It’s a big word that you probably don’t think applies to you. And your doctor may not even know about it yet.
Yet it’s becoming the latest buzzword in natural health – and for good reason.
Methylation affects your ability to think, repair DNA, turn genes on and off, fight infections, and get rid of environmental toxins, just for starters. Without it, you wouldn’t be alive. So read on. . .
Little-Known Early Cancer Detection Test Affords More Time
Did you know… Cancer is the No. 2 killer of humans in the United States, afflicting almost 50% of the men and 30% of the women in their lifetimes?
By now, you’ve probably heard that your chances of surviving cancer are much higher if the disease is detected in its early stages. But did you know there’s a simple, low-cost test that can detect cancer anywhere in the body with a 95% accuracy rate?
Surprisingly, most people – including most doctors – have never heard about this inexpensive and simple test. Go here to learn more about this early detection test.
Methylation occurs in your body more than a billion times per second. Suffice it to say, anything that happens a billion times per second is probably worth knowing about, since it’s clearly “mission critical.”
In this case, we’re talking about a vital biochemical process that occurs when one molecule passes a methyl group (one carbon atom plus 3 hydrogen atoms, CH3) to another molecule.
Through this process, your body makes cysteine, taurine, sulfate, creatine, carnitine, CoQ10, phosphatidylcholine, melatonin, and tons of other important substances.
Methylation also causes your body to produce ATP, your cells’ primary energy unit. ATP is the end-product of mitochondria, the cell’s “batteries” or “energy factories.” Take ATP out of the picture, and nothing works well.
But two major factors affect how well your body methylates – genetics and environment.
Half of us have defective methylation. . .
. . .and most of us probably don’t even know there’s a problem. Nor do our doctors, in most cases.
Scientific literature refers to methylation snp’s (pronounced “snips”) as genetic “defects” – though it might be more accurate to call them a “genetic personality.”
Snp’s breed methylfolate deficiencies, which lead to glutathione deficiency and, eventually, to toxic buildup in your blood and tissues.
Glutathione’s nickname is “master antioxidant.” It’s critical to detoxification, among other things. A deficiency can leave you wide open to infection, and result in chronic fatigure, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease, multiple chemical sensitivities, and many progressive diseases.
This snp in particular has created a lot of buzz
An estimated 45 to 55 percent of people have the genetic mutation MTHFR (revealed by testing).
Methylation is part of a complex metabolic cycle involving coordinated action by multiple enzymes. Mutations such as the MTHFR mean decreased enzyme activity – and, by default, decreased methylation.
You can inherit the MTHFR defect from both parents or from just one. Having two copies of a mutated gene is considerably higher risk and can be fatal, compared to having one non-mutated copy of the gene and one mutated copy.
You can find out if you have this defect at www.23andMe.com, the company that directly provides consumers information about their genome without a doctor’s prescription.
You might’ve heard that the FDA came down on this company several years ago for failing to comply with various regulations concerning “medical devices.” But you can still get the raw data by taking their $99 saliva test, then going to www.GeneticGenie.org for your report. Your functional doctor can help you interpret it.
Knowing this information can save your life
Methylation affects your entire body – including your immune system, brain, heart, lungs, skin, GI tract, and endocrine glands. So the ramifications of reduced methylation are significant.
If you’re positive for MTHFR defect, you’ll be prone to folate deficiency, low glutathione, toxic overload and impaired detox capacity, and homocysteine buildup, potentially leading to heart attack or stroke.
Due to immune dysregulation and histamine intolerance, you’ll be more susceptible to infections, cancer, and allergies.
Methylation defects are also linked to depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, infertility, miscarriage, and an array of other health issues.
But please, don’t fall into the trap of thinking one-dimensionally about isolated diseases, as if your body is a disjointed conglomeration of separate organs and functions.
Zoom out. Enlarge your perspective. Think holistically.
Methylation – hidden key to gene expression?
While you may have never heard of methylation and your doctor may not know much more than you do, understanding its role is critical to gaining and keeping good health.
One of methylation’s most critical functions is regulating gene expression. It turns your genes on and off (activating and silencing them). A methyl group binds to a gene to change how it expresses… known as DNA methylation.
A couple of decades ago, scientists believed you were stuck with the genes you inherited from your parents. Now we know better.
You can do plenty to determine how your genes express themselves. Instead of bemoaning the bad hand you were dealt, it’s time to rejoice that you can revise your own health destiny.
It matters to your brain
Methylation plays a key role in making neurotransmitters like sleep-producing melatonin and energy-producing epinephrine.
It’s important to understand that it’s not just the making of neurotransmitters that’s important. If you can’t also break them down, you could end up with seizure disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, or rage.
Scientists believe poor methylation may be linked to autism, ADHD, depression, and even neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Watch out for these methylation thieves
Any number of issues can disrupt methylation. Some researchers believe nearly everyone suffers from defective methylation. Here are some of the biggest methylation busters:
- Nutrient deficiencies that reduce the active form of folate in your body – zinc, B2/riboflavin, magnesium, B6, and B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, and folate, for example.
- Poor diet, poor probiotic status, foods (even organic) grown in poor soil, digestive problems, bowel conditions.
- Environmental chemicals – increase toxicity and increase the body’s need for methyl groups.
- Medications that steal methylation nutrients – methotrexate, metformin, antacids, acid blockers, proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Nexium and others), corticosteroids, birth control pills, and nitrous oxide.
- Alcohol – slows methylation and depletes the body’s supply of glutathione.
- Green coffee bean extract is high in catechols, which burn through methylation nutrients incredibly fast.
- Low magnesium reduces methylation. Many people are deficient without knowing it.
- Heavy metals – mercury in your food or teeth, lead in your bloodstream, cadmium if you smoke, copper or arsenic…
- High levels of acetyl aldehyde, a potent neurotoxin released by Candida yeast and alcohol.
- Lyme disease, which you may have without realizing it. The Borrelia burgdorferi germ steals magnesium to make biofilms and hide. This may explain why some “Lymies” have horrific reactions during antibiotic treatment. After the antibiotics, the body is forced to remove the “dead bug parts” and ammonia, which spikes when the drug kills off the Borrelia microbes.
- Advancing age.
How to improve methylation naturally
Improving methylation could be one of the best things you can do to support your health. And it may be simpler than you think – whether or not you have the MTHFR defect.
Don’t let your doctor tell you there’s nothing you can do to improve your methylation… or that, because it’s “genetic,” you’re stuck with what you have.
There are always things you can do.
Your actions could improve your health or even save your life – since this process is linked to so many critical functions and deadly diseases. If your doctor won’t work with you, find one who understands methylation and will help you with a protocol.
Worth considering: Some experts believe that certain people over-methylate. Others believe most people have inadequate methylation even with healthy diets, possibly due to poor soil and heavy pollution. It’s still controversial.
So what can you do?
Eat natural foods. Methyl groups are found in quinoa, spinach, lamb, chicken, and beets. Eat lots of lightly cooked dark green leafy veggies. Avoid processed foods and vegan diets.
Methylation enhancing protocol
One of the most effective and least expensive nutrients to enhance production of methyl groups is TMG (trimethylglycine). TMG converts homocysteine into methionine and, in the process, produces natural SAMe, another beneficial nutrient.
TMG is inexpensive, readily available, and also goes by the name glycine betaine. It comes from sugar beets. Note that betaine HCL is another creature altogether. Don’t confuse the two.
TMG facilitates increased methylation, and not only protects you from disease, but also helps you feel younger.
Studies show that supplementing with folate – NOT folic acid – can help override a methylation defect. Methylation guru Dr. Ben Lynch never recommends folic acid. It’s synthetic and may be harmful. Some studies associate it with increased cancer risk.
You may also want to consider these professional formulas: Methyl Guard by Thorne and HomocysteX Plus by Seeking Health.
What else? These all boost glutathione and help methylation:
- Sulfur-containing foods like onion, garlic, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy.
- Un-denatured whey protein powder (if you tolerate dairy).
- Selenium, 200 mcg per day.
- Exercise. Get out and move your body.
- Sleep. Get 7 to 9 hours per night. Sleep deprivation depletes glutathione.
- Milk thistle, 100 to 300 mg per day. Silymarin is the most recommended form. Our sister company Green Valley Natural Solutions has a therapeutic dose in its Triple Joint Relief supplement (which also contains two other valuable anti-inflammatories.)
- Probiotics – help control Candida and lower toxic acetyl aldehyde.
- Methylated forms of vitamins B6, B9 and B12.
If you learn you have the MTHFR defect, it can feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. But arming yourself with this knowledge gives you a chance to rewrite your own health story. That’s something your parents and grandparents couldn’t even dream of. So take advantage.
Meanwhile, if you missed our last issue, why not take advantage of this quiet Sunday to read it now? We’re rerunning it just below.
This May Explain Why People in Okinawa
Live Longer Than Anyone Else
The ancient Chinese believed you could enjoy amazing health benefits by consuming certain “brown ribbons” from the sea.
And nowadays, many believe the “brown ribbons” may hold the secret to the low incidence of disease and health problems in Okinawa. Ever since records have been kept, the residents of that Japanese island have ranked as one of the longest-lived groups on earth.
Okinawa boasts up to 34 centenarians per 100,000 inhabitants — way better than the rest of the world. They also hold the record for the world’s lowest rate of death by cancer.
There are many theories to explain why they live so long. And, of course, there could be multiple reasons – six or a dozen good health habits, not just one. But hundreds of studies suggest the “brown ribbons from the sea” are high on the list.
These Doctors Were Forced to Admit This “Crazy” Treatment Plan Works
Rev. Cobus Rudolph’s doctor told him, “Congratulations! You’re cancer free!” That was six months after the same doctor had told him his case was hopeless and he should prepare to die. Rev. Rudolph saved his own life, at home, thanks to a book by cancer expert Ty Bollinger.
Richard Wiebe’s doctor told him, “You’re a miracle from God!” Just a year earlier the same doctor told Richard he’d be dead in six months from terminal brain cancer. Richard treated himself with the tips and secrets Ty Bollinger recommends.
Kevin Irish’s doctor was shocked. He asked Kevin, “Are you the terminal patient I saw two months ago? You look great!” Kevin saved his own life when he found Ty Bollinger’s book on the Internet and started following the advice.
Frank Woll’s doctor was stubborn: “Well, I know the cancer is here somewhere!” But the doctor couldn’t find Frank’s cancer with a magnifying glass. Only a month earlier, the same doctor had told Frank they’d have to cut off half his ear and part of his neck!
These four men got TOTALLY WELL with Ty Bollinger’s secrets. Now, Cancer Defeated is proud to publish them in a new Special Report. Click here and discover an effective, cheap, at-home plan to get rid of almost any cancer in one month.
As you may have guessed, the brown ribbons from the sea are merely seaweed — in this case, a number of different species of brown algae and brown seaweed. A large part of their life-extending and cancer-fighting power is thought to come from a substance called fucoidan.
Fucoidan is actually a sugar – a beneficial and rare one. Because seaweed has been a central part of Japanese cuisine for hundreds of years, people there have benefited without knowing it from taking large amounts of a “cancer medicine.”
Fucoidan is now extracted from seaweed and is available as a potent supplement. This natural treatment avoids the side effects typical of anti-cancer drugs. The only cautions are for people already taking a blood-thinner, and the tiny number of people whose iodine levels are too high.
The anti-cancer food Westerners mostly avoid
If you choose to eat whole seaweed instead of supplements, you will also benefit from a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C, E, K, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. But few of us in the West are going to eat therapeutic amounts of seaweed. Or any, as far as that goes. . .
We should reconsider. Brown edible seaweeds (especially kelps and wracks) have potent anti-cancer properties.
In fact, fucoidan fights cancer in at least five ways.
1. Induces Apoptosis.
Fucoidan tells cancer cells to commit suicide. Research shows that the active component of fucoidan kills dangerous tumor cells.1
A Japanese research trial showed astounding results. When fucoidan was applied to a petri dish full of cancer cells, it completely destroyed all the cancer cells within three days.
One Japanese study showed that fucoidan induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells but doesn’t affect normal epithelial cells.
Other studies show the substance triggers apoptosis in leukemia, lymphoma, stomach and colorectal tumor cells.
2. Inhibits angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis plays a key role in cancer formation. Angiogenesis is the process whereby a cancer creates its own network of blood vessels.
Studies show that fucoidan’s sulfated polysaccharides stop angiogenesis. In fact, fucoidan caused a major decrease in the intra-tumor expression of blood vessels compared to a control group.2
The same study also found that fucoidan inhibited metastasis of breast cancer to the lungs.
3. Boosts your immune system.
Fucoidan also helps you fight cancer by strengthening the immune system. So says an animal study showing that fucoidan restored the immune system in immunosuppressed mice. The seaweed extract functions as an immunomodulator and directly supports important immune cells called T-lymphocytes.
In lab studies, fucoidan also boosted production of disease-fighting interferon-y and interleukin-1.
Fucoidan enhances yet another immune function, macrophage production. You may recall from Biology 101 that macrophages are large white blood cells with the ability to find and ‘eat’ foreign particles.
Studies also suggest fucoidan helps restore immune function following radiation therapy.
4. Reduces fatigue.
One of the common side effects of cancer drugs is fatigue, which is risky not only because it makes you feel poorly, but also because it depletes your body’s vital nutritional and emotional resources.
A recent study from Tottori University in Japan showed that patients consuming fucoidan were able to endure prolonged chemotherapy without fatigue… although it had no effect on other chemotherapy side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
5. Reduces radiation side effects.
Some experts – including Phyllis Balch, author of the book Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal – suggest that fucoidan can help mitigate the damaging effects of radiation exposure.
Backing her belief, a 2004 study published in the journal Health Physics showed that fucoidan effectively prevented absorption of radioactive strontium from contaminated milk.
Good for you even if you don’t have cancer
As with many natural substances, fucoidan can boost your health even if you don’t struggle with cancer. Here’s how:
1. Protects your heart.
A published animal study out of India suggests you may be able to protect your heart muscle from injury just by taking fucoidan.
After heart injury was induced in rats, the fucoidan group fared better than the non-fucoidan group in the battery of tests designed to reveal heart injuries.3
2. Promotes weight loss.
Preliminary lab studies suggest that fucoidan may be beneficial for losing weight. It helped stimulate fat cell breakdown in the treated group, but not the untreated group.4
3. A potent blood thinner.
A major benefit of fucoidan is its blood thinning properties. This can be helpful for pulmonary embolism, phlebitis, and heart attack or stroke caused by blood clot.
In fact, studies suggest it worked just as well as the drug heparin. Please avoid using fucoidan if you take pharmaceutical blood thinners.
4. Reduces atherosclerosis.
A recent rat study proved that fucoidan helped lower lipid levels in animals with hyperlididemia (unhealthy levels of fats in the blood). It decreased triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.
Scientists induced hyperlipidemia over 28 days. Then fucoidan was introduced at one of three levels (0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 g/kg), depending on the group, over the next 28-day period. The middle amount was best at boosting lipid metabolizing enzymes and clearing triglycerides.
5. Promotes gastrointestinal health.
Fucoidan helps control tissue damage and leukocyte infiltration common to inflammatory bowel disease.
6. And more…
- A human study found that fucoidan given orally was helpful against osteoarthritis.
- It helps prevent liver damage and liver fibrosis and aids detoxification.
- There’s evidence it protects your brain against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Fucoidan may stop viruses and parasites in their tracks. Studies showed it guarded against herpes simplex and the malaria parasite.
On top of all this, its benefits may include. . .
- Restoring a better pH balance with high-alkaline seaweed.
- Providing ten times the calcium of milk, yet in a whole food, not a pill.
- Purifying your blood, since its chemical composition is similar to blood plasma.
Fucoidan has been the topic of 1260 studies investigating a range of health problems, but many of them have been animal studies. We still have limited knowledge about its benefits.
6 easy ways to add sea vegetables to your diet
If you’re ready to take your health up a notch, here’s how to get seaweeds into your diet:
- Add them to your eggs or omelets.
- Blend them into your soup.
- Use seaweed seasoning in all your foods. You can find options from Internet retailers.
- Enjoy crunchy seaweed chips – low in calories, and far healthier than a bag of potato chips!
- Enjoy sushi rolls that contain seaweed.
- Take them as supplements. They’re usually sold based on percentage of fucoidan content – and they can vary wildly in price. On Amazon, some brands are priced in the $20 range, but there’s one that’s $300 a bottle. (I kid you not!)
Read these cautions before taking fucoidan supplements
I doubt if putting whole seaweed in some dishes poses a health risk to anyone. But taking strong concentrations of fucoidan in the form of pills or cautions may. Side effects are uncommon, but not unheard of. Avoid fucoidan if:
- You’re on a blood thinning medication. Consult with your doctor; you may be able to phase out the medication.
- You’re allergic to soy.
- You have low blood pressure.
- You have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). This is because the supplements may contain more iodine than some people need. Not a danger for most people, but there are always a few exceptions.