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When Methylation Goes Wrong Part 1

When Methylation Goes Wrong Part 1 | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Dr. Alex Jimenez Explains Why Methylation Can Go Wrong

Many healthcare professionals have demonstrated several potential concerns associated with folic acid and methyl-folate supplementation. Several risks of folic acid or other folate derivative supplements, including commonly utilized alternatives such as 5-mTHF and folinic acid, have become widely recognized and they aren't frequently discussed. These health issues are described below.
  • The increased intake of these supplements can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are normally characterized by megaloblastic anemia, however, when folate levels are too high, cell division will continue to occur within the bone marrow and this will mask the anemia. Unaddressed vitamin B12 deficiencies can cause irreversible neurological damage and cognitive impairment.
  • Folate or folic acid supplements may also reduce the efficiency of certain anti-folate drugs and/or medications, such as methotrexate, anti-cancer, anti-malarial, and anti-bacterial medicines.
These health issues are generally treated with vitamin B12 supplementation, respectively, and although important, these are not the main focus of the article. However, we will discuss whether or not the side-effects of folic acid supplementation, or aberrant DNA methylation activity, are a result of methylation gone wrong. Epidemiological data suggests an inverse association between folate status and risk of disease. Research studies have demonstrated that excessive methylation factors may be harmful.

Health Issues Caused by Aberrant Methylation

Aberrant methylation caused by folic acid supplementation is not explained by UMFA or DHF. Therefore, healthcare professionals cannot rule out the possibility of excessive or aberrant methylation as a contributing and/or underlying factor for disease.

Immune Dysregulation and Dysfunction

Epigenetics has been demonstrated to play an essential role in the development of allergic diseases. By way of instance, epigenetic alterations, including DNA hyper- and hypomethylation, are associated with childhood IgE-mediated food allergies. Although not all research studies agree with the outcome measures regarding these specific mechanisms of action, there are several findings connecting the intake of methyl donors with the development of disease which prompt potential concerns for further investigation.

Several research studies have associated folic acid intake during pregnancy with an increased risk for developing allergic diseases in offspring. Increased levels of maternal folic acid supplementation, or more than 500 mcg/d as compared to less than 200 mcg/d, have been associated with an 85 percent increased risk for developing allergic eczema. In animals, maternal supplementation with a combination of folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, L-methionine, zinc, and betaine during pregnancy enhanced the development of many symptoms of allergic airway diseases, including airway hyperreactivity and higher concentrations of serum IgE.

Similar maternal supplementation with non-dietary methyl donors, including synthetic folic acid, has been demonstrated to increase offspring susceptibility to developing inflammatory bowel disease. Another research study, not of maternal intake, demonstrated that folic acid intake above 600 mcg/d, from either food and/or supplements, was associated with impaired natural killer cell activity.

Blood Sugar Dysregulation

Maternal folic acid supplementation at 500 mcg/d has also been associated with increased incidence of insulin resistance in children at 6 years of age, an effect apparently exacerbated by low maternal vitamin B12 status, according to research studies.

Prenatal Development Dysfunction

Increased folic acid intake is also associated with embryonic loss, growth delay, and increased risk of ventricular septal heart defects.

Comorbidity and Mortality in Diabetic Adults

In a retrospective research study of approximately 526 diabetic adults, increased levels of RBC folate were associated with an increased risk for developing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. In addition, the ratio for dying within 15 years in those with high RBC folate was 2.10, or 95 percent CI = 1.37 – 3.20, compared with a baseline of those with low RBC folate.

If the association between increased methylation and disease are caused through alterations in methylation activity, the possibility exists that alternative forms of folate supplementation can also change methylation activity in ways that could cause the same risks.

Changes in folate have been demonstrated to affect DNA methylation. Many healthcare professionals turn to folate supplements in under-methylating patients to help “regulate” DNA methylation activity. Unfortunately, research studies regarding the effect of folate and methylation on the DNA “methylome” are conflicting and inconclusive. However, healthcare professionals should not ignore that increasing levels of folate and SAMe methyl donors might increase DNA methylation beyond healthy levels.

According to researchers, if there is too little methylation present, a gene that causes disease may be expressed. Conversely, if there is too much methylation present, a gene that prevents disease may be suppressed. If this is indeed true, we can only assume that when methylation goes wrong, our overall health and wellness can be affected. In part 2 of this article, Dr. Alex Jimenez explains how methylation can go wrong, specifically discussing cancer, autoimmune conditions, immune hypersensitivity and Down Syndrome.

Dr Jimenez White Coat

DNA methylation is a fundamental epigenetic mechanism which regulates gene expression, cell energy production, detoxification, and many other functions. Unfortunately, some people may experience methylation health issues which can affect overall health and wellness. Many health professionals may help treat these methylation problems with supplementation, however, research studies have demonstrated that supplementation can sometimes cause methylation to go wrong. Aberrant methylation can cause a variety of health issues, including immune dysregulation and dysfunction, blood sugar dysregulation and prenatal development dysfunction. 
Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Smoothies and Juices for Methylation Support

While many healthcare professionals can recommend nutritional guidelines and lifestyle modifications to improve methylation support, there are several options you can try yourself at home. As described above, methylation support supplementation should be determined by a healthcare professional. Smoothies and juices are a fast and easy way to include all the necessary nutrients you need for methylation support without any side-effects. The smoothies and juices below are part of the Methylation Diet Food Plan.

Sea Green Smoothie
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 handful of kale or spinach
• 1 handful of Swiss chard
• 1/4 avocado
• 2 teaspoons spirulina powder
• 1 cup water
• 3 or more ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and enjoy!

Berry Bliss Smoothie
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, preferably wild)
• 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seed
• 1 tablespoons almonds
• Water (to desired consistency)
• Ice cubes (optional, may omit if using frozen blueberries)
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Best served immediately!

Sweet and Spicy Juice
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 cup honeydew melons
• 3 cups spinach, rinsed
• 3 cups Swiss chard, rinsed
• 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems), rinsed
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
• 2-3 knobs whole turmeric root (optional), rinsed, peeled and chopped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!

Ginger Greens Juice
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 cup pineapple cubes
• 1 apple, sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
• 3 cups kale, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped
• 5 cups Swiss chard, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!

Zesty Beet Juice
Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!

Protein Power Smoothie
Serving: 1
Cook time: 5 minutes
• 1 scoop protein powder
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 kiwi, peeled
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of cardamom
• Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately!

ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet

Balanced methylation support can be achieved through proper nutrition. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet offers a 5-day meal program which has been individually packed and labeled to serve the foods you need for the FMD in precise quantities and combinations. The meal program is made up of ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare, plant-based foods, including bars, soups, snacks, supplements, a drink concentrate, and teas. The products are scientifically formulated and great tasting. Before starting the ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program, please make sure to talk to a healthcare professional to find out if the FMD is right for you. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet can help promote methylation support, among a variety of other healthy benefits.

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Many doctors and functional medicine practitioners may recommend higher doses of methyl donors in several patients, however, further research studies are needed to determine the proper amount of methylation supplementation. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

Additional Topic Discussion: Acute Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

Formulas for Methylation Support

Xymogen Formulas - El Paso, TX

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Proudly, Dr. Alexander Jimenez makes XYMOGEN formulas available only to patients under our care.

Please call our office in order for us to assign a doctor consultation for immediate access.

If you are a patient of Injury Medical & Chiropractic Clinic, you may inquire about XYMOGEN by calling 915-850-0900.

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*