Studies are consistently showing that DNA Methylation controls the triggers of all things immune system related, effectively determining the onset of an infinite number of conditions. These conditions can be the result of an overactive immune system (food/chemical sensitivities, EE, MCAD, Autoimmune disorders) or a weakened immune system (viral infections, cancer, bacterial overgrowth). Immune Dysfunction can also include neurological implications (NeuroImmune) including Autism, ADHD, ALS, Alzheimer’s, and vertigo.
Treating the immediate symptomatic conditions is important, but treating the root of the conditions by correcting DNA Methylation pathways within the body is equally important in order to ensure long term healing. Treatments which only consider the immediate symptom and jeopardize DNA Methylation are ultimately counterproductive. Typically those practitioners who are well versed in functional medicine consider the entire system when evaluating treatment options, so as not to do long term harm for the sake of short term good.
The practice of optimizing DNA Methylation pathways is still a relatively new concept and difficult to pin down, given the bio-individuality of each patient. The dose and timing of a supplement that is optimal for me, may not be the dose, timing or even type of supplement that is optimal for my daughter. Even though we share much of the same DNA, her individual experiences and exposures will alter which of her problematic genes are expressing/activated (a concept known as epigenetics).
DNA testing can serve as a good starting point, but you will need a practitioner to interpret the results and conduct appropriate laboratory testing to help determine which of your genes may be expressing and how to proceed with treatments. The MTHFR variant is the most well-known DNA Methylation gene, but it is only one of many which influence the productivity of DNA Methylation pathways.
The real conundrum: How are these compromised DNA Methylation pathways affecting our children so early in life? Are these fully expressed genes being transferred maternally as-is to our children? Or are they suffering from the implications of the gene expression in Mom (food/chemical sensitivities, nutrient deficiency, reduced oxidation, etc.) during pregnancy and immediately following birth? How long after birth do the genes potentially become activated, or silenced? One thing seems certain; the best prevention is ensuring a healthy DNA Methylation cycle in mom and dad before conception and during pregnancy.
- DNA methylation: a promising landscape for immune system-related diseases.
- DNA Methylation Regulates Differentiation of Naive Immune Cells into Effector Cells
- Epigenome-wide association study reveals longitudinally stable DNA methylation differences in CD4+ T cells from children with IgE-mediated food allergy
- Evidence for contribution of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of systemic mast cell activation disease.