Methylation Cycle

Methylation is a biochemical process that involves moving a methyl group (a carbon plus three hydrogens, CH3) to something else in the cell. For example, methylation occurs in the cell nucleus where it is involved in turning on or off genes for transcription. It is also involved in converting numerous substances into their active version (e.g. melatonin) or into their inactive version. It is a process that is taking place billions of times per second throughout your body.

These methyl groups are formed, in part, through the conversion of folate to methyl folate using the gene MTHFR along with vitamin B12. The other way you can produce methyl groups is from choline.

Methylation cycle – Wikimedia Commons Image, Modified

The first stop in learning about your methylation cycle gene variants is:
Check Your Genetic Data for MTHFR.


Recent articles on methylation cycle genetics:

Genetic links to infertility for women. - The statistics on infertility are astounding. The CDC estimates that 12% of women overall in the US have impaired fertility. For women over age 30, that statistic rises to 25%! [ref][ref] Your genes may be playing a role in your infertility — and knowing which...
Should you take folic acid? - There is a lot of buzz online about MTHFR variants and the need to avoid folic acid. I’ve seen recommendations ranging from avoiding all processed foods that are fortified with folic acid — to recommendations that people with MTHFR variants need to take extra...
CBS Genetic Variants: Should you eat a low sulfur diet? - When you are getting started with learning about the methylation cycle, it is easy to jump on board with whatever is being parroted by the experts who have pretty websites (and supplements to sell you). This was true for me when starting off learning...
MTHFR and Migraines - The MTHFR C677T variant increases the risk of migraines. Learn how to check your genetic data and how to mitigate the risk.
Dads matter: MTHFR variants in fathers affect miscarriage risk - Dads matter - MTHFR variants affect sperm quality and infertility risk. They also affect the risk of miscarriage.
‘MTHFR Coffee’ with Eggs and Kale for Breakfast - Quick post this morning to recommend a good podcast to anyone looking into MTHFR variants.  Chris Masterjohn put out a well balanced and well-researched podcast a few weeks ago titled Living with MTHFR.  For those of you who don’t have two hours to listen...
Should you vaccinate your kids if they have the MTHFR mutation? - I recently read (for the millionth time) that anyone who carries MTHFR variants should not be vaccinated.  The reason given is that those with decreased MTHFR enzyme activity cannot detoxify or ‘handle’ vaccinations, often with references to mercury in the vaccines. This article reviews...
Choline – An Essential Nutrient - I just finished listening to an interesting podcast featuring Dr. Zeisel, a researcher at the NC Nutrition Research Institute.  The interview discussed the body’s need for choline and the impact of some genetic variants on our ability to produce it in the body.  So...
MTHFR, Depression, and Homocysteine Levels - An interesting study looking at MTHFR and depression was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.  The study, Correlation of Clinical Response With Homocysteine Reduction During Therapy With Reduced B Vitamins in Patients With MDD Who Are Positive for MTHFR C677T or A1298C...
MTHFR C677T: Benefits of this mutation - Much has been written about the MTHFR C677T variant, with websites and facebook groups named after it and proclaiming doom for all who have it.  This was actually one of the first variants that I had heard about and was one of the reasons...
MTR / MTRR – Homocysteine, methionine, and B12 - MTR (methionine synthase) and MTRR (methionine synthase reductase) are two genes involved in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, and a couple of fairly common gene variants cause the genes to work differently. Why is this something to care about? Methionine is an essential...
COMT – A gene that affects your neurotransmitter levels - Having trouble with supplements containing methyl groups? Wondering why your neurotransmitters are out of balance? It could be due to your COMT genetic variants. What does the COMT gene do? The COMT gene codes for the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase which breaks down (metabolizes) the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine,...
Histamine intolerance and the methylation cycle - Histamine is a molecule that plays many roles in the body. It is involved in allergic reactions, plays a role in our immune defense system, acts as a vasodilator, and is a neurotransmitter.  While most of us think of histamine only when reaching for...