Methylation is one of the most important processes in your body. Now researchers are discovering that the rate of DNA methylation can also be an indication of how prone tissues may be to cancer.
What is Methylation?
If you have read my blog for a while, you may already know that I am a big proponent of developing strategies to help your body’s methylation processes and pathways. For an in-depth description of what exactly this is, be sure to check out my other blog HERE. In a nutshell, however, this process causes proteins and hormones to chemically “change” into other substances. For example, methylation helps convert “strong” estrogens to less aggressive estrogens. It also plays a big role in DNA expression. According to research, cancer cells have abnormal methylation.
UCLA Study: DNA Methylation Changes As We Age
New research has discovered that levels of DNA methylation change as we age and that measuring the rate of methylation of certain tissues may help determine cancer risk. This is according to Steve Horvath, a bioinformatician at
the University of California, Los Angeles who has created the “epigenetic clock,” which is a way to measure human aging through “epigenetic signatures. (A bioinformatician is a scientist who understand that underlying “mechanics” of genomics and protein structure).
New research by Horvath and others suggest that a special “code” is written into each body’s “epigenome” that can
tell the age of a particular tissue and of its cells. Methylation rates change for all healthy cells as one ages; Horvath explains how these levels differ in human tissue from before birth to age 101 in a paper published in the journal Genome Biology.
DNA Methylation, Aging and Cancer
Horvath says that certain tissues can age faster than others– and those tissues may be more prone to cancer.
Horvath’s study is considered groundbreaking by many experts. According to University College London computational biologist Andrew Teschendorf, it “represents the most convincing demonstration so far” of age-associated changes in DNA methylation.
Most interesting is what Horvath found about women’s breast tissue in a 2017 study. This tissue methylates in such a way that it looks roughly three years older than other healthy tissue from the same woman.
When samples of healthy tissue that were located close to a breast cancer tumor were analyzed, Horvath found that this tissue appeared 12 years older than healthy tissue in other parts of the body.
Horvath also analyzed tissue from areas around 20 other kinds of cancer. He found that the average age of tissue surrounding a diseased area was about 36 years older than other healthy tissue!
More Proof of the Importance of Your Methylation Pathways
Horvath’s discovery lays the foundation for a more precise predictor of which tissues are prone to cancer. His “epigenetic clock” also proves that external factors such as diet, lifestyle and stress affect genes to play a huge part in how we age.
There are many things you can do now to support the vital methylation pathways in your body. One way is to get your estrogen levels checked in order to see if you are breaking down and excreting any excessive estrogens.
You can also get a DNA test that can determine if you have a genetic defect that may prevent you from proper methylation patterns. Be sure to connect with your holistic health provider to find out more about these tests.
Helping to balance and detoxify your liver can also be a huge step. Cutting down on the stress and including hormone balancers like flax seed , broccoli sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables can help support these pathways.
Finally, if you feel that you need maximum support, targeted supplementation may be just what you need. The 7 Essentials System® Brocco Power contains sulforaphane extracted from broccoli sprouts and is an excellent addition to your daily routine for both methylation and immune system support on your healthy breast journey!
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr V”) is the founder of Breast Cancer Conqueror.com and The 7 Essentials System ™. This step-by-step guide empowers you with knowledge so you Never Have to Fear Breast Cancer Again! To watch a FREE webinar about the 7 steps for beating breast cancer naturally, Click Here.
I don’t want to go through chemo. Are there any true alternatives? Do you know of any alternative doctor in NYC that has success in this?
Hi Ann! Many women do choose to avoid chemo and have had success. Have you considered coaching? Here is a link with the options: https://breastcancerco.wpengine.com/coaching-programs/