Supplements for Undermethylation
Most people aren’t keen to down pharmaceutical medications once they have pinpointed the problem of undermethylation. If you know for a fact that undermethylation is the problem, taking a targeted nutritional approach is your best bet. Methylation is carried out by specific enzymes, each one using specific nutrients. Use support supplements only when a strong nutritional foundation has been established and only when needed. Supplements can assist in providing specific cofactors required in enzymatic reactions and can protect against the stress hormones. Work with a professional to determine what quantities and combinations of nutrients you should be taking. Below are commonly prescribed supplements for undermethylation – only take if tested deficient and always as directed by a professional.
Repairing the gut and optimising your good/bad bacteria should be paramount, since toxins excreted by bad bacteria inhibit methylation. Probiotics are defined as live non-pathogenic micro-organisms that, when ingested in adequate numbers, exert a beneficial effect on the health of the host. I would be starting with optimising your gut bacteria before reaching out to array of supplements. The GAPS diet can be helpful for optimising gut bacteria, as is reading the nutrition and lifestyle information on our Health Basics page. A basic outline of the GAPS diet includes the following:
- The GAPS diet should consist of fresh meats (hormone-free/grass fed if possible), animal fats, fish, shellfish, organic farm-fresh eggs (if well tolerated), fermented foods, and vegetables. For patients suffering from yeast overgrowth, temporarily eliminating fruit, honey, and nuts may be beneficial.
- It is recommended to combine vegetables (raw/fermented/cooked) with meats and fish at each meal to balance pH. Meats and fish accumulate as acids in the body while vegetables have a strong alkalizing affect. Too acidic or too alkalizing states are not ideal.
- It is recommended to eat fruit (except avocado) on their own in between meals so not to interfere with the digestion of meats.
- It is more important to find organic (or local not containing pesticides) fruits and vegetables than organic fresh/frozen meats if cost is an issue for families. Animals have their own detoxification system that may neutralize some of the antibiotics/hormones used on them.
- It is recommended to have plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut (if tolerated) and cold pressed olive oil. Animal fats are particularly valuable (lard, tallow, raw butter/ghee, lamb fat, duck fat).
- It is recommended to consume a cup of bone broth or meat stock with every meal. Many patients have difficult digesting fats in the beginning of the diet and may only be able to tolerate a few tablespoons while the body is healing.
- Fermented foods are a focal point in the protocol. This includes fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir, and sour cream. Fermented beverages include kvass, kombucha, and water kefir are also allowed. Please note, some patients are unable to tolerate these products in the beginning and may need to be temporarily avoided. Listen to your body and introduce foods very gradually, observing for any negative reactions.
- Avoid all processed foods in packages and tins. These include all refined carbohydrates and foods that contain preservatives, artificial colorants and chemicals, etc. They are extremely detrimental to digestive system and the healing process.
Here you can find more on the GAPS diet.
The degenerative and inflammatory diseases can often be corrected by the use of gelatin-rich foods. Gelatin helps the body regulate metabolism and builds connective tissue in hair, skin, bone, muscle and nails. Great Lakes Gelatin is a bio-active product containing 90 percent protein. For some serious info on why you should be getting more gelatin in your life, be sure to visit Dr Ray Peat’s page on gelatin.
Magnesium is important for healthy enzymatic activity.Magnesium is a mineral that is critical for energy production and metabolism, muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission, and bone mineralization. It is a required cofactor for an estimated 300 enzymes. Among the reactions catalyzed by these enzymes are fatty acid synthesis, protein synthesis, and glucose metabolism. Magnesium status is also important for regulation of calcium balance through its effects on the parathyroid gland. When we are under stress, our cells—which in their resting state contain magnesium—go through a change. Calcium, normally outside the cells, enters the cells and the calcium level becomes high. This is the action state in which a muscle cell, for example, will contract and tense the muscle. The magnesium then pushes the calcium out of the cell and the cell is again in its resting, relaxed state. Think of it as an on-off switch. The “off” is magnesium and the “on” is calcium. Magnesium helps your muscles and nerves function properly; it keeps your heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and also assists in keeping your bones strong. This essential mineral helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is required for producing and storing energy. Magnesium citrate is one of the most highly absorbable forms of magnesium available (90% bioavailability) providing optimal oral absorption.
Zinc is essential to the normal function of many organs and systems within the body including the skeletal, immune, neurological, and endocrine systems. Zinc is a necessary mineral co-factor for hundreds of enzymatic reactions related to protein and carbohydrate metabolism, RNA/DNA synthesis, and intercellular signalling. It is also known to play a critical role in the body’s defence against oxidative processes and is especially helpful for maintenance of healthy ageing. These zinc capsules contain 20mg of elemental zinc as the zinc picolinate form. This form is one of the most bioavailable forms available. Higher doses can be made on request! Doses up to 50mg elemental zinc are available over the counter. Higher doses require a script from a GP.
NOW Super Enzymes is a comprehensive blend of enzymes that supports healthy digestion. Formulated with Bromelain, Ox Bile, Pancreatin and Papain, Super Enzymes helps to optimize the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein.
B Complex vitamins, work to support and promote energy metabolism in the body. Undermethylators tend to have trouble metabolising and absorbing these vitamins. Enter these activated / methylated B complex by Thorne. Basic B Complex contains the active forms of the vitamins for enhanced availability to the tissues. One Capsule Contains: Thiamin (as Thiamin HCl) 110 mg, Riboflavin (as Riboflavin 5′-Phosphate Sodium) 10 mg, Niacin (130 mg as Niacinamide and 10 mg as Niacin) 140 mg, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal 5′-Phosphate) 10 mg, Folate (as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate from L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt) 400 mcg, Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) 400 mcg, Biotin 400 mcg, Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium Pantothenate) 110 mg, Choline Citrate 80 mg. Other Ingredients: Hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Laurate, Magnesium Citrate.
Methylation – the addition of a methyl group (CH4 – one carbon attached to three hydrogens) to another molecule – is an essential and vital biochemical process within the human body that is involved in a large number of biochemical pathways involving neurotransmitters, detoxification, cardiovascular health, eye health, muscle health, bone health, and redox balance. A number of specific nutrients are necessary for methylation to occur normally. Methyl-Guard Plus contains 5MTHF (the active form of folate), pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (active B6), methylcobalamin (active B12), Betaine Anhydrous (Trimethylglycine or TMG) and riboflavin 5′-phosphate (the active form of vitamin B2) for its positive effect on homocysteine metabolism and methylation. These ingredients provide the necessary nutrients the body uses to push forward the process of methylation.
Trimethylglycine (TMG) assists homocysteine to be metabolized into methionine, resulting in the production of DMG (dimethylglycine). Further metabolism of TMG produces the enzyme methyltetrahydrofolate reductase (the active form of folic acid). This nutrient is of the highest quality and purity obtainable, free of all common allergens (antigens), and does not contain preservatives, diluents, or artificial additives.
I do not advise against taking 5-HTP as there is evidence that high levels of serotonin actually cause anxiety, depression and agression. Increasing levels of 5-HTP, and therefore serotonin, may not be the solution. We want to naturally increase our happy hormones with a healthy gut, sufficient sleep, a good diet and lots of fun in our lives.
L-Methionine supports the production of the cellular antioxidant, glutathione, and thereby assists in natural detoxification processes. In the body, L-Methionine can also be converted into SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine), a compound that supports healthy joints. This is often used as a methyl donor for undermethylators.
NAC enhances the production of the enzyme glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. Clinical trials have demonstrated the NAC has a therapeutic role to play in the management of cancer, heart disease, HIV, heavy metal toxicity, and other diseases characterised by free radical, oxidant damage. NAC helps the liver eliminate potentially dangerous environmental and biological toxins from the body. NAC, the acetyl derivative of L-cysteine, is more stable than L-cysteine, and can convert into L-cysteine after being absorbed. NAC is a natural source of sulfur for metabolism, and an antioxidant that supports glutathione synthesis. Free form amino acid, high purity, well tolerated, and in tablet form to insure potency.