Undermethylation

What is undermethylation?

Undermethylation (also called histadelia) is a condition that occurs when too few methyl molecules are available to add to enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. We receive our methylation status in utero. Undermethylation is not the same condition as histamine intolerance or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). 

Why is it a problem?

Lack of methyl groups (a carbon group with three hydrogen atoms) to support neurotransmitter activity creates depressed levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Suboptimal levels of these important neurotransmitters cause depression, perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive and ritualistic behaviors, addictive tendencies, high-achievement and competition, and seasonal allergies. Undermethylators tend to respond well to serotonin-enhancing substances such as Prozac, Zoloft, St. John’s Wort, and SAMe. These individuals are also more at risk to develop certain types of cancers.

Until recently, schizophrenia was seen in our overmethylation population, but we are now seeing quite a few undermethylation cases. According to my personal physician, Dr. Albert Mensah of Mensah Medical, one possible cause could be the liberal use of folic acid before, during, and after pregnancy. Folic acid decreases the presence of methyl in our DNA. This can be of great benefit to overmethylated individuals, but can create significant challenges for those who are undermethylated. Because folic acid is a common component of prenatal vitamins, and because we have no way of knowing the methyl biotype of a fetus while in utero, prolonged use of prenatal vitamins could actually be preselecting undermethylated children for increased risk of developing schizophrenic symptoms at some point in their lives. Please note research is currently under way on this clinical trend we are seeing.

Who can be undermethylated?

I often see high achieving, type A individuals with strong perfectionistic tendencies to be undermethylated. They are calm on the outside with lots of inner tension and often, severe depression. Undermethylation is also an underlying component of autism.

How can we fix it?

Undermethylators have a genetic tendency to be very low in calcium, magnesium, methionine, and vitamin B6, with excessive levels of folate. This condition can be safely corrected and balanced with dietary and nutrient therapy, as well as lifestyle modifications. First, let’s see if you might be impacted by this. Take my free, five-minute life assessment to find out if this applies to you.

The Low Folate Diet Cookbook A Healing Guide for Undermethylation

Get My Low Folate Cookbook

A Healing Guide for Undermethylation

Methylation is a complex process but eating according to your methylation status doesn’t have to be. My Low Folate Cookbook contains low, high, and moderate folate foods, verified research, meal planning, and delicious low folate recipes to heal undermethylation (too few methyl groups).

Includes 25 recipes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, and desserts.

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Undermethylation Articles

Breast Cancer, Methylation and Copper Toxicity
Copper Overload

Breast Cancer, Methylation and Copper Toxicity

Breast cancer, methylation, and copper toxicity share common links: Estrogen dominance/sensitivity, and a genetic inab...
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MTHFR Methylfolate vs. Folic Acid Facts and Myths
Methylation

MTHFR Methylfolate vs. Folic Acid Facts and Myths

Is it really true that folic acid is "bad" for you because it's synthetic and your body must convert it to the metabo...
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Dangers of Folic Acid Supplements while Pregnant
Methylation

Dangers of Folic Acid Supplements while Pregnant

Folic acid supplementation is not one size fits all for pregnant women. In addition, women should not presume that whi...
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Methylation Diet Tips: Eating Right for Your Biotype
Methylation

Methylation Diet Tips: Eating Right for Your Biotype

In our world today, knowing what and how to eat can feel like a daunting task. And the plethora of dietary theories an...
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Histamine Intolerance: Methylation, the Gut, & Copper
Gut Inflammation

Histamine Intolerance: Methylation, the Gut, & Copper

If you think you may suffer from histamine intolerance or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), than this post is for ...
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The Underlying Cause of OCD/Perfectionism and What To Do About It
Undermethylation

The Underlying Cause of OCD/Perfectionism and What To Do About It

The Underlying Cause of OCD/Perfectionism and What To Do About It. Picture this: you’re in college and you have to ...
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Folate: Friend or Foe?
Methylation

Folate: Friend or Foe?

Could folate be your friend or foe? Yesterday I was perusing my fitness magazines and couldn't help but notice all th...
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Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Perfectionism Revealed
Undermethylation

Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Perfectionism Revealed

We’re all familiar with histamine, especially as it relates to allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Founda...
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What is a Methylation Disorder?
Methylation

What is a Methylation Disorder?

Hundreds of cellular processes involve methylation, a chemical reaction that begins when a methyl group attaches to a...
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Undermethylation Podcast Episodes

EP 02: How Nutrient Deficiencies And Overloads Impact The Brain And Body
Podcast

EP 02: How Nutrient Deficiencies And Overloads Impact The Brain And Body

One month in, my client Amanda told me: “I had no idea my anxiety, racing thoughts, and fatigue were due to being se...
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EP 03: How Biochemistry and Genes Impact Your Brain with Dr. Albert Mensah, MD, BCIP
Podcast

EP 03: How Biochemistry and Genes Impact Your Brain with Dr. Albert Mensah, MD, BCIP

Our stories are extremely powerful and contain genetic, epigenetic, and transgenerational narratives.  Educating you...
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EP 14: Breast Cancer and the Truth About Folic Acid in Cell Division with Dr. Albert Mensah
Podcast

EP 14: Breast Cancer and the Truth About Folic Acid in Cell Division with Dr. Albert Mensah

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart because breast cancer ru...
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“Samantha is the most knowledgeable nutritionist I’ve worked with and has unique knowledge in the area of copper disorders and methylation. Her advice has helped me immensely in dealing with fibromyalgia and treatment-resistant depression.”

JOHN C.

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