There is emerging science on how methylation and gene expression are critical to good health and disease prevention. Now before we dive into this subject let’s define these words:
Methylation – this is a biological process where your body adds a “methyl group” or molecule to another substance to enable it to function properly.
Gene Expression – is the process the body uses to take the information encoded in a gene and use it to direct the assembly of a protein molecule.
Optimal methylation enables gene expression to properly occur. If gene expression is properly used, then the correct protein molecules are created to help people stay healthy.
Another way to state this relationship between methylation and gene expression comes from Life Extension:
“Methylation controls genes that must precisely turn “on” and “off” in order to maintain cellular health.”
This means that proper methylation is essential to maintaining your health and all the biochemical reactions that need to take place. Here’s one example how this works:
Methylation and Gene Expression – Excess Homocysteine
Homocysteine is an amino acid that causes inflammation of the endothelium, which lines all of your cardiovascular system. This inflammation has been associated with both circulatory and neurological concerns.
Proper methylation is used to detoxify homocysteine. This helps to keep its level in check.
As we age, the methylation process can be disrupted.
One of the reasons for this is the inability to convert dietary folate or folic acid into the biologically active formed called methylated folate or 5-MTHF.
Why is this called 5-MTHF? Because there are at least 5 steps the body uses to convert folate to this final form. Here’s the process: Read More →