WORK IN PROGRESS
What is Methylation and Why is it Important?
A Methyl Group is a molecular grouping of atoms, consisting of 1 Carbon Atom and 3 Hydrogen Atoms (CH3).
Methylation tends to be impaired in individuals within the autism spectrum. Methylation is required in order to produce glutathione which is an anti-oxidant critical to the body's natural process of detoxification and removal of heavy metals from the body.
Methylation is a metabolic process within the body that uses methyl groups to perform functions that include: regulating levels of histamine (which is a key factor in allergic responses), protecting DNA, promoting detoxification, producing neurotransmitters, and carrying out other brain functions.
Approximately 45%-85% of individuals or more within the autism spectrum are believed to be under-methylators (do no have enough methyl groups) and 10-15% are believed to be over-methylators (have too many methyl groups).
Under-methylators tend to produce lower levels of the following neurotransmitters: serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, norepinephrine.
Conditions that can be associated with undermethylation (but not always) include: low-energy, internal anxiety, depression, and anorexia.
Supplements that tend to benefit undermethylators: methyl donors (such as DMG (dimethylglycine), TMG (trimethylglycine), methyl-B12 (methylcobalamin), methyl-B6 (P5), and methylated folic acid (folinic acid or methyltetrafolate), methionine.
Under-methylators tend to develop excessive levels of folates so levels of folic acid should be monitored carefully. It is best to use a methylated version of folic acid (5-methyltetrahydrofolate) than non-methylated folic acid.
Under-methylators tend to become more mentally alert when given supplements containing methyl donors.
Over-methylators are believed to have elevated levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels.
Supplements that tend to benefit over-methylators: non-methylated B vitamins (folic acid, B-12, niacin (or niacinamide), B-6), and DMAE.
Conditions that can be associated with over-methylation (but not always): hyperactivity, outwardly expressed anxiety.
Over-methylators tend to become hyper and “stimmy” given methyl donors. Generally they should avoid methionine SAMe, TMG, DMG, and methylated B vitamins.