Saturday, March 4, 2017

Organ Spotlight: The Liver

The liver is the most active organ in the human body, filtering toxins and much more.
The greatest multitasker and the most active organ in the human body is probably the liver. Many of us know the main function of the liver is to filter out the bad stuff from our bodies, but the liver's functions are vast and go way beyond filtration.

The liver filters chemicals, toxins, and biological compounds. It stores vitamins, glycogen (stored form of glucose), cholesterol, iron, copper, and fats. The liver synthesizes cholesterol, estrogen, proteins, bile (fat digestion aid), anti-clotting factors, hormones for bone growth and soft tissue growth, and is essential for thyroid hormone conversion. It controls homeostasis for glucose, proteins, fat, cholesterol, hormones, and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). It excretes Immunoglobulins into the digestive tract (Kupfer cells), which are important for the health of the immune system. It regulates the blood supply by storing blood cells and breaking down blood cells for elimination.

Even if a majority of the liver is damaged, it has the ability to regenerate and produce new liver tissue. Dietary modification and nutritional supplementation can reverse liver damage and provide the liver and the entire body the ability to function better.

Fructose is a form of sugar that can only be metabolized by the liver, but unfortunately, the liver has difficulty metabolizing fructose. Glucose, on the other hand, can be metabolized by the majority of cells of the body. If the body is bombarded by fructose, then it causes the liver to have difficulty functioning. Fructose is in high fructose corn syrup (an ingredient in many processed foods), soft drinks, agave, honey, fruits and dried fruits.

There are certain fruits that have high fructose levels like pineapple, mango, plums, certain pears (Bartlett), red apples, and grapes. Believe it or not, excess fructose can be just as bad for the liver as alcohol. Limiting your fructose to about 25 grams per day is recommended for proper liver function. If you have liver dis- ease or disease, you should limit your fructose intake to no more than 15 grams per day. A good guideline is limiting your fruit intake to one serving of fruit per day. Berries are my personal favorite as they have plenty of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties.

Liver function is compromised by air pollution and toxin exposure, alcohol, illegal and legal drug use, fructose overconsumption, processed foods and poor diet, stress and emotional distress like anger, viruses, parasites and microbial imbalance. Many studies have revealed the connection between viruses like hepatitis and liver damage. The Epstein Barr Virus also can have a detrimental impact on the liver. Many parasites migrate to the liver and result in liver damage. Cleaning the body up of toxins and microbial imbalance is the most important step in helping the liver to function optimally.

Symptoms of improper liver function include fatigue, weakness, confusion, irritability, prone to anger, bloating and gas, bruising easily, yellow hue to skin, sometimes discomfort in the right upper portion of the abdomen, excessive sweating, dark urine, skin issues, musculoskeletal imbalances especially sciatica, eye floaters, constipation, and being prone to colds and flu.

How to Keep Your Liver Functioning Well and to Help Reverse Liver Damage:

1- Eat these foods (as long as you are not sensitive to them): Collard greens, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, beets, Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and avocados. Try to buy organic as much as possible. These foods increase glutathione, which is the most powerful anti-oxidant in the body and helps with detoxification pathways. Other foods that help the liver include olive oil, asparagus, cucumber, lemon, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and raw garlic.

2- Use these spices and herbs: coriander, cilantro, rosemary, turmeric, parsley, oregano, and peppermint. They help with glutathione production and to cool the liver heat.

3- Nutritional supplements that support the liver's health: Milk Thistle, Siberian lettuce, Couch Grass, Chickweed, Dandelion, Nettles, Rosemary, Schisandra berry, NAC, Panax Ginseng, Ginger, Taurine, Betaine, Phyllanthus Fraternus, and Glutathione have regenerative qualities to support the liver. It is important to know which specific nutrient is right for you by Nutrition Muscle Testing. Otherwise, you are playing a guessing game.

4- Movements to help the liver: The revolved side angle pose and the seated spinal twist (yoga poses) are great to stimulate the liver. The Liver 3 Point in the acupuncture system is located on the top of the foot, in the angle between the first and second toes. This is a great point to apply firm rotatory pressure, for about one minute, every other day. Exercise is key in helping the liver; a gentle cardiovascular aerobic routine and chi gong are probably the most therapeutic activities for liver health.

This specific movement incorporates the liver healing sound "SSSSHHHH." While standing up, touch the ring finger to the thumb with the arms down by the side (the ring finger is part of the liver meridian). Chant the sound "SSSSHHHH" while raising the arms (palms up) with your ring fingers and thumbs touching to the level of your shoulders/ears, and then open up your palms. Repeat this three times (take a 10-second rest between each repetition).

5- Self Care: Balance your stress and emotional body with meditation, breathing exercises, tai chi, chi gong, yoga, getting body work such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, taking baths, aromatherapy, and spend time in nature. Even if you can't get out of your urban environment, go to a park and sit on the grass or at the base of a tree. Nature attunes and calms the body, and can be the best medicine of all.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Additional Resources About the Liver:

The American Liver Foundation
http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/liverhealth/
 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Homocysteine: How to Reduce Your Levels

High homocysteine levels can affect health, but reducing those levels can reduce the risk factor for multiple diseases.
Everyone should add this test to their bloodwork.

Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been gaining a lot of traction as an indicator and piece of the health puzzle. If levels of homocysteine are high in the body, people may be at much greater risk for heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, migraines, hearing loss, brain atrophy, eye problems, and other inflammatory conditions.


Homocysteine is derived through the methylation process and another amino acid called methionine. Methionine is taken into our bodies through food like meat (especially beef and lamb), eggs, fish, dairy, seeds, nuts (Brazil nuts have the highest levels), and some vegetables (broccoli, mushroom, cauliflower). The methionine to homocysteine conversion and back to methionine is dependent on certain B vitamins, minerals, and trimethylglycine (extract from beetroot).

30 to 50 percent of the population has an MTHFR defect, and this limits the ability to methylate. Methylation is a vital process in the body that allows your body to change a physiological chemical or toxin into a form that it requires to absorb or release. If someone can't methylate properly, this can contribute to high homocysteine levels.

High homocysteine levels affect the arteries by damaging their lining. High homocysteine can also contribute to hypercoagulation, which increases the likelihood of blood clot formation and can lead to blockages including a stroke!

If your bloodwork indicates that your homocysteine levels are above 7, this must be addressed by changing your diet and taking nutritional supplements to allow the body to reduce homocysteine levels. Most labs indicate that normal ranges for homocysteine can be as high as 12. This is way too high, as studies have shown the risk factors increase dramatically over 7. Even though your medical doctor may say that your level is fine, if it's within the lab range and above 7, I respectfully disagree.

How Can You Reduce Your Homocysteine Levels and Reduce Your Risk Factor For Multiple Diseases?

1- Start with your diet: The most methionine comes from red meat, so cut your red meat intake in half. Do not have meat more than once per day (this includes chicken, turkey, duck and pork). If homocysteine levels are above 17, then cut your total meat intake to no more than four times per week.

Eat beets once per day. Beets contain trimethylglycine and other forms of betaine, which aid in the conversion of homocysteine. You can also purchase organic beet crystals, which are dehydrated and will give you the same benefits in a convenient form.

Consume a small handful of berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries,) once per day and four servings of vegetables each day (bok choy, collard greens, parsley, celery, butternut squash). Make sure that you don't limit your veggie intake to cooked veggies, but that you consume some raw veggies as well.

Reduce your coffee intake and diversify by drinking caffeine-free herbal teas. A tea that has cinnamon and rooibos is a great alternative.

2- Nutritional Supplementation: The majority of people that have high homocysteine have a genetic methylation issue. You can help this process by taking folate (B9), methylcobalamin (B12), pyridoxal 5' phosphate (B6), trimethylglycine, glutathione, zinc, taurine, n-acetyl cysteine, and magnesium. Some people require one, or different combinations, of these nutritional supplements. It depends on the individual, and you can get muscle tested to determine which factors are required. Many nutritional supplement companies have specific combination formulas designed to reduce homocysteine. This is more convenient than having to take multiple supplements for homocysteine reduction.

3- Exercise, tai chi, chi gong, and yoga:
These activities have led to a reduction in homocysteine levels in many studies.

4- Decrease alcohol and eliminate smoking: Alcohol and smoking deplete the body of the essential B vitamins that are necessary to keep homocysteine levels low.

5- Check your homocysteine levels: If your homocysteine levels are above 7, you should get homocysteine checked to see that whatever you are doing is effective in reducing these levels. It is recommended that you get it checked every three months until your levels are below 7.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

How To Wipe Out A Cold - FAST!!!

Woman suffering from a cold
The most common infectious agent in the U.S. is by far the common cold. Most people who get a cold will suffer for 7 to 10 days. Some people can suffer three weeks or longer if their immune systems are not functioning well.

Colds are caused by viruses; they are not caused by bacteria. Antibiotics do not treat a cold because they are antibacterial and not anti-viral. If your doctor gives you an antibiotic for a cold, you might want to find a new doctor!

So, how do you cut the duration of a cold from 10 days to 2 days? Here are my tips for zapping a cold.

1- Anti-viral herbs and supplements:
One of the herbal complexes that I have used to help patients battle colds is a product by Standard Process called Andrographis Complex. It contains andrographis, holy basil and the root of Echinacea. It is successful in significantly reducing the duration of approximately 85 percent of common cold cases. Andrographis Complex is effective when 5 to 6 pills are taken per day spread out in four dosages (2 in the morning followed by 1, 1, and 2). On average, a person takes Andrographis Complex for 6 or 7 days, even when their symptoms have abated.

Along with Andrographis Complex, I recommend using colloidal silver 30 parts per million. Every 3 hours put three small drops in each ear. Put three drops in one ear while you are lying down on your side, and stay in this position for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, repeat this in the other ear. I also recommend taking a full dropper in each nostril and making sure you snort it into your sinuses. You can put the colloidal silver in each nostril every 2 to 3 hours for three days.

Another great anti-viral is Illicium Supreme by Supreme Nutrition. Illicium is star anise, and it is also what the flu drug Tamiflu is derived from.  An effective dosage is 5 pills per day divided into three dosages (2, 2, and 1). Other antiviral supplements include olive leaf supreme, goldenseal, elderberry, sinus forte, euphrasia, camu supreme, schisandra supreme, immuplex, and cyruta plus. There are hundreds of different cold viruses, and depending on an individual's immune system, some nutritional supplements work better than others. Muscle testing a nutritional supplement at the first sign of a cold will give a patient a greater likelihood of getting rid of a cold quickly.

2- Exercise: Exercise cuts down the chance of getting a cold by 50 percent, but if you belong to a gym, the equipment you are touching may contribute to exposure to many cold viruses. If you are using weights or weight equipment, wear workout gloves to avoid touching the machines. If you are using a cardio machine, wipe it down before and after you use it.

3- Lemon bath: Take half a lemon and rub it all over your body. Get in a warm bath with 5 drops of rosemary essential oil. Stay in the bath for 20 minutes.

4- Get adjusted: Many clinical studies support the immune-boosting effects of chiropractic care. The adjustment raises the levels of T killer cells, which are prime immune system responders to viruses.

5- Tap your sternum: Why do apes and gorillas hit their chest before they get into a fight? They are aware that there are points on the sternum that will increase white blood cells when stimulated. A couple of inches below the collar bone lies the thymus gland, which is a key gland for the immune system. Tap your sternum or breastbone with an open palm, for one minute, three times per day. Another immune stimulating point is midway between your nipple and armpit. You can rub this point vigorously for one minute 5 times per day.

6- Give your digestive system a break: Cut out gluten, dairy, grains, and sugar. Best thing to do is drink bone broth. If you can handle it, do a bone broth cleanse. For 24 to 48 hours, only drink bone broth. You can drink as much as you want. I would recommend drinking a cup every 4 hours. It is quite filling but allows your body to focus on fighting the cold as opposed to its energy focusing on the digestive tract.

If you feel like you are coming down with a cold, please follow this advice.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tips For Healthy Eyes

Tips For Healthy Eyes
The eyes are incredibly complex, delicate and amazing structures that allow us to witness the world around us. As we age, the eyes change and, like every organ, gland, and system, require some added support to help them function optimally.

Here are eight tips to help support your eyes and to prevent eye problems.

1- For every 45 minutes of reading, take a 10-minute rest: Look into the distance for a couple of minutes or alternate looking in the distance and at something closer to you. Get up and walk around. This is important for the muscles of the eye; they get tight just like any muscle. Imagine if you were lifting bags for long periods of time. Your arms would get tired. Give your eyes a breather and let them relax.

I would also suggest palming your eyes: Rub your hands together briskly for 15 seconds. Close both eyes and gently place each palm diagonally over each eye, putting the fingers of one hand over the fingers of the other hand on your forehead. Let the heat from your hands bathe your eyes and focus on the darkness. When the heat dissipates, you can do it again. Do this three times.

2- Eye exercises: bring your eyes from the center to the 12 o'clock position. Very slowly and gently move your eyes clockwise and stop at each hourly position. Coordinate your breath as you move down from the 12 position to the 6 position to be one slow exhale, then one slow inhale as you move up from the 6 to the 12 position. When you have completed three circles, stop at the 12 o'clock position, center your eyes and close them for a 15-second break. Then move your eye counterclockwise in the opposite direction for the next set.

Another option is to draw a figure eight at eye level and follow your finger with both eyes. Make sure the finger is moving in an upward direction as it passes through the center of the figure eight.


3- Eye drops to help and prevent eye problems: Numerous eye problems like cataracts and certain types of eye floaters are the result of the aging process. Cataracts involve the lens slowly becoming more opaque, which causes blurriness. Floaters are tiny irregular dark shapes that appear to move through one's field of vision. Most floaters are not serious, although a sudden appearance of multiple floaters should be looked at by an eye doctor.

Floaters can be caused by the vitreous humor reducing in size. This is a gel-like substance in the back of the eye. Natural eye drops that contain MSM, Vitamin C, N-acetyl carnosine, and glutathione can help to nourish the lens and vitreous humor and support overall eye health.

4- Normalize your blood sugar: Too much sugar in your blood can pull fluid from the lens of your eye, affecting your ability to focus. It can also negatively impact your retina. High fructose-containing foods and fruits should be eliminated from the diet.

5- Acupressure points for eye health: Take two fingers to the outer edge of each nostril and apply firm rotatory pressure for one minute on each point. Go to the bridge of the nose and then move towards the inner part of the eye orbit. Put firm rotatory pressure on this point for one minute on each side. Another point to put firm rotatory pressure on is the mid-eyebrow.

6- Eat foods that are high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Eggs, spinach, and dark leafy greens contain these vital antioxidants, which help prevent macular degeneration and many other eye-related problems. You can also take nutritional supplements that have these key antioxidants. There are great eye formulas out there that contain these antioxidants.

7- Herbs that support eye health: Bilberry has been studied and found to increase retinal pigment that allows the eye to tolerate light. It strengthens the capillaries walls in the eye and helps to balance blood sugar. Eyebright or Euphrasia has been documented to help inflammatory conditions of the eyes.

8- Nutritional supplements:
Astaxanthin is found in microalgae and protects them from solar radiation. Astaxanthin and many other supplements can support the health of the eye
.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Healthy Tips for Autumn

Woman enjoying healthy exercise on an autumn day.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf becomes a flower."
 -Albert Camus

I love the change of seasons! Just when I'm ready for the heat of summer to end, autumn brings cooler and drier weather that I welcome each year.


Autumn is the end of the growing season, and all the plants and trees turn their energy inward, bringing their energy down to the root. The outward directed energy of summer slowly starts changing and becomes more inwardly directed.  As human beings, we are also affected by the natural changes that occur with the change of seasons. We can be healthier physically and emotionally by being aware and aligned with these natural changes that occur each year.

In Chinese medicine, autumn is ruled by the lungs, large intestine, and the skin. These are all organs of elimination. The organs of elimination let go of waste and what is not necessary for our bodies to thrive. As the trees let go of their leaves, it is a time for us to let go of what doesn't serve us. Letting go can bring feelings of melancholy or grief, and this is the associated emotion of the lungs. The lungs also bring in fresh new air and the associated emotion of inspiration.  As we let go this season, we can be inspired to bring something new into our lives.

Metal is the corresponding element of autumn, and it is associated with discernment and analysis. The natural energies around us support discerning what is working in our lives and also what isn't serving us; what is good and not so good for our bodies, minds, and spirits. Actually, it is a great time of year for an election, as it allows for greater discernment of what kind of leader we want to lead us into our future.

Here are some healthful tips for autumn:

1- Eat these foods that are in season (assuming you are not sensitive to them): Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, celery root, rutabaga, beets, daikon radish, fennel, parsnips, parsley, bok choy, chard, kohlrabi, horseradish, pumpkin, sweet potato, yams, mustard greens, fennel, apples, pears, raspberries, garlic and onions.

2- Use more of these herbs and spices:
Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mint, eucalyptus, and star anise.

3- Do less raw foods and more cooked foods: A good rule is to do 75 percent of your food cooked during autumn. Trade in the salads for soups, stews and broths. Raw foods are very cooling to the body, so better to choose warming foods.

4- Cover your neck with a scarf: There are two points on the back of your neck that should be covered and kept protected from wind or sudden cold. One is the prominent bone at the base of your neck, and the other is at the base of your skull. Keep these points protected with a scarf, especially when you are leaving the gym and are hot and sweaty.

5- A good time to do gentle weight training: It's the best season for your body to do light and gentle weight training.

6- These yoga poses are great to do during autumn: Half lord of the fishes pose, revolved head to knee pose, camel pose, bow pose, warrior one and warrior two poses. These poses focus on the lungs and large intestine.

7- Firmly rub these points often: The Lung One point, called "letting go," is located on the upper outer portion of the chest, three finger widths below the collar bone. You can use a firm circular pressure and massage for one minute bilaterally. Lung seven located by making a thumbs-up sign, which will reveal an indentation by your wrist, then go two finger widths up your arm to find these points.

8- Drink water like it is summer: Many people stop drinking lots of water because it is not as hot. Keep up the water intake. Half of your body weight in ounces of water is a great rule of thumb.

9- Use the healing sound for the lungs: "HSSSSSS" - It sounds like a hissing or a snake sound. You can firmly glide one hand starting from the opposite hand's thumb to the inside of that arm and across your chest to the Lung One point that is on the same side as the gliding hand … all the while making this healing "hssss" sound. Do this a couple of times on each side of the body, timing the movement with a complete outward breath.

10- Be aware that your nutritional supplement needs may change:  Our individual genetics, toxicity, and seasonal requirements determine what we require at any time. I can check to see what your body requires to keep you well heading into the winter.

11- Get body work that can help to support you during this season: Chiropractic and acupuncture can be geared to support the body and what it requires during this season. As a chiropractor, I focus on adjustments and body work specific to the lungs, large intestine and overall wellness this time of year.  This can help your body's defense against seasonal ailments such as colds and flu.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jet Lag Doesn't Have To Be A Drag!!!

Tips to Avoid Jet Lag
Traveling to a new country across time zones can be inspiring and incredibly joyful. Within 24 hours we can board a plane and end up across the globe, experiencing new sights, sounds, tastes … and jet lag. Jet lag is an aspect of travel that most people think just goes with the territory. Recently I traveled abroad, and it inspired me to share with you some great advice on steps you can take to avoid, and limit jet lag.

Our bodies work on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. Our organs and systems are more active at certain times of the day vs. others. For instance:

  • the liver is most active between 1:00 am and 3:00 am
  • the lungs from 3:00 am to 5:00 am
  • the large intestine from 5:00 am to 7:00 am
  • the stomach from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, etc.
You can look up online the acupuncture meridian clock to see the times of day that relate to the entire organ system. Additionally, certain bodily processes are more active at certain times of the day. For example:
  • at 4:30 am the body tends to have the lowest body temperature
  • 6:45 am tends to be the sharpest blood pressure rise
  • at 7:30 am melatonin secretion tends to stop
Our bodies are in tune with the time of day and what is going on in the natural environment around us.

It's no wonder, then, that if we simply lose or gain time in our day, our bodies are going to be thrown off a bit, and it takes some time to get back on track. Symptoms of jet lag can include fatigue, insomnia, headaches, nausea, indigestion, brain fog, confusion, constipation or diarrhea, and anxiety.

You can influence the way your body responds to the change in time zones and travel by following these helpful tips:

1- Increase your water intake two days before you travel. Make sure you are consuming half your body weight in ounces of filtered water and add on another 10 ounces. Drink some water every hour on the flight. The air on airplanes is extremely dry and dehydrating, so make sure you drink a lot of water before and during your travel.

2- Skip the caffeine and alcohol. They dehydrate, so not a good idea to have while traveling.

3- Eat light and eat according to the time zone that you are traveling to. As soon as you get to the airport, set your clock for your destination and eat according to the destination. If it is 7:00 pm in New York and 1:00 am in Rome, it is better not to eat until breakfast Rome time. If you are hungry, drink water. It is better to be hungry and have less jet lag to deal with. If you have blood sugar issues, it is better to avoid this advice!!

4- Supplements that help with jet lag. Goldenseal by Mediherb/Standard Process helps to counter jet lag. Start taking it the day before you travel and continue through the first day that you arrive at your destination. You can start taking it again the day before you leave and continue through the day after you return home. Most people do well with 3 or 4 per day in divided doses. Make sure you are not taking a medication or other supplement that is contraindicated with Golden Seal.


Another supplement that works well is Travel Ease by Alaskan Essences. The dosage of four drops, four times per day, starting the day before you leave and ending the day after you arrive, then resuming the day before you leave to the day after you return home is a good way to take this flower essence. On the plane, you can take a couple of drops every couple of hours.

5- Acupuncture point stimulation. The horary points are specific points that are related to the body clock. Every two hours you can tap these points very firmly for one to two minutes. Each point is associated with the specific time at your destination. For example, if it is 1:00 am in Rome, you tap the Liver 1 point on the index finger. At 3:00 am Rome time, you would tap the Lung 8 point just above the wrist. You can tap on both sides of the body.


Start once you are seated on your flight and do this for 24 hours, changing points as they relate to the time of day. If you fall asleep, continue stimulating the points with whatever time it is at your destination. You can continue beyond 24 hours if you want. Do the same thing for your return trip home. This is the most effective action step that you can take to reduce jet lag, as it tells your body to acclimate based on point stimulation, as opposed to your body trying to figure it out on its own. You can do a web search for "horary points jet lag image" and it will give you pictures of the location of the points to use on a chart.

6- Chiropractic treatments the days around when you leave and return. Body work treatments allow the body's nervous system to function optimally to handle the stress of travel. If you can get a treatment the day you leave, this helps the body handle jet lag better. Upon your return, a specific treatment supporting the circadian rhythms and resetting the body clock can allow a patient to acclimate much faster to the current time zone.

Here's to safe travels wherever you may go.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Importance of Proper Methylation

The Importance of Proper Methylation
Methylation is probably not a word that you have heard before unless you took an organic chemistry class. However, it has become a buzz word in the functional medicine and detoxification arenas.

From the biochemical definition, methylation is the transfer of one carbon and three hydrogens to another molecule, like an enzyme, vitamin, amino acid, etc. Probably not that mind blowing to you, but what it means to the proper functioning of the human body is substantial.

Methylation is essential for making a majority of chemical reactions in the body. It has a significant role in genetics by protecting telomeres on DNA. It prevents certain genetic diseases, and it influences one genetic trait to come from one parent as opposed to both.

Methylation is essential for detoxification. It alters the toxin so that it can be eliminated by the body. It is essential for the conversion of homocysteine, which at high levels has been linked to heart disease. Additionally, it is important for the conversion of folic acid. A certain genetic defect called MTHFR has been linked to the body's inability to convert folic acid to the usable form of folate. Folate (vitamin B9) converts homocysteine into methionine. The body uses methionine to make proteins and critical cellular compounds.


There are many different variants of the MTHFR defect. Very severe MTHFR defects are rare, but there are estimates that up to 50 percent of the population have some form of the defect. This can be overcome with nutritional supplementation, eating cooked dark leafy greens, detoxification (especially of heavy metals), and eliminating processed foods from the diet.

Methylation is important for hormonal regulation because of its role in phase one and phase two liver detoxification. The liver acts as a hormone processor. Specifically, estrogen metabolites like estrone and estradiol are broken down by the liver.

Methylation is key in neurotransmitter creation like serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. Its role with neurotransmitters is why it is important for mental health and the nervous system.  It also plays a role in protecting the mitochondria of a cell and the creation of Coenzyme Q10. The mitochondria are the energy center of the cell and Coenzyme Q10 helps the mitochondria produce energy. If methylation is inadequate, a person may feel fatigue.

Methylation is a requirement for the creation of every cell in the body and also for the body to properly detoxify and break down histamine. High levels of histamine usually result in an increased allergic response. It results in the increased sensitivity of a person to foods and allergens of any kind in the environment.

How do you make sure that the body is able to methylate properly regardless of genetic defects?

1- Clean up your gut and toxicity in the body. Heavy metals, specifically copper and mercury, have been linked to the ability of the body to methylate. One reason is the effect and depletion of zinc by heavy metal toxicity, which is key for certain methylation reactions as well.

2- Another reason to eat dark leafy greens. Gentle cooking can make the folate more accessible for an MTHFR defect. Spinach and broccoli have lots of folate.

3- Eat these foods. Quinoa, beets, lamb, lentils, asparagus, pinto and garbanzo beans.

4- Eliminate sugar and … keep your fruit servings low. Fructose in sugar affects methylation. One to two servings of fruit per day max. Berries are the best fruits to eat!!!!

5- Nutritional supplementation. There is no way we get all we require from the foods we eat. Everyone has different genetic variants, and they require different things. Many people believe that if they eat "healthy" it is enough. Unfortunately, our genetics and the toxicity in our environments make it impossible to get everything we require from our food alone.  If you have an MTHFR defect, you will likely require the supplementation of 5mthf, methylcobalamin (B12), pyridoxal-5-phosphate (B6), and TMG (a form of betaine). Also, you may require cofactors for methylation enzymes like zinc, choline, magnesium, riboflavin, and glutathione.


Dr. Louis Granirer is a leading Holistic Chiropractor in NYC and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner specializing in holistic remedies for good health maintenance and prevention of disease. Visit his website at HolisticChiropracticCenter.com to learn more.