Methylation Cycle

Methylation is a process that involves moving a methyl group (a carbon plus three hydrogens, CH3) to another molecule. 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.


  • MTHFR – Beyond C677T and A1298C
    The MTHFR C677T and A1298C variants get a lot of press but they do not give the whole picture for the MTHFR gene. There are additional variants impacting the functionality of the enzyme. (Member’s article)
  • MTHFR: How to check your data for C677T and A1298C
    Check your 23andMe or AncestryDNA data for the MTHFR C677T and A1298C variants. Learn what the scientific research shows about MTHFR.
  • Vaccinations and the MTHFR mutation? (2021 update)
    A lot of people use the MTHFR variants as a reason not to vaccinate their kids. Is there any science to back this up? See what the research says.
  • Folate-rich recipes for MTHFR
    Getting enough folate in your diet? We’ve collected some simple nutritional tools and recipes to get you on track.
  • BHMT: Genetic Variants that Impact Methylation
    BHMT is involved in homocysteine methylation and impacts the methylation cycle. (Member’s article)
  • COMT: Interactions with Supplement
    Some supplements interact with COMT variants to impact the rate at which neurotransmitters are broken down. Check your COMT genotype and discover how this may affect your reaction to different supplements or combinations of supplements.
  • Methylation Cycle Topic Summary
    Utilize our Methylation Cycle Topic Summary Reports with your 23andMe or AncestryDNA genetic data to see which articles may be most relevant to you. These summaries are attempting to distill the complex information down into just a few words. Please see the linked articles for details and complete references. (Member’s article)
  • MTR and MTRR Genes: Methylation cycle and the need for Vitamin B12
    This article explains where the MTR and MTRR genes fit within the methylation cycle. I’ll show you how to check your 23andMe or AncestryDNA raw data for the MTR and MTRR SNPs, and then explain how to optimize your diet for these variants.
  • News and Research: MTHFR C677T, Riboflavin, High blood pressure
    This new study shows that people who carry the MTHFR 677 A/A genotype are at a 42% increased relative risk of high blood pressure throughout adulthood.
  • MTHFR and Depression
    We are all genetically unique, and a common genetic variant in the MTHFR gene causes some people to be more susceptible to having low folate levels. This article explains the research linking MTHFR variants, folate, and depression — and gives you information on how diet or supplements may help.
  • Genetic links to infertility for women
    Your genes may be playing a role in your infertility — and knowing which genetic variants you carry may help you figure out solutions to try.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), MTHFR, and Genetics
    Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is an essential cofactor for many biological pathways. Learn how to check your genetic raw data to see if you may need more riboflavin.
  • Choline – An Essential Nutrient
    An essential nutrient, your need for choline from foods is greatly influenced by your genes. Find out whether you should be adding more choline into your diet.
  • COMT – A gene that affects your neurotransmitter levels
    Wondering why your neurotransmitters are out of balance? It could be due to your COMT genetic variants. The COMT gene codes for the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase which breaks down (metabolizes) the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
  • Hacking your migraines: solutions personalized for you
    Your genes play a role in your susceptibility to migraines. Find out what is going on when you have a migraine and solutions that fit your genes.
  • Should you take folic acid if you have MTHFR variants?
    Methylfolate may be a better option than folic acid if you have certain genetic variants in the MTHFR or DHFR genes.
  • CBS Gene Variants and Low Sulfur Diet
    Some clinicians recommend a low sulfur diet for people with CBS mutations. Find out what the research shows – and why that recommendation is not backed up. (Member’s article)
  • 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 – in conception, pregnancy, and throughout life. It is easy to see how prospective moms need to clean up their diets, exercise, and sleep well before getting pregnant, but recent studies show that a dad’s MTHFR variants also affect infertility and miscarriage risk.
  • ‘MTHFR Coffee’ with Eggs and Kale for Breakfast
    Spurred on by a podcast, I share a great breakfast that supports the methylation cycle. Gelatin is an excellent source of glycine, an amino acid that is often short-changed in our modern diet. You can even add it to your morning coffee.
  • MTHFR C677T: Benefits of this mutation
    The MTHFR C677T variant is one that has been studied extensively and there are negative risks associated with it. However, there are also protective effects from it. Learn more about the positive benefits of this variant.
  • High Histamine, MTHFR, and the Methylation Cycle
    Genetics plays a role in how well your body breaks down histamine. Histamine that is out of balance with the body’s ability to break it down can cause symptoms that are collectively known as histamine intolerance. Discover how to check your genes that are involved with histamine levels.