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What is a Methylated Multivitamin?

What is a Methylated Multiviatmin? Background image: dna strands

Methylation is the process your body uses to turn genes on and off. Unfortunately, about 30-40% of the population carries a genetic mutation that makes methylation difficult. Even if you aren’t genetically predisposed to methylation problems, factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, and diet may interfere with your ability to make and process essential methyl-groups. Methylated multivitamins can help close the gap, but are they right for everyone? Find out!

What is methylation?

Methylation is an essential chemical process that regulates gene expression, cellular function, and (by extension) regulates the activity of some of our body’s most essential organ systems including the cardiovascular, reproductive, and central nervous systems. It also controls the behavior of other essential molecules such as proteins, lipids, hormones and more. 

Overall, methylation impacts: 

  • Energy production
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Hormones
  • Histamine
  • Liver function
  • DNA reproduction
  • Growth processes

DNA and Methylation

It all starts with DNA. Almost every cell in the human body contains DNA, the molecule responsible for carrying the genetic blueprint that governs how our body grows and functions. 

Segments of DNA assemble to form genes–inherited DNA patterns that determine your unique physical characteristics, controlling everything from your eye color to the way your liver functions. The average person has between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. However, only a fraction of those 20,000 genes are active at any one time. 

Gene expression and regulation

Genes turn on and off (processes known as gene expression and gene regulation, respectively) as part of the body’s natural growth and development. Because most cells in the body contain the same DNA and the same genes, gene expression acts like a kind of highlighting in the cell’s genetic code, telling it to act on one part of the instructions, while gene regulation tells the cell to ignore certain instructions.

In essence: gene expression tells a skin cell to act like a skin cell, while gene regulation tells the skin cell not to act like a brain cell. Both processes are essential to proper functioning. 

Methylation is the chemical process that triggers gene regulation–it’s the molecular equivalent of flipping a switch to the “off” position. 

Poor methylation

Unfortunately, this crucial methylation process can be disrupted by a number of factors, such as stress, age, environmental toxins, gut health, and poor nutrition.

This disruption, called poor methylation, can lead to a whole host of issues and illnesses, including chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, cognitive impairment, and even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 

Signs of poor methylation: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Brain fog
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Overactive Libido

What are methylated multivitamins?

Individuals who struggle with methylation may benefit from taking multivitamins that are already methylated. This means that the multivitamins already contain the active methyl-groups that individuals with poor methylation lack. 

Methylated multivitamins are easier for these individuals to absorb and use. Additionally, methylated multivitamins can help ease poor methylation, enhance mood and cognitive function, boost energy, and improve sleep quality. 

The most common form of methylated multivitamins are B Vitamins, especially folate B6 which plays an essential role in the methylation process. Supplementing your diet with a methylated vitamin allows your body to take in methyl-groups without expending any.    

Are methylated multivitamins better? 

In most cases, methylated multivitamins offer better absorption and bioavailability. However, for some people methylated multivitamins can cause problems.

Some individuals may experience overmethylation, a condition where the body creates too many methyl-groups and fails to use them. 

Signs of overmethylation include:

  • Rapid speech
  • Hyperactivity
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Paranoia
  • High pain threshold
  • Sleep disorders

Overmethylation is often associated with an excessive amount of copper, either because of copper supplements, or excessive consumption of copper rich foods such as oysters, shellfish, and organ meats. 

For these individuals, methylated multivitamins are not recommended. 

Foods for Better Methylation

Interested in boosting methylation without the use of Methylated B Multivitamins? There are several foods that can help you close the methylation gap. 

Foods for Better Methylation: Dark, leafy greens, Beets, Shiitake Mushrooms, Turmeric, Liver

Dark leafy greens such as spinach, collards, and turnip greens are rich in methyl-rich folate (B6). 

Beets, known for their high levels of methylated betaine, are an excellent source of naturally occurring methyl-groups. Beets can also help boost memory and cognitive function.

Turmeric, thanks to its choline content, is a powerful methylation adaptogen. For added benefit and better taste, consider using fermented turmeric.

Liver and other organ meats contain high levels of methylation boosting copper and folate (B6)

Mushrooms (especially shiitake) are great for methylation and contain methyl-boosting choline, copper, selenium, folate, and other B Vitamins.

Catalyn®, 360 Tablets

If you're interested in a multivitamin that can help with methylation but isn't methylated, we recommend Standard Process Catalyn. Made with organic ingredients, including bovine liver, kidney, and spleen, as well as shiitake mushrooms, Standard Process Catalyn can support a healthy methylation process without the hefty price-point of methylated multivitamins.