TMG, Methylation and Homocysteine Levels
Methylation is a pretty simple chemical process that happens in our bodies on the cellular level, but isn’t exactly simple for some. Many struggle with proper methylation, which means their bodies can’t utilize B vitamins effectively as energy as well as eliminate toxins which can cause oxidative stress and result in chronic illness.
Methylation involves adding an extra methyl group to a molecule—and in doing this, it serves as a switch, turning various functions on and off in order to maintain homeostasis. The thing is—if that switch is broken, a lot of bad stuff can happen.
The methylation process is instrumental in regulating cognitive function, your immune system, gene expression and managing your toxic load.
Methylated B vitamins help your body’s methylation process run smoothly, particularly if you have methylation issues such as the genetic mutation, MTHFR. It is estimated that at least 1 in 4 people have inherited mutations of the enzymes that utilize methyl from folate and B12.
Another supplement may also help regulate homocysteine levels and support methylation—that’s TMG. Also known as Betaine, this supplement was discovered from beet root and is structurally an amino acid (glucine) attached with three methyl groups. Hence, the name, Trimethylglycine.
Homocysteine is a common amino acid we get from eating animal products, and high levels are associated with heart disease and other inflammatory illnesses. High homocysteine levels are also linked to blood vessel issues, such as blockage, and may impact the brain, lungs or heart. There are also associations to cancer, liver disease, peripheral neuropathy and mental illness. Interestingly, high homocysteine levels also present with low levels of B vitamins, such as folate and B12. TMG works along with these vitamins to help support proper methylation and reduce homocysteine levels.
Research has shown that TMG supplementation reduces normal homocysteine levels by 10% and elevated levels by 20-40%.
In addition, studies show that supplementing with TMG may increase blood levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a natural vasodilator, meaning that it expands blood vessels and increases blood flow in muscles. This can improve exercise endurance, enhance muscle mass and nutrient absorption as well as support optimal waste excretion.
TMG serves as a “methyl giver” because that’s exactly what it does—it provides one of its methyl groups to assist with methylation. In doing so, it reduces homocysteine into L-methionine and/or increases S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) levels as well as active methyl folates, further assisting the methylation process. These biproducts have some wonderful health benefits, from being cardio-protective to helping stabilize mood.
TMG is also responsible for cellular “flow,” as it regulates cellular hydration. It controls the amount of water that flows in and out of cells. Cellular hydration is important in combatting various stressors.
Research shows TMG supplementation helps stabilize mood. When TMG breaks down homocysteine into methionine, it creates S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e). SAM-e naturally manages mood disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. It is also effective in helping dementia, arthritis, liver disease, demyelination diseases and other conditions.
Our Methyl B Complete contains five key nutrients that are involved in homocysteine metabolism:
Folate as calcium folinate and Quatrefolic® for increased bioactivity; Trimethylglycine (TMG); and vitamins B12 (a combination of Methylcobalamin & Adenosylcobalamin), B6, and B2 (riboflavin).
This unique formula was created to support optimal methylation and help sustain healthy homocysteine levels.