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Methylation is a critical process that happens trillions of times in every cell each minute. It is one of the most essential metabolic functions of the body and is dependent upon a variety of enzymes. Adapting to stress and the challenges of life is an aspect that methylation provides the body. Without adequate methylation processes the individual cannot adapt effectively and will suffer the delirious effects of accelerated aging (1).
Methylation is a controlled transfer of a methyl group (one carbon and three hydrogen atoms) onto proteins, amino acids, enzymes and DNA in every cell and tissue of the body to regulate healing, cell energy, genetic expression of DNA, liver detoxification, immunity and neurology.
Why is Methylation Important for Health?
Methylation is involved in almost every bodily biochemical reaction, and occurs billions of times every second in our cells. That’s why figuring out where there are challenges in the cycle and how to help it perform better will significantly improve our health.
There are many key functions of methylation, for example methylation is intimately involved in all of the following processes:
What Influences the Methylation Process?
Methylation is regulated by key enzymes and cofactors for activation (17). This process is dependent upon certain vitamins and minerals. When we are deficient in the necessary substrates and cofactors it compromises the methylation processes.
There are many key nutrients that play a role in methylation. These include magnesium, B2, B6, folate, B12, niacin and others (18). Many people consume diets that are deficient or deplete their bodies of these key nutrients. Other individuals have genetic polymorphisms that reduce their ability to absorb and utilize these nutrients.
Medications such as birth control pills, NSAID’s and antacids deplete these nutrients and consume massive quantities of methyl groups for proper detoxification (19, 20). Heavy metal exposure, chronic infections, alcohol consumption and heavy emotional stress also deplete methyl groups and put us at risk.
Introducing Methyl Power:
This is one of my major methylation supplements because it provides all the key methylation based nutrients in a highly bioavailable form. These include:
B2 – in it’s bioactive form Riboflavin 5’-phosphate (R5P) Riboflavin plays a key role in the activation and conversion of other B vitamins. For instance, it is necessary for activation of vitamin B6, conversion of tryptophan to niacin, and conversion of folate to its various active forms.
As with many B vitamins, riboflavin must be converted to its active form – riboflavin 5'-phosphate (R5P) – in order for it to be utilized by the body. Because absorption of riboflavin occurs in the upper GI tract, a compromised digestive system can adversely affect the body's ability to convert riboflavin to R5P.
B9 – Bioactive forms include folinic acid, calcium folinate and methyl-folate. This product uses bioactive formsL-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate from L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt.
Synthetic folic acid supplements are not natural forms and can be very toxic for certain individuals (23). Folinic acid is the natural form found in foods. Folate deficiency is believed to be the most common vitamin deficiency in the world due to food processing, food selection, genetic polymorphisms (MTHFR) and intestinal disorders (24). Folinic acid in the body can be converted into any of the other active forms of folate.
B12 as Methyl-Cobalamin:
Methyl-Cobalamin is the most bioactive form of B12 that the body needs. This is essential for recycling homocysteine and the formation of methyl donors involved in cardiovascular function, sleep, blood cell formation, and nerve function (25).
Most vitamin B12 supplements contain cyanocobalamin; however, the liver must first "detoxify" the cyanide molecule and attach a methyl group to form methylcobalamin from the cyanocobalamin. Methylcobalamin is already in the biologically active, tissue-ready form.* Human urinary excretion of methylcobalamin is about one-third that of a similar dose of cyanocobalamin, indicating substantially greater tissue retention.
TriMethylGlycine: Betaine Anhydrous
Trimethylglycine or TMG is a powerful molecule that mediates water balance of a cell due to it being an osmolyte and is also able to support methyl donation in the body by directly methylating homocysteine or indirectly supporting folate and SAMe metabolism and supporting whole body methylation processes.
Vitamin B6 as Pyridoxal 5'-Phosphate
Vitamin B6 assists in the balancing of sodium and potassium as well as promoting red blood cell production. It is linked to cardiovascular health by decreasing the formation of homocysteine. Pyridoxine helps balance hormonal changes in women and aids the immune system. Lack of pyridoxine may cause anemia, nerve damage, seizures, skin problems, and sores in the mouth (28). It is required for the production of major neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. This is why it is implicated in the treatment of depression and anxiety (29).
Why I Love This Supplement:
This is one of my 2 go to supplements when I suspect extremely slow methylation processes and deficiencies in key methylators. I use this instead of the Methyl SP product in more extreme cases of slow methylation and indivuals with a homozygous MTHFR gene mutation. It is highly bioavailable and cost effective and has proven clinical results.