We’re going through a wellness renaissance. Science is digging ever deeper in its understanding of our bodies’ complexities and all the ways we can improve our health.
One function of the body we’re digging into is the methylation cycle.
Let’s dive deeper into what exactly the methylation cycle is and how it ties in with your DNA.
What Is the Methylation Cycle?
First things first, let’s talk a little about methyl.
Methyl results from a carbon atom bonded with three other hydrogen atoms. A methyl group serves an important role in the body as its chemical composition interacts with other molecules in such a way that either turns that particular molecule on or off.
Methylation is the interaction of these methyl groups with other chemicals in the body and acts as an on and off process at a molecular level in our bodies.
Given that methylation happens at such a fundamental level, the resulting chemical changes have a wide impact on how the body functions. The methylation cycle describes a critical process in our bodies, from the regulation of neurotransmitters, the repair of our genetic code and how they’re expressed, and the creation of even more molecules for other key biological processes.
What Does Methylation Cycle Do For You?
So, we can see how essential the methylation process is to the function of our bodies. But in a big picture sense, how does the methylation cycle help you? How does it help you live a happier, healthier life?
Methylation is how we can ensure the health of our genetic code. It’s a perfect example of epigenetics, a phenomenon where external factors like our diet or our environment can affect and determine how our genes express themselves.
Our DNA isn’t some static thing that tells our whole life story from the day we’re born. Epigenetics reveals that how we live our lives determines how all the Gs, Ds, As, and Ts in our DNA work.
Methylation is a critical process in moderating and improving the health of our DNA itself.
What Areas Benefit?
So, again, what’s the big picture? We’re talking DNA here, so it takes a minute to step back far enough where we get a real-life perspective. Let’s jump into some topics where we can see just how an active methylation cycle helps us.
Methylation and Better Mental Health
By nature of its chemical process, methylation plays a huge role in the production of neurotransmitters, the molecules in our brain that determine, well, pretty much how we think and feel, amongst other things.
Neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, adrenaline, and so on all determine not just our mood and our thoughts but how our bodies act. They’re the chemicals zipping around in our brains that really make us who we are.
Deficiencies in certain neurotransmitters are key predictors for mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and so much more. Given that methylation is such an important part of chemical production in our bodies, especially the brain, a sharpened, healthy methylation cycle can help the body produce the neurotransmitters it needs to think clearly and feel happy.
Methylation Affects Our Mental Health in Countless Ways
Methylation's impact on our mental health really cannot be understated.
It serves as a pathway for the transportation of neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. Methylation makes sure your brain is getting the chemicals it needs, mitigating the symptoms of many mental health conditions.
Methylation also helps transform neurotransmitters, converting norepinephrine into adrenaline, a huge part in helping you stay sharp when stress comes around, and serotonin into melatonin — any insomniacs out there?
Not to worry though, because methylation helps create the building blocks of serotonin by converting chemicals like tryptophan into 5-HTP, which is a key precursor to that happiness-boosting chemical.
Methylation and Treatments
As we age, the methylation process begins to wear down.
From a decline in hormone production to a weakened immune system, age-related degeneration of the body has been associated with changes in our methylation cycle as we get older.
As mind-blowing as it may be, medical science is getting so advanced that DNA treatments are quickly entering the realm of possibility. When it comes to treatments and therapies, methylation plays a significant role.
Given the fundamental function of the process, the strong correlation between methylation and life longevity does make sense, and science is looking into how we can alter methylation to support our health instead of age us.
How to Nurture the Methylation Cycle
Seeing how important the methylation cycle is, you might be wondering how you can ensure your body is operating at its peak capacity with a strong methylation cycle to keep your genes churning away.
B vitamins are super important to keeping a healthy methylation cycle going. Specifically, B12 plays a huge role in methylation, and vitamins B2 and B6 are important in the metabolic process that helps methylation chug along. Folates, water-soluble vitamin B supplements, are also a solid way to foster methylation.
Diet and lifestyle can help you keep a solid methylation process. Leafy greens like spinach have lots of folates in them. Liver contains a significant amount of vitamin B. Beans and legumes also have solid amounts of vitamin B and amino acids.
Supplementation, like with Lifeforce Methylation, is another great option to optimize the methylation cycle by delivering activated B vitamins, folate, iron, and magnesium.
As with any diet change, you should always consult your physician or a medical professional to see what supplements may or may not be right for you.
Check Out Lifeforce to Learn More Secrets to Healthy Living
At Lifeforce, our mission is to provide you with the information, tools, and expert support that make midlife your peak life.
Head to MyLifeforce.com to see our full range of clinician-grade supplements that will optimize your performance. There you’ll also find key tools and resources to help you operate at your peak, along with science-backed strategies that will empower you to make the middle chapters of your life the best ones.
From resources on supplements, to insights on the human body, like the methylation cycle, Lifeforce is your go-to resource for all things health and nutrition.