Folate Cycle Nutrients, Homocysteine, and Transsulfuration

  • Transsulfuration is the conversion of Homocysteine with the co-factors B6 and Serine to Cystathionine.

Homocysteine-Damage-Ladd-McNamara

  • Cystathionine is then converted to Cysteine which is one of the three amino acids that compose Glutathione.
  • Polymorphisms in Cysta beta-synthase may affect the rate of conversion of Cystathionine to Cysteine.
  • Cysteine is thought to be the rate limiting step in the formation of Glutathione.

glutathione-structure-baucom-institute (2)

 

What are the Effects of MTHFR?

MTHFR mutational effects include:MTHFR-DNA-Effects-Baucom-Institute

  • chronic low glutathione
  • leaky gut and food allergies
  • chronic viruses
  • high serum B12 levels
  • low serotonin and melatonin
  • high serum ferritin and HFE mutation
  • Thalassemia and hepatorenal failure
  • FSG and renal failure
  • autoimmunity frequency in women
  • chronic dysbiosis/chronic yeast infections
  • estrogen dominant cancers
  • subtype and elevated homocysteine
  • ADD/bipolar/PMS/Chronic Fatigue/Fibromylagia
  • tongue/fingernails/thin hair
  • vericose veins/spider veins
  • hypercoagulopathy/infertility
  • elevated testosterone in men/PCOS in women
  • acne, fibroids, Endometriosis, Menometorrhagia
  • depression when on OCPs
  • exacerbation of menopausal symptoms on BHRT
  • elevated uric acid and elevated ammonia levels
  • gut barrier and dysbiosis
  • CANCER
  • estrogen dominance and obesity (estrogens effects on insulin and the insulin receptor and adiponectin)

 

A1298C Variant

A1298C – a mutation from adenine to cytosine at position 1298 within the gene. These variants lead to amino acid differences in the protein that reduces its ability to function.

1298:genes_MTHFR_baucom_institute

  • AA-normal homozygous
  • AC or CC – one or two variant copies
  • about 30% of the population
  • not associated with increased risk
  • associated with increased risk if found together with a 677 variant

Severe MTHFR deficiency:

  • Severe MTHFR deficiency is rare (about 50 cases worldwide) and caused by mutations resulting in 0-20% residual enzyme activity.
  • Characterization of six novel mutations in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in patients with homocystinuria. Hum Mutat 15 (3): 280-7
  • These patients exhibit:
  1. developmental delay,
  2. motor and gait dysfunction,
  3. seizures,
  4. neurological impairment and
  5. have extremely high levels of homocysteine in their plasma and urine as well as low to normal plasma methionine levels.

Epigenetic_mechanisms_MTHFR_methylationBottom line:  If one leads a lifestyle which is unhealthy (smoking, high stress, toxic exposures) and consumes an unhealthy diet (refined carbs, processed meats, saturated fats), having a heterozygous A1298C mutation may contribute to cardiovascular disease, depression, fibromyalgia and others.

Possible symptoms associated with A1298C MTHFR mutations:

  • hypertension
  • delayed speech
  • muscle pain
  • insomnia
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • hand tremor
  • memory loss
  • headaches
  • brain fog

Possible signs associated with A1298C MTHFR Mutations:

  • elevated ammonia levels
  • decreased dopamine
  • decrease serotonin
  • decreased epinephrine and norepinephrine
  • decreased nitric oxide
  • elevated blood pressure
  • muscle tenderness
  • ulcers
  • pre-eclampsia

Possible conditions associated with A1298C MTHFR mutations:

  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • autism
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • ADD/ADHD
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • erectile dysfunction
  • migraine
  • Raynaud’s
  • cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • recurrent miscarriages

Frequency of MTHFR Polymorphisms

30-40% of Americans are found to have either a single or double polymorphism of either C677T or A1298C.

  • There is ethnic variability in the frequency of the T allel-frequency in Mediterranean/Hispanics>Caucasians>Africans/African-Americans (Worldwide distribution of a common methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase mutation. Am J Hum Genet 62 (5): 1258-60)
  • Higher frequency in chronic disease: Autoimmune diseases, diseases of the gut, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Retroviruses, Cancer, Hormone dysregulation, Mood issues, Cardiometabolic patients.

C667Tpolymorphtandem-baucom-institute

  • There is a mutation from cytosine to adenine at position 677 within the gene.
  • Possible genotypes?
  • 677-CC, CT, or TT
  • CC-homozygous normal
  • About 45% of the population
  • No increased risk associate
  • CT-on variant copy
  • About 45% of the population
  • Some reduced enzymatic activity, alone not associated with increased risk
  • TT-two variant copies
  • About 10% of the population
  • Increased risk for elevated homocysteine level and associated complications

Homocysteine & Vascular Disease

Pathophysiology of Homocysteine:

1. Interference with normal thrombolysisHomocysteine-Damage-Ladd-McNamara

  • decreased antithrombin III activity
  • Activation of factor V or XII
  • Inactivation of protein C
  • Promote binding of Lp(a) to fibrin
  • Platelet inhibition (interaction with nitric oxide)

2. Promote SMC proliferation

3. Promote LDL oxidation

4. Direct toxicity to endothelium

Genetic and Dietary Determinants of Serum Homocysteine Concentrations:

Genetic -

  • Cystathionine-beta-synthase deficiency
  • Methionine synthase deficiency
  • MTHFR deficiency
  • Defective absorption of B12 or folate
  • Prevalence – 30% Female V. 25% Male

lowering-homocysteine-levels-naturally-baucom-instituteNutritional -

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate

Risks Associated with MTHFR Variants/High Homocysteine:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cerebral Vascular Disease (stroke)
  • Venous and Arterial Thrombosis
  • Methotrexate Toxicity for Cancer Therapy

 

To Age or Not To Age

Do we actually have a choice whether we age or not? Can we restore our bodies to health or is all the talk about longevity and restorative medicine just a bunch of hype?

Most people are interested in knowing how to lengthen their life span and create a healthier, happier life at the same time. But the average person deals mostly in putting out fires when symptoms occur, going to the doctor and getting some medicine to deal with the ailment, having surgery, etc.

restorative_medicine_baucom_instituteWhat if we got in front of the ol’ “8 ball”, so to speak, and became not only a “preventative health” society but a restorative one? Think of the disease prevention and quality of life we would create for ourselves!

There are now doctors becoming more interested in this type of medicine. In fact, more organizations of doctors that believe in not only holistic medicine but in restorative medicine are becoming more prevalent. There are also organizations in which MD’s, ND’s, NMD’s, and DO’s are sitting in the same conferences and are collaborating on the idea of restorative medicine.

Disease is rampant and there doesn’t seem be any better answer in dealing with these diseases other than drug therapies, surgery and living out one’s life. Not any kind of quality of life at all.

No wonder doctors are turning to other answers.

According to AARM (Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine), “. . . the principle is to actually restore fundamental balance and not simply suppress, palliate, or otherwise superficially treat symptoms. Many endocrine disorders and chronic diseases have a limited possibility to be overcome by conventional approaches.  Restorative Medicine offers new scientific data that leads us not to conform or succumb but rather spearheading the rebirth of restorative health.”

“Chronic diseases have now eclipsed infectious diseases, and the old paradigm of focusing on cures is not working,” according to Harvard Medical student, Sandeep Kishore. He says instead of focusing on medications to treat disease, we should focus on causes and not just treat symptoms.

Dr. Michael Friedman, President of AARM, says “the goal [of restorative medicine] is to repair tissue degeneration, optimize cellular and metabolic function, and build organ health. In many cases, medications can be discontinued altogether over time as health and vitality are truly restored.”

What do you think about approaching health from a more restorative perspective?

The X Factor

the-x-factor-metabolic-syndrome-baucominstitute

We’re always looking for the next big thing but the next big thing is already here – Metabolic Syndrome X – the biggest problem in America! The USA has the highest percentage of obese in the world, 34% female and 27.7% male, 35% of whom are Mexicans and 40% African American males.

What is Metabolic Syndrome X? In our blog last week, we shared that this syndrome is a result of having three or more metabolic risk factors: insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high lipids – TG, LDL, etc.

“94% of the rats who were allowed to choose between sugar and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine switched their preference to sugar!”

Here are the symptoms:

  • Borderline high or normal blood glucose
  • High triglycerides (above 2.3 mmol/l)
  • Low HDL (good cholesterol)
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Excess weight resistant to dieting
  • Skin tags
  • Osteoarthritis

According to researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, insulin resistance in skeletal muscle leads to changes in energy storage and insulin-resistant individuals rerouted carbohydrates to liver fat production. This leads to elevated triglycerides in the blood by as much as 60% while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol by 20%. In a study done by Yale, participants who were young and lean, with no excess abdominal fat became insulin resistant. The good news is, they found that insulin resistance in skeletal muscle can be treated with one simple method – exercise!

Let’s talk about sugar for a moment, because that it ultimately the biggest culprit in the cause of The X Factor.

The average American eats 142 pounds of sugar a year, or about 2.5 pounds each week, a 23% increase over the last 25 years! And most of it is coming from, one guess . . . soft drinks – which includes artificially sweetened drinks as well! In the US, ¼ or 22% of the daily calories are from drinks, according to a report called “What America Drinks.”

According to Drs. Fischer, Hommel, Fiedler, and Bibergeil, in a study done on “reflex mechanism on insulin secretion,”  we are seeing that soft drinks are linked to Metabolic Syndrome:

  • Men and women who drank more than one soda daily had a 48% adjusted higher prevalence
  • insulin level rises in the first minute after the start of a carbohydrate-rich meal, vs glucose level rising in the third minute of a balanced diet
  • An increase in triglyceride levels and LDL
  • Consumption rose 135% of high fructose corn syrup between 1977 and 2001
  • Americans eat an average of 132 calories of high fructose corn syrup a day

In a lab experiment with rats by the University of Bordeaux called “Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward,” 94% of the rats who were allowed to choose between sugar and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine switched their preference to sugar!

Obviously, we have to get over our addiction to this satiable substance! In the meantime, many changes have to take place to get this X Factor under control.

Doctors, in weight-loss fields, GP’s, restorative, and otherwise, are all finding that to get this syndrome under control several factors have to take place:

  • Balance glucose/insulin levels
  • Increase metabolism
  • Increase fat burning
  • Create appetite suppression

A study done by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that a natural substance can greatly help in this fight:  Green Tea Catechins or EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). After 5 and 10 weeks of treatment with EGCG, and GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia, the blood sugar and insulin levels of mice were tested. The researchers found that the mice did just as well on the green tea extract as they did on the drug. The extract has been found to have these benefits:

  • Reduces fat absorption
  • Reduces LDL cholesterol/TG levels
  • Reduces glucose/insulin levels
  • Increases beta oxidation
  • Helps decrease appetite

Which ultimately:

  1. Reduce body weight gain
  2. Reduce body fat accumulation
  3. Stimulate oxidation in the liver

All in all, here are the recommendations by Alexander McLellan, ND, Neuropathic Physician in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and professor at the Canadian School of natural Nutrition and Chief Medical Officer for three clinical research trials in Diabetic Neuropathy in Canada and the US, in treating obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: Check thyroid function, Restrict carbs, Check for food allergies, Keep hydrated, Get stress levels down, Get to a support group and stay educated, Detox, detox, detox! The bottom line? It’s the samo, samo:

  • Eat right
  • Exercise more
  • Don’t rely on a “magic pill”

What do you think?

New Year, New You!

happy_healthy_restored_people_baucominstitute

It’s the new year! It’s 2014. A fresh start. A new beginning. At ANY age!

Can we actually reverse the aging process and restore our bodies to health or is all the talk about longevity and restorative medicine just a bunch of hype?

Most people are interested in knowing how to lengthen their life span and create a healthier, happier life at the same time. But the average person deals mostly in putting out fires like when symptoms arrive, going to the doctor and getting some medicine to deal with the ailment.

What if we got in front of the ol’ “8 ball”, so to speak, and became not only a “preventative health” society but a restorative one? Think of the disease prevention we would create in our world and the quality of life we would create!

There are now doctors becoming more interested in this type of medicine. In fact, there are more organizations of doctors that believe in not only holistic medicine but in restorative medicine which are becoming more prevalent. There are also organizations in which MD’s, ND’s, NMD’s, and DO’s are sitting in the same conferences and are collaborating on the idea of restorative medicine.

Disease is rampant and there doesn’t seem be any better answer in dealing with these diseases other than drug therapies, surgery and living out one’s life with the disease. Not any kind of quality of life at all.

No wonder doctors are turning to other answers.

According to AARM (Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine) says, “. . . the principle is to actually restore fundamental balance and not simply suppress, palliate, or otherwise superficially treat symptoms. Many endocrine disorders and chronic diseases have a limited possibility to be overcome by conventional approaches.  Restorative Medicine offers new scientific data that leads us not to conform or succumb but rather spearheading the rebirth of restorative health.”

“Chronic diseases have now eclipsed infectious diseases, and the old paradigm of focusing on cures is not working,” according to Harvard Medical student, Sandeep Kishore. He says instead of focusing on medications to treat disease, we should focus on causes and not just treat symptoms.

Dr. Michael Friedman, President of AARM, says “the goal [of restorative medicine] is to repair tissue degeneration, optimize cellular and metabolic function, and build organ health. In many cases, medications can be discontinued altogether over time as health and vitality are truly restored.”

What do you think about approaching your health from a more restorative perspective?

There’s a “Pause” for Men Too!

Male-Andropause-BaucomInstitute

Male Andropause. You may have never heard of it, especially if you are a woman under 30. However, it is a very real and prevalent issue for men, especially after age 40. Let’s start with what it is and then what to do about it.

To put it simply, andropause is the steady decline in the hormone testosterone. It usually effects men around the age of 40 and continues for a longer period of time, possibly lasting for decades, than menopause with women which can have more extremeandropause_graph effects but over a shorter period of time. Most men think these symptoms are just a part of aging and that they should just accept their fate. They couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, by age 45-55 men can experience the same types of effects similar to menopause.

The effects can include changes in attitude and mood, mild depression, fatigue, lower sex drive, reduced erections, weight gain in the middle, loss of energy, and reduction in physical agility because of the loss of muscle mass.

So what’s the answer? It seems inevitable. It stands to reason that if the loss of testosterone is the cause then the replacing of testosterone would be the answer. True, but how do you replace an organic chemical that the body itself reproduces? This is where the answer and the problem both lie, as if two sides to the same coin.

Hormone therapy has become more common in treating the effects of menopause in women. However, the side-effects have become too dangerous, like when men take Viagra to enhance their sexual performance. It is not a natural component; therefore the body cannot assimilate it without side effects.

Bio-identical hormones have become preferable due to their natural effects on the body. These same types of bio-identical, natural hormones are now available to men as well. The bio-available testosterone not only increases muscle mass and improves a guy’s general well-being, it also lowers cholesterol, enhances libido and sexual energy, and helps prevent pre-mature heart disease.

If you have these symptoms from aging, even if you are just in your 40’s, don’t wait until they are worse. Contact us today at The Baucom Institute to learn from your own “Age Management Plan” what you need at your age.

What are some symptoms you have noticed in yourself or someone else you care about? We would love to hear from you.

Am I Losing It or Does Anybody Feel This Way?

Portrait of a middle aged woman sitting in a chair and looking sad

Hormones are vital in protecting and telling the body what to do. An important part of age management medicine is measuring and, where necessary, supplementing important hormones that decline, but contribute to longevity. Often patients come to the Baucom Institute with complaints of fatigue, decreased libido, poor concentration, and weight gain despite proper exercise and nutrition. The missing piece to their puzzle is often hormonal restoration and balance. When we restore and balance hormones to their youthful level, we use bio-available hormones. These bio-available hormonal messengers are the same as our bodies produce and can be utilized as natural restorative factors to qualify aging. Hormone restoration and balancing requires precise testing and monitoring. It should only be performed under the medical management of a qualified physician.

COMPARING HERBS AND BIO-AVAILABLE HORMONES

Bio-available hormones require a prescription by a physician. Often people confuse the difference between bio-available hormones and herbs that stimulate hormones. Herbs, or holistic naturopathic medicine, can be a contributor to the wholeness of a being, but instead of using naturopathic herbs to simulate what these hormones can do, as physicians we can have these hormones compounded by a pharmacy. In today’s world of medicine, many pharmaceutical companies are also now beginning to produce bio-available hormones.

A PERSONALIZED HORMONE BALANCING AND RESTORATION PLAN

Hormones work in concert with one another. The vital glands that send these important messengers throughout our brain and the rest of our body do so in a synchronized balanced manner. It’s our job, at the Baucom Institute, to identify if hormone balancing and restoration is appropriate and, if so, format for that patient a hormonal balancing and restoration plan designed to achieve increased vitality and youthful exuberance.

Learn More about Bio-Available Hormones

What symptoms do you struggle with?