Methylation & Genes
Methylation regulates many biochemical processes in the body including:
- DNA repair
- Making hormones
- Making neurotransmitters for mood regulation
- Detoxification of chemicals and toxins
- Detoxification of hormones and neurotransmitters
- Regulates immune responses and controls inflammation
- Repairs nerves through myelination
- Energy production through the KREBS cycle
When do gene mutations become a problem
It is important to understand that just because you have a SNP it does NOT mean you will necessarily have problems or diseases related to this gene. It simply illustrates a risk factor and gives you a warning that those particular enzymes involved might not be working at their full capacity. This could mean:
- It is working slower than it should
- It is working faster than it should
- It is lacking regulatory mechanisms involved in its expression
You can live your entire life with any of these mutations ever having a noticeable impact. This is where epigenetics come into play.
Epigenetics = the expression of genes. Your environment and lifestyle determines how your genes are expressed. This is mostly in your control and will be affected by the choices you make throughout your life. Factors that may influence your gene expression include:
- Chronic stress
- Nutritional deficiencies/excess
- Exposure to acute/chronic toxins/chemicals/pollution
- Infections – viruses/bacteria/parasites
- Medications such as proton pump inhibitors, antacids, oral contraceptive pill, etc.
- Gut health – SIBO
Today more people are exposed to these risk factors than previous generations, and so we see more chronic diseases than ever before.
So it makes sense that if we don’t want these gene polymorphisms to be expressed, we need to address the above risk factors, which would include:
- Eating organic food, plenty of vegetables and protein, avoiding processed or GMO foods containing chemicals and preservatives
- Avoiding fortified foods esp. with folic acid in them
- Addressing nutritional deficiencies or making sure your nutritional intake is balanced
- Reducing your stress or improving your adaptation to stress through meditation, exercise, hobbies, etc.
- Regular exercise
- Reducing oxidative stress, treating infections and removing amalgam fillings in your teeth
- Maintaining a healthy digestive system and keeping your gut microbes balanced
Treating Methylation Defects
Methylation is a fast emerging field of nutrigenomics that is still not fully understood by many practitioners. Because every person is unique and no two people have the same genetic sequence or mutations, it makes treatment extremely individualistic. This means however much we would like to have a recipe or protocol to follow, it will really only serve as a guideline. Your gene results will have to be matched to your symptoms and treated accordingly. As tempting as it is to try and treat yourself with Dr. GOOGLE, it is very important to consult with a healthcare practitioner that is either trained in methylation or is willing to learn.
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