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The Importance of Methylation and How to Support It

Methylation is a vital biochemical process that occurs within our bodies approximately 1 billion times every second, influencing numerous essential functions. It plays a crucial role in gene expression, detoxification, neurotransmitter production, energy metabolism, and overall cellular health. Changes to normal methylation patterns can affect a person’s risk of developing an illness, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer.

What exactly is Methylation?

Methylation refers to the chemical modification of DNA, protein, or other molecules by the addition of a methyl group (CH3) to it. This process involves the transfer of a methyl group from a donor molecule, such as S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), choline, or methylfolate. The process of methylation also requires several vitamin and mineral cofactors such as B2, B6, B12, zinc, and magnesium. 

The Role of Methylation in Health:

  1. Gene Expression - Methylation plays a pivotal role in gene regulation, determining which genes are active or silenced. It can affect our susceptibility to diseases and influence our response to environmental factors
  2. Detoxification - Methylation supports our body's detoxification processes by enabling the elimination of toxins, heavy metals, and other harmful substances. It aids in the liver's detoxification pathways, promoting overall health and reducing the risk of toxic buildup
  3. Neurotransmitter Production - Methylation is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Proper methylation supports optimal brain function, mood regulation, and emotional wellness
  4. Energy Metabolism - Methylation is essential for efficient energy production in our cells. It influences the metabolism of various nutrients, including fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, ensuring proper energy utilization and overall metabolic balance
  5. DNA Repair and Stability - Methylation is crucial for maintaining the integrity of our DNA. It aids in DNA repair mechanisms and supports the stability of our genetic material, reducing the risk of mutations and promoting healthy cell division

Factors that can Affect Methylation:

  • Genetic variations 
    • collectively known as MTHFR gene polymorphisms, these negatively affect the body’s ability to methylate 
  • Nutritional deficiencies 
    • inadequate intake of methyl donors and cofactors such as B vitamins, folate, and methionine
  • Environmental toxins and pollutants 
    • harmful substances require detoxification in the body, stressing the methylation process and reducing the availability of donor molecules
  • Aging
    • with time, the body’s ability to methylate effectively decreases 

How to Promote Healthy Methylation:

  1. Balanced Diet: Ensure a nutrient-rich diet that includes foods like leafy greens, legumes, eggs, seafood, nuts, and seeds. These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants required for methylation
  2. Supplementation: Targeted supplements like methylated forms of B vitamins, SAMe, and Betaine can all help support optimal methylation
  3. Stress Management: Chronic stress can disrupt methylation patterns. Implement stress-reducing techniques such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and adequate sleep to maintain a healthy balance
  4. Environmental Toxins: Minimize exposure to toxins by choosing organic produce, using natural cleaning products, and reducing exposure to pollution and harmful chemicals whenever possible
  5. Genetic Testing: If you suspect a genetic predisposition affecting methylation, talk to our Wellness Consultants about testing options. Additionally, you can use your existing 23andMe or DNA data to receive a Personalized Genetic Report from our new PureGenomics tool

To learn more about the crucial process of methylation and to discuss your specific health condition, sign up for a Free Wellness Consultation today! 



  1.  Robert Rountree, M.D.
  3. Niculescu, M. D., & Zeisel, S. H. (2002). Diet, methyl donors and DNA methylation: interactions between dietary folate, methionine and choline. The Journal of nutrition, 132(8 Suppl), 2333S–2335S.
  4. Menezo, Y., Clement, P., Clement, A., & Elder, K. (2020). Methylation: An Ineluctable Biochemical and Physiological Process Essential to the Transmission of Life. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(23), 9311.
  5. Bollati, V., Schwartz, J., Wright, R., Litonjua, A., Tarantini, L., Suh, H., Sparrow, D., Vokonas, P., & Baccarelli, A. (2009). Decline in genomic DNA methylation through aging in a cohort of elderly subjects. Mechanisms of aging and development, 130(4), 234–239.