That sounds like a pretty big word, and what it encompasses is even bigger.
Methylation is the process of over 250 different chemical reactions in your body that occurs when a methyl group is donated to another compound for proper functioning. To put it simply it is an extremely important process that needs to happen for your metabolic system, energy production, immune system, neurotransmitters, and gene regulation to work efficiently and properly to prevent disease.
As leading Neurotologist and Neuroimmune Specialist Dr. Kendal Stewart explains it, "Methylation is the gas to your car."
Without the gas to your car it doesn't matter how fancy it is, you can have fancy rims, new paint job, and incredibly built engine... but with no gas you aren't going to get too far.
You may be one of many that has a "genetic variation" or a "single nucleotide polymorphisms" (SNP pronounced snip) in your gene sequence that alters the way that gene is expressed. This can result in simple things like your hair color or eye color or it can act like have a glitch in your system causing weakness to the function.
These SNPs in Methylation can cause a host of issues and disease:
- Autism ADHD
- Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol
- Down’s syndrome
- Frequent miscarriages
- Male & female infertility
- Depression & anxiety
- Bipolar disorder
- Poor Memory
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Poor healing and muscle recovery
- Chemical Sensitivities
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Heart Attacks
- Poor Sleep
It is estimated that well over 50% of people may have a SNP in their Methylation genes. A common gene sequence is known typically as MTHFr, which stands for the enzyme needed to complete the 7th step in your folic acid pathway, methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase. There are two main MTHFr genes that are talked about that can cause problems, C677T and A1298C. Having two abnormal copies in the C677T, or being "homozygous" can mean a decrease of 70% in methylation efficiency.
And that is just in one SNP! It is all too common to have these "glitches" in other methylation steps as well, further decreasing your efficiency and cascading the disease process.
Luckily, with the science of today you can have your genes tested to see where these SNPs occur. When I test my clients we check 26 of the most important genes for health and disease prevention with just a swab of your cheek.
A common issue with testing is that many people simply just test the most popular methylation gene, C677T, and forget about testing the rest. We test 6 total methylation genes to get an accurate picture of your efficiency. You may be normal with the popular SNPs and have abnormal copies in the others, which will still lower your efficiency and can lead to disease. Using this targeted testing method can show us where we need to support you in the methylation, neurotransmitter, detoxification, and energy production systems in which your body may be genetically weak in.
Why you should test your family
You may think, "oh I feel fine," or "my child is completely normal," and that may be how it feels at that point. But with these glitches in the system, you may run out of gas soon causing issues that seem to come out of no where.
It is not that MTHFr SNPs actually cause a disease in your body, but a triggering stressor happens that can dig you in the hole. Stressors may be environmental, emotional, injury, sickness, disease, or life cycle changes such as puberty, pregnancy, or in the elderly, that can create a higher demand for methylation in the body. You can fall into a depleted state and when you have lowered efficiency in methylation that means you do not have the resources or the "gas" to get back to normal and get the car running again.
Having the power now to KNOW where your in-efficiencies are can support your body through all of these stressors so that you never run out of gas and cascade to disease. You have the power to prevent a health crisis. With this support you can help suppress those inflammatory and disease genes from "switching" on and instead create a healthy, efficient "well oiled machine" so that you can lead a happy, quality life. This is a test you only have to do once in a lifetime as these SNPs will not change.
Getting tested is especially recommended for those with these common conditions or a family history and risk:
- Mood imbalances and disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Heart disease or stoke
- Autism or ADHD
- Chronic fatigue or adrenal dysfunction
- Depressed immune system
- Chemical sensitivities
- Food allergies
- IBS and digestive disease
- Pre-conception: preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy and baby
Personalized care and recommendations
It is incredible through science and research the ability we have to truly personalize care and provide support.
Knowing your genetic makeup gives you the ability to support your body, prevent disease, and provide optimal function and health. All too easily we may throw away hundreds or thousands of dollars a month on supplements and health "foods" trying to support our body. But by knowing your SNPs you can KNOW what vitamins are even working in your body or if you are throwing them down the toilet. Without proper validation of your genetic makeup and function many supplements are not being delivered into your cells efficiently where they are needed. This can be a real waste of money spent trying to get healthy.
After testing, I can provide you with recommendations of researched, bio-available supplementation that your body needs to fill in the gaps you genetically can not support yourself. This means less waste on time and money for things that may or may not have any effect. An example is providing your body with active forms of critical B vitamins that bypass your genetic weaknesses. Having a targeted testing approach and support for knowing what to do about it can save you a headache from the overwhelming and confusing public gene testing options available.
Why you must FIRST methylate
As we have said, Methylation is the gas to your car. You must first have proper and efficient methylation (or supported forms) in your body before other very important processes can take place. This is why knowing your methylation efficiency and genetic SNPs can be the critical point of healing that many are missing.
Testing your genetics is a component of a truly holistic, personalized, functional nutrition and health care approach. I use scientific, evidenced-based testing, and attention getting to know your history, symptoms, preferences and concerns, and stay up to date with research and education to create a strategic health care approach fit for your unique bio-individuality.
With proper support you can make significant changes in your life. Knowing your genetic makeup may be the key to getting to the root cause of your symptoms and finding optimal health.
This is just a short introduction into the world of genetic testing and how we can use it to personalize your nutritional approach. Stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter on the home page to learn more!
Visit my Genetic Testing Services Page to learn more about the process of testing and to set up your testing and consultation now.