Issues with methylation can lead to everything from trouble sleeping and depression to heart disease and cancer.
In this article, we’ll look at the direct connection to heart disease via homocysteine pathways. Elevated homocysteine levels radically increases the odds ratio for coronary artery disease; up to four times greater than increased LDL. As with virtually all labs, traditional doctors look for a “normal” or what is really an average range vs. a healthy number. As the average person leads an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle, is subluxated, and existing somewhere along the disease process; “normal” may be “common,” but not healthy
7 to 14 μM homocsysteine levels is considered in a normal range, but 8 or under is what wellness leaders will call healthy. Hyperhomocysteinemia is typically caused by genes, related vitamin deficiencies, and lifestyle.
Genetically, the SNP methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene is typically involved. Nutritionally, the presence of this variant creates a need for higher levels of folate and other B Vitamins in the diet.
Several other methylation related genes, lifestyle factors like alcohol consumption, and a diet high in methionine foods (red meat and dairy products) can also raise homocysteine levels.
The homocysteine molecule is actually required for human health and only becomes a problem when levels are elevated. When functioning well, the body converts homocysteine to methionine or cysteine, which are also necessary nutrients and not as harmful to the body. If the DNA test shows a MTHFR (Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase) variant, the process is hindered and homocysteine is elevated.
A number of SNPs are involved with methylation and alter homocysteine levels from our panel. Here they are along with the clinical action steps to take to give you and your patients the best chance for great health. (The clinical steps are also in the GLOBAL GENE INTERPRETATION document in the WA Portal):
MTHFR: This gene produces 5-MTHF from 5,10-MTHF, when this action is hindered; is can lead homocysteine accumulation.
CLINICAL ACTION : In addition to B9 (Folate), Vitamin B2 is critical to improve this reaction. Eat folate-rich foods: asparagus, green leafy vegetables, eggs, Brussels Sprouts, Citrus fruits, Broccoli, Nuts and Seeds, Papaya, and Avocado.
CBS: Is one of the body’s amazing pathways to used to keep it healthy by inhibiting homocysteine build up. It’s an enzyme necessary that convert homocysteine into cysteine.
CLINICAL ACTION : Vitamin B6 is the required co-factor for CBS.
MTR: An important enzyme in the conversion to methionine.
CLINICAL ACTION: Requires B12. Eat B12 foods: Fish, chicken, yogurt, and eggs. Ensure sufficient glutathione in these individuals through cruciferous and allium vegetables and Daily Detox
MTRR: Required in the homocysteine into methionine conversion, using MTHF produced by MTHFR as a methyl donor. CLINCAL ACTION: Requires B12, B9, and B6.
COMT: SNPs affecting its activity can also lead to homocysteine accumulation. The COMT enzyme which inactivates neurotransmitters such as dopamine and epinephrine by attaching a methyl group into their structure which stops them binding with their various receptors. This creates a number of psycho-emotional stress-effects.
CLINICAL ACTION STEPS : Magnesium, along with B2, B9, AND B12, Daily Detox, Be Calm, and stress management including: minimize caffeine and carbs, get enough sleep, exercise, smaller meals, and hugs.
Thanks for becoming THE Wellness Leader in your town
Dr. Ben Lerner