(NaturalNews) Science has discovered certain gene mutations within many individuals that restrict their body's ability to effectively function. One of the most important mutations is methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphisms. Researchers have found this defect in close to 50 percent of the population and it can lead to very poor quality of life and increased risk of chronic disease development.
There is a specific gene is responsible for producing an enzyme called MTHFR. The MTHFR enzyme converts an inactive form of folic acid into the most active and usable form of folate necessary for the function of every cell in the body. Folic acid is unstable and unusable in the body but the MTHFR converts folic acid into methylfolate which is the most stable and usable form of this critical nutrient.
It is estimated that about 50 percent of society has an incorrect DNA base in the MTHFR gene. This is a polymorphism, which means dual shape. The altered MTHFR gene produces an enzyme with an altered shape and reduced functional ability. The lowered functionality of this enzyme leads to poor methylation and decreased neurotransmitter and SAMe production.
Methylation is the act of taking a single carbon and three hydrogen groups (called a methyl group in organic chemistry terminology) and having it attach itself to a compound in the body. When the methyl group attaches to an enzyme, it triggers the enzyme to perform an action. One common methylation activity is the breakdown of histamine.
When the body is unable to produce enough methyl groups it leads to faulty histamine metabolism in the body. When the histamine is not appropriately broken down and disposed of it can cause symptoms such as allergies, rashes, hives and asthma among other things.
The importance of methylfolate
Methylfolate helps develop neurotransmitters in the brain. This is critical for cognitive function, sleep, mood, behavior and learning. When methylfolate levels are low the body is unable to form key neurotransmitters which can result in depressive conditions, addictive behavior, anxiety, ADHD, mania, irritability, insomnia, learning disorders and other problems.
Methylfolate also helps the body convert the inflammatory compound homocysteine into a key compound known as SAMe. SAMe regulates more than 200 enzymes in the human body and is absolutely critical to life. Without enough methylfolate, one will experience low SAMe and increased risk of cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.
The function of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is to take the methyl groups and give them away to over 200 enzymes for various reactions that are critical to human health. When women are deficient in SAMe they are at a significantly increased risk of infertility and if they do conceive it is often miscarried. If they child is carried out to birth it often has congenital defects such as Down's Syndrome and/or developmental problems like ADHD and Autism.
Lifestyle factors to enhance methylation
The most important lifestyle factors for improving methylation include reducing stress, laughing, sleeping well and maintaining a positive mindset. Healthy relationships, functional fitness regimens, time in nature, deep breathing and prayer/meditation are all important factors. Chronic stress in any area reduces methyl groups and strains our body's methylation reserves.
Nutritionally, we should be eating a diet rich in good fats such as coconut products, avocados, olive oil, pasture raised butter, eggs and poultry and grass-fed beef. Be sure to get plenty of anti-oxidant rich herbs and superfoods like raw cacao and adaptogens like rhodiola, ashwagandha and holy basil. Consume natural folate rich foods such as green leafy veggies and enzyme rich fermented foods.
It is important to drink clean, filtered water and avoid plastic bottles as much as possible. Limit your exposure to environmental toxins in your personal hygiene and household cleaning products. Avoid supplementing with synthetic folic acid and folic acid enriched foods. Supplement with a methylated B complex that includes metafolin.
About the author: Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.
Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com