Nutritional Genomics

Biochemistry of DNA Methylation

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Introduction to Methylation

Methylation, also known as one-carbon metabolism, is a biochemical process which triggers methylation activity. A methyl group, one of the most common structural units of organic compounds, is made up of one carbon atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms (-CH3). A methyl group, added or removed from proteins or nucleic acids, can generally be created in two different ways, including by:

  1. The attachment of a hydrogen atom to methylene atoms (-CH2-), promotes the production of the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, or MTHFR. The product of this reaction is known as 5-methylTHF.
  2. The change of a methyl group, such as catechol-O-methyltransferase, also known as COMT, and DNA methyltransferase, also known as DNMT enzymes. DNA methyltransferase enzymes utilize methyl groups from active S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe.

SAMe transforms to S-adenosyl homocysteine, or SAH, and then homocysteine demonstrated in Figure 1. Homocysteine can also convert to methionine through one of two different pathways. The dominant pathway, via methionine synthase conversion, requires the exchange of a methyl group from 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5-mTHF, where it is created by the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, or MTHFR, the most well-known enzyme in the folate metabolic pathways.

A secondary pathway for methionine biosynthesis from homocysteine is via betaine homocysteine methyltransferase, which occurs in the liver and kidneys. Homocysteine may also trigger another biochemical pathway, particularly during states of increased oxidative stress, which transforms homocysteine to cystathionine to taurine, glutathione, or sulfate. The transsulfuration pathway is permanent, however, in order to produce glutathione, homocysteine may be utilized to generate SAMe, among other pathways.

Dietary folate can be found in a variety of foods as substances known as pteropolyglutamates. In order to be absorbed efficiently, the polyglutamate is hydrolyzed in the intestines into a monoglutamate known as tetrahydrofolate or THF. Folic acid, on the other hand, the most well-known synthetic form of the nutrient utilized in food fortification, must be decreased by the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, or DHFR, twice in the liver where it will need the addition of two hydrogen atoms before it can convert into THF.

Most essentially, DHFR activity may often vary and it may ultimately decrease. DHFR activity in the liver is also 56 times slower in humans, according to research studies, meaning that we should be careful when we translate the pharmacokinetic outcome measures of folic acid in animals. Oftentimes, doctors and functional medicine practitioners will utilize other forms of supplemental folates including 5-mTHF and folinic acid, or 10-formyl THF, to avoid a potential DHFR blockage, and in the case of 5-mTHF, with the purpose to prevent polymorphism blockages at the MTHFR enzyme. Many research studies have demonstrated these findings.

Research studies comparing the effects of 5-mTHF versus folic acid on folate have demonstrated that methylation can also be effective at raising folate levels. Folinic acid is sometimes utilized to support cerebral folate levels in certain circumstances where auto-antibodies transport folate to proteins at the blood-brain barrier. Understanding the biochemistry of methylation is only the introduction to methylation. Nutrition and lifestyle modifications have been demonstrated to help with methylation support.

Methylation, the transfer of a methyl group to an organic compound, can be divided into two basic types: chemical and biological. The regulation of methylation in the human body is promoted through modifications to DNA and that of proteins or enzymes. The purpose of the following article is to demonstrate how chemical and biological factors play a role in the regulation of DNA methylation. Understanding these processes is important towards improving a patient’s overall health and wellness.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Smoothies and Juices for Methylation Support

While many healthcare professionals can recommend nutritional guidelines and lifestyle modifications, there are several alternative treatment options you can try for yourself at home. As described above, however, supplementation for methylation support should be correctly determined by a healthcare professional. Smoothies and juices are a fast and easy way to include all the necessary nutrients you need for methylation support in a single serving. The smoothies and juices below are part of the Methylation Diet Food Plan.

Sea Green Smoothie
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 handful of kale or spinach
• 1 handful of Swiss chard
• 1/4 avocado
• 2 teaspoons spirulina powder
• 1 cup water
• 3 or more ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and enjoy!

Berry Bliss Smoothie
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, preferably wild)
• 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seed
• 1 tablespoons almonds
• Water (to desired consistency)
• Ice cubes (optional, may omit if using frozen blueberries)
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Best served immediately!

Sweet and Spicy Juice
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 cup honeydew melons
• 3 cups spinach, rinsed
• 3 cups Swiss chard, rinsed
• 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems), rinsed
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
• 2-3 knobs whole turmeric root (optional), rinsed, peeled and chopped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!

Ginger Greens Juice
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 cup pineapple cubes
• 1 apple, sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
• 3 cups kale, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped
• 5 cups Swiss chard, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!

Zesty Beet Juice
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!

Protein Power Smoothie
Serving: 1
Cook time: 5 minutes
• 1 scoop protein powder
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 kiwi, peeled
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of cardamom
• Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately!

ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet

alanced methylation support can be achieved through proper nutrition. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet offers a 5-day meal program which has been individually packed and labeled to serve the foods you need for the FMD in precise quantities and combinations. The meal program is made up of ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare, plant-based foods, including bars, soups, snacks, supplements, a drink concentrate, and teas. The products are scientifically formulated and great tasting. Before starting the ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program, please make sure to talk to a healthcare professional to find out if the FMD is right for you. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet can help promote methylation support, among a variety of other healthy benefits.

Many doctors and functional medicine practitioners may recommend higher doses of methyl donors in several patients, however, further research studies are needed to determine the proper amount of methylation supplementation. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

Additional Topic Discussion: Acute Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

Formulas for Methylation Support

XYMOGEN’s Exclusive Professional Formulas are available through select licensed health care professionals. The internet sale and discounting of XYMOGEN formulas are strictly prohibited.

Proudly, Dr. Alexander Jimenez makes XYMOGEN formulas available only to patients under our care.

Please call our office in order for us to assign a doctor consultation for immediate access.

If you are a patient of Injury Medical & Chiropractic Clinic, you may inquire about XYMOGEN by calling 915-850-0900.

For your convenience and review of the XYMOGEN products please review the following link.*XYMOGEN-Catalog-Download

* All the above XYMOGEN policies remain strictly in force.

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Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Biochemistry of DNA Methylation" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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