Methylation may sound like a cleaning fluid, but it is an essential part of the cleansing process for your body, to help it rid itself of toxins and other potentially harmful chemicals. Expert GP Joe Koeterich shares with RESCU how much your body needs and how you can monitor this.
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You may not have heard of the term ‘methylation’, but your body is certainly familiar with it, as it is estimated to take place more than ( a billion times per second in the body every day). Put simply, methylation is a vital metabolic process which occurs in every cell and every organ in the body, and has a major role in our stress response, the production of antioxidants, and cellular repair, detoxification of hormones, chemicals and heavy metals, reducing inflammation, DNA repair, neurotransmitters and the balance of our ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ chemistry, energy levels and our ability to fight infection and maintain a healthy immune system.
Ready for the science part? Methylation occurs when one carbon and three hydrogen atoms (called a methyl group) are added to another molecule: this process enables to body to ‘turn on’ its response to, and deal with, disease, stress, toxins and potential harmful chemicals. It is also important for producing and recycling glutathione, which zaps free radicals which can contribute to disease, ageing and life-limiting illnesses. Glutathione also helps to reduce inflammation within the body. It does this by attaching its sulfur groups – sticky compounds – to nasty toxins and heavy metals and removes them from the body.
How do I make sure I have the right amount of methylation?
If you’ve been feeling run-down, suffering from brain fog or regular colds and flu, then your methylation processes may not be ‘switching on’ effectively. And if you smoke, eat a poor diet or suffer from digestive issues, you may also find that your methylation system is affected. Usually, your body produces enough glutathione from its store of amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamine, which are then recycled via methylation using vitamin B12, folate, and betain. However, we don’t always have an adequate store of these vitamins, which is why it’s important to top up your vitamin levels through diet and supplements.
Eating your way to detoxification
Green, leafy vegetables are Mother Nature’s first aid kit when it comes to healing and detoxing. They contain folate, which is a natural methyl donor, and is essential for methylation. Eat at least two cups a day of spinach, kale, celery, broccoli, cabbage and chard.
Foods which contain an array of vitamin B vitamins, especially folate, B6, B12 and riboflavin, are also a must for your plate. Enjoy fish, eggs, asparagus, almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts.
Supplement your diet
While you should always firstly focus on ensuring your diet is providing an adequate amount of vitamin and minerals, in today’s busy world there’s no denying that we sometimes need a little help. Vitamin B, in particular, is essential for supporting healthy nerve cells, making red blood cells, boosting energy levels by helping iron work effectively in the body and providing the necessary compounds to ensure your immune system and energy levels are adequate.
One member of the vitamin B family, B12, has a particularly important role in carrying out toxins from the body, and helping to reduce stress levels. It is also crucial for the function of your brain and nervous system. Folate, another member of the vitamin B group, can help with depression, irritability, emotional stress and brain fog. It should be embraced as it also helps reduce the effects and speed of ageing.
Speak to your GP, dietitian, naturopath or health professional about checking your vitamin B levels to see if you could benefit from supplementation and ask if an activated vitamin B option would better suit your needs. Remember, if you do take a vitamin B supplement, add in a probiotic, as this will help your body produce and absorb it.
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Make some lifestyle changes
Eating right and taking supplements when needed are the major changes you can make to ensure your body’s methylation processes are working correctly, but there are other, smaller, just as important tweaks you can implement. These will also help to boost your glutathione levels.
1.Eat foods high in glutathione – such as omega-3 enriched eggs, fish and organic lean meats
2.Try to reduce stress from in your life. This includes habits which you may consider to be stress relievers, but are in fact adding additional pressure on your system. Aim to cut down alcohol and quit smoking completely.
3.Go organic where you can. This will help remove many metals and toxins from your diet.
4.Get moving. Exercise is not only good for your waistline and your mind, but it boosts your glutathione levels, and improves detoxification.
5.Sleep, sleep, sleep. Head to bed at the same time every night, and aim for at least seven to nine hours of shut-eye. You’ll find that your body will respond quickly to regular, healing rest.
Ask your health professional if a quality B-Vitamin supplement is right for you. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. For more information, visit https://eaglenaturalhealth.com.au/