In order to assist your patients in achieving full physical and mental health, it is vital to understand their biochemistry, which as we know affects methylation. 

Nearly 3 million Australians live with depression and/or anxiety. DNA methylation is profoundly connected to mental health and is one of several epigenetic mechanisms that cells use to control gene expression (protein production). For example, if serotonin is not properly methylated, it will become inactive, which in turn can lead to depression.

The methylation cycle in general is such an important factor in keeping our genes and health in good shape.  More than two hundred of our body’s functions rely on methylation.  As Dr Ben Lynch aptly describes; “Think of those two hundred functions as gardens located throughout our body. Just as gardens need water, so do those processes need methyl groups. The methylation cycle is like an irrigation system that draws water from a clean lake and distributes it to all the gardens. If something blocks or disrupts the irrigation system, some or all of those 200 gardens won’t get the water they need”.

In other words, if something blocks or disrupts our methylation cycle, some or all of our body processes won’t get the methyl groups they need or won’t be able to use them properly.

WHAT IS METHYLATION?

Methylation is a vital metabolic process that happens in every cell and every organ of the human body, taking place a million times a second. Life would simply not exist without it. Think of billions of little on/off switches inside your body that control everything from your stress response and how your body makes energy from food, to your brain chemistry and detoxification. That’s methylation.

Methylation is the transfer of a methyl group (1 Carbon atom & 3 Hydrogen atoms) onto amino acids, proteins, enzymes and DNA. The addition of a methyl group onto these molecules facilitates biochemical reactions vital to critical functions in our body such as: thinking, repairing DNA, turning on and off genes, fighting infections and detoxification (especially in the liver). It is also important for the proper functioning of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and critical for the synthesis of all neurotransmitters and histamine; for example, the enzyme that converts norepinephrine to epinephrine is dependent on methylation for activation.

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