Functional Medicine

Methylation, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Habits


Dr. Alex Jimenez Explains Methylation, Nutrition & Lifestyle Habits

A variety of healthcare professionals recommend full MDL or portions of the program to their patients. Research studies report that participants have responded well to the diet plan. By way of instance, a 57-year-old male diagnosed with diffuse myalgia and arthralgia as well as a history of toxic mold exposure, who had a methyl donor intolerance and who had a baseline homocysteine of 15.7. After one month of the MDL program, his follow-up homocysteine was 11.8, which reduced his symptoms. No additional modifications were made to his diet plan. Functional medicine practitioners and doctors may utilize the MDL program in a variety of ways, including:

  • As a treatment for long-term methylation support
  • Together with folate and other supplements to improve effectiveness
  • As an alternative treatment option for people with methyl donor intolerance

In this article, however, we will discuss the importance of obtaining nutrients from food rather than with supplementation. The following information reviews the foundational interventions which are relevant to the Methylation Diet and Lifestyle, or MDL, program. We will also provide a collection of smoothies and juices which can help promote methylation support and effectiveness. According to healthcare professionals, nutrients from foods improve methylation support and address significant genetic SNPs.

Food-Based Nutrients

Improving methylation through non-fortified whole foods is a safe and effective treatment, as long as enough of the relevant nutrients are consumed. During a 16-week human placebo-controlled trial, an increase of 200 mcg/d folate from folate-rich foods demonstrated the same capability to increase plasma and erythrocyte folate levels as well as to lower homocysteine compared with an equal amount of supplemental folic acid or 5-mTHF as Metafolin®. Dietary folate, along with changes to lifestyle habits, can improve methylation.

There is currently no limit set for folate intake from non-fortified foods and no research studies have found side-effects from folates and other methylation nutrients from foods. But, what amount of nutrient intake is enough to optimize methylation status? This will inevitably be different for each individual based on their genetic fingerprint and environmental factors. A Cochrane systematic review, published in 2014, demonstrated that food-sourced folate could protect against the risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer, within the range of 153 – 400 mcg/d, suggesting that increased supplementation is not necessarily beneficial for the general population.

However, specific populations may have genetic or environmental factors which may need them to have higher nutrient intakes. There are a variety of nutrients involved with methylation enzymes and pathways, demonstrated as either substrates or cofactors. Table 6 below, lists these important nutrients and their dietary sources, including methionine, cysteine, taurine, DHA, zinc, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate, vitamin B12, betaine, choline, and sulfur. Several of these nutrients have previously been utilized as targeted supplements by many functional medicine practitioners or doctors for a wide variety of diet plans.

Depending on the genotype of the individual, nutrient intake needs can be further customized to support an individual’s potential enzyme deficiencies. Individuals with specific SNPs may benefit from increased intake of cofactor nutrients used by the associated enzyme because it has been demonstrated that increased cofactor intake can push the rate of enzymatic reactions forward. Table 7 below, lists commonly examined methylation-related genes and the nutrients that can be used to support activity and status, including MTHFR, MTR, MTRR, MAT1A, MAO, COMT, CBS, MTRR, and BHMT, as well as their cofactor nutrient support.

Nutrient Assimilation

If an individual’s needs are determined either by laboratory testing or physical exam findings, the Five-R Protocol utilized as a part of the MDL program, is outlined in Table 8 as an ideal way to improve nutrient assimilation and functional status. It can be done together with a short-term course of methylation supplementation with subsequent transition to the MDL or with the MDL from the start. Functional medicine practitioners or doctors may recommend changes to nutrition and lifestyle habits for methylation support.

Nutrient supplementation is commonly used to help promote methylation support, however, research studies have demonstrated that the best way to improve methylation activity and its overall status is through food-based nutrient intake. High doses of supplements have been known to cause side-effects but eating nutrient-rich foods provides the same if not greater benefits than supplementation. Smoothies and juices such as those listed below can promote methylation support.

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 to improve methylation support, there are several options you can try yourself at home. As described above, methylation support supplementation should be 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 without any side-effects. 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

Balanced 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.


Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

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

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various 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 directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research 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, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


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


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

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