Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Methylation

What is methylation?

Methylation and glutathione

Causes of methyl imbalance

Tests for dysfunctional methylation

What is histadelia / under-methylation?

Symptoms of histadelia / under-methylation

Treatment of histadelia / under-methylation

What is histapenia / over-methylation?

Symptoms of histapenia / over-methylation

Treatment of histapenia / over-methylation

References

What is methylation?

Methylation is the addition of a single carbon and three hydrogen atoms (called a methyl group) to another molecule. Almost every biochemical reaction in the body involves methylation. In contrast, demethylation is the removal of methyl groups.

If you have a shortage of methyl groups or your methylation cycle is somehow compromised, numerous processes in your body are affected and you can get sick.

Methylation is involved in many processes, such as:

Methylation and glutathione

Glutathione is an important antioxidant that prevents cellular damage caused by reactive oxygen species. In addition, glutathione contains sulphur groups, which are sticky compounds that adhere to toxins and heavy metals before excretion.

A healthy body makes sufficient glutathione from the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamine. It can also recycle glutathione via methylation using methyl donors like vitamin B12, folate, betaine and other nutrients. Under normal conditions, your body makes and recycles enough glutathione to handle all the toxins that you're exposed to. However, if you have a high toxic load or suffer from under-methylation (histadelia), you may benefit .

Optimal methylation is important for everyone, but improving methylation is especially important if you have an autoimmune condition. Methylation plays a central role in the production and recycling of glutathione, the body's master antioxidant. Glutathione also reduces inflammation and assists other antioxidants like vitamins C, E and lipoic acid.

Glutathione optimal diet:

Causes of methyl imbalance

Here are the possible causes of over-methylation (histapenia) and under- methylation (histadelia).

Tests for dysfunctional methylation

Are you suffering from being over-methylated (Histapenia) or under-methylated (Histadelia)? Both over and under methylation can cause a variety of symptoms including mental distress and psychological disorders. It is important not to try to diagnose yourself from the list of conditions below, because many of the symptoms overlap and treating the wrong condition will end up doing more harm than good.

Histamine test using either blood plasma or urine.

Basophil blood test. If a histamine test shows levels to be high, then a basophil blood test is required to confirm histadelia as opposed to histamine intolerance.

The best way to confirm that you truly have a methylation problem is to get an MTHFR gene test. This is a simple blood or saliva test kit that can be ordered online, or done by your health practitioner. It will analyse the underlying methylation problem.

What is histadelia / under-methylation?

Histadelia, also known as under-methylation is a genetic, metabolic and biochemical condition in which too much histamine is produced because too few methyl groups are there to break down excess histamine. The body makes a compound called SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine) to donate methyl groups. Those suffering from histadelia have low levels of SAM-e. The consequence is elevated blood histamine levels that have an effect on mental and physical health. Histamine is involved in allergies and inflammation, and high levels of histamine can cause unwanted inflammatory responses. Histamine also acts as a neurotransmitter which is why imbalances can affect brain chemistry. (1, 2)

Symptoms of histadelia / under-methylation

Bear in mind that if you are suffering from histadelia you may not experience all the symptoms listed below. Your symptoms will depend upon your particular genetic polymorphisms of the MTHFR gene as well as other factors. Here is a collective list of symptoms that people with under-methylation tend to exhibit.

Treatment of histadelia / under-methylation

Treatment normally takes 8 to 12 months before the patient feels noticeably better. The correct diet can be highly effective and successful over the long-term.

What is histapenia / over-methylation?

Over-methylation (histapenia) is the polar opposite of under-methylation. Histapenia occurs when the level of methyl groups is too high. Methyl groups are very active in the brain, and high levels lead to overproduction of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. This can cause problems such as reduced motivation, reduced libido, weight gain and confusion.

Histapenics often have:

Symptoms of histapenia / over-methylation

Here is a list of possible symptoms. Understand that you will not exhibit every symptom on the list and that the severity of each symptom is highly subject to individual variation. There is even an overlap between some of the symptoms listed below and some of the symptoms of histadelia, so it is difficult to diagnose one or the other just based on symptoms. Before undergoing any treatment, it is best to get a definitive diagnosis.

Treatment of histapenia / over-methylation

I recommend that you use a health professional to decide which if any supplements are required for your specific needs. You probably will not notice any changes overnight, but may gradually feel better over the course of 3 to 6 months.

Supplements for histapenia:

References

1. Jackson J A, Riordan H D, Neathery S, Revard C. Histamine Levels in Health and Disease. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 1998, 13(4), 236-240.

2. Jackson J A, Riordan H D, Neathery S, Krier C. Blood Basophils and Histamine Levels in Patients. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2006, 21(2), 107-108.