What is Methylation and why is it important to test?
Methylation is one of the important epigenetic processes by which gene activity is turned on or off, up or down, often in response to environmental triggers and can then impact our health.
Epigenetics is the study of changes to an organism caused by modification of gene expression, rather than by changes to the DNA itself. In other words, these changes affect our health by “dialing” genes activity up or down without altering the genes. As methylation affects how genes express, methylation can accelerate disease or slow it down or stop it. It’s important to have the right amount of methylation …. Not too much and not too little.
All the cells in our bodies have the same DNA sequence: a cell from your heart has the same DNA as one from your stomach. That means some other process decides how individual cells develop and differentiate.
(All information has come from Dr Ann Shippy MD)
If you would like support going through your personal report from Genova you will need to book a two-hour Diagnostic Consultation Appointment with Jo Abbott.
During this appointment Jo will be able to explain your results and plan, with you, the steps you need to do to improve these results. No stone will be left un-turned.
There is no one protocol – you are an individual and your support will be targeted towards you and your specific lifestyle needs.
The Science Bit…
What is Methylation?
Methylation is a chemical process that happens billions of times per second in every cell of the body.1Methyl groups are transferred and donated between many different molecules which change their structure and function. Methyl groups act like billions of switches which turn genes on or off, help regulate mood, detoxify hormones, produce energy, and promote healthy ageing.
Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids from the diet are needed to keep this process running smoothly. There are also genetic factors and oxidative stressors which can affect how well this pathway works.2
Why is Methylation important?
Methylation is needed to create DNA and RNA and regulate gene expression. It helps make creatine, which is needed for skeletal muscle contraction. Methylation is involved in basic energy production, fat metabolism, immune responses, vascular health, and cell membrane repair. It produces and metabolises neurotransmitters to regulate mood. Methylation also works to neutralise toxins and hormones.
Methylation defects have been associated with many clinical conditions including, but not limited to cancer, autism, ADHD, congenital and neural tube defects, cognitive decline, depression, cardiovascular disease, and schizophrenia.3-11
What advantage does the Methylation Panel offer compared to other diagnostics?
Genova’s Methylation Panel combines biomarkers with genetic information in one profile. Some genetic predispositions are not always expressed, therefore seeing combined results offers greater insight.
Not only does the Methylation Panel assess the methylation cycle, but it also incorporates the folate cycle and transsulfuration. Because these three processes are interconnected, the Methylation Panel is able to provide a complete picture regarding methylation status.
How are the results of the Methylation Panel helpful?
The Methylation Panel can uncover needs for nutritional support such as amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Knowing this can help guide dietary and nutraceutical treatment plans. Additionally, knowing genetic predispositions can help focus supplementation to override potential methylation defects.
- Baric I, Staufner C, Augoustides-Savvopoulou P, et al. Consensus recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of inherited methylation disorders. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2017;40(1):5-20.
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