Of Mice and Men…

Keep Methylation Central

The intracellular environment surrounding your DNA
can either help repair problems in your DNA structure,
or make those problems worse.
This happens because of ‘epigenetic’ changes,
changes in the expression of the gene
because of what is ‘epi’ or around the gene.

It is only common sense
that different substances in the environment surrounding the gene itself
might make the gene function differently.

Methyl groups are one of the substances that can impact genes this way.
Methyl groups are primary epigenetic modifiers of DNA.
Methyl groups are made of one carbon and three hydrogen molecules.
They attach to and regulate the function of the DNA.

These epigenetic changes can be inherited, as I pointed out a while ago.


The two mice above are genetically identical.
Their mothers were fed differently, hence their differences.
The obese white mouse on the left had a mother
who was fed regular mouse rations.
The smaller brown mouse on the right is more normal.
His mother was fed a diet with added B12, folic acid and methyl donors.
B12 and folic acid enhance methyl group formation.

None of this is news to you.
What is news is that researchers have uncovered
that a human mother’s diet before conception
can permanently affect how her child’s genes function.
According to a study published in Nature Communications,
this is the first evidence of the effect in humans.

The study utilized a unique ‘experiment of nature’ in rural Gambia,
where the population’s dependence on grown foods
and a markedly seasonal climate
impose a large difference in people’s dietary patterns
between rainy and dry seasons.


While a child’s genes are inherited directly from their parents,
how these genes are expressed is controlled
through ‘epigenetic’ modifications to the DNA.
One such modification involves tagging gene regions
with methyl groups which results in silencing the genes.
The addition of methyl groups requires key nutrients
including folate, vitamins B2, B6 and B12, choline and methionine.

Senior author Dr Branwen Hennig,
Senior Investigator Scientist at the MRC Gambia Unit
and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:
“Our results represent the first demonstration in humans
that a mother’s nutritional well-being at the time of conception
can change how her child’s genes will be interpreted,
with a life-long impact.”

The researchers found that infants from rainy season conceptions
had consistently higher rates of methyl groups present
in all six genes they studied,
and that these were linked to nutrient levels in the mother’s blood.

Strong associations were found with two compounds in particular,
homocysteine and cysteine,
and the mothers’ body mass index (BMI) had an additional influence.

Andrew Prentice, Professor of International Nutrition
at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:
“Our on-going research is yielding strong indications
that the methylation machinery can be disrupted by nutrient deficiencies
and that this can lead to disease.
Our ultimate goal is to define an optimal diet for mothers-to-be
that would prevent defects in the methylation process.
Pre-conceptional folic acid is already used to prevent defects in embryos.
Now our research is pointing towards the need for a cocktail of nutrients,
which could come from the diet or from supplements.”

Thanks to Irakli Martashvilli, PhD candidate in Physics
at the University of Tennessee, for this information.

There is an e book on www.NancyMullanMD.com called
The Methyl Group: What It Can Do for You,
Plus Three Mistakes Not to Make with MTHFR
It goes into these issues more
and includes a description of which genes specifically
impact methyl group production.
This is important information
if your body is not functioning properly.

My Tuesday evening calls are ongoing. They happen every week.
There is no charge to come on this call.
It is a free forum where you can ask your questions.
I am there to help you.

It’s a great way to answer your most pressing questions,
clear up confusion,
overcome the obstacles you may be having,
and get on the path to wellness.

The time: Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time
(8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain)
The number to call in the US: (559) 726-1300
The access code: 986935#

International access numbers are available.

Join us to inform yourself so that you can be proactive about your health!

So excellent!
I literally learn something on every single call
and I get clarification on things that have been lingering in my mind…

You are giving people a huge gift by empowering them…
It’s about helping the patient become their own healer
by taking them to a higher level of consciousness…

Thank you so much Dr. Mullan.
Thank you so, so much for everything you do.

Wow! I have to tell you, this was such an uplifting call.
It’s so nice to hear good news especially about a child.
Anxiety, OCD and a host of other mental/psychiatric symptoms
have been a huge hurdle for me.
So to hear this story of all those awful symptoms
totally going away is such a bright light for me!!!!


Nancy Mullan MD
Author, lecturer, clinician
Dr. Nancy Mullan is best known for her natural treatment of chronic illness,
including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lyme and MTHFR+.

2829 Burbank Blvd., Suite 202, Burbank, CA 91505
T: (818) 954-9267 – F: (818) 954-0620


About Nancy Mullan, MD

Some people call Dr. Nancy Mullan the MTHFR genetic medicine expert. Dr. Mullan works with people who are struggling with chronic disease or other significant illness, who are willing to use diet and genetics-based nutritional supplementation, and who want to increase wellbeing and energy, enhance immunity, lift mood, fine-tune genetic function, and get their lives back. Dr. Mullan has studied at a number of exceptional institutions: the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University School of Medicine, and the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. She excels at integrating the results of biochemical and genetic testing into sustained clinical improvement for you. She has succeeded with patients who confounded the specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Stanford, and many well-known integrative medical doctors. When recommending her, her patients say, “This is the woman you need to talk to. She really knows how to handle tough clinical problems.” Dr. Mullan's specialty areas are MTHFR+, methylation genetics, and genetics-based nutritional supplementation. Within this context, she most often works with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Psychiatric Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Women’s Health Issues, Thyroid Disorder, Gastrointestinal Disorder, and Heavy Metal Toxicity.
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