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Methylation and the MTHFR gene mutation - should you be concerned?

Methylation and the MTHFR gene mutation - should you be concerned? | Mr Vitamins

What is methylation and why is it so important?

Methylation is the addition of certain chemical groups called methyl groups to proteins, DNA and other molecules in order to keep them in good working order. In simple terms the addition of the methyl group has the effect of turning a chemical process on. There are hundreds methylation reactions occurring in the human body. Indeed if methylation stopped working altogether death would soon follow. Many common states of ill health can be linked to or can partly involve methylation processes in your body that aren't working to their full capacity. For example, having optimal methylation processes in your brain means your brain can make and use the neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine correctly. If somebody is undermethylatimg then serotonin and dopamine may not be made and used properly. This can result in symptoms of deficiency of these neurotransmitters such as anxiety and low mood.

Methylation, Pregnancy and Heart Disease

Undermethylation in the first trimester of pregnancy can result in neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Without proper methylation levels the toxic amino acid homocystine can increase in your blood, which is been linked to various common disease states such as heart disease. Adequate methylation is needed to turn on detoxification processes, which allow your body to eliminate many toxic wastes that build up as a result of normal metabolism. Adequate methylation of certain parts of your DNA is needed to switch off certain genes and prevent unwanted DNA division as occurs in cancer.

Is the answer in your Genes or your Nutrition?

Common causative factors of undermethylation include certain gene mutations and nutrient deficiencies including vitamins B6,  B12 and folate or the reduced ability to use these nutrients. One such gene mutation is known as the MTHFR gene mutation.

Peter RadiPeter Radi – Senior Naturopath and Nutritionist

Peter Radi is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist and has been in clinical practice since 2000. Having completed many years of research, Peter can give you specific health information on Methylation and arrange for you to find out if you have an MTHFR gene mutation through a simple test. The MTHFR test is available as a mouth swab with a cotton bud or a blood test. Learn more about Peter here  Overmethylation also occurs and this will be the subject of a future article.