Conditions associated with undermethylation: Anorexia, Bulemia, shopping/gambling disorders, depression, schizo-affective disorder, delusions, oppositional-defiant disorder, OCD.
Conditions associated with overmethylation: Anxiety/Panic disorders, anxious depression, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, low motivation, "space cadet" syndrome, paranoid schizophrenia, hallucinations. (Oct 3, 2003)
One-carbon (methyl) groups are involved in numerous important biochemical reactions in the body, including genetic expression, neurotransmitter synthesis and metabolism, etc. Methylation (more properly, the methyl/folate ratio) is a major factor in the rate-limiting step (the tetrahydrobiopterin reaction) in the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. Undermethylated persons tend to be depleted in these 3 neurotransmitters, and the opposite is true for overmethylation.
The SAM cycle in which dietary methionine is converted to SAMe (the primary CH3 donor in the body), and then to homocysteine, is a dominant cascade of reactions in methylation and also is very important in production of glutathione, cysteine, and other aspects of sulfur chemistry.
Most persons with depression, oppositional defiant disorder, OCD, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia exhibit a genetic abnormality in methylation..... which appears to be central to their illness. Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD of Princeton, NJ was a pioneer in this field. (Oct 3, 2003)
About 25 years ago, Dr. Carl Pfeiffer (Princeton, NJ) identified the condition he called "histapenia" or histamine deficiency. After studying the metabolism of more than 20,000 schizophrenics he learned that this
"low histamine" syndrome was common in anxiety, panic disorders, and classical paranoid schizophrenia. His enormous biochemistry database revealed that most histapenics suffered from (1) copper overload and (2)
deficiency of folic acid and/or B-12. More importantly, he found that aggressive therapy using folic acid, B-12, and B-3 usually produced dramatic improvements in these persons. Pfeiffer thought the improvements were largely due to elevating histamine levels in the body & brain.
Subsequent research has indicated that the improvements are due to normalizing the methyl/folate ratio.
Also, a serious overload of homocysteine (homocysteinuria) can result in symptoms quite identical to paranoid schizophrenia. Folic Acid & B-12 serve to lower HCy levels.
One thing that is absolutely certain is that methionine and/or SAMe usually harm low-histamine (overmethylated persons)..... but are wonderful for high-histamine (undermethylated) persons. The reverse in true for histadelic (undermethylated) persons, who thrive on methionine, SAMe, Ca and Mg..... but get much worse if they take folates & B-12 which can increase methyl trapping.
Edited by crystal sage, 29 January 2008 - 09:02 PM.