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Methylation: Fundamental to a Healthy Nervous System

DeannaJ.Fall,BAa,b and Sirid-AiméeKellermann,PhD

Methylation, the addition of a methyl group to facilitate a biochemical reaction, is vital to a wide variety of biological processes. Among other things, methylation facilitates detoxification (especially in the liver), and is important for proper functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It is critical for the synthesis of all monoamine neurotransmitters and histamine; for example, the enzyme that converts norepinephrine to epinephrine is dependent on methylation for activation.

A variety of extrinsic and intrinsic factors including stress, nutritional deficits, certain disease states, and genetics can contribute to insufficient methylation. This can result in a reduced ability to synthesize monoamine neurotransmitters and to remove toxins and metabolic waste, which in turn can lead to symptoms such as low mood, anxiousness, sleep issues, fatigue, and decreased cognition. Regaining appropriate neurotransmitter synthesis by supporting methylation pathways can lead to increased health and the reduction or prevention of symptoms.

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