The methylation cycle and its cofactors

Methylation is the basic process that guarantees cell division and DNA repair. Thanks to it, our body can regenerate and function normally. Supporting proper methylation is important for everyone, but especially important is for people who want to enlarge their family, for people with auto-aggression and children with developmental problems.

During the day, busy with their affairs, we rarely think about the fact that in our body, every second takes place an unimaginable number of processes that must be carefully and precisely coordinated. All chemical molecules acting on each other are interdependent and influence each other. In this maze of actions and reactions, processes methylation occur constantly at many levels.

What is this mysterious methylation?

Methylation means DNA replication, which is the reproduction of a set of genetic material conditioning our functioning and it’s quality. By the way, it participates in a huge number of biochemical transformations shaping health. It conditions the formation of such compounds as coenzyme Q10, melatonin, creatine, choline, glutathione and neurotransmitters, responsible for the proper functioning of the brain.

It depends on the quality of methylation whether malfunctioning genes, including those that can cause disease, will be active or not. Methylation is very important when we think about enlarging the family. Each of us wants to give our children the best. Cells in the body of the developing fetus divide extremely dynamically. The development and health of the growing child depend to a large extent on whether the mother’s body is supplied with the necessary cofactors for methylation.

The methylation cycle is also involved in overcoming viral infections, detoxifying the body and removing heavy metals. Methylation processes are the basis for the proper course of the Krebs cycle, in which energy is produced in the form of ATP, as well as for the metabolism of amino acids and detoxification processes occurring in the liver. Because methylation is responsible for regulating the expression of some of the defective genes, it also protects the body against the development of cancers. The quantity and quality of products in the final biochemical reactions of our body must be good enough for the processes to take place correctly and the end products to be safe for the body.

The methylation process itself is not very complicated. It is a set of several genes and enzymes that work together. Methylation means adding a methyl group (carbon plus three hydrogen atoms) to another molecule while removing such a group is demethylation.

What other elements are involved in the methylation cycle?

Vitamins play a key role in the methylation process B6, B12, folic acid and methionine. The body must obtain all these elements from food.

Genes involved in the methylation cycle are: MTHFR, BHMT, CBS, MTR and MTRR.

It should be remembered that while the methylation process is quite simple, polymorphisms on the genes involved in it can significantly hinder it. One of the most important issues are polymorphisms on the MTHFR gene and the type of folic acid. With polymorphism, MTHFR C667T supplementation ordinary with folic acid can be very harmful. In this case, will work better methyl folate. In contrast with polymorphism, MTHFR a1289C will be better, folinic acid. If we additionally have polymorphisms on genes COMT, causing this gene to work slower, an additional supply of B vitamins, especially methylated, will increase the amount of dopamine, which can cause depression and many other ailments. If, in addition, we have a polymorphism on MAOA, which accelerates the action of this gene, which causes faster burning of serotonin, a brick catastrophe. Therefore, independent experimenting with this type of supplements is quite risky. In the end, we directly influence the way our DNA replicates, and thus the entire body.

A by-product of the methylation reaction is homocysteine – a sulfur amino acid that is formed from methionine. This is an important relationship for the functioning of the nervous system and the whole body. However, too high its concentration adversely affects the body, induces inflammation and contributes to the formation of many diseases, especially those associated with the circulatory system.

You can read more about homocysteine here.

In addition, methylation disorders can lead to the formation of cancer cells, increase oxidative stress, also disrupt amino acid metabolism and slow down energy production.

Methylation disorders are very often caused by an improper diet that causes nutritional deficiencies. To increase the efficiency of methylation processes, it is worth supplementing their level and, above all, ensuring a proper, balanced diet.