What is Methylation?
Methylation (also known as one carbon metabolism) is a process in the body responsible for:
?? repair of your DNA
?? production of our body’s own antioxidant : glutathione
?? production of neurotransmitters that affect : sleep, mood, appetite
?? generating new tissue : relevant for pregnancy & healing
“The significance of methylation in generating new tissue is why women are given folic acid before & during pregnancy.
1. Folic acid is a synthetic form of vit B9 and thus its administration controversial, as natural forms are also available.
2. Generation of new tissue is equally important in disease.”
What this means is that following methylation a lot of critical functions take place & when methylation is not working properly, these functions will equally suffer. Methylation function can be compromised for one of the following 3 reasons (the order is important):
?? Lifestyle factors such as stress, toxicity, diet low in protein & micronutrients.
?? Lack of cofactors. Micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) are cofactors allowing the enzymes involved in methylation to function.
?? Genetic polymorphisms (SNPs) which we inherit from our parents.
Testing related to Methylation.
You can find out the current status of your methylation by running a methylation panel test available through Health Diagnostics or Doctors Data. In UK these 2 companies are represented by Invivo Clinical & Regenerus Labs respectively.
You can find out if you carry any polymorphisms (genetic defects) in your DNA potentially affecting your methylation by running a 23andme genetic test. The 23andme results can be analysed to inform you of:
?? your genetic methylation burden
?? your requirements for supplementation
?? your predisposition to develop certain conditions
In The Nutritionist Yogi we use Opus23 as the preferred software to analyse the 23andme results. We consider their analytic capacity to be superior to the alternative software currently available.
Opus23 analytics on Methylation.
Among all genes involved in the methylation pathway MTHFR has received the most publicity. The reason for that is that MTHFR’s function is rate limiting, for methylation – meaning when MTHFR is slowed down, methylation’s speed is slowed down. It is worth remembering though that SNPs (polymorphisms) in other genes can be equally critical. Bellow you can see the MTHFR variants monitored by Opus23:
The Nutritionist Yogi / Opus23 : Methylation Report
Our Methylation report includes analysis of genes, maps but most IMPORTANTLY: algorithms! The impact of a single SNP can be either magnified or moderated depending on the presence of other SNPs. The only way to find out is if one runs an algorithm calculating the effect of the SNP combinations you carry.
The genes included in the The Nutritionist Yogi / Opus23 : Methylation Report are:
?? Folate cycle [MTHFR, SHMT2]
?? Vitamin B12 recycling [MTRR, MTR]
?? Methionine cycle [MAT1A, AHCY, BHMT]
?? Transsulfuration cycle [CBS, SUOX]
The algorithms calculated are:
?? The rate of reduced activity in the MTHFR gene based on your SNPs
?? Your risk of methyl trapping (i.e. your risk of intolerance to folate supplementation)
?? Your risk of increased pain sensitivity
?? Your risk of a H. Pylori infection and reduced vit B12 absorption