The Methylation CycleThe methylation cycle is a biochemical pathway involved in the production and distribution of methyl groups (CH3) in the body.

Methylation is a necessary part of the majority of biochemical reactions in the body, and is a critical component of:

  • Detoxifying the body
  • Producing energy
  • Controlling immune function
  • Producing neurotransmitters
  • Synthesizing proteins
  • Repairing DNA
  • Controlling homocysteine levels
  • Keeping inflammation in check
  • Recycling key antioxidants

Identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which represent genetic differences, is important.

Genetic variations are sometimes associated with an individuals’ susceptibility to certain diseases and/or conditions.

For example, having defects in the methylation process can affect:

  • Speech
  • Language
  • Auditory processing
  • Reading comprehension
  • Focus
  • Socialization

Methylation increases sulphation, which aides in the excretion of heavy metals and the elimination of allergies (environmental and immune).

Furthermore, methylation improves the production of glutathione, which is needed to neutralize and excrete both environmental toxins and pathogens out of the body.

Amy Yasko, PhD ND, is credited with pioneering the study of single nucleotide polymorphisms and the methylation cycle, specifically with regards to their effect on such childhood disorders as autism, ADHD and mitochondrial disease.

Yasko’s nutrigenomic testing focuses on identifying variations or weaknesses in biochemical pathways in order to provide nutritional shortcuts or bypasses for genetic mutations that affect health.

SNPs commonly affecting children’s health today include:

  • MTHFR
  • MTR
  • MTRR
  • CBS
  • SUOX
  • COMT

Some of the nutrigenomic tests pioneered by Yasko are now being offered by other laboratories.

Spectracell, which requires a blood draw, offers MTHFR genotyping at www.spectracell.com, while www.23andme.com offers a unique saliva test.

There are five SNPs included in Yasko’s testing that are not included in the 23andme results.

However, you can enter your 23andme results at www.geneticgenie.org or www.livewello.com and get a methylation and detox analysis for free.