MTHFR Perth – what is methylation?
MTHFR Perth – what is methylation?
MTHFR – Perth Functional Medicine
Methylation is a biochemical process that is a part of almost every other process to some degree. The MTHFR gene is one of the key enzymes involved in the methylation pathway. It is a key biochemical pathway that influences your energy production, detoxification, hormones, mood and ageing.
Methylation is the process of transferring a methyl group (CH3) from one substance to another in the body, this transfer alters the function of compunds within the body. From a biochemistry view, a methyl group is one carbon atom attached to 3 hydrogen atoms (CH3).
Being a messenger that switches and changes the process and function of multiple substances such as DNA synthesis, methylation is extremely important. Methylation is required to control many master functions similarly as the production of ATP is important for energy production,
What does Methylation do?
- Regulates and switches Gene
- Reduces the aging process
- Processes Estrogen
- Detoxifies heavy metals and other toxic substances
- Builds immune cells
- Lowers histamine
- Repairs cell membranes and nerve myelination
- Supports neurotransmitters to prevent depression, anxiety and other mood disorders
- Supports sleep and brain function
As you can see, methylation has its influence on so many major functions of the human body. Therefore, it is crucial to have the process balanced to ensure overall health and well being. At our Perth MTHFR and Functional Medicine clinic we prioritise methylation as one of the main areas to correct in many chronic health cases. MTHFR and poor methylation contribute to so many diseases that there are too many to list. These diseases include cardiovascular disease, mental health conditions, cancer, diabetes, hormonal complications and thyroid problems.
Methylation occurs as part of the methionine biochemical pathway in the human body. The process relies on the following key nutrients.
Nutrients that support methylation
It is one of the key nutrients necessary for methylation cycle. Methyl folate is the active form of folate that derives from synthetic folic acid through the folate pathway. In addition to being a very demanding process on the body, it also causes blockages in the production of methylfolate. Therefore, people with MTHFR polymorphisms, particularly those that are compound heterozygous, should avoid folic acid and use either folinic acid or methylfolate.
It is a key-ingredient to pair with methylfolate at the MTR snp. B12 needs conversion either from cyanocobalamin (synthetic) or hydroxocobalamin as a methylcobalamin supplement.
Methionine is an amino acid that we obtain from animal proteins
It is a co-substrate in the methionine cycle that donates its methyl group to the various requirements throughout the body
It is a key co-factor in the methylation cycle, specifically important to assist various enzymes in the conversion of methylfolate.
It is also known as betaine. TMG increases the activity of the BHMT enzyme that is a shortcut in the methylation cycle. This assists in lowering homocysteine and increasing SAMe, therefore increasing methylation. This pathway also requires zinc as a cofactor.
Genetic Testing in Perth for MTHFR and other genetic mutations
According to an estimate, around 50% of people in Australia have MTHFR gene mutations. This causes the conversion of folate into methylfolate to be down-regulated. Subsequently, we notice slowing or blocking the methylation process.
However, it is easy to check out if you have a MTHFR gene mutation. You can undertake genetic testing specifically for MTHFR or for whole genome. This can uncover many possible gene mutations that may need additional support pending your diet and lifestyle. There are other common genes such as COMT, MTRR, MAOA, DAO, CBS and GST that have a lot of medical research include
Factors that affect methylation
Pollution and BPA
Chemicals & heavy metals
Lead, mercury, and glyphosate
Mental and physical stress
Methylation slows as we age, ensuring adequate available nutrients assists in this process.
Antacids and methotrexate
A diet low in folate, B12, methionine as well as other cofactors will impair methylation
Alcohol slows the MTR enzyme which is specifically a key junction in the methionine cycle and uses methyl groups in the clearance of alcohol
Bacteria & virus’s
Gut pathogens, viral loads, SIBO, yeast and fungal infections
Functional medicine Perth – MTHFR & Genetic testing
Since this helps in understanding the operation of methylation cycle, it is important to assess your MTHFR status. Having a gene variation with one or both of the well-researched MTHFR enzymes doesn’t mean that you have a methylation issue.
A genetic test will ascertain whether you have polymorphisms in those genes. Specifically, blood testing will measure key markers of the methionine and folate cycles. For example, SAMe, SAH, homocysteine and various folate levels.
There are many key factors to understand when balancing methylation and understanding how other body systems interact with methylation. A compromised gut will impair methylation through bacterial overload as well as through toxin production too. A lack of methylation will impact our neurotransmitters. Its most common consequences are behavioural changes and mood disorders.
We perform advanced testing around methylation and genetic testing at our Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine. Our experts also have a deep understanding of other enzymes that affect a range of functions within the body. We provide advice on factors such as diet, lifestyle and supplemental recommendations. They are based on your presenting complaints and understanding of blocks in your biochemical pathways.