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:
MTHFR and Migraines - The MTHFR genetic variants have been well researched and linked to a number of different chronic conditions such as an increased risk of heart disease, depression, and neural tube defects. In a nutshell, the MTHFR Read more… MTHFR and Vaccinations - I recently read, for the million-teenth time, that anyone with MTHFR variants should not be vaccinated. The argument always seems to be that those with decreased MTHFR enzyme activity cannot detoxify or handle a vaccination. This Read more… 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 Read more… MTHFR, Depression, and Homocysteine Levels - An interesting study came out this year 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 Read more… MTHFR C677T: Not All Bad! - 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 Read more… 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 Read more… COMT – A gene that affects your neurotransmitter levels - The COMT gene encodes the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase which is involved in breaking down the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. This enzyme adds a methyl group (from SAMe) to the dopamine, epinephrine, or norepinephrine molecules, thus changing them Read more…