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. Undermethylators tend to respond well to serotonin-enhancing substances.
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. The problem is low activity at serotonin receptors due to rapid reabsorption after serotonin is released into a synapse; as well as high blood levels of histamine, another neurotransmitter. It’s actually not so much a serotonin deficiency, but an inability to keep serotonin in the synapse long enough. Suboptimal levels of these important neurotransmitters cause depression, perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive and ritualistic behaviors, addictive tendencies, high achievement and competition, and seasonal allergies.
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. Please note, we receive our methylation status in utero. Undermethylation is not the same condition as histamine intolerance or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). We are also more at risk of developing certain types of cancers.
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.
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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 Podcast Episodes
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