The Analyst™

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Healthy

  Methylation, Excess  
 
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Signs, symptoms and indicators | Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | Recommendations

 

What is methylation? In simple terms it is a process in which certain chemicals called methyl groups or methyl donors are added to various constituents of proteins, DNA and other molecules. These are needed to keep them in good ‘working’ condition.

For example, if the brain chemical serotonin is not methylated it will become inactive which in turns leads to depression. This is just one of the many ‘chemicals’ in the body that need to be methylated and if they are not can lead to serious health consequences.
Another important chemical that requires the methylation process is homocysteine. Homocysteine is a by product of an important amino acid - methionine - and is what remains when methionine is used to methylate your proteins and DNA. Homocysteine needs to be methylated to convert it back to methionine. If methyl donors are not available, the conversion back to methionine is hampered, producing elevated homocysteine. Both undermethylation and overmethylation can cause distressing symptoms. If either of these conditions are present, there are nutritional therapies to help correct the imbalance.

Overmethylation is the biochemical opposite of undermethylation. It is characterized by elevated levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, low whole blood histamine, and low absolute basophils.

Typical symptoms include:

Absence of seasonal inhalent allergies (hay fever)
Chemical or food sensitivities
Anxiety
Low sex drive (libido)
Obsessions but not compulsions
Tendency for paranoia and auditory hallucinations
Underachievement as a child
Heavy body hair
Hyperactivity
Restless legs
Delusions

They usually respond well to B-12, niacinamide, DMAE, choline, manganese, zinc, omega-3 essential oils (DHA and EPA) and vitamins C and E, but should avoid supplements of methionine, SAMe, inositol, TMG and DMG.
 

 
 

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Methylation, Excess:
 
 
Supplements and Medications  Worse by SSRI use
  Helped by benzodiazapines

Symptoms - Environment

  (High) chemical sensitivity
 The generalization that perfume and other chemical sensitivities are associated with overmethylation, low blood histamine, and elevated norepinephaine... is exactly that...a general rule with many exceptions.

However, the correlation seems to be above 90% in the case of perfume sensitivity. Whenever a patient enters our clinic wearing a mask to filter out inhalant chemicals, we immediately suspect the overmethylation syndrome. The chemical testing usually confirms this diagnosis, but there definitely are a few persons who have severe perfume sensitivity for other reasons.

We've evaluated about 19,000 persons, including about 1500 with anxiety disorder or panic disorder. Hundreds of these patients reported sensitivity to perfumes. Nearly 90% of the perfume-sensitive group were overmethylated, and reported multiple chemical and food sensitivities. Usually in the absence of seasonal inhalant allergies. Perfume sensitivity is a classic symptom of these high nonepinephaine persons, who usually respond beautifully to folate/B-12 therapy [1 Dec -03] [Willam Walsh, Ph.D., past senior scientist, Pfeiffer Treatment Center www.hriptc.org]

Symptoms - General

  Good pain tolerance

Symptoms - Hair

  High body hair quantity

Symptoms - Metabolic

  Hyperactivity

Symptoms - Mind - General

  Hallucinations
  Being unmotivated
  A 'foggy' mind
  Being a sociable person

Symptoms - Reproductive - General

  Difficulty achieving orgasm

Symptoms - Skin - General

  Diminished perspiration
 
 

Conditions that suggest Methylation, Excess:
 
 
Allergy  Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)

Mental

  Anxiety
 The anxiety of overmethylation tends to be internal and external - evident for all to see.

  Panic Attacks
  Depression
 More than 40% of all clinically depressed men are undermethylated and benefit from therapies which enhance methylation. Another 15% or so are overmethylated and need to head for the other goal line...... namely avoidance of methylating supplements and use of folate therapy. [Willam Walsh, Ph.D., past senior scientist, Pfeiffer Treatment Center www.hriptc.org]

Organ Health

  Dry Eye
 
 

Risk factors for Methylation, Excess:
 
 
Supplements and Medications  Worse by SAMe use
  Feel worse with antihistamine
 
 

Recommendations for Methylation, Excess:
 
 
Amino Acid / ProteinNot recommended:
  Methionine

Animal-based

  Fish Oil / Krill

Mineral

  Zinc
  Manganese

Nutrient

  Essential Fatty Acids
 Omega 3 type fatty acids, such as from fish oil, flax seed oil or the supplements EPA and DHA.

  DMAE
  Lecithin / Choline / GPC

Not recommended:
  TMG (Tri-methyl-glycine) / SAMe

Vitamins

  Vitamin B12 (Cobalamine)
  Vitamin Folic Acid
  Vitamin Niacinamide
  Vitamin E
  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
 
 


KEY
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Likely to help
Highly recommended
Reasonably likely to cause problems







GLOSSARY

Allergic Rhinitis:  Also known as hay fever, this is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes that is caused by specific allergen(s). It is an allergy characterized by sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing and a burning/scratchy sensation of the palate and throat.

Allergy:  Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.

Amino Acid:  An organic acid containing nitrogen chemical building blocks that aid in the production of protein in the body. Eight of the twenty-two known amino acids are considered "essential," and must be obtained from dietary sources because the body can not synthesize them.

Anxiety:  Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.

Basophil:  The basophils account for about 1% of the granulocyte count (60 to 75% of the white blood cells). They release chemicals such as histamine and play a role in the inflammatory response to infection.

Choline:  A lipotropic substance sometimes included in the vitamin B complex as essential for the metabolism of fats in the body. Precursor to acetylcholine, a major neurotransmitter in the brain. Choline prevents the deposition of fats in the liver and facilitates the movement of fats into the cells. Deficiency leads to cirrhosis of the liver.

Cobalamin:  Vitamin B-12. Essential for normal growth and functioning of all body cells, especially those of bone marrow (red blood cell formation), gastrointestinal tract and nervous system, it prevents pernicious anemia and plays a crucial part in the reproduction of every cell of the body i.e. synthesis of genetic material (DNA).

DHA:  Docosahexanoic Acid. A metabolite of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.

DNA:  Deoxyribonucleic acid, the large molecule that is the main carrier of genetic information in cells. DNA is found mainly in the chromosomes of cells.

Dopamine:  A neurohormone; precursor to norepinephrine which acts as a stimulant to the nervous system.

EPA:  Environmental Protection Agency. Also: Eicosapentanoic Acid. A metabolite of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.

Essential Oil:  Volatile terpene derivative responsible for the odor or taste of a plant.

Hallucination:  A false or distorted perception of objects or events, including sensations of sight, sound, taste, smell or touch, typically accompanied by a powerful belief in their reality.

Histamine:  A chemical in the body tissues, produced by the breakdown of histidine. It is released in allergic reactions and causes widening of capillaries, decreased blood pressure, increased release of gastric juice, fluid leakage forming itchy skin and hives, and tightening of smooth muscles of the bronchial tube and uterus.

Inositol:  Usually considered part of the vitamin B complex. It is thought that along with choline, inositol is necessary for the formation of lecithin within the body. Involved in calcium mobilization.

Manganese:  An essential mineral found in trace amounts in tissues of the body. Adults normally contain an average of 10 to 20mg of manganese in their bodies, most of which is contained in bone, the liver and the kidneys. Manganese is essential to several critical enzymes necessary for energy production, bone and blood formation, nerve function and protein metabolism. It is involved in the metabolism of fats and glucose, the production of cholesterol and it allows the body to use thiamine and Vitamin E. It is also involved in the building and degrading of proteins and nucleic acid, biogenic amine metabolism, which involves the transmitting of nerve impulses.

Methionine:  Essential amino acid. Dietary source of sulfur and methyl groups. Important for proper growth in infants, nitrogen balance in adults, healthy nails and skin and the synthesis of taurine, cysteine, phosphatidylcholine (lecithin), bile, carnitine and endorphins. It is an antioxidant nutrient and lipotropic agent which promotes the physiological utilization of fat.

Niacin:  (Vitamin B-3): A coenzyme B-complex vitamin that assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Essential for the health of the skin, nerves, tongue and digestive system. It is found in every cell of the body and is necessary for energy production. Niacin is also needed for DNA formation.

Noradrenaline:  (Norepinephrine): A catecholamine hormone secreted from the adrenal medulla and post-ganglionic adrenergic fibers in response to hypotension or emotional stress.

Panic Disorder:  A condition whereby an affected individual has recurrent and unexpected panic attacks and worries a great deal of the time about having another. The individual may also have persistent concern or fear that a panic attack might cause unrelated health problems or a demonstrable change in usual behavior. The symptoms of panic disorder must be present for at least one month to confirm the diagnosis.

pH:  A measure of an environment's acidity or alkalinity. The more acidic the solution, the lower the pH. For example, a pH of 1 is very acidic; a pH of 7 is neutral; a pH of 14 is very alkaline.

Protein:  Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.

Serotonin:  A phenolic amine neurotransmitter (C10H12N2O) that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the brain, blood serum and gastric membranes of mammals. Considered essential for relaxation, sleep, and concentration.

TMG:  Tri-methyl-glycine. After supplying a methyl group, TMG becomes di-methyl-glycine. DMG, a natural component of animal and plant metabolism, positively influences the immune response in laboratory animals and humans and boosts physical and mental performance.

Zinc:  An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.