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Methylation – A new key to health and anti-aging

Recently everyone has been talking about a biochemical process in the body called methylation and doctors are starting to realize that it is vital to good health and staying younger for longer. Now we all want that right? When you hear the words methylation and biochemistry you probably tune out because it does not sound exciting or relevant to your daily life. Well, in reality, it is hugely relevant to all of those people who want to stay healthy and young. Basically methylation is a process that helps your body to work more efficiently – it is your body’s helper!

Most people with health problems do not have enough methyl groups and this can be true even if a person eats a very healthy diet.  This can be due to some types of pollution that interfere with the body’s production of methyl groups and certain toxins or stress that everyone is exposed to today which increases the body’s need for methyl groups.

Methylation reactions are very common in the body and involved in most body functions, to some degree.  This is why compromised methylation can cause or contribute to almost all health conditions.  Most people today have inadequate methylation, so this becomes a very important subject.

So what is Methylation?

Methylation is a chemical process that occurs in a cycle in your body’s cells that is vital to enable your cells to make other substances work correctly. Methylation is one of the body’s most important and most common chemical processes.

If you want to describe the biochemistry of methylation, it is the addition of a methyl group (a carbon surrounded by hydrogen atoms – CH3) to another substance in the body and it occurs around a billion times per second in your body – wow, it must be important! The process of methylation occurs in all the body’s cells but is especially crucial to healthy liver function and detoxification.

Methylation reactions are very common in the body and are involved in most body functions to a significant degree. This is why poor methylation can cause or contribute to almost all health problems and inflammation which accelerates aging.

methyl-group  methylation-cycle

See pictures of a methyl group and the methylation cycle above.


When the substance receives its methyl group it can go out in the body and perform its functions.

If your body is slow or inefficient at making this cycle happen correctly, you will be prone to emotional illness, inflammation and fatigue and many other health problems.imperfections-of-methylation

Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification process. Methylation converts toxins of all kinds from insoluble or fat-soluble compounds into water soluble compounds. Once these toxins are made water soluble they can then be easily eliminated from the body via watery fluids such as the urine, sweat and bile.  If this does not occur, these toxins cannot be eliminated and they will build up in the body.

Methylation tags toxic substances so they can be changed in a way that allows the body to identify them as toxins and then eliminate them rapidly and more easily. Larger toxic molecules are then able to be eliminated through the bile, while smaller ones pass into the blood stream and are removed by the kidneys in the urine and in the sweat.

Why are some people inefficient at methylation?

  1. They inherit a gene from their parents that makes them slow at methylating. The gene that controls methylation is called the MTHFR gene and this can be tested for in a blood test. If this gene has some imperfections (known as single nucleotide polymorphisms), then the process of methylation cannot occur correctly and a lack of neurotransmitters may cause emotional illness. In patients with a double copy of this defective gene, regular vitamin supplements do not work and they must be given activated vitamins – namely L methyl folate instead of regular folic acid
  2. They are deficient in the nutrients that the body needs to make the methylation cycle happen correctly – these nutrients include Vitamin B 12, selenium, zinc and folic acid. Certain amino acids are also needed for proper methylation, (such as glycine, cysteine and methionine), and these can be deficient in people who are vegan, have gut problems or take antacid drugs which cause poor absorption of these amino acids.
  3. They drink excessive alcohol.
  4. They have been exposed to excess toxins and/or heavy metal.

Other Benefits of Methylation

Neurotransmitter synthesis

Methylation is needed for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin.  In other words you need to be good at methylation to feel happy, relaxed and mentally switched on. This also reduces your risk of dementia.

Protein synthesis from our genes

Methylation is a key step in the formation of our proteins.  This process is called genetic transcription.  Because methylation is required for protein synthesis it can increase and maintain muscle mass.  This is beneficial in wasting diseases such as cancer and AIDS, and for those who want to remain fit and athletic.  This aspect of protein synthesis aided by extra methylation is widely known in the livestock industry.  Methylating agents are added to some animal feeds.

Protects the body’s telomeres 

The telomeres are the body’s “tails” on its DNA and chromosomes and they can be compared to the hard plastic ends on your shoe laces.  If your telomeres are not protected you will age more rapidly. This is one of the ways that good methylation slows down the aging process.

Cardiovascular health

Methylation converts homocysteine, (which is a toxic amino acid when in excess), back into methionine and other amino acids which are beneficial.

About 50% of people have genetic variants of the MTHFR gene and enzyme, causing them to have some difficulty in getting rid of homocysteine.  This can increase cardiovascular disease and blood clots. This can be overcome by taking supplements to improve methylation.

Hormonal regulation

Methylation is involved in balancing hormones, such as restoring the proper balance of estrogens, and it does this by improving liver function.  This helps to reduce the risk of hormone dependent cancers

Helps protect the mitochondria and boost energy

Methylation protects the energy factories inside your cells which are known as mitochondria. This supports adaptive energy production greatly.  Without adequate methylation, fatigue can be severe and persistent. Methylation is required to make coenzyme Q10 which is needed for heart health and for energy production within the mitochondria.

Supplements to help the methylation cycle

Activated folic acid – this is called L-methyl folate or folinic acid. The regular folic acid form of folate does not work well in people with the abnormal methylation gene. The abnormal gene is known as MTHFR polymorphism. Remember you can have a blood test to see if you have the abnormal gene. If you have this abnormal gene you will require L-methyl folate or folinic acid.

You will also require vitamin B 12 in the form of methylcobalamin.

Most fatigued patients do not make enough methyl groups (CH3) in their body. Taking the supplements mentioned can increase production of methyl groups and some foods are high in methyl groups.

These foods include – lamb, chicken, beets, liver, quinoa, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables and green herbs, and beets. Cooking green vegetables improve the availability of their methyl groups.

If you are a strict vegan you are likely to be low in methyl groups, as well as vitamin B 12, and may need to supplement. Processed foods are very deficient in methyl groups.

Blood tests to check for slow methylation include –

  • Vitamin B 12 levels
  • Folic acid levels
  • Homocysteine levels (if too high this is a marker of poor methylation)
  • The type of MTHFR gene that you carry – if this gene has 2 defective copies you will be poor at methylation and must take supplements that contain vitamin B 12 and activated folic acid (L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate) to overcome this metabolic block.

Livatone Plus has been reformulated and now contains –

  • The methylcobalamin form of vitamin B 12, which is more conducive to good methylation than cyanocobalamin
  • The activated form of folic acid (L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate) to help methylation
  • N-Acetyl-Cysteine which is superior to cysteine for reducing inflammation in the liver

Livatone Plus still contains all the other great ingredients that it always did contain – the proven dose of pure Milk Thistle, organic selenium, all B group vitamins, Vitamins C and E, zinc, taurine, glutamine, glycine, inositol, choline, green leaf tea extract, carotenoids and glutathione


The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.


  1. Im currently under the care of a naturopathic doctor I’m being treated for sibo parasite Candida and stomach virus .plus on a tincture for liver lymatic for liver .I have histamine could it be my liver cholestral causing me high histamine like food allergies?

    • Hi Donita,

      We recommend you follow the eating plan in Dr Cabot’s book ‘Healthy Bowel, Healthy Body’.
      You may benefit from taking
      Bactoclear 2 caps twice daily to help eradicate SIBO and candida overgrowth.
      Glutamine 1 metric teaspoon twice daily in water or juice to help heal and seal the intestinal lining and repair the gut.
      These can be purchased here: https://shop.liverdoctor.com/
      Let us know how you get on.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutrition Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  2. I have 2 copies of the MTHFR mutation. I do have the livatone supplement. Are you saying if I take that, I don’t need the extra 5-MTHF supplement nor the B12?

    • Hi Norma,

      It’s not necessary as the Livatone supplement contains the herbs and nutrients necessary to improve liver function.
      We recommend you take 2 caps twice daily.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

    • Norma, IMHO, try the Livatone supplement first and see if it’s enough to reverse your symptoms. Personally, I have had to take presciption Methyl-Folate (PoDiaPN) and the strength is substantially different: 5mg vs 240 mcg ( I too have a double mutation of MTHFR) And while 240mcg might be the RDA for folate, the needs are far greater for those of us with MTHFR mutations.
      Also, you need to avoid processed foods with added folic acid as it is not the same as folate found naturally in foods. You’ll be surprised how many packaged foods have it added (OJ & milk for example!)

      Good luck on your healing journey! I can honestly say that for me, aggressively addressing the MTHFR issues was a turning point for me.

      I would like to say that there is a ton of incredible information on this website and every little thing you do will have a positive and cumulative effect!

  3. This is a great article about methylation. Thank you very much, I will refer to it when people need to understand this phenomenon. People, even some doctors, have a tendancy to mix things when it comes to detox. I have heard a doctor say on a tv show that: “detox doesn’t exist or work because the liver is not like a filter that gets full of bad stuff.” On the other hand I was like: “What about methylation support?”.

  4. Interesting now I know why your liver tone plus did not work for me last time I used it around may 2015 and why I stopped using it and have a nearly full tubb left as I found out through genetic test that my methalation is slow and need the newer added vits etc in your new version of it I was wondering when Sandra Cabot was going to catch on may have to order some and see how I get on this time around,
    Funny thing is maybe 10 years ago when I tried liver tone plus it worked great I think elocecal valve probs I have had in the last 4-5 years have caused more problems with gene mutations problems.


  5. Sherry Wilkerson

    My husband had Cryptococcol Meningitis in 2010 and almost died. He was in the hospital for two months and vomited almost every 30 minutes 24 hours a day the entire time. His admitting physician refused to believer he had cryptococcol meningitis and gave him nothing for a week but two tylenol every 4 hours. Needless to say he was so sick he begged to die. After finally getting an infection disease specialist involved he was treated with Amphatericin B. He ended up with 7 specialist none of which could help him. The last resort was a “brain doctor” who told him he thought the part of the brain that controlled his stomach was damaged causing him to have a “spastic” stomach which had resulted in the constant vomiting. He gave him a medication (Keflin or something like that) to stop him from vomiting. He was finally released from the hospital with home health monitoring him and afer being told there was nothing that could be done for him and he might want to consider going to the Mayo Clinic. We have not gone there, yet. Since then he has also been diagnosed with vasovagal syncope. His symptoms are out of control blood pressure. It drops down to the 60’and 70’s over from 50’s to 60’s. However his heart rate is always above a 100 up to 112 and higher. He canot stand for more than 5 minutes and gets dizzy headed and feels like he is going to pass out and has to sit or lie down where ever he is. He has recently told me he thought he was going to die. He will be 65 Jauary 2, 2016. He is also bad type II diabetic. Over the past 5 years he has had chronic diahrea and onsets of dehydration resulting in hospitalizations. His quality of life for the past 5 years has been awful. He is still going to different doctors hoping one will find a “fix” for him. .

    • It is vital that your husband strengthens his immune system. he must do raw juicing – get my book RAW JUICES CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE. He will benefit greatly by taking SELENOMUNE capsules, one twice daily for 4 weeks then he must stay on one daily long term. he should also take LIVATONE PLUS, 2 capsules daily and vitamin C 2000mg daily. he must also take NAC 600mg capsules, 2 twice daily. these things will enable his immune system to repair damage and fight infection
      He must follow a gluten free diet. He should avoid all grains and sugar. It sounds like his endocrine system has been damaged by the infection, namely his adrenal glands and pituitary gland which of course is an extension of the brain. This is why he has low blood pressure. he should eat more salt on his food. he would benefit from ADRENAL GLANDULAR EXTRACT CAPSULES – 2 in the morning and DHEA capsules. he also need MAGNESIUM ULTRAPOTENT POWDER 1 tsp daily to help his autonomic nervous system.
      if his adrenal function is very poor he may need to see an endocrinologist and receive Fludrocortisone tablets to elevate his blood pressure – this is an adrenal hormone
      Diabetes greatly weakens the immune system and diabetics are prone to severe infections. Cut the sugar from his diet!
      He will gradually recover
      Dr Sandra cabot


  7. The best article I have read, it makes this topic easy for the everyday person to understand. I have been diagnosed with some methylation issues but Gps dont know how to treat and advice can be varied. I would love to get on top of these problems for my health and my kids.

    • The easiest thing to do is take the new Livatone Plus. This will improve methylation because it contains activated folic acid (folinic acid) and methylcobalamin. Our Selenomune can also help. A healthy liver is vital for methylation
      Dr cabot

      • In 2009 and 2010 I had two seperate incidence of pulmonary embolisms. And since then my health has been a rollercoaster ride, although I didnt feel well before them either. I have been searching for answers ever since. My liver function tests are always elevated, I think the coumadin makes it worse. My iron levels have been low ever since. I have been diagnosed with pyrolle disorder. But when i started to treat it only felt better for a little while and then went down hill. On top of psoriatic arthritis. My symptoms list is too long to list, but I feel like im 80+ at 34.

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