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Introduction to Methylation by Shelese Pratt, ND

Watch our short video as Dr. Shelese Pratt discusses what methylation is.



Why use genomics?

Because, you know, it’s a hot topic, it has been a hot topic for several years now.

Your patients are going to ask about it. They’re hearing about 23andMe on TV. They’re hearing from buzzwords, or they’re seeing a Goop article or Mindbodygreen article, and they need to know about MTHFR. So, you guys need to know what that means and how to use it in your practice most successfully.


What is Methylation?

Methylation is the addition of a methyl group (CH3) to another molecule.

Okay, so what is methylation? Like at the very basis what is methylation?

Methylation is the addition of a methyl group, which is a carbon and three hydrogens into another molecule. And the body’s main methyl donor is SAM-e. Okay, and SAM-e activates other enzymes by donating its methyl group. And this either turns on or off some kind of process. And it happens in all cells of the body. Every cell methylates. But we specifically think about it a lot in the liver and phase two of liver detoxification.


Prenatal Supplement with Methylfolate

Treatment and prevention of depression in women trying to conceive and during pregnancy

Let’s talk about pregnancy for a minute here. The ability to make and generate as much tissue as well as for the mother, as well as the baby takes a tremendous amount of choline, a lot of choline.

Choline is a major nutrient that you need in order to methylate correctly. The need for phosphatidylcholine is exceptionally high in pregnancy, or somebody wanting to get pregnant. So, phosphatidylcholine is, I think, deficient in 90% of women that are trying to get pregnant or have gotten pregnant. We used to get this in our diet from eggs, we still get it in our diet from eggs, but we used to get a lot of this from liver, actually, when our culture ate more chicken liver or different kinds of animal’s organs. And specifically in the liver, we find a lot of choline.


Epigenetics: Environmental Factors, Family History or Illness

So environmental factors and family history of illness. Stress, diet, nutrition, sleep, mindset, microbiome, right? Microbiome is another big area that influences the way our genes respond and react and behave.

We have more and more genetic material in our microbiome than we have cells in our body, you know, just metabolize that for a minute. And they are influencing, absolutely. So, treating the GI is super important for methylation. We need to know what that microbiome is doing, or at least what’s been influencing it, right, whether it’s through food choices or environmental impacts.