Methylation and Cancer: How Lifestyle Habits May Lead to Gene Mutations
An intriguing aspect about DNA found in humans is that a good portion of it is actually not human–it is alien, a foreign invader from millions of years ago.
What I mean by this is that we have DNA in our very own human bodies that codes for viruses, plants, fish, reptiles, bacteria, and fungi, etc.
Why is it that we are not walking around with a tails, scales, or wings?
The answer lies in the fact that we have neon signs in our DNA that are under tight lock and key that says, do not open, ever.
In order to keep the genie in the bottle so these alien genes never express themselves, Methyl Tags come in.
Methyl Tags are essentially biochemical switches that keep the gene volume control button low to zero–so you will never express this foreign DNA.
Methyl tags need to be discussed and put into consideration because they are very important for our health.
These methyl tags in essence turn off or on the cancer genes, neurodegenerative genes, calcification genes, etc.
Yes, your genetic material changes during your life span, meaning the DNA you were born with is not the DNA you will die with, because of gene mutations that occur throughout your lifetime.
Gene mutations occur because it's impossible to keep all of the Methyl groups suppressed all of the time.
For example, poor lifestyle habits may lead to gene mutations that lead to the bad cancer gene finally getting expressed.
This happens because the methyl donors turns on the oncogene–a gene that can transform a cell into a tumor.
Or, the tumor suppressing genes mutate and get turned off leading to tumor growth.
There is even spontaneous expression of mutations due to exposure to radiation particularly because of an atomic particle called a muon.
Methylation is as important as oxygen and SAMe is a main player in the process because it is the body's main methyl donor.
Science knows that accelerated homocysteine levels slow down the production of SAMe.
The long term consequences of low SAMe production in the body result in cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, and in childhood autism and childhood cancers–just to name a few.
The body takes the SAMe that is made in folate and methionine biochemical pathways in the cells, which then takes the SAMe from point A to point B in the body–adding a tag which acts as a work order to parts of DNA and acts on the vitamin and mineral enzyme sites on the cell.
By adding that tag, or what’s technically called the methyl group, it helps repair your DNA on a daily basis.
It helps keep inflammation in check, it replenishes the compounds needed for detoxification, and it helps maintain a stable mood.
However, arguably one of the most important functions of methylation is affecting gene expression.
When this tag gets added to that gene, vitamin, or mineral enzyme binding site, it actually changes the function.
Methylation, in this sense, is first tagging toxic substances and then altering them in a way that allows the body to identify them as toxins and eliminate them rapidly and simply.
Some molecules are then able to be eliminated through the bile, while some molecules will pass into the bloodstream to be removed by the kidneys in the urine.
And in the case of DNA, by adding this methyl group, or this tag, you’re actually turning genes on or off.
This can be referred to as gene expression.
Our understanding now is that genes alone account for less than 10% of disease, and the exposome, which are all the environmental factors that an individual is exposed to from the moment of conception to when we die.
The contribution of the exposome plus its interaction with genes and gene expression is really what accounts for 90% of the diseases that we’re dealing with in today's toxic world.
So here we have methylation as a process which really has a profound influence on the epigenetic expression of genes, which really boils down to determining our risk of chronic illness.
This process happens about 1 billion times per second as it passes the methyl group from one molecule to another making things like CoQ10, melatonin, creatinine, carnitine, and glutathione influencing ATP, and DNA.
Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, and others metals, especially copper overload, reduce the body’s production of SAMe, by throwing a monkey wrench into the biochemical pathways and thus wreaking havoc on the body.
When the body has difficulty synthesizing one amino acid into an amino acid that can be readily used by different systems in the body it can cause a lot of health problems.
This can be a factor in cardiovascular disease, mental illness such as depression, and perhaps other health conditions such as fatigue and exhaustion.
While doctors may tell you the problem is “genetic” (and therefore incurable), our evidence today is that it is not incurable.
It is a matter of knowing a person's biochemical blueprint through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and seeing where their weaknesses and imbalances lie.
Especially since we know how much minerals and heavy metals impact methylation.
SAMe is involved in homocysteine metabolism, but if the pendulum is pushed in favor of producing more homocysteine instead of the pendulum swinging to SAMe production, we run into problems.
This is when chronic aging diseases in adults, and developmental problems in children begin to occur.
Childhood developmental problems are becoming alarmingly more frequent today due to the excess copper and toxic metals.
If the preferred minerals are not in the body on the right enzyme specific sights, then the more these toxic metals build up, the more homocysteine will be produced and the less SAMe is available in the body–resulting in more of the bad genes being expressed.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is like no other test because it reveals the toxic metals and the mineral status of the body so we can intelligently apply a sound mineral balancing detoxification program to turn off the cancer genes, turn on the tumor suppressing genes, turn off the Alzheimer’s gene as we increase our methylation capacity–even if we have the heterozygous and the more nefarious homozygous SNP’s.
If you are interested in learning more, please fill out our health intake form for a free consultation.