Understanding Over and Under Methylation

Stem cell biology. DNA Methylation and Cellular Reprogramming 3D illustration

When it has to do with nutrients for the body there is a need to understand not just what has the right nutrients but also over and under methylation.  What it is and how it affects you, your body’s performance, and your overall health.

I cannot stress enough the importance of the methylation process in your overall health.   Methylation groups participate in dozens of chemical reactions throughout the entire body, and brain that are essential to physical and mental health.

Methylation involves the addition of a methyl group to a molecule which acts as a biological switch for certain activities like energy production, detoxification, DNA repair, regulation of gene expression, detoxification, and synthesis of several neurotransmitters. It can act as a control mechanism to activate or deactivate multiple processes of our body. 

What your methylation status is, over or under methylation, is a major factor in a person’s personality and traits.  An example is, undermethylation is associated with perfectionism, strong will, high accomplishment, OCD tendencies and seasonal allergies.  Typical features of over methylation include excellent socialization skills, many friendships, non- competitiveness, artistic or musical interest, chemical and food sensitivities, and tendency for high anxiety.

Interestingly most people diagnosed (2/3) with mental health or behaviour have a methylation imbalance.  The 4 primary types of methylation are:

  1. Methylation of atoms – the importance is for the methylation of metals. Such as mercury or other toxic metals which impact the availability of toxins in the brain and other organs. It can also influence the rate of excretion of toxins from the body.
  2. Methylation of Molecules – There are 100’s of important biochemical reactions in which a methyl group is donated to a molecule, in most cases requiring a methyltransferase enzyme. An important mechanism for producing a wide variety of proteins in the body is the methylation of amino acids, which are organic compounds that your body needs to function.
  3. DNA Methylation – Gene expression (protein production) is regulated by methylation at certain sites along the double-helix molecule. With few exceptions methylation inhibits gene expression.
  4. Methylation of Histone Proteins – These small protein aggregates serve as structural supports for fragile DNA strains in the nucleus of every cell.

The key to understand is that the methyl status is affected by diet and environment, but genetics is usually the dominant factor.

There are labs that can be performed to identify a person’s methylation status. 

Have questions, just ask me info@mindhealthconnect.ca

Ref: Nutrient Power, William Walsh PhD

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