Methylation is complicated, but I’m going to oversimplify today to tell you what you need to know about undermethylation.
You may have been told that you have a genetic variant of MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) that has the potential to affect methylation.
Potential is the keyword here. While genetic testing for MTHFR can be helpful, it can also be counterproductive, especially when there’s an inexpensive blood test that can give you accurate clues as to what’s happening with your methylation. See, genetics only shows you what can happen.
What is methylation?
Table of contents
Methylation is the biochemical process of transferring a methyl group (CH3) from one substance to another. In an oversimplification, undermethylators are deficient in methyl groups and can benefit from getting more methyl donors, while overmethylators have too many methyl groups. Both extremes can cause uncomfortable and uncomfortable symptoms, many of which affect mental health.
dr William Walsh, a senior biochemical disease researcher, estimates that 21% of people are undermethylated, 9% are overmethylated, and about 70% have normal methylation. Knowing your methylation status versus your MTHFR genetic status can be extremely helpful if you are used to mental health issues. Methylation status can be assessed by checking blood histamine levels. High histamine levels can indicate under-methylation, as the methylation process breaks down histamine (indicating under-activity), while low histamine levels can indicate over-methylation (indicating over-activity). Of course, you can also be a “normal” methylator with average histamine levels (more on that later).
signs of overmethylation
according to dr William Walsh, there are numerous signs of overmethylation:
- high anxiety
- dry eyes and mouth
- sleep disturbance
- not able to compete
- low libido
- strong empathy
- musical/artistic talent
- low motivation in the early school years
- Compulsions without compulsions
- Absence of seasonal allergies
- estrogen intolerance
- Food and Chemical Sensitivity
- postpartum depression
- antihistamine intolerance
- Adverse reaction to SSRI antidepressants, Sam-E and methionine 
Conditions associated with overmethylation include panic/anxiety attacks, paranoid schizophrenia, ADHD, behavioral disorders, and depression. 
Causes of overmethylation
The cause of overmethylation can typically be traced back to one of the following:
- Impaired creatine synthesis (genetic and/or glycine or arginine deficiency)
- Genetics such as methyltransferase and/or CBS genetic mutations 
Remedy for overmethylation
Nutrient therapy and dietary interventions can be extremely beneficial in balancing the biochemistry of overmethylators.
Key nutrients to support hypermethylators include:
- Folate (overmethylators tend to benefit from folates)
- Niacinamide (B3 helps scavenge excess methyl groups)
Other supporting nutrients on a case-by-case basis:
- Glycine (Collagen can be a good source)
- Thiamine (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Calcium Pantothenate (B5)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
Because overmethylators have an excess of methyl groups (the opposite of undermethylators), you should typically avoid supplements that contain methyl groups:
- The same thing
- TMG (trimethylglycine or betaine)
Other factors to consider:
- Avoiding vitamin A toxicity (may deplete folate + B12)
- Getting enough sun exposure (for vitamin D and other factors that help reduce histamine)
- Improving overall gut health
The use of histamine levels in whole blood to determine methylation status is not without controversy. Some big names in the nutrition world abhor this method of methylation classification due to the ability of blood histamine to be affected by other factors such as gut health and diet. Certain opportunistic gut bacteria are histamine producers and when overgrown, increase histamine levels in the body. Such histamine producers include Morganella, Klebsiella, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Citrobacter freundii, Proteus and Proteus mirabilis. Histamine is also found in food, so eating a diet high in histamine can affect blood histamine levels.
As someone who regularly tests clients for gut bacteria levels, I totally agree that both gut microbiome status and diet can affect histamine levels and should be considered when assessing an individual’s methylation status, but I still think that’s the case Blood histamine testing is an amazing tool gives you insight into what’s going on right now in terms of methylation.
Knowing a client’s methylation status opens up a wealth of information about how best to support them and where their body is at right now.
Check for overmethylation
The whole blood histamine test is the primary tool for determining methylation status. Elevated whole blood histamine indicates under-methylation, while low whole blood histamine indicates over-methylation, but other factors and symptoms should always be considered. There are other test panels available to look at this as well SAMe/SAH ratio. Check for methylation status:
- Low whole blood histamine combined with low absolute basophils
- Increased SAMe/SAH ratio
If you are a current client of mine, please feel free to inquire about Mood packs or take advantage of the Mood eCourse to pre-sale (before the price goes up) so you can ensure your body has all the raw materials it needs to be support natural desire for health.
Does overmethylation sound familiar? Please share in the comments!
 Walsh Research Institute
 Walsh, William. Nutrient Power: Heal your biochemistry and brain. sky horse; Revised, updated edition. edition (May 6, 2014).
 “The Role of Methylation and Epigenetics in Brain Disease,” presented by William J. Walsh, PhD