Methylation and its affect on mental health and autism
In the previous weeks we have investigated various nutritional pathways and their affect on mental health. On example being Pyrroles, an easily testable and treatable disorder. This week we will look at another phenomenon which is occurring in your body as we speak: methylation. Methylation has an impact on the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and as we will see: mental health.
Why it matters
Unlike Pyrroles, Methylation is not a condition to be treated, but more an essential, complex and fascinating pathway to be understood and supported. Patients can have dysfunction in this important pathway in a variety of ways, and the more the clinician understands the dysfunction, the better outcome can be ensured for the patient.
Methylation is a vital and complex pathway, often called “the crossroads of metabolism” and has a lasting impact on your health.
Why testing matters
Having worked in health food and pharmacy for over five years, supplements appear to be moving of the shelves at record rates. While this is not always a bad thing, prescribed supplements can ether; 1) be a possible waste of money due to no lack of deficiency and thus no need for the nutrient, or 2) Possibly make matter worse; for example toxic doses of Iron or Zinc. Testing the methylation pathways can lead to a more focused treatment that can not only produce better results, but also lead to less money spent in the long term.
Testing helps focus your treatment and can save money in the long term
Link: supplements vs consultation
How methylation affects your health
The major pathway in methylation is the “methionine pathway”. Put simply, the amino acid homocysteine is synthesized along a pathway to S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and then back to homocysteine. Not only is homocysteine toxic to both the nervous system and DNA, but dysfunction in this pathway can lead to lack of SAMe; a natural occurring anti-depressant.
Dysfunction in methylation can result in nervous system damage and depression, anxiety and other symptoms.
Now we will look at another part of methylation; the folate pathway way and the various conditions that have been associated with it.
Folate status has been linked to depression in a number of studies. As mentioned, this is linked to high levels of homocysteine, and consequently, low SAMe; resulting in depression, anxiety and fatigue.
Data showed an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) associated with gene mutations that affect parts of the methylation pathways. These mutations are now testable via functional pathologies labs.
Other conditions affecting by methylation include; obesity, coronary artery disease and infertility.
What can be done?
If you have tried various approaches to your mental health (for example anti-depressants can be ineffective if there is dysfunction in methylation) and you are seeking a rational and natural approach to your mental health; consider seeing Jeremy at Brown’s Wellbeing Centre. Along with a through consultation, he is able request various tests regarding this important pathway. Testing is easy and can be done at various labs around the Sydney area. Treatment can then be targeted on your unique nutritional needs, as treatment is certainly a “one size fits all”.
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