What Do Infertility, Childhood Attention Disorders + Premature Aging All Have In Common?
Over the past decade in my naturopathic medical practice, I have treated women for infertility, pms, gynecological concerns, and pregnancy complaints.
Then invariably, as women age, they bring their children to see me and continue to see me themselves for their own female ailments post pregnancy – libido, healthy aging or hormonal balance.
What I’ve learned is this:
There is one commonality among many of these women and children that causes their health to be subpar.
To keep this simple, I will spell it out. Many of these women and children are suffering due to one single root cause: Methylation breakdown.
Methylation. I know, this jargon is confusing, but trust me, it’s crucial to know for your health and for the health of your whole family.
What is Methylation?
Methylation is a key chemical process that occurs millions of times each day inside our bodies to help us to:
- Repair DNA
- Control homocysteine (think – high cholesterol, heart disease risk factor)
- Balance mood
- Reduce inflammation
Methylation breakdown occurs when your body is unable to perform this methylation process and your health suffers.
Since the B family of vitamins are crucial for methylating, proper vitamin supplementation in addition to several other factors, must be addressed to reverse methylation breakdown.
That’s right. We need B vitamins to methylate properly.
Many of us are taking daily multivitamins and bottles of B vitamins to combat stress, fatigue, insomnia, and memory problems, but still despite supplementation, many people suffer from these symptoms and poor health. So why aren’t we getting all that we can from our vitamins?
The answer lies in genetics, dietary balance, and a certain form of B vitamins.
And until we address these three problems, deficiencies will go uncorrected. Women will continue to struggle to get pregnant. Women will struggle to balance their blood sugar. Women will struggle with heart and cancer risk. And many of our children will struggle at school.
So herein lies the solution to many of the health concerns you are faced with today.
The Solution to the problem
Although women of childbearing age are told repeatedly to “take your folic acid” when trying to conceive, this information is incorrect. When women take the wrong form of folate, research shows that 20% or more of these women will suffer from infertility.
Women who have a methylation breakdown cannot use folic acid for their reproductive health. Period. These women require folate. Here’s more – it’s also the methyl form of folate (also called preformed folate or MTHF) that is required for baby’s spinal cord development. We can actually reduce spina bifida by 75% in these cases simply by supplementing with the methyl form of folate. Not folic acid.
When children are not given the right balance of foods and a multivitamin without the methyl form of certain B vitamins, many children will develop attention disorders. If your child has a methylation breakdown, and we give her B vitamins, like cyanocobalamin and folic acid, many of these children won’t be able to use these vitamins to fight inflammation, to detox, and to regulate their moods. In order to thrive, these children require the methyl form of B vitamins.
Signs of Aging:
When stress impacts us, we can develop heart palpitations, premature wrinkles, and other signs of aging. If we aren’t eating the right foods or supplementing with the methyl form of certain B vitamins, these symptoms will go on to cause further health deterioration. If you have a methylation breakdown, it is imperative that you consume the correct form of B vitamins to improve to prevent, and even reverse, disease.
So why are some of us not methylating properly?
Here are the top 8 reasons you may not be methylating properly
1) Genetics. Studies show that upwards of 20% of us have genetic reasons for not methylating properly. This means that in order to prevent disease, we need to take special measures to make sure we are getting the right form of B vitamins.
2) Poor diet – Inadequate intake of green leafy veggies, legumes, fruit, whole grains, eggs, fish can result in low B vitamin status. Also, certain foods compete for absorption of B vitamins such as sugar, too much animal protein, saturated fat, coffee, alcohol, and pesticides.
3) Poor vitamin quality – If you are still buying certain lower quality vitamins that contain cyanocobalamin or folic acid, you may not be using these vitamins to their full potential. The best B vitamins are in the methyl form. If you don’t see methylcobalamin, or methyltetrahydrafolate (MTHF), or pyridoxal 5 phosphate in your multivitamin, B-complex, or Detox powder, you’re not taking the right stuff.
4) Toxins – Smoking and environmental pollutants can all interfere with vitamin absorption. Detoxifying toxins requires more B vitamins and people exposed to increased toxins can end up depleted of B vitamins.
5) Poor digestion – If we aren’t digesting our food properly, we won’t absorb our vitamins. Plain and simple. If you suffer from food allergies, intestinal disorders, you may not be absorbing your vitamins.
6) Low stomach acid can reduce our activation of vitamin B12 and methylation problems can result.
7) Pharmaceutical drugs that block vitamin absorption including cancer medications, arthritis, autoimmune, birth control, blood pressure medications, seizure medications can all impede our use of B vitamins.
8) Medical conditions including thyroid disease, kidney disease, cancer can prevent proper B vitamin use and methylation problems can result.
If you suspect that you have a methylation defect, here are 5 things you can do:
1) Get tested. Ask your naturopathic physician to test you for methylation disorders (also called Single Nucleotide Polymorphism test or SNP test).
2) Optimize your diet! Increase green veggies; avoid food and drinks containing sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and pesticides.
3) Improve digestion. Ask your naturopathic physician to test you for food allergies and find out if you have an underlying problem that is preventing you from absorbing all your required nutrients.
4) Avoid medications that interfere with methylation capacity or if you must take them, ensure you are supplementing properly to avoid deficiencies.
5) Take quality supplements that everyone can absorb well to reduce chance of disease.
- Folate (methyl tetrahydrafolate, MTHF, folinic acid, or 5formylTHF) 200mcg to 1mg daily
- B12 – 500mcg to 5mg daily orally of methycobalamin or ask your naturopathic physician or medical doctor for vitamin B12 shots
- B6 – take 2 to 250mg daily depending on your current health condition. Ensure it’s the active form of B6, which is called pyridoxyl-5-phosphate.
By working to optimize your body’s use of B vitamins including increasing your intake of proper foods and supplements, you can avoid methylation problems and prevent virtually every disease typically associated with the aging process.
Do you have any of these symptoms? What will you do to optimize your body’s use of these key essential nutrients?
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