Methylation – The Link Between Energy, Moods, and Detoxification

November 12th, 2013

Methylation is a fancy medical term that labels the process of biochemical reactions that either add or remove a methyl group to a compound.  For the sake and simplicity of this article, it’s important to understand that methylation is vital to optimal health and is not just one specific reaction, as there are hundreds of methylation reactions in the body that affect numerous different aspects of how well the body functions.  This article is a brief discussion specific to the importance of methylated folate, because it is currently an area of growing knowledge and research within the medical community.

So, what is all the talk about MTHFR?  What does it mean and why is it important?  If this is a term that you have heard of recently, I’m sure you have some questions about this and how this affects your health.

MTHFR stands for methyltetrahydrofolate reductase, which is an enzyme that the body uses to convert inactive folic acid to the activated or methylated form of folic acid.  Folic acid is an essential nutrient of the B vitamin category that plays a critical role in the production of genetic DNA and RNA material for new cells.   It also helps to correct mistakes made in the body’s replication of DNA and RNA, which is crucial since these types of mistakes or “mutations” in genetic material can be correlated to an increased risk of cancer.  Folate also serves to produce neurotransmitters and supports the production of immune system cells.  The body needs folic acid to function correctly, but in order for it to be successfully used on a cellular level your body needs to have the ability to properly “methylate” or activate this nutrient into the form known as 5-MTHF via the MTHFR enzyme.

This is a hot topic in field of nutrigenomics and research is really taking off in regards to defects in the MTHFR enzyme and it’s relationship to various health conditions like recurrent miscarriages and autism to name a few.  If there is a defect in the MTHFR enzyme, the body cannot adequately carry out the process of methylating folate.  Research is still pending on which medical conditions are caused by or attributed to MTHFR gene mutations, but there are about 64 different conditions/syndromes listed thus far.  Some of the most common are as follows: miscarriages, depression, bipolar disorder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, migraines, high homocysteine, atherosclerosis, essential hypertension, prostate cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.

The most common MTHFR genetic mutations are known as A1298C and/or the C677T copy.  Testing for these genetic mutations only requires a simple blood draw, yet it offers medical insight that a doctor can use to dramatically improve various health conditions.  The doctors at Vitalia have successful experience in evaluating and treating minor and complex MTHFR gene mutations.   Based on individual test results, patients are placed on a customized treatment plan to begin relieving symptoms and addressing the root cause of their symptoms.

Contact Vitalia Natural Medicine today to learn more about getting started and take advantage of a two for one special the lab is offering, where you can be tested for MTHFR and receive a comprehensive micronutrient analysis test to evaluate for nutritional deficiencies.

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