Methylation problems lead to countless diseases

Dear Pharmacist: I met you at a book signing and you said something that stuck. You told me that if I have allergies, fatigue and multiple chemical sensitivities that I may have a methylation difficulty. You also told me not to take green coffee bean extract. Can you please tell me more? — S.J., Vail, Colo.

Dear S.J.: Methylation is a big word you probably don't think applies to you. However, read on because knowing about methylation could improve or save your life.

Just look at the list of people who might have a methylation problem: Children with autism, anyone with a seizure disorder, neurological condition, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, severe Lyme disease, chronic infections, diabetes, allergies, fertility issues, miscarriages, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, anxiety or any psychiatric illness. That's the short list. Oh, and if you are extremely sensitive to medicine, or to nitrous gas (given by the dentist), you might have a methylation problem too.

We all have an enzymatic pathway going on inside our bodies at all times called methylation, and it has numerous life-sustaining functions. One of its primary purposes is to convert folate from your meals into glutathione, a potent antioxidant that neutralizes poisons. A problem anywhere along this metabolic pathway spells illness. My concern is that your symptoms are being heavily medicated when it's just a problem of methylation.

About 45 percent of people have a genetic issue, but blockages in this pathway can happen if you take certain medications or have certain nutrient deficiencies. Green coffee bean extract is incredibly high in catechols, and those block methylation. Same deal with potatoes (regular or sweet), tea and coffee.

Testing for methylation is often covered by insurance. Because people with a methylation difficulty have trouble eliminating poisons, they build up in the body and that's what causes all the health concerns. Opening up the roadblock helps clear your body of poisons, which should reduce symptoms.

If you can't methylate properly, you cannot produce CoQ10, carnitine, creatine or ATP (energy). You would also have nerve pain because the methylation process helps make the protective wrapping around your nerves.

Some medications are what I call "drug muggers" of nutrients needed for the methylation process. Among them are methotrexate, metformin, antacids, acid blockers, estrogen-containing drugs and nitrous oxide. Drinking alcohol will pretty much shut down your methylation. By the way, some doctors recommend high dose folic acid and vitamin B12, but this is not always helpful and can be harmful. Details will be sent via my newsletter. If you've signed up for it in the past, you don't need to do so again.

This is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Go to SuzyCohen.com.

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