Antioxidants and Methylation
New research is showing that two of the most important macro supplement nutrient complexes that can be placed in our anti-aging arsenal are antioxidants and methylation facilitators. The science behind them is quite interesting and compelling.
Most everyone has heard the buzz words ‘free radicals’ and antioxidants. Fewer people can explain what they are. And, almost no one can explain the concept of methylation. We explain them below in terms that everyone can understand and remember.
Free radicals oxidize (damage) cells — leading to aging and cancer. A good way to think of free radicals is to think of them as bullets being fired at our cells. When they strike the cells they inflict damage and depending on where the bullet strikes the cell, the damage may be minor or severe. In the worst case, our DNA is damaged and cross-linked or mutated, causing faulty cell replication for the rest of our lives.
Antioxidants are like bodyguards standing in front of bullets (molecular sized ones), taking the hits instead of our cells. Some antioxidants like Vitamin E are ordinary bodyguards. Others, like pycnogenol are many times ’stronger’ and capable of taking many oxidative hits. Ideally, we would have hordes of bodyguards surrounding our cells to protect them. Unfortunately, for most people the amount of antioxidants available is far from adequate. Usually, the number is more like the number of our police, one bodyguard for several thousand cells. When you realize that every cell in our body is attacked 10,000 or more times per day you can see how lots of bodyguards (antioxidants) are desirable.
There are many kinds of antioxidants that have been discovered so far. Some familiar antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, pycnogenol, selenium, etc. There are even multiple antioxidant supplement products that combine many antioxidants. But, the best source of antioxidants on the planet is a food (not a supplement) called RiSoTriene or Life Solubles. This product is 6,000 times more protective than Vitamin E and hundreds of times more protective than Pycnogenol.
Methylation is the repairing of damaged cells (actually methylation is the addition of a methyl group, -CH3- to another molecule) — we’ll just call it cellular repair. One good way to think of methylation is that it is the repairing of the damage that is caused by free radicals (either repairing the bodyguard that took the hit, or the cell walls, protoplasm or DNA that gets damaged when no bodyguard is standing by to protect it. So, if antioxidants are bodyguards, methyl donors are repair crews and methylation is repair damaged molecules.
Other things that methylation does is to create high energy (creatine) output within muscles and sleep inducers (melatonin) for our brain. Methylation does this by enhancing the nutrients we eat. Older people are especially in need of the good that methylation does.
For some people, the most important thing about methylation is the changing of the (toxic) substance homocysteine into a good amino acid (by adding a methyl group). Homocysteine is the cause of sticky platelets and other lipid damage that causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Homocysteine is the result of incomplete protein assimilation and free radical assault from bad foods and is now the most reliable indicator of likelihood of heart attack.
In summary: methylation benefits us by lowering homocysteine to safe levels, by creating muscular energy, promoting sleep at night, and repairing damaged cells, especially DNA molecules.
To improve methylation in our body we need to have high amounts of B Vitamins, betaine (not betaine hydrochloride) which comes from beets, SAMe (a methylation facilitator from the amino acid, methionine), zinc, selenium, Vitamin E and omega oils. Eating nutrient dense foods and supplementing all help to make sure that the number of repair workers in our body is high.
The very best macro supplement for methylation is called Methylate from Integris.
To wrap it up let’s review both concepts — antioxidants stand as bodyguards against free radicals, while methylation facilitators repair cells that were damaged by free radicals. Methylation also increases our energy, our ability to sleep well and detoxifies toxic molecules that the body creates. Both antioxidants and methylation are essential to preserving our health. Having optimal supplies of these in our diets is one of the smartest things that we can do today.
Again, here’s our suggestions as to the best ways to add antioxidants and methylation via macro nutrient supplements:
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