What Exactly is Methylation and Why is it Important?

Published on October 05, 2012 by Dr. Cameron Mcintyre

This month AOR is focusing on anti-aging so I thought I would answer this question of methylation as it is such a huge piece of an anti-aging strategy!

Methylation is defined as the addition of a methyl group (1 carbon atom bound to 3 hydrogen atoms) to a substrate (molecule upon which enzymes act).  Some examples of methyl group substrates are as follows:

  • Neurotransmitters
  • Hormones
  • Immune cells
  • Nerves
  • Environmental toxins

You can see from this list that these are very important items that the body needs to manage well if we are to age well.  Thus, the functions of methylation with respect to these substrate groups are:

  • DNA/RNA synthesis (turning on/off genes )
  • Brain chemical production (e.g. dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine)
  • Hormonal breakdown (e.g. estrogen)
  • Creation of immune cells (e.g. NK cells, T cells)
  • Creation of protective coating on nerves  (i.e. myelin formation)
  • Processing of chemicals and toxins (detoxification)

Here are some potential end stage examples of what happens when poor methylation takes place in the areas mentioned above:

  • Cancer
  • Anxiety, depression,  Parkinson’s
  • PMS, ovarian cysts, fibroids, PCOS
  • Immune deficiency –chronic infections
  • Neural tube defects, neuropathies, dementia, Alzheimer’s
  • Chemical sensitivities, MS, CFS

For proper methylation in our bodies to occur, we need what are called cofactors for these  reactions.  Cofactors are “helper molecules” that assist in biochemical reactions, like methylation.  If you look at the diagram, you see that vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are needed.  These are found in one of the AOR feature products this month - MaxMethyl.   This formula has been specifically designed to help facilitate proper methylation processes in the body.  It is a good formula to consider as part of an effective anti -aging strategy, in my opinion.

You may also be interested in:

How to Live to be 100: 10 Simple Rules



Galway, J.G. Metabolism at a Glance. 2nd Ed. 1999. P.54.


Image by © 2015 Hunor Kristo; via Dollarphotoclub

  • Daniel Nuchovich,

    Hi Who does methylation test ? I only found Doctors Data to do it, but no Genova nor Great Plains Labor.
    Is it worth doing it ??
    Well.... I am currently searching into how to provide an acceptable genomic /SNPs evaluation x my patients. I am not so happy with doing 23andme and Genova seems very limited. I found Great Plains lab and they seem to be more of what i am looking for. BUT THAT will just tell me whether the methylation is hurt because of genetic alteration (polymorph.)but i don't think it would tell me the whole picture of the metylation alteration nor what to do about it nor how to fix it or try to improve it. Don't you agree ? .......Hence the question of who does this test
    Daniel Nuchovich, MD www.jupiterinstitute.com
    Internal Medicine igal50@aol.com
    Emergency Medicine office: (561) 746 - 2033
    Anti-Aging Medicine
    175 Toney Penna Drive # 101
    Jupiter, FL 33458

  • Carmen Tocheniuk

    Our Dna testing company does methylation testing.
    I can be reached at 18885133362 and would be happy to show you our genetic testing panels.