Key technical points:
- Histones and genes on DNA have both acetyls (Ac) and methyls (Me) attached which affect gene transcription.
- Nutrient therapy and nutrition in general can affect histone methylation more easily albeit slowly but individual DNA methylation is more permanent at the moment. This can be changed during early pregnancy in the fetus or later in life or through oxidative stress effects on DNA , but this latter is apparently a more random effect.
- The balance of Ac and Me at any DNA area will determine transcription. On DNA itself, more Me than Ac is an epigenetic “off” switch to transcription. The gene will not be expressed into a protein or enzyme, or to a lesser degree.
- The histones also have Ac and Me, and this regulates general chromatin open/closed configuration. Here, more Me than Ac creates a closed configuration. Closed means a bunch of genes together in the affected histones are less likely to be expressed.
- Therefore more Me than Ac generally tends to switch off genes, either individually on DNA or in bunches at the histones. These effects combine to make some genes more expressed than others depending on the overall result of methylation and acetylation at each point.
- Therefore, overmethyators (OM) would generally express less of the genes which reduce dopamine and serotonin so they would have “too much” with all the mental health problems associated with that. With undermethylators (UM) it’s the opposite, with different kinds of problems, but these all end up lumped together as “depression” or “schizophrenia” in the DSM diagnostic system.
- Folates reduce methylation and promote gene expression. OMs will do better, UMs will do worse. This is despite folates generally adding methyls to the methylation cycle hence the “folate paradox”.
Images below from a powerpoint presentation By Dr Walsh
In the 1950s Dr Hoffer observed initially the success of niacins and folates treatments in people with the then current schizophrenia diagnosis, and deleterious effects of methionine. This was not satisfactorily explained and constituted a stumbling block in adoption of his treatment methods. Later came refinements from further clinical research which distinguished the two depression/psychosis groups of under/overmethylation (UM/OM) or histadelia/histapenia which are opposite in their treatments and contraindications.