Is Methylation Assessment the Precursor To HRT?


Catabolism of estrogen is one of the many biological processes that rely on the essential and ubiquitous reaction called methylation.  Most biological methylation reactions use S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as the methyl donor where substrates include DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, and other secondary metabolites (see diagram to the right).  We now know that genetic variations or SNPs can have a profound effect on proper methylation.  But today, we briefly focus on the aforementioned role that methylation plays in estrogen detoxification.


Methylation and Estrogen Detoxification
Efficient methylation is crucial for metabolizing the estrogen hormones as it is the pathway for eliminating excess estrogen from the body.  The 2-OH and 4-OH metabolites (catechol estrogens) are readily oxidized to quinones, which as you know are highly reactive.  Estrogen quinones can be significant mechanisms of estrogen-mediated cell damage.  This harmful pathway can be minimized through detoxification and excretion of the catechol estrogens by methyl groups donated by SAM.  The inability to efficiently detoxify these estrogen metabolites has been linked to an increased susceptibility to postmenopausal sensitive cancers.   Therefore, determining your patient’s methylation capability may be an important assessment when offering hormone replacement therapy.

Assess Methylation with the Plasma Methylation Profile
The Plasma Methylation Profile from Dcotor's Data provides a functional assessment of the phenotypic expression of common SNPs (MTHFR, MS, CBS) by evaluating the plasma levels of methionine, cysteine, SAM, SAH, homocysteine and cystathionine, while also providing the key methylation index ratio of SAM to SAH.  Furthermore, the plasma Methylation Profile examines the expression of epigenetic factors such as environmental toxicants and nutritional status that also have an impact on enzymes involved in methionine metabolism. The results can be used to determine appropriate nutritional support to enhance methylation and normalize metabolism.
click image to view full sample report
Other Detoxification Profiles:
DNA Oxidative Damage (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine)

DNA Methylation Profile
Hepatic Detox Profile
Urine Toxic Metals
Erythrocyte Glutathione


Want to see the latest research on this topic?

Zhang CX, Ho SC, Chen YM, Lin FY, Fu JH, Cheng SZ.  Dietary folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and methionine intake and the risk of breast cancer by oestrogen and progesterone receptor status.  BMC Medical Genomics 2014, 7:5.
Wallace JM et al. Choline supplementation and measures of choline and betaine status: a randomised, controlled trial in postmenopausal women. Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct;108(7):1264-71.
Al-Ghnaniem R1, Peters J, Foresti R, Heaton N, Pufulete M.   Methylation of estrogen receptor alpha and mutL homolog 1 in normal colonic mucosa: association with folate and vitamin B-12 status in subjects with and without colorectal neoplasia.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;86(4):1064-72.

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