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7 Signs You Need Methylation Support

7 Signs You Need Methylation Support

Written by: Kinsey Jackson, MS, CNS®, CFMP®

Do you struggle with mood, metabolism, or MTHFR? Your methylation might be crying out for help!

Or, perhaps you already know your methylation needs support. But you've discovered that you're too sensitive for most methylation support supplements?

Fret not friend, we have your methylation solution!

What is Methylation?

First things first — let’s wrap our minds around what methylation is and why it’s so important.

Many people haven’t even heard the word methylation. Yet it’s one of the most important biochemical processes happening continually in nearly every one of your cells.

Down at the cellular level, methylation is simply the addition of a tiny molecule called a methyl group (CH3) to another molecule. This effectively ‘activates’ the receiving molecule. The body’s main methyl donor is SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). SAMe travels around the body, giving methyl groups to molecules in need. Once activated, these molecules can now perform their jobs of keeping our body systems running smoothly.

A common example of methylation is the addition of a methyl group to folate. This transforms folate into its active form known as 5-MTHF (methylfolate). Unlike the man-made form of folic acid (found in processed foods and cheap supplements), the body can directly use methylfolate in all of the important cellular processes where folate is required.

People with an MTHFR genetic mutation often have difficulties transforming folate into its active form. This genetic mutation affects the ability of the MTHFR enzyme to add a methyl group to folate. Thus, people with MTHFR gene mutations often feel much better when they supplement with methylfolate, which helps them maintain folate status and proper methylation.

Here's another common example of methylation: the addition of a methyl group to homocysteine (a marker of inflammation and cardiovascular disease). Adding a methyl group converts homocysteine into methionine, a harmless amino acid. Moreover, the addition and removal of methyl groups to and from DNA is responsible for turning genes on and off. As you can see, we need our methylation firing on all cylinders for our bodies to function optimally!

Why is Methylation Important?

Proper methylation is essential for life. Methylation is involved in many important body functions:

  • Gene expression
  • Fetal development
  • Neurotransmitter production
  • Maintaining proper homocysteine levels
  • Detoxification & processing of heavy metals like arsenic
  • Production of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant
  • Production of crucial compounds like creatine, phosphatidylcholine, and carnitine
  • Maintaining proper histamine levels
  • Mental & brain health
  • Nervous system health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Mitochondrial health
  • Reproductive health
  • Liver health

How to Optimize Your Methylation

You should be doing everything you can to optimize your body’s methylation. Why? Because it’s such a critical process! Methylation isn't something you can tend to once and be done. Methylation must be continually maintained throughout life. Problems start arising when methylation is not optimized, meaning, it’s happening slower than it should be (or the opposite: it’s happening too fast!). In general, the methylation cycle slows down when it doesn’t have enough methyl-supportive nutrients and speeds up when it has too many.

Important methylation support nutrients include:
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Methylfolate
  • Vitamin B12 in the form of Methylcobalamin
  • Choline
  • Betaine (trimethylglycine or TMG)
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
blog-methylation-support-infographic

7 Signs You Need Methylation Support

Methylation is quite sensitive to free radicals, specifically, hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is generated by the body during times of infection, mental stress (anxiety), physical stress (overtraining, obesity), and detoxification (via Cytochrome P450 enzymes). During these times, our bodies require even more methylation support.

Here are 7 signs that you may need to up your methylation game:

1. Eating too much protein?

Have you ever experienced brain fog or felt sluggish after a protein meal? The protein may have temporarily bumped up your homocysteine levels, leading to your methylation cycle needing more support.

2. Red-faced after exercising?

Excessive histamine is associated with a prolonged red face after exercising. Comprehensive methylation supports the breakdown of histamine.

> Additional histamine metabolism support may be needed: Consider Optimal ElectrolyteOptimal Liposomal Glutathione, and Liposomal Vitamin C Plus.

3. Need a pick me up?

Let’s face it, relying on caffeine and sugar is not healthy. Even some strong B vitamin formulations can be too much! Homocysteine Nutrients is the perfect dose of methyl support to give you that needed edge without putting you over the edge.

Additional energy support may be needed: Consider Energy Nutrients and Optimal Electrolyte.

4. Got MTHFR? Elevated homocysteine?

Are you one of the estimated 60% of people that has the MTHFR gene mutation? Has your lab work shown an elevated level of homocysteine? You may need methylation support!

Additional methylation support may be needed: Consider SAMe or Methyl B12 with L-Methylfolate.

5. Stressed?

Methylation reactions speed up during times of stress when we quickly burn through our nutrient stores. That’s why it’s important to replenish your methylation support after you’ve been stressed.

Additional stress support may be needed: Consider Stress NutrientsLithium Orotate and Adrenal Cortex.

6. Estrogen rising?

Two weeks prior to menses, estrogen levels start rising. Supporting methylation can also help to naturally balance your estrogen levels.

> Additional estrogen support may be needed: Consider DIM + I3CCalcium-D-GlucarateLithium Orotate, and Liver Nutrients.

7. Can't fall asleep?

Falling asleep requires that calming neurotransmitters increase (such as GABA and melatonin). At the same time, the production of excitatory neurotransmitters needs to slow down (such as histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine). Methylation is needed to help clear histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

> Additional sleep support may be needed: Consider SAMe and Optimal Sleep II.

The Problem with Methyl Support

Unfortunately, when people start taking methylation support, many discover that the majority of the supplements on the market are far too potent.
Common symptoms of too much methylation include:
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • runny nose
  • body pain
  • itchy skin

While having a potent methylation support supplement is great for some, it isn't the right fit for everyone. Many people require a gentler approach to methylation.

The problem is that most methylation supplements:
  • contain too much folate
  • contain too much vitamin B12
  • contain too much betaine (TMG)

While folate, vitamin B12, and betaine are essential for methylation, they are not the only nutrients needed. Just because you have sufficient folate and vitamin B12, doesn’t mean your methylation cycle is functioning well!

Methylation Solutions

If you know you need some hefty methylation support, try Homocysteine Nutrients. It contains active forms of four essential B-vitamins to synergistically support methylation and normal homocysteine metabolism.

If you’re wanting to gently optimize your methylation (e.g. if you are too sensitive to most methylation support supplements), consider B Complex MF.

B Complex MF was created by Dr. Ben Lynch to address the need for a supplement that supports methylation for those that are methyl sensitive. It contains the 8 essential B vitamins, including B12 and folate, but in non-methylated forms. Your body converts these non-methylated forms into the forms required for methylation. These additional steps help to slow the delivery of methylated nutrients which may lessen or prevent side effects.

Additional methylation support supplements that complement B Complex MF include:

The Bottom Line

If you know your methylation needs support, focus on eating a healthy diet that includes an abundance of methyl donors. Aim to get between 1/2 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This will help to ensure you’re getting enough methionine and the other amino acids and nutrients needed to recycle homocysteine. Include pastured organ meats a few times a week for folate and trace minerals. Consume a plethora and a variety of different vegetables, including dark green leafy veggies in the mix for B’s and other vitamins. Eating whole foods will help you to meet your body’s needs for many of the nutrients required for methylation.

 This information is for educational purposes only. No product results are implied.

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