Methylation: What and Why is this important to my child?

Most biological processes are complex, including how to describe them. Methylation is one of the more important ones. It is necessary to:

  • Protect and repair out DNA and genetic material
  • Is involved in neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behaviour
  • Initiates the detoxification processes of the body

Methylation is also connected to cardiovascular disease and cancer. The focus now is how it connects to Autism and ADHD.

Treatment of methylation dysfunction has led to:

  • Improved speech and language skills
  • Increased social skills
  • More focus or concentration
  • Supporting detoxification of environmental toxins like mercury, lead, pesticides, phthalates and more

Simply put methylation is the attachment or removal of methyl groups (1 carbon, 3 hydrogen atoms) and how it affects a chemical process. Adding a methyl group might inactivate a change in gene function, while removing the methyl group could trigger change in the gene and cause metabolic or health problems. Scientific evidence of methylation dysfunction in Autism, ADHD and other childhood disorders is well established.

How to test for methylation dysfunction:

  1. Biomarkers such as methylmalonic acid and pyroglutamic acid
  2. Blood tests such as homocysteine
  3. Genomic tests such as MTHFR

Options for treating methylation dysfunction in children:

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Reduce exposure to chemical toxins
  3. Eat a whole foods diet
  4. Exercise
  5. Avoid second hand smoke
  6. Give supporting nutrients: the activated forms of folate, methyl-B12, Vitamin B6 as well as supplements like DMG or TMG (dimethyl or trimethylglycine), SAMe.

Consult with Dr. Scott Clack, ND to get help with understanding if methylation is working for, or against your child.

Dr. Scott Clack

Dr. Scott Clack graduated from the Naturopathic Medicine program at Bastyr University (Seattle, WA) in 1997. He practiced in B.C. for two years before moving to Ontario and starting practice in April 2000. In activities with the naturopathic profession, Dr. Clack was a Director of the B.C. Naturopathic Association from 1998 through 1999, as well as being appointed to the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy (the regulatory board of Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario) between 2002 and 2004. He was also voted Naturopathic Doctor of the Year in 2005 by his peers in the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors.