemical processes affecting methylation.
Blood test: To see how effectively the methylation pathway is working, blood tests are available that measure individual chemicals in the pathway such as Methylation Metabolism Biomarkers or Folate Metabolism Biomarkers. Simple blood work via a general pathology can also be useful. Tests for homocysteine, folate, vitamin B12, histamine, and basophils can be useful indicators. Sometimes starting with the simple tests before doing very specific testing is a good way to go.
The good news is Methylation problems can be easily rectified with the correct supplementation and diet/ lifestyle advise.