We get it: methylation is a seriously scientific term that might be causing you to scratch your head a little. But little did you know that this biological process impacts your health in many, many ways – all without you even realizing what’s going on.
Buckle up. Here’s what DNA methylation is and why it’s important.
DNA methylation is the process of transferring four atoms into various substances in your body. Or, to break it down even further, methylation is the process your body uses to add methyl groups to the DNA molecule, thereby changing the activity of a DNA segment without changing the sequence. Our bodies require methylation for normal development, plus things like:
What’s really astounding about methylation is how often it’s happening within your body – to the tune of 30 trillion times per second. Yes, that’s right: once per second, methylation happens in every single cell in your body.
In a perfect world, DNA methylation happens perfectly, and we have nothing to worry about. But hey, life happens. Methylation is affected by numerous factors, including:
In order to support the methylation process, some people need a little extra help. Methylation needs co-factors like zinc, magnesium, B2, B6, B12, Lithium, and choline to function properly. People with certain SNPs of the MTHFR gene or those with poor nutrition may need to modify their diet and/or possibly supplement these vitamins and minerals to improve methylation. Other genes that impact methylation include MTHFD and PEMT.
While this is barely scratching the surface of what methylation is, here are a few tips on how to optimize your methylation:
As you can tell, methylation is a complex process with a lot of variables at play. But with our advanced testing processes, we can get a bird's eye perspective of your methylation by looking at your genetics and your labs. For example, your homocysteine levels along with the number of B vitamins in your blood help us know how your body is actually methylating. Your SNPS will show us if you’re naturally prone to poor methylation. Together, we get a good picture of how everything is going, and we can develop a plan to improve and maintain our methylation.
Want to learn more about how you’re methylating and what we can do to optimize your methylation? Reach out to us today.