Methylation was something I stumbled across during my first healing journey. I just happened to have my homocysteine levels tested and they were a whopping 21 µmol/L! (normal should be around 7 µmol/L) I was a stroke waiting to happen! As I dug deeper, I discovered that part of the issue was a genetic MTHFR defect, which affects methylation or the metabolism of specific hormones and proteins. Methylation is critical for proper hormone balance as well as cardiovascular health.
Methylation is one of the least understood mechanisms in the human body. At the same time, it can be a key factor for assessing Breast Cancer risk. It is also a rather complicated function that is sometimes not not an easy thing to wrap your head around. Here is a small synopsis of what exactly methylation is, why it is so important and, finally, three simple actions you can take RIGHT NOW to support your own methylation pathways on your Healthy Breast journey.
What Is Methylation?
Methylation has to do with epigenetic changes that occur within our DNA. Epigenetics refers to changes to genetic expression that are caused by external factors and are thus reversible.
Explaining this process can get complicated but it can be easily understood by thinking of the role spark plugs play in your car. You know, that line of six to eight plugs you have to change periodically that converts one type of energy to another? Without them, your automobile won’t take you anywhere!
Keeping those spark plugs clean and able to convert quickly keeps your car running smoothly. This is basically what methylation is all about. It helps to convert one kind of chemical combination, especially proteins, into another so that the newly-transformed substance can be used by your body in a helpful way.
More specifically, methylation is an important, on-going biochemical process that is key for proper protein function. It involves a delicate dance between “methyl groups” (one carbon and three hydrogen atoms) and amino acids.
One very relevant methylation process that is important for you if you are on a Healthy Breast journey is the conversion of “strong” estrogens that may be more aggressive compared to milder estrogens that can actually be your ally on your healing journey.
Why Is Methylation Important for Breast Cancer Risk?
One characteristic of cancer cells is abnormal methylation pathways and mechanisms. This fact was discovered by Dr. Steve Horvath of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr Horvath is known for creating the “epigenetic clock” that identifies cellular aging. As a “bioinformatician,” Horvath’s job is to dive into the microscopic mechanics of DNA, including the structure of proteins.
As a result of Dr. Horvath’s inquiry into the “epigenetic clock,” he discovered that mammary tissue around Breast Cancer cells tend to look up to 12 years older than healthy tissue. Methylation processes change as we age so measuring methylation rates of specific tissues in the body can help determine cancer risk.
If you want to know about the specific status of your own methylation pathways, getting a DNA test is very helpful. Connect with your physician or a qualified natural health provider to find out more.
3 Ways to Support Methylation for Breast Health
Because many issues with methylation are caused by epigenetic DNA changes, there are things you can do RIGHT NOW to strengthen them. Here are just a few:
#1 Cut Down On Stress.
Lowering stress responses in the body (and the high cortisol levels that go with them) can significantly help to balance and strengthen methylation pathways. A 2016 study published in the journal Epigenomics, used the emerging field of “brain imaging epigenetics” to verify a strong correlation between DNA methylation patterns in the body’s tissues and those that may occur in the brain related to cognition and mood.
The first step in lowering stress is to take some time to evaluate the level and stress in your life:
Are you burning the candle at both ends?
Are you letting your emotions run your life?
Have you been neglecting doing the things that you enjoy which are self-nurturing to you?
Sometimes simply focusing, prioritizing and saying “no” to nonessential commitments and energy-draining situations can really help lower stress and regain energy.
Next, be targeted and focused in your desire to lower the hormones of stress that can affect your body negatively in so many ways. A lot of well-researched and effective modalities are discussed on this site. Some of these modalities may include mindfulness meditation, prayer, being in nature, using Emotional Freedom Technique (or Tapping), exercising and even gardening! Go on an adventure to discover what works for you.
#2 Support Your Liver
The liver is your largest detoxification organ.
You can support your liver by avoiding harsh, toxic chemicals that may overload it. These can come from commercial foods, unfiltered tap water, chemical-laden sundry products and environmental pollutants.
Next, you can take simple yet important steps to actively support and reboot your liver. Doing a coffee enema on a routine basis is perhaps the number one action you can take to support your phase II detoxification pathways. Coffee contains the phytochemicals kahweol and cafestol which help to support glutathione levels and lower inflammation. Glutathione is known as the “mother of all antioxidants.”
#3 Consider Key Supplements That Can Help
Finally, there are certain foods as well as supplements that are especially helpful for balancing and supporting methylation. Flax seeds are one of my go-to’s in this regard because of what they can do to support detoxification, balance hormones and support cardiovascular health in general.
Another key substance is called SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine.) It is a metabolite that is produced naturally in the body and also can be absorbed through food. It is a key substance for brain health since it helps to synthesize neurotransmitters as well as melatonin. SAMe also plays a vital role in healthy methylation since it is one of the most active “methyl donors” in the body. SAMe needs B12 and folate, key B vitamins, in order to do its job in the body. The 7 Essentials System™ SAMe supplement contains 200 mg 100% non-GMO SAMe plus key B vitamins needed for its activation.
Another key supplement specifically designed to support breast health through methylation is the 7 Essentials System™ Methyl Support. Methyl Support combines a number of key natural substances which synergistically work to positively effect this process as well as homocysteine metabolism. Methyl Support contains two proprietary blends that are not found in any other methylation-supporting supplement.
1.) NatureFolate™ is a proprietary blend of specific, naturally-produced folate and other B-vitamin groupings.
2.) Homocysteine Supreme™ supports the production of taurine and cysteine as well as the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, which are key players in healthy methylation. These amino acids also support joint function, immune function, brain health and heart health. Homocysteine in general is a very important amino acid grouping for heart and brain health when produced in the right amounts. High homocysteine levels can lead to cardiovascular challenges and is often related to vitamin B deficiency.
Support Methylation on Your Healthy Breast Journey!
In the middle of all the other positive things we are doing to support our good health, remembering to support methylation may seem like just one more thing. The good news is that by putting into place the three important actions listed above and making them a part of your overall weekly routine, you will be supporting methylation automatically, in addition to helping dozens of other healthy mechanisms in your body at the same time.
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V, is the founder of The 7 Essentials System ™, a step-by-step guide that teaches you exactly how to prevent and heal Breast Cancer Naturally. To get your F.R.E.E. 7-day mini e-course, and to receive her weekly action steps and inspiring articles on the power of Natural Medicine, visit https://breastcancerconqueror.com.