If you struggle with mood, metabolism, MTHFR or a myriad of health conditions, then your methylation might be crying out for help.
Or perhaps you already know your methylation system needs support, but have found that you're just too sensitive for most methylation support supplements.
Fret not friend, we have your methylation solution!
What is Methylation?
First things first — let’s wrap our minds around what methylation is and why it’s so important.
Many people haven’t even heard the word methylation, yet it’s one of the most important biochemical processes happening continually in nearly every one of our cells..
Down at the cellular level, methylation is simply the addition of a tiny molecule called a methyl group (CH3) to another molecule which ‘activates’ the receiving molecule. The body’s main methyl donor is SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). SAMe travels around the body, giving methyl groups to molecules in need. Once activated, these molecules can now perform their jobs of keeping our body systems running smoothly.
A common example of methylation is the addition of a methyl group to folate, which converts it into the active form of folate known as 5-MTHF (methylfolate). Unlike the man-made form of folic acid found in processed foods and cheap supplements, the body can directly use methylfolate in all of the important cellular processes where folate is required. People with the MTHFR genetic mutation have difficulties activating folate due to a genetic mutation that affects the ability of the MTHFR enzyme to add a methyl group to folate. Thus, people with MTHFR often find they feel much better when they supplement with methylfolate which helps them maintain folate status and proper methylation.*
Another example of methylation is the addition of a methyl group to homocysteine (a marker of inflammation and cardiovascular disease) to convert it into methionine, a harmless amino acid. Moreover, the addition and removal of methyl groups to and from DNA are responsible for turning genes on and off. As you can see, we need our methylation firing on all cylinders for our bodies to function optimally!
Why is Methylation Important?
Proper methylation is essential for life and is involved in many functions in the body such as:
- Gene expression
- Fetal development
- Production of neurotransmitters
- Maintaining proper homocysteine levels
- Detoxification and processing of heavy metals like arsenic
- Production of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant
- Production of crucial compounds like creatine, phosphatidylcholine and carnitine.
- Maintaining proper histamine levels
- Mental and brain health
- Nervous system health
- Cardiovascular health
- Mitochondrial health
- Reproductive health
- Liver health
How to Optimize Your Methylation
We should be doing everything we can to optimize our body’s ability to effectively methylate because it’s such a critical process. It’s not that one can simply do it once and be done. Methylation must be continually maintained throughout life,. Problems start arising when methylation is not optimized, meaning, it’s happening slower than it should be (or the opposite: it’s happening too fast!). In general, the methylation cycle slows down when it doesn’t have enough methyl-supportive nutrients and speeds up when it has too many.
Important methylation support nutrients include:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12 in the form of Methylcobalamin
- Betaine (trimethylglycine, TMG)
7 Signs You Need Methylation Support
Methylation is also quite sensitive to free radicals, specifically, hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is generated by the body during times of infections, mental stress (anxiety), physical stress (overtraining, obesity) and detoxification (via Cytochrome P450 enzymes). During these times, our bodies require even more methylation support.
Here are 7 signs that you may need to up your methylation game:
- Eating too much protein?
Have you ever experienced brain fog or felt sluggish after a protein meal? The protein may have temporarily bumped up your homocysteine levels, leading to your methylation cycle needing more support.
Additional support may be needed: Consider Pro-Digestion Intensive or Pro-Digestion Intensive Chewable to support protein digestion and normal nutrient absorption.*
- Red faced after exercising?
Excessive histamine is associated with a prolonged red face after exercising. Comprehensive methylation supports the breakdown of histamine.*
Additional support may be needed: Consider Optimal Electrolyte, Optimal Liposomal Glutathione and Optimal Liposomal Vitamin C Plus.*
- Need a pick me up?
Let’s face it, relying on caffeine and sugar is not healthy. Even some strong B vitamin formulations can be too much! Our Optimal Methylate Chewable is the perfect dose of methyl support to give you that needed edge without putting you over the edge.
Additional energy support may be needed: Consider NADH + CoQ10 and Optimal Electrolyte.*
- Got MTHFR? Elevated homocysteine?
Are you one of the estimated 60% of people that has the MTHFR gene mutation? Has your lab work shown an elevated level of homocysteine? It very well may be that you need methylation support!
Additional support may be needed: Consider Optimal Methylate Chewable, HomocysteX or HomocysteX Plus.
Methylation reactions speed up during times of stress when we quickly burn through our nutrient stores. That’s why it’s important to replenish your methylation support after you’ve been stressed.
Additional stress support may be needed: Consider Optimal Adrenal, Lithium Orotate and Adrenal Cortex.*
- Estrogen rising?
Two weeks prior to menses, estrogen levels start rising. By supporting methylation, estrogen levels may become more balanced.*
Additional estrogen support may be needed: Consider DIM + I3C, Calcium-D-Glucarate, Lithium Orotate and Liver Nutrients.*
- Can't fall asleep?
Falling asleep requires that calming neurotransmitters increase (such as GABA and melatonin) while excitatory ones decrease (such as histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine). Methylation is needed to help clear histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.*
Additional sleep support may be needed: Consider SAMe and Optimal Sleep.*
The Problem with Methyl Support
Unfortunately, when people start taking methylation support, many discover that the majority of the supplements on the market are far too potent.
Common symptoms of too much methylation include:
- runny nose
- body pain
- itchy skin
While having a potent methylation support supplement is great for some, it isn't the right fit for everyone and can be too strong for many.
The problem is that most methylation supplements:
- contain too much folate
- contain too much vitamin B12
- contain too much betaine (TMG)
While folate, vitamin B12, and betaine are essential for methylation, they are not the only nutrients needed. And just because you have sufficient folate and vitamin B12, it doesn’t mean your methylation cycle is functioning well!
If you know you need some hefty methylation support, try HomocysteX or HomocysteX Plus which contain active forms of four essential B-vitamins to synergistically support methylation and normal homocysteine metabolism.*
If you’re wanting to gently optimize your methylation as you are too sensitive to most methylation support supplements, consider Optimal Methylate Chewable.
Optimal Methylate Chewable was created by Dr. Ben Lynch to address the need for an easy-to-take vitamin that supports methylation quickly, comprehensively, and gently. This lower dose of methylation support is the solution for those of you who are sensitive to the higher doses found in most supplements. This gentle dosage allows you to optimize rather than overwhelm your methylation cycle. By supporting methylation gently, common unpleasant side effects of taking methylation support may be lessened or prevented completely.*
Optimal Methylate Chewable come in an easy-to-take and tasty chewable tablet. We’ve included active forms of folate, vitamin B12 and nine other targeted nutrients to help support and optimize healthy methylation processes throughout the body.
Additional methylation support supplements that complement Optimal Methylate Chewable include:
- Optimal Liposomal Glutathione or Optimal Liposomal Glutathione Plus
- PQQ Lozenge
- Optimal Electrolyte
- Optimal Adrenal
The Bottom Line
If you know your methylation system needs support, focus on eating a healthy diet that includes an abundance of methyl donors. Aim for getting between 1/2 and 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to ensure you’re getting enough methionine and the other amino acids and nutrients needed to recycle homocysteine. Include pastured organ meats a few times a week for folate and trace minerals. Consume a plethora and a variety of different vegetables, including dark green leafy veggies in the mix for B’s and other vitamins. Eating whole foods will help you to meet your body’s needs for many of the nutrients required for methylation.
If you need a bit more methylation support, consider Optimal Methylate Chewable for that extra edge without putting you over the edge!