Diet Food Plan for Methylation
According to research studies, methylation support through nutrition involves using a diet food plan which includes different nutrient needs and avoids factors that can negatively affect DNA methylation. A diet food plan for methylation support should be nutritionally replete, anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic, antioxidant-rich, and supportive of detoxification processes.
A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, complete proteins, and whole grains provides enough nutrients for methylation. Superfoods, such as beets, spinach, sea vegetables, daikon radish, shiitake mushrooms, salmon, fish roe, whitefish, oysters, eggs, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds, provide increased levels of nutrients for DNA methylation. Organ meats, such as liver, are also good sources of nutrients, including vitamin B2, B3, B6, folate, choline, and betaine.
Bioactive chemicals and substances in food can affect DNA methylation, which generally appear to be site-selective and dose-dependent. By way of instance, phytochemicals like selenium have been demonstrated to limit the production of DNMT enzymes. These include compounds found in plant foods, such as apigenin, betanin, biochanin A, caffeic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid, curcumin, cyanidin, daidzein, ellagic acid, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin 3-gallate or EGCG, galangin, genistein, hesperidin, luteolin, lycopene, myricetin, naringenin, quercetin, resveratrol, rosmarinic acid, and sulforaphane.
One of the processes affecting the anti-cancer benefits of compounds, such as genistein, anthocyanins and green tea polyphenols, includes the selective de-methylation of the promoter regions in tumor suppressor genes. Bioactive chemicals and substances in food have been demonstrated to regulate gene expression in processes, such as Phase I and Phase II detoxification. Moreover, including whole, colorful, and varied plant foods in the diet may help benefit nutrient status, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant effects, as well as DNA methylation and epigenetic expression.
Oxidative stress can be further reduced in the diet by avoiding food preparation techniques that promote the development of pro-oxidative advanced glycation end products. Advanced glycation end products develop when animal-derived foods are cooked in high, dry heat. Their development can also be tremendously reduced by cooking at lower heats with moisture. Proper hydration is also an important factor in reducing oxidative stress. Phytonutrients are fundamental because of their function as beneficial enzyme regulators as well as powerful antioxidants.
Calorie restriction may frequently be recommended because it is believed to slow or reverse the age-related decline in global DNA methylation. Calorie restriction has also been demonstrated to help regulate the methylation of genes associated with diseases like cancer. Together with a low carbohydrate diet, an extended night-time fast, such as by finishing all food intake by 7 pm, can trigger the production of β-hydroxybutyrate, an important ketone body which may ultimately have protective effects on the epigenome and may provide considerable anti-inflammatory effects.
While doctors and functional medicine practitioners can commonly utilize short-term, targeted ketogenic diets due to their anti-inflammatory and weight loss results, it should be noted that a full ketogenic diet, although recommended as an effective treatment for epilepsy and certain cancers, may not be suitable for long-term methylation support due to the restriction on amino acid intake that can decrease overall methionine status. Furthermore, fortified grains should be reduced or eliminated, especially if methyl donors are not tolerated. Alcohol is inadvisable because it produces unfavorable DNA methylation patterns which may interfere with SAMe activity and prevents folate metabolism through MTR enzymes.
Further details of the diet food plan for methylation support is demonstrated in Table 12 below, which shows what foods to include, and what foods to exclude to ultimately help improve DNA methylation status and activity. Bolded foods are especially notable for their contribution to methylation-associated nutrients. Bolded and capitalized foods are the most significant contributors to methylation-associated nutrients. The following case discusses how a combination of diet, supplements, and lifestyle habits can help decrease homocysteine and improve overall health and wellness.
Susan described feeling healthy until she gave birth to her first child. felt that she had been healthy up until having her first child. Now postmenopausal at age 57, she was currently diagnosed with latent autoimmune diabetes of adults, or LADA, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Her blood glucose was 335 ng/dL, with an HbA1C of 12.1. Susan’s treatment was multi-faceted, customized to address the various underlying factors which were associated with these health issues, among other common concerns.
Her initial program included a low carbohydrate, anti-inflammatory diet and micronutrient for gut repair, detoxification, and blood sugar control. A modest methyl donor prescription included 400 mcg 5- mTHF and 1000 mcg methyl-B12. At two months, Susan’s blood sugar was 108. However, her homocysteine was 14.0. She was also characterized as heterozygous for both the MTHFR 677 and 1298 mutations. These findings helped healthcare professionals develop diet food plans for methylation support. Methyl donor prescription was modestly increased to 800 mcg 5-mTHF and 5000 mcg methylcobalamin.
Susan started a gluten-free, dairy-free, diet food plan which also addressed her ongoing needs for blood sugar control, curbing inflammation, and balancing immune function. This helped Susan emphasize foods rich in methylation nutrients, such as leafy greens, beets, daikon, shiitake, spinach, seeds, and high-quality protein. One of the main challenges for Susan was her frequent business travels to Asia. Careful advice and guidelines for navigating restaurant food as well as dry food supplies to take with her for meal replacements and snacks as needed, helped her continue to follow the diet food plan. Guidance for reducing mercury exposure in food, as her mercury levels were initially too high and she did have remaining amalgams which also contributed to that result, and participating in “clean” living and stress management techniques, promoted her diet food plan.
Four months after her evaluation, her lab tests demonstrated remarkable results. Her fasting blood glucose went down to 82 and her homocysteine is at 7.1. Susan reports feeling very well and is motivated to continue following the diet food plan as well as following through with the recommendations the healthcare professionals recommended to her.
Following a diet food plan is fundamental to continue to ensure desired levels of nutrient intake. Even “healthy” diets can be lacking in nutrients or they may fail to achieve enough treatment nutrient levels if they are utilized incorrectly. Healthcare professionals also recommend regular nutrient intake evaluations, especially in the early stages of following a diet food plan, to make any adjustments which may be needed to optimize a patients methylation support and help promote overall health and wellness.
As previously discussed in other articles, supplements and medications can be utilized to help improve DNA methylation, however, these may often cause a variety of side-effects if they’re not monitored carefully by healthcare professionals and patients. The use of a diet food plan is a safe and effective alternative which can help promote methylation support naturally without the side-effects of supplements and medications. In addition, a qualified doctor and functional medicine practitioner can customize a patient’s diet food plan and provide advice and guidelines to help promote overall health and wellness. Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
While many healthcare professionals can recommend nutritional guidelines and lifestyle modifications to improve methylation support, there are several options you can try yourself at home. As described above, methylation support supplementation should be determined by a healthcare professional. Smoothies and juices are a fast and easy way to include all the necessary nutrients you need for methylation support without any side-effects. The smoothies and juices below are part of the Methylation Diet Food Plan.
Sea Green Smoothie Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed • 1/2 banana • 1 handful of kale or spinach • 1 handful of Swiss chard • 1/4 avocado • 2 teaspoons spirulina powder • 1 cup water • 3 or more ice cubes Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and enjoy!
Berry Bliss Smoothie Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, preferably wild) • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seed • 1 tablespoons almonds • Water (to desired consistency) • Ice cubes (optional, may omit if using frozen blueberries) Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Best served immediately!
Sweet and Spicy Juice Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1 cup honeydew melons • 3 cups spinach, rinsed • 3 cups Swiss chard, rinsed • 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems), rinsed • 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped • 2-3 knobs whole turmeric root (optional), rinsed, peeled and chopped Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!
Ginger Greens Juice Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1 cup pineapple cubes • 1 apple, sliced • 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped • 3 cups kale, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped • 5 cups Swiss chard, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!
Zesty Beet Juice Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced • 1 apple, washed and sliced • 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced • 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!
Protein Power Smoothie Serving: 1 Cook time: 5 minutes • 1 scoop protein powder • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed • 1/2 banana • 1 kiwi, peeled • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • Pinch of cardamom • Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately!
Balanced methylation support can be achieved through proper nutrition. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet offers a 5-day meal program which has been individually packed and labeled to serve the foods you need for the FMD in precise quantities and combinations. The meal program is made up of ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare, plant-based foods, including bars, soups, snacks, supplements, a drink concentrate, and teas. The products are scientifically formulated and great tasting. Before starting the ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program, please make sure to talk to a healthcare professional to find out if the FMD is right for you. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet can help promote methylation support, among a variety of other healthy benefits.
Many doctors and functional medicine practitioners can recommend nutritional advice and/or guidelines to help improve DNA methylation. Proper nutrition and lifestyle habits can ultimately help improve DNA methylation. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
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