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What Is Methylation and Why You Should Know About It

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Effortless Genius

EXPERIENCE YOUR BRAIN FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
—George Eliot

If you’ve tried or looked at MAXIMUM MIND®, you’ve surely noticed that Marco’s Grounds uses only methylated vitamins, notably methylated B vitamins. Then you might have wondered what methylation is and why is that a good thing for you? This is what we’re going to discuss briefly here. To give you all the juice fast: methylated B vitamins are bioavailable and thus more easily absorbed so that you can benefit more at lower doses, but they also have an essential role in providing the body with methyl groups. If you read between the lines, that means you’ll get the maximum benefit for the lowest risk of going over the B vitamin toxicity range (MAXIMUM MIND® is 29 times lower than that limit)

B vitamins are notorious for their beneficial effect on the brain and nerve health. Methylated B vitamins go one step further in being more bioavailable and thus more effective at giving your brain all it needs to work at peak mental performance. 

Methylation is getting its fair share of the limelight lately, and rightly so. Methylation is a straightforward biochemical process. It transfers four atoms, one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms (CH3),  from one compound to another.

When optimal methylation occurs, it has a significant positive impact on many biochemical reactions in the body that regulate the cardiovascular, neurological, reproductive, and detoxification systems. 

You might have heard of methylation here and there, but you may not know how great it really is. Methylation is a fundamental cellular switch—a switch that keeps turning on and off billions of times a day and allows the biochemical gears of your body to turn smoothly. 

You might think of methylation as the lever that acts on everything.

Methylation helps regulate your brain chemistry, your response to stress, your immune function, the ability to keep viruses in check (including latent viruses we harbor but suppress), your capacity to detoxify, the activity and expression of your genes, as shown in an article published in Neuropsychopharmacology [1]. Methylation also controls the responses of genes to environmental and behavioral factors like diet. It’s therefore crucial that we have optimal methylation.

You’ve probably read a lot about the Godzilla of all antioxidants, glutathione, I’m sure. It’s the most potent human antioxidant. But you may not know that every moment of every day, your body comes to a fork in the road: should it activate methylation or make some more glutathione; since those two processes tradeoff. As such, an improper methylation environment will take away from glutathione production. This is huge.

An optimal balance between these two choices is the bedrock of good health. 

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B Vitamins That Matter for Methylation

“Words can inspire, thoughts can provoke, but only action truly brings you closer to your dreams.”
–Brad Sugars

CH3 is provided to the body through a universal methyl donor known as SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). SAMe readily gives away its methyl group to other substances in the body, enabling neurological, reproductive, and detoxification systems to perform their functions.

Unfortunately, the system that produces SAMe is reliant on one switch being turned on by a critical B vitamin, 5-MTHF (also known as active folate or methylfolate).

Simply put, if enough 5-MTHF is present, the methylation cycle will work efficiently.

Folic acid from the diet or supplements must be converted to this active form, 5-MTHF, before it can be in the body in the methylation cycle.

Unfortunately, approximately 65% of people have a genetic mutation that makes it challenging for their bodies to create enough 5-MTHF.

When the methylation switch is turned off and isn’t creating enough SAMe, then several essential molecules cannot be efficiently produced, including:

  • Glutathione
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Melatonin
  • Serotonin
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine
  • L-Carnitine
  • Cysteine
  • Taurine

If we don’t make enough of these active forms, we will not be able to smoothly and fluidly shift between methylation and glutathione production. Methyl B12 also assists in synthesizing new DNA and RNA and new red blood cells. It is essential for optimal neurological function, mood and memory, and bone and heart health, as shown in a publication of the American National Library of Medicine [2].

That’s why Marco’s Grounds use methylated B vitamins and methyl donors that don’t need to be converted.
 

The Good News

It might not be easy but it’ll be worth it.”
–Unknown

First, you can have a simple and easy genetic test to determine if you have a problem with your methylation cycle. This test looks at specific enzymes affected by your genetic makeup, including the enzyme MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), the most crucial enzyme involved in creating 5-MTHF.

Improving the Methylation Cycle

In addition to a healthy, whole-food, non-processed food diet, make sure you are eating a lot of these foods:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Legumes (peas, beans, lentils)

Lifestyle changes include:

  • Engage in regular physical exercise
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid excessive coffee consumption
  • Avoid cheap multi vitamins

The Bad News

“Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.”
―E. Joseph Cossman

Cheaper versions of B vitamins, notably folic acid, are not only ineffective, but they might also be harming you.

When you eat vegetables containing folate or eat flour enriched with folic acid, an enzyme called MTHFR (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) converts folic acid and food folate into 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate (methyl-folate or 5-MTHF), the active form.

Folate is a general term for a group of various tetrahydrofolate (THF) derivatives naturally found in food.

Folic acid refers to the oxidized synthetic compound used in cheaper dietary supplements, multivitamins, and processed or fortified food.

THF enters the natural metabolic cycle, which starts in your small intestine.

Synthetic Folic Acid, on the other hand, undergoes initial reduction and methylation in your liver. Where conversion to the THF form requires the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, it’s defacto taking away resources from the methylation cycle in your body.

The problem starts with low enzyme activity called dihydrofolate reductase combined with a high intake of folic acid, and you end up with unnatural levels of unmetabolized folic acid entering your bloodstream, as an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed [3]. This isn’t good. 

This is why people have high levels of folic acid and yet are still deficient in folates. 

ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS FOR METHYLATION

Motivation may be what starts you off, but it’s habit that keeps you going back for more.”
–Miya Yamanouchi

Five specific nutrients can help the methylation cycle achieve optimal performance, even if an individual has the genetic mutation that slows down the methylation cycle.

  1. 5-MTHF (active folate)
  2. Methylcobalamin (active vitamin B12)
  3. Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate (active vitamin B6)
  4. Magnesium
  5. Vitamin D

If you’ve been paying attention so far, you’ve noticed that 4 out of 5 are present in high purity non-GMO forms in MAXIMUM MIND®. 

Proper methylation influences so many systems in our bodies that it often gets overlooked, which can severely impact how well your body functions.

Ask your healthcare practitioner for advice if you have any concerns about your CH3 cycle.

Benefits of Methylated B Vitamins

Don’t tell people about your dreams. Show them your dreams.”
–Unknown

According to an article published in Drugs and Aging [4], the benefits of methylated B vitamins are as follows:

  • growth of red blood cells
  • increased energy levels
  • healthy eyesight
  • healthy brain function
  • normalized digestion
  • healthy appetite
  • proper nerve function

 

Vitamins Are only as good as they Absorb

Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.”
–Unknown

B vitamins help power your body’s critical systems. A good B vitamin can make a huge difference in your day, from mental support in converting neurotransmitters to energy to support the detoxification of sugar end products.

For example, suppose B vitamins boost your mental energy. Instead of surfing your Facebook at work because your brain is too tired to focus on more critical tasks, you can actually start working on the long-term project that will take your career to the next level.

While other compounds in MAXIMUM MIND® can help make you think more clearly, the methylated B vitamins inside can help give you the energy to actually start thinking, period.
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Literature

  1.  Moore, L. D., Le, T., & Fan, G. (2013). DNA methylation and its basic function. Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 38(1), 23–38.
  2. O’Leary, F., & Samman, S. (2010). Vitamin B12 in health and disease. Nutrients, 2(3), 299–316.
  3. Powers H.J. “Folic acid under scrutiny.” British Journal of Nutrition 2007 Oct;98(4):665-6
  4. Ford, A.H., Almeida, O.P. Effect of Vitamin B Supplementation on Cognitive Function in the Elderly: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Drugs Aging 36, 419–434 (2019).

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DISCLAIMER

The materials and information provided in this post, document and/or any other communication (“Communication”) from Marco’s Grounds LLC. or any related entity or person (collectively “Marco’s Grounds”) are strictly for informational purposes only and are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a qualified medical professional. Some of the concepts presented herein may be theoretical.

References to any non-Marco’s Grounds entity, product, service, person or source of information in this or any other Communication should not be considered an endorsement, either direct or implied, by the host, presenter or distributor of the Communication. The host(s), presenter(s) and/or distributor(s) of this Communication are not responsible for the content of any non-Marco’s Grounds internet pages referenced in the Communication. Marco’s Grounds is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information or services you chose to follow without consulting a qualified medical professional. Before starting any new diet and/or exercise program, always be sure to check with your qualified medical professional.

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