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Is There Really a Way to End all Disease? Even Cancer? Gettin’ Real About Methylation, #38
In this episode we go into what is methylation, why it’s so important for every function of our body, why it’s gained so much more attention in recent years and how we can create a methylation balance that will help us prevent and reverse ailments such as cancer, autism, thyroid issues, autoimmunity and heart conditions. The concept of methylation is truly fascinating and this is an episode you will want to share with all your loved ones. We previously talked about methylation on the show with Dr. William Walsh.
What is methylation?
The process of methylation in the body is so fundamental. It is happening all the time. A methyl group, is a carbon with 3 hydrogens. A small little player that is moving all the time, changing the metabolism. Listen in to hear Dr. Fitzgerald talk about the effects it has on our body. It’s important for fetal development and touches every bodily function.
Why is there an increasing focus on methylation in the last several years?
Epigenetics is booming right now. There is a lot of research surrounding the effect of methylation on cancer, so it’s going to gain a lot of attention. If you have a condition such as cancer, autism, heart disease, thyroid issues, autoimmunity, fertility issues…having a methylation panel is probably a good idea.
What can we do to achieve methylation balance?
There are many things we can do on a daily basis to achieve methylation balance. We are not “stuck” with the genes we were born with. We can make changes in our lifestyle to alter our genes’ behavior.
- Exercise- this has a massive effect on methylation balance. It gets the liver up and running and it’s anti-aging! This doesn’t mean beat yourself up with a crazy exercise protocol. It’s about doing what is good for your body, and turning it up over time. No overdoing it.
- Sleep- There is more and more research coming out on this. Everything gets compromised with just a little bit of sleep deprivation. Our ability to think well and react, our health, our waistline, etc. That’s not even acute sleep deprivation. And when we get “caught up” on sleep, we don’t immediately reverse the effects of sleep deprivation. So we need to constantly manage our sleep.
- Stress- Nothing depletes methylation like dumping out a bunch of adrenaline. Heightened stress response.
- Medications- certain medications also damage methylation and inhibit methyl absorption. Acid blockers are a huge one and a large majority of Americans are taking these. We can help our acid reflux with a change in our diets.
- Gut Microbiome- Probiotics, specially bifida bacteria. Although, diet is our biggest and best probiotic.
- Nutrition- Studies show that we can reverse negative methylation when we eat right and have enough methyl nutrients in our diet.
- High folate rich veggies- all greens, spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli, collard greens, turnip greens, etc. A pound of veggies a day.
- Beets are an absolutely healthy methyl superfood!
- Eggs- full of choline
- Seeds- sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, etc.
- Meat- grass fed, organic meats, B12
- Beans and legumes- methyl nutrient minerals
- Methylation adaptogens finesse the methylation balance:
- flavonoids in fruits and veggies
- curcumin- anti-cancer
- green tea- potentially anti-cancer
- tomatoes- lycopene
- vitamin D- sun
- vitamin A
To learn more and get some great recipes to balance methylation, check out Dr. Fitzgerald’s book: The Methylation Diet & Lifestyle, including an explanation of the functions of methylation in the body, description of the clinical problems surrounding methylation, comprehensive discussion of the pros and cons of supplemental methylation nutrients , how to approach methylation assessment in a more comprehensive manner, what foods provide safe forms of methylation-related nutrients, how lifestyle factors impact methylation, 7-day menu plans (one gluten- and dairy-free, one Paleo) and practitioner checklists for assessment and intervention options. She’s offering a generous 15% discount to FSL listeners, using code FSLModern15. Check out the testimonials, and download the preface and table of contents for free! And checkout the 5 Non-Supplement Ways to Support MTHFR from Dr. Fitzgerald. We had Jason Seib on the podcast earlier this year and his message is very similar to Dr. Fitzgerald’s. We discussed primarily fat loss with him, but his message is that you can’t achieve fat loss without having all 4 pillars of health in order: stress, sleep, exercise and nutrition. Check out the 4 part series we recorded with him to go more in depth into each pillar:
Dr. Fitzgerald’s 3 Habits to Ensure Her Health Journey:
- One pound of veggies a day.
- Lots of water- she drinks 1/2 her weight in ounces of clean liquids per day.
- Exercise the brain- engage in life’s activities that make her happy.
Dr. Fitzgerald’s Morning Routine
- Wake up early and easy. No stress, slow wake.
- Quite time, spiritual practice with her higher power.
- Cook her lunch, her largest meal of the day.
- Supplement protocol.
- Gym most days: spin class, weightlifting and stretching.
- Or rides, her bike outdoors.
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s Bio:
Dr. Fitzgerald received her doctorate of naturopathic medicine from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first CNME-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix (now Genova) Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, Ph.D. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Fitzgerald is lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine, a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine’s updated Textbook for Functional Medicine. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Fitzgerald is on faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine, and is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She was formerly on faculty at University of Bridgeport in the School of Human Nutrition and the School of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a clinician researcher for The Institute for Therapeutic Discovery. Dr. Fitzgerald regularly lectures internationally for several organizations and is in private practice in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Links and Resources
- Find Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter
- Look through her testimonials, recipes and consumer blog for a ton of methylation information.
- 5 Non-Supplement Ways to Support MTHFR from Dr. Fitzgerald
- Dr. Fitzgerald’s Favorite Music for pushing harder, when feeling blue and to sooth:
- Dr. Fitzgerald’s Recommended Books:
- Dr. Fitzgerald’s Recommended Digital Source: Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker
- 15-Day Fat Loss Kick-Start Ebook Free Download
- If you missed it, our 4 part series of interviews with Jason Seib, which reiterates Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s message:
- Listen in on our interview with Dr. William Walsh, also about methylation.
- If you missed it, our last podcast episode with Sarah Doyle was all about building up our self confidence and learning to love ourselves once and for all. She has a challenge for us too!