Methylation sounds like something out of a science movie but don't pass it off. Methylation is something your cells do every moment to keep you alive. It is one of those Miracles you experience every day! Methylation is basically a body process that your cells are required to do to stay alive. A biochemical process that is essential for the normal function of almost all of your body's systems. It will clear out your toxic leftovers from digestion and wear and tear! It will also repair your DNA and Methylation regulates a body chemical called Homocysteine.
If your homocysteine levels are optimal you should be able to detoxify chemicals in your body, your immune system should work well and your joints and cartilage structure will stay in good shape but most importantly your brain and heart will have all the right levels of nutrients and enzymes to work correctly!
Now here is what you need to know........Methylation requires certain vitamins to run correctly. It requires B Vitamins! If it doesn't have the B Vitamins things get ugly and some say disastrous. What your healthcare provider will see on your labs and diagnostic testing could be elevated homocysteine, osteoporosis, pregnancy related disorders, cancer, mental disorders, cardiovascular disease and even stroke. Recently Autism has even been linked to a faulty methylation pathway.
What Can I Do?
The first step is to get on products from companies that understand what is going on and therefore formulate products that WORK correclty. It is not about taking cheap B Vitamins. It is important to know that your body requires "other nutrients" that help the B Vitamins do their thing! To make a long story short there are metabolic steps and conversions, enzymes, co-factors and extra biochemical groups that all perform a dance together. They have to all be present at the same time! Any roadblock in the pathway will cause chemicals like Homocysteine to elevate. Don't forget that chemical imbalances from STRESS and MEDICATIONS will deplete your B Vitamins!
What Products Should I take to keep my Homocysteine level at an appropriate range?
What should I ask my Doctor?
Ask your doctor to tell you your Plasma Homocysteine level. Homocysteine is an amino acid produced as part of your body's methylation process. The metabolism of homocysteine is highly dependent on vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6. If you have a deficiency in any of these vitamins you may have an abnormal level of homocysteine and an abnormal homocysteine level will lead to heart disease.
Ask your doctor to tell you your MCV number. This number tells you if your have large red blood cells due to a folate or vitamin B12 deficiency or you could have an anemia. Both of these diagnosis can be a sign of impaired methylation pathways.
Finally, if you are having problems with your homocysteine levels make sure to have a simple genetic test. Having a normal homocysteine level is very important because an increased level can cause a blood clot in the veins of the body . A clot in the vein is called a venous thrombosis. The clot can break away and travel to the lung leading to a potentially fatal complication. Here is a good article to read more about homocysteine. Click Here.
The genetic test evaluates an enzyme called MTHFR SNP. This is an enzyme in your methylation pathway. One small change in that code can decrease the function of this enzyme. The two main variants that are well understood and tested for are C677T and A1298C. Your health care provider can help you supplement correctly based on this test.
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