Energy, beauty, and the M-word
You've probably noticed the link between how you eat and how you feel. But what about when you eat well enough for long enough: have you noticed how a healthy diet gives you more energy, better blood panels, and radiant skin? How are these all related?
One reason is related to your “B” vitamins and your methylation status.
A "methyl" is just a small molecule. It's one of the smallest things you can make with the materials readily available in your body. Because it's so small and so common, a methyl group is one of the easiest ways your cells can signal to each other to make things happen.
The methylation process is so universal that the only metaphor I can think of is your time. Need to accomplish anything? You're going to need time - and methyl groups - to do it. It's used as a part of almost everything your body does, but do you know if you have enough methyl groups to keep up with your body's demand?
For example, methylation is used for:
- Repairing damaged skin and any other cancer-causing DNA damage
- Making neurotransmitters and maintaining mental clarity
- Coding how your genes are expressed
- Making new cells (think of your blood cells, which have to turn over every 3 months to keep you working and energized)
The list goes on. So if you've got a sunburn, your body is directing extra energy and methyl groups into repairing damaged DNA. And if your levels are being used up there, your body has less to use for something else on that list. That's a reason why you might consider getting more riboflavin - a methyl donor - help prevent DNA damage while tanning and keep your skin healthy and beautiful. With skin health and methylation, there’s an interesting other key nutrient that might be able to help; read on for more details.
Other ways you might have low methyl stores are if you're not getting enough in your food or if you're part of the 25 - 40% of people whose bodies don't recycle methyl groups well (hint: you might be at risk if you’re of European, Mediterranean, or Hispanic descent). Oxidative stress can lower your methylation status too - is there anything oxidative stress doesn’t harm?! If your levels are low, you might not have enough to make the neurotransmitters to keep depression at bay and your mental energy up. A part of your methylation cycle - something called “homocysteine” - might get backed up,