The human genome is composed of many genes that can be turned on or off depending on the situation. This ability to control gene expression is a great way for the body to maintain control and adapt to change/stress. The proper functioning of the methylation cycle is essential for many vital functions in the body. Methylation affects our ability to prevent cancer, depression, ADD, persistent infections, fatigue, memory loss, toxic overload, and neurological issues like issues with myelin sheath or repair of damaged nerves. This image shows some of the biochemical processes involved in proper methylation.
Methylation is a process that is constantly happening in your body. It takes 4 main cycles to complete the pathway.
1. METHIONINE CYCLE
Methionine is the primary “methyl donor”. The “CH3” methyl groups are the way the body communicates – utilizing methyl groups, like keys, to turn on and off genes and activate or deactivate chemical processes. Methionine donates a methyl group to the body and turns into homocysteine.
Why fuel your body with folate & Vitamin B12?
Homocysteine requires a properly functioning folic acid cycle (which most of us get from folic acid in 5-methyltetrahydrofolate / or folate form), B12, and TMG to regain that methyl group and turn back into methionine. This process is critical for the rest of the pathway.
The Body’s Major Antioxidant
Homocysteine can also down the CBS pathway and affect our bodies ability to make glutathione, the major antioxidant in our body.
2. FOLIC ACID CYCLE
The importance of getting the right Folic Acid for your body is the reason we offers supplements like Methyl CPG we at Excell (ingredients of Methyl CPG shown in photo on the right). Our body converts man-made folic acid (THF) into active and usable folic acid using the enzyme METHYL TETRA HYRDA FOLATE REDUCTASE. This is a very important conversion as activated folic acid is important for the entire pathway to function properly. Many of us – over 60% of us have genetic inability to use this enzyme effectively. We can very easily use genetic testing to see if our patients have this genetic “SNP”, to what extent the “SNP” affects us and treat using supplements.
Person’s with this genetic “SNP” should use caution and avoid regular folic acid found in supplements or enriched foods. Look for methyltetrahydrafolate or folinic acid.
3. NEUROTRANSMITTER CYCLE:
In a word, this pathway affects MOOD. It uses “biopterin” or BH4 along with B vitamins and other minerals to make and breakdown serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine etc.
The most important take away is the activated folic acid is required for BH4 activation. Every step in this methylation cycle is a genetic “SNP” possibility. We have the ability to look at these genes and individualize treatments for patients. Often we do not need the detailed genetics but can use a good history to support the proper functioning of this pathway.
4. THE REST OF THE PATHWAY
Although we spend a lot of time with the first 3 pathways, we know that optimizing these pathways affects crucial functioning in our bodies.
If “methyl groups” are readily available, folic acid can be activated, neurotransmitters can be made and broken down – we are methylating properly. When we methylate properly, we can control our ability to make energy in the Krebs acid cycle. We can determine brain cell health. We can allow our body to detox the harsh toxins found in our environment. We can balance our immune response with T-cells and B-cells and so much more. Proper methylation is essential to life.